United States Trask v. Wanamaker
Petition by Elizabeth Trask for a writ of mandamus to John Wanamaker, postmaster general of the United States. The writ was denied, and a writ of error was taken to this court. Dismissed.
The relator's case, as stated by the court below, was as follows:
'She became postmaster at Emporia, Kansas, on October 1, 1864, and so continued to and including June 30, 1870. During the whole of the biennial term ending June 30, 1866, the returns of the office paid to the United States amounted to $1,567.98; the commissions on which, under the act of April 22, 1854, if allowed, would have amounted to $863.99. The salary allowed for the seven quarters of this period during which the relator was postmaster was $580. During the biennial term ending June 30, 1868, the returns of the office amounted to $2,230.73, besides $73 box rents, commissions upon which, under the said act of 1854, if allowed, would amount to $1,270.37, while relator was paid a salary for the same period of $800. For the biennial term ending June 30, 1870, the returns of the office amounted to $6,312.53, besides $230 box rents, upon which commissions, under said act of 1854, if allowed, would amount to $3,139.33, while the relator was paid the salary for the same biennial term of $1,580.
'The petitioner thereupon claims that it became the duty of the postmaster general, under section 8 of the act of June 12, 1866, to readjust said salary at the end of each biennial term, because the same was ten per cent. less than it would have been in commissions under said act of 1854, and to allow the difference between the salary paid and said commissions.
'The relator further sets forth that on June 9, 1883, and February 17, 1884, the postmasters general of those dates issued orders in which they construed the statutes relating to readjustment of salaries; that they caused to be entered upon the forms described in those orders the sum of $1,567.98 as amount of the postal receipts at the relator's post office during the biennial term ending June 30, 1866, and the salary of said office for the whole of the said term, computed on the basis of the act of 1854, as $863.99, and the relator's proportion thereof for seven quarters of that term as $755.99; that they caused to be entered on said forms the sum of $2,230.73 as the amount of relator's postal receipts for the biennial term ending June 30, 1868, and the sum of $1,270.37 as relator's salary for the same term; and the sum of $6,312.53 as the amount of relator's postal receipts for the biennial term ending June 30, 1870, and the sum of $3,139.83 as the salary of the relator for the same term; also that the postmaster general prepared and transmitted to the committee on post offices and post roads a statement of the total amount of the relator's readjusted salary, due and unpaid for the whole time between October 1, 1864, and June 30, 1870, showing the amount so due the relator to be $2,175.57, but afterwards withdrew that statement, and an error therein was corrected, and an entry was made, showing the correct amount due the relator to be $2,206.19.
'The relator states that the postmaster general has refused to report to the auditor for the post-office department for credit in the relator's account the amount found due upon said statement, and concludes with the following prayer: 'The relator therefore prays that a writ of mandamus may issue from this honorable court, addressed to John Wanamaker, postmaster general, commanding him to report to the auditor of the treasury for the post-office department that, upon an examination of the relator's quarterly returns as postmaster at Emporia, Kan., during her terms of service between October 1, 1864, and June 30, 1870, and a recomputation of her salary as required by section 8 of the act of June 12, 1866, and the act of March 3, 1883, it is found that the additional salary $2,206.19 is due her, for which she is entitled to be credited in her account."
Harvey Spalding, for plaintiff in error
Maury, Asst. Atty. Gen., for defendant in error.
'Mr. Chief Justice FULLER delivered the opinion of the court.
|This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).|