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(Act of March 3d,
intend the preservation of the public accounts subject to his revision.
28. Sec. X. It shall be the duty of the first comptroller to superintend the recovery of all debts to the United States; to direct suits and legal proceedings, and to take all such measures as may be authorized by the laws, to enforce prompt payment of all debts to the United States.
29. Sec. Xi. The provision contained in the second section of the act, passed the third March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, entitled "An act to provide more effectually for the settlement of accounts between the United States and receivers of public money," which directs that in every case where suits have been, or shall be, instituted, a transcript from the books and proceedings of the treasury, certified by the register, shall be admitted as evidence, shall be extended, in regard to the accounts of the war and navy departments, to the auditors respectively charged with the examination of those accounts, and that certificates, signed by them, shall be of the same effect as that directed to be signed by the register. [Supra 8.]
30. Sec. Xii. The auditors of the public accounts shall be empowered to administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses in any case in which they may deem it necessary for the due examination of the accounts with which they shall be charged.
31. Sec. Xiii. It shall be the duty of the secretary of the treasury to cause all accounts of the expenditure of public money to be settled within the year, except where the distance of the places where such expenditure occurs may be such as to make further time necessary; and, in respect to expenditures at such places, the secretary of the treasury, with the assent of the president, shall establish fixed periods at which a settlement shall be required. And it shall be the duty of the first comptroller to lay before congress annually, during the first week of their session, a list of such officers as shall have failed in that year to make the settlement required by law.
32. Sec. Xiv. In the annual statement of all accounts on which balances appear to have been due more than three years, which the comptroller is now required by law to make, he shall hereafter distinguish those accounts, the balances appearing on which shall in his opinion be owing to difficulties of form, which he may think it equitable shall be removed by an act of congress; and where the debtors, by whom such balances shall have been due more than three years, shall be insolvent, and have been reported to congress for three successive years as insolvent, the comptroller shall not be required in such case to continue to include such balances in the statement above mentioned.
ACT of February 24th, 1819. Pamphlet edit. 32.
An Act supplementary to the Act entitled, "An Act to provide for the prompt settlement of public accounts."
33. Sec. I. From and after the third of March next, it shall be the duty of the second auditor of the treasury to receive all unsettled accounts arising out of Indian affairs, with the exception of those appertaining to Indian trade, and examine the same, and thereafter certify the balance and transmit the accounts with the vouchers and certificates, to the second comptroller for his decision thereon: Provided that if in the opinion of the president of the United States, the public interest and convenience would be promoted by assigning all or any part of the said accounts to the third auditor he is authorized to make such assignment accordingly.
34. Sec. tr. It shall be the duty of the auditor charged with the examination of the accounts as aforesaid, to keep all accounts of the receipts and expenditures of public money in regard to them; to receive from the second comptroller the accounts which shall have been finally adjusted and to preserve such accounts with the vouchers and certificates. And it shall be the duty of the said auditor to make such reports on the business hereby assigned to him as the secretary of war may deem necessary, and require from time to time for the service of the war department.
ACT of May 15th, 1820. Pamphlet edit. 109. An Act providing for the better organization of the Treasury Department.
35. Sec. I. It shall be the duty of such officer of the treasury department as the president of the United States shall, from time to time, designate for that purpose, as the agent of the treasury, to direct and superintend all orders, suits, or proceedings, in law or equity, for the recovery of money, chattels, lands, tenements, or hereditaments, in the name, and for the use, of the United States.
36. Sec. il. From and after the thirtieth day of September next, if any collector of the revenue, receiver of public money, or other officer, who shall have received the public money before it is paid into the treasury of the United States, shall fail to render his account, or pay over the same in the manner, or within the time, required by law, it shall be the duty of the first comptroller of the treasury to cause to be stated the account of such collector, receiver of public money, or other officer, exhibiting truly the amount due to the United States, and certify the same to the agent of the treasury, who is hereby authorized and required to issue a warrant of distress against such delinquent officer and his sureties, directed to the marshal of the district in which such delinquent officer and his surety or sureties shall reside; and where the said officer and his surety or sureties shall reside in different districts, or where they, or either of them, shall reside in a district other than that in which the estate of either may be situate, which may
(ACT of May 15th, 1820.)
be intended to be taken and sold, then such warrant shall be directed to the marshals of such districts, and to their deputies, respectively; therein specifying the amount with which such delinquent is chargeable, and the sums, if any, which have been paid. And the marshal authorized to execute such warrant, shall, by himself or by his deputy, proceed to levy and collect the sum remaining due, by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of such delinquent officer; having given ten days previous notice of such intended sale, by affixing an advertisement of the articles to be sold at two or more public places in the town or county where the said goods or chattels were taken, or in the town or county where the owner of such goods or chattels may reside; and if the goods and chattels be not sufficient to satisfy the said warrant, the same may be levied upon the person of such officer, who may be committed to prison, there to remain until discharged by due course of law. Notwithstanding the commitment of such officer, or if he abscond, or if goods and chattels cannot be found sufficient to satisfy the said warrant, the marshal or his deputy may and shall proceed to levy and collect the sum which remains due by such delinquent officer, by the distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the surety or sureties of such officer; having given ten days' previous notice of such intended sale, by affixing an advertisement of the articles to be sold, at two or more public places in the town or county where the said goods or chattels were taken, or in the town or county where the owner of such goods or chattels resides. And the amount due by any such officer as aforesaid shall be, and the same is hereby declared to be, a lien upon the lands, tenements, and hereditaments, of such officer and his sureties, from the date of a levy in pursuance of the warrant of distress issued against him or them, and a record thereof made in the office of the clerk of the district court of the proper district, until the same shall be discharged according to law. And for want of goods and chattels of such officer, or his surety or sureties, sufficient to satisfy any warrant of distress issued pursuant to the provisions of this act, the lands, tenements, and hereditaments of such officer, and his surety or sureties, or so much thereof as may be necessary for that purpose, after being advertised for at least three weeks in not less than three public places in the county or district where such real estate is situate, prior to the time of sale, may and shall be sold by the marshal of such district or his deputy; and for all lands, tenements, or hereditaments, sold in pursuance of the authority aforesaid, the conveyance of the marshals or their deputies, executed in due form of law, shall give a valid title against all persons claiming under such delinquent officer, or his surety or sureties. And all moneys which may remain of the proceeds of such sales, after satisfying the said warrant of distress, and paying the reasonable costs and charges of the sale, shall be returned to such delinquent officer or surety, as the case may be: Provided, That the summary process herein directed shall not (ACT of May 15th, 1820.)
affect any surety of any officer of the United States, who became bound to the United States before the passing of this act; but each and every such officer shall, on or before the thirtieth day of September next, give new and sufficient sureties for the performance of the duties required of such officer.
37. Sec. Hi. From and after the thirtieth day of September next, if any officer employed, or who has heretofore been employed, in the civil, military, or naval, departments of the government, to disburse the public money appropriated for the service of those departments, respectively, shall fail to render his account, or to pay over, in the manner, and in the times, required by law, or the regulations of the department to which he is accountable, any sum of money remaining in the hands of such officer, it shall be the duty of the first or second comptroller of the treasury, as the case may be, who shall be charged with the revision of the accounts of such officer, to cause to be stated, and certify, the account of such delinquent officer to the agent of the treasury, who is hereby authorized and required immediately to proceed against such delinquent officer, in the manner directed in the preceding section, all the provisions of which are hereby declared to be applicable to every officer of the government charged with the disbursement of the public money, and to their sureties, in the same manner, and to the same extent, as if they had been described and enumerated in the said section: Provided, nevertheless, That the said agent of the treasury, with the approbation of the secretary of the treasury, in cases arising under this or the preceding section, may postpone, for a reasonable time, the institution of the proceedings required by this act, where, in his opinion, the public interest will sustain no injury by such postponement.
38. Sec. Iv. If any person should consider himself aggrieved by any warrant issued under this act, he may prefer a bill of complaint to any district judge of the United States, setting forth therein the nature and extent of the injury of which he complains; and thereupon the judge aforesaid may, if in his opinion the case requires it, grant an injunction to stay proceedings on such warrant altogether, or for so much thereof as the nature of the case requires; but no injunction shall issue till the party applying for the same shall give bond, and sufficient security, conditioned for the performance of such judgment as shall be awarded against the complainant, in such amount as the judge granting the injunction shall prescribe; nor shall the issuing of such injunction in any manner impair the lien produced by the issuing of such warrant. And the same proceedings shall be had on such injunction as in other cases, except that no answer shall be necessary on the part of the United States: and if, upon dissolving the injunction, it shall appear to the satisfaction of the judge who shall decide upon the same, that the application for the injunction was merely for delay, in addition to the lawful interest which shall be assessed (ACT of May 15th, 1820.)
on all sums which may be found due against the complainant, the said judge is hereby authorized to add such damages as that, with the lawful interest, it shall not exceed the rate of ten per centum per annum on the principal sum.
39. Sec. V. Such injunction may be granted or dissolved by such judge, either in or out of court.
40. Sic. vi. If any person shall consider himself aggrieved by the decision of such judge, either in refusing to issue the injunction, or, if granted, on its dissolution, it shall be competent for such person to lay a copy of the proceedings had before the district judge, before a judge of the supreme court, to whom authority is hereby given, either to grant the injunction, or permit an appeal, as the case may be, if, in the opinion of such judge of the supreme court, the equity of the case requires it; and thereupon the same proceedings shall be had upon such injunction, in the circuit court, as are prescribed in the district court, and subject to the same conditions in all respects whatsoever.
41. Sec. Vii. The attorneys of the United States, for the several judicial districts of the United States, in the prosecution of all suits in the same, in the name and for the benefit of the United States, shall conform to such directions and instructions, touching the same, as shall, from time to time, be given to them respectively, by the said agent of the treasury. And it shall, moreover, be the duty of each of the said attorneys, immediately after the end of every term of the district and circuit courts, or of any state court, in which any suit or action may be pending, on behalf of the United States, under the direction of any district attorney, to forward to the said agent of the treasury a statement of the cases which have been decided during the said term, together with such information touching such cases as may not have been decided, as may be required by the said officer.
42. Sec. Viii. It shall be the duty of the clerks of the district and circuit courts, within thirty days after the adjournment of each successive term of the said courts respectively, to forward to the said agent of the treasury a list of all judgments and decrees which have been entered in the said courts respectively, during such term, to which the United States are parties, showing the amount which has been so adjudged or decreed for or against the United States, and stating the term to which execution th reon will be returnable. And it shall, in like manner, be the duty of the marshals of the several judicial districts of the United States, within thirty days before the commencement of the several terms of the said courts, to make returns to the said agent, of the proceedings which have taken place upon all writs of execution or other process which have been placed in his hands for the collection of the money which has been so adjudged and decreed to the United States, in the said courts respectively.