Phelps v. McDonald/Dissent Miller

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Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Dissenting Opinion

United States Supreme Court

99 U.S. 298

Phelps  v.  McDonald

MR. JUSTICE MILLER, with whom concurred MR. JUSTICE FIELD, dissenting.

The treaty under which the award was made, which is the subject-matter of this suit, provides for the payment to Great Britain of claims for injury to British subjects, and the award in this case in express terms orders the money to be paid to the agent of that government in this country. Comegys v. Vasse and Clark v. Clark, cited in the opinion, are cases of awards made in favor of the United States for the use of its citizens.

While the money so awarded is properly a fund within the jurisdiction of our courts, as are also our own citizens, I do not think those courts have any control over the British government or its agents in the distribution of the fund awarded to them.

It does not appear from any thing in the record, as I read it, that the fund in controversy has ever been voluntarily paid into court by the agent of that government. It is an indelicate attempt by the courts of this country to seize in transitu, for its own citizens, what by treaty this government has agreed to pay to another government for its subject.


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).