A-7215, APRIL 5, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 372

A-7215: Apr 5, 1932

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CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS - CLERKS - FEES RECEIVED BY ADMISSION OF ATTORNEYS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR A CLERK OF A UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS TO WITHHOLD ALL OR A PART OF THE FEES RECEIVED BY HIM FROM ATTORNEYS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE BEFORE THE COURT. 1932: THERE HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN REPLY TO OFFICE LETTERS OF AUGUST 21. IT APPEARS THAT ATTORNEYS UPON THEIR ADMISSION TO PRACTICE IN THE CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS ARE REQUIRED. THE SUMS ARE NOT REGARDED AS ACCOUNTABLE FEES BY SOME OF THE COURTS AND ARE EXPENDED FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF LAW LIBRARIES FOR THE USE OF THE COURTS. THE AMOUNTS THEREOF ARE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES. TENTH CIRCUITS NO FEE IS COLLECTED FOR THE ADMISSION OF ATTORNEYS TO PRACTICE.

A-7215, APRIL 5, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 372

COURTS, CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS - CLERKS - FEES RECEIVED BY ADMISSION OF ATTORNEYS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR A CLERK OF A UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS TO WITHHOLD ALL OR A PART OF THE FEES RECEIVED BY HIM FROM ATTORNEYS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE BEFORE THE COURT, AND EXPEND THE SAME FOR LIBRARY PURPOSES. THE ACT OF JUNE 1, 1922, 42 STAT. 616, MODIFYING THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1900, 31 STAT. 639, PROVIDES THAT ALL FEES AND OTHER MONEYS OF EVERY CHARACTER AND DESCRIPTION RECEIVED BY CLERKS OF UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS, BY VIRTUE OF THEIR OFFICES, SHALL BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY, AS IN THE CASE OF CLERKS OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, APRIL 5, 1932:

THERE HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN REPLY TO OFFICE LETTERS OF AUGUST 21, 1931, AND NOVEMBER 6, 1931 (A-7215), YOUR LETTERS DATED SEPTEMBER 9 AND NOVEMBER 16, 1931, RESPECTIVELY, WITH REFERENCE TO THE RECEIPT AND APPLICATION OF FEES ASSESSED UNDER THE RULES OF UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS AGAINST ATTORNEYS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE BEFORE SAID COURTS.

IT APPEARS THAT ATTORNEYS UPON THEIR ADMISSION TO PRACTICE IN THE CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS ARE REQUIRED, UNDER THE RULES OF PRACTICE IN MANY OF THE DISTRICTS, TO PAY AN ADMISSION FEE RANGING FROM $1 TO $10, ACCORDING TO THE PARTICULAR DISTRICT WHERE ADMITTED. THE SUMS ARE NOT REGARDED AS ACCOUNTABLE FEES BY SOME OF THE COURTS AND ARE EXPENDED FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF LAW LIBRARIES FOR THE USE OF THE COURTS, THE BAR, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC, WHILE IN OTHER DISTRICTS THE COURTS CONSIDER ATTORNEYS' ADMISSION FEES ACCOUNTABLE MONEYS, AND THE AMOUNTS THEREOF ARE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES.

IN THE FIRST, SECOND, AND TENTH CIRCUITS NO FEE IS COLLECTED FOR THE ADMISSION OF ATTORNEYS TO PRACTICE. LIBRARIES OF THESE COURTS ARE MAINTAINED FROM APPROPRIATED MONEYS. IN THE FIFTH AND SEVENTH CIRCUITS A FEE OF $10 AND IN THE FOURTH AND EIGHTH CIRCUITS A FEE OF $5 ARE COLLECTED ON THE ADMISSION OF EACH ATTORNEY TO PRACTICE, AND THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE FEES IS USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAINTENANCE OF COURT LIBRARIES. SPLIT FEE IS ASSESSED UNDER THE RULES OF THE SIXTH CIRCUIT AGAINST EACH ATTORNEY ADMITTED TO THE BAR, $1 DESIGNATED AS A STATUTORY FEE IS DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, AND A FEE OF $9 IS USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE COURT LIBRARY. FEES COLLECTED FROM ATTORNEYS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE BEFORE THE COURTS OF THE THIRD AND NINTH CIRCUITS ARE INCLUDED IN THE MISCELLANEOUS EARNINGS AND DEPOSITED BY CLERKS OF THE RESPECTIVE COURTS INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, AS IN THE CASE OF OTHER FEES.

IN ADDITION TO WHAT WAS STATED IN PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE, IT MAY BE STATED THAT FEES AND COSTS OF CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS NOT TO EXCEED THE COSTS AND FEES FIXED BY LAW FOR THE SUPREME COURT WERE FORMERLY EXPENDED, ACCOUNTED FOR, AND PAID INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE SAME MANNER AS WAS PROVIDED BY LAW WITH RESPECT TO COSTS AND FEES IN THE SUPREME COURT. (SEE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1891, 26 STAT. 826, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 19, 1897, 29 STAT. 536.)

THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1900, 31 STAT. 639, PROVIDES:

* * * CLERKS OF THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS, ANNUALLY AND WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE THIRTIETH DAY OF JUNE IN EACH YEAR, SHALL MAKE A RETURN TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF ALL THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF THEIR OFFICES, RESPECTIVELY. SUCH RETURNS SHALL COVER ALL FEES AND EMOLUMENTS EARNED DURING THE PRECEDING YEAR AND ALSO THE NECESSARY OFFICE EXPENSES FOR SUCH YEAR INCLUDING CLERK HIRE, THE COMPENSATION OF THE CLERK NOT TO EXCEED FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ANNUM AS NOW PROVIDED BY LAW. SUCH EXPENSES, INCLUDING CLERK HIRE, SHALL BE CERTIFIED BY THE SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE OF THE PROPER CIRCUIT, AND AUDITED AND ALLOWED BY THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT (GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE). THE RESPECTIVE CLERKS OF THE CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS, AFTER DEDUCTING SUCH EXPENSES AND CLERK HIRE, SHALL, AT THE TIME OF MAKING SUCH RETURNS, PAY INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES THE BALANCE OF SUCH FEES AND EMOLUMENTS. * * *

THE METHOD OF ACCOUNTING FOR FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS AS SET FORTH IN SAID ACT OF JUNE 6, 1900, WAS MODIFIED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 1, 1922, 42 STAT. 616, WHICH PROVIDES THAT ALL FEES AND OTHER MONEYS OF EVERY CHARACTER AND DESCRIPTION RECEIVED BY CLERKS OF CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS BY VIRTUE OF THEIR OFFICE SHALL BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, AS IN CASES OF CLERKS OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS. THIS PROVISION PLACED THE CLERKS OF CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS ON EXACTLY THE SAME BASIS AS CLERKS OF DISTRICT COURTS IN SO FAR AS DISPOSITION OF COSTS AND FEES AND ACCOUNTING RESPONSIBILITIES ARE CONCERNED. (SEE U.S.C. TITLE 28, PAR. 567, WITH RESPECT TO DISPOSITION AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF COSTS AND FEES OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS.)

IT SEEMS MANIFEST THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE ENACTMENTS IS TO REQUIRE ALL FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF WHATEVER CHARACTER AND DESCRIPTION RECEIVED BY CLERKS OF THE CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS TO BE DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THAT THE EXPENSES OF THE COURTS BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED MONEYS. THE MAINTENANCE OF LAW LIBRARIES FOR UNITED STATES COURTS IS AN ITEM OF PUBLIC EXPENDITURE, SO RECOGNIZED BY THE CONGRESS IN MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE JUDICIARY. THERE HAS NOT BEEN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THIS OFFICE ANY PROVISION OF LAW AUTHORIZING CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS TO SUPPLEMENT APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE CONGRESS WITH COSTS AND FEES ASSESSED UNDER THE RULES OF THE COURTS FOR THE SUPPORT OF LIBRARIES OR OTHER EXPENSES OF THE COURT.

IF THE CONGRESS HAD INTENDED THAT ANY PART OF COSTS AND FEES BE RETAINED BY THE COURTS FOR THE PURPOSES HEREIN REFERRED TO, IT WOULD HAVE SO PROVIDED. (SEE APPROPRIATION ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, 28 STAT. 204.) THE DISCONTINUANCE OF SUPPORT FOR LIBRARIES FROM FEES AND COSTS OF THE COURT, COUPLED WITH THE PROVISIONS MADE IN CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF LIBRARIES FOR THE JUDICIARY, CLEARLY INDICATES THAT IT IS THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS THAT THE EXPENSES OF THE FEDERAL COURTS BE INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATES PREPARED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE AMOUNTS CONTAINED THEREIN MADE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC EXPENDITURE THROUGH ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS.

THE PURPOSE HERE IS NOT TO QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS IN THE MATTER OF FIXING FEES OF ATTORNEYS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE THEREIN. WHEN SUCH FEES ARE ESTABLISHED THE DISPOSITION THEREOF, IT WOULD SEEM, COMES WITHIN THE SAME REGULATORY PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO THEIR AVAILABILITY FOR EXPENDITURES AS OTHER COSTS AND FEES OF THE COURTS.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY SOME OF THE COURTS IN COMMUNICATIONS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTERS SUPRA, INDICATE THAT THE DEPOSIT OF ATTORNEYS' ADMISSION FEES WOULD DEPRIVE THE COURTS OF ANY MEANS OF SECURING NEEDED BOOKS FOR THEIR LIBRARIES EXCEPT AS APPLICATION THEREFOR MAY BE FAVORABLY ACTED UPON BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. IT SHOULD BE NOTED IN THIS CONNECTION THAT THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE JUDICIARY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1932, 46 STAT. 1326, CONTAINS AN ITEM OF $75,000 FOR PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF LAW BOOKS FOR UNITED STATES JUDGES, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, AND OTHER JUDICIAL OFFICERS, INCLUDING LIBRARIES OF THE 10 UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS. IF THE AMOUNT IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF LIBRARIES FOR UNITED STATES COURTS, THE MATTER WOULD BE FOR PRESENTATION TO THE CONGRESS LOOKING TO THE PROCUREMENT OF THE AMOUNT NEEDED. THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE EXPRESSLY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE SEVERAL LIBRARIES, AND UNDER THE WELL ESTABLISHED RULE ANY OTHER FUND MAY NOT BE USED TO SUPPLANT THE APPROPRIATION IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION OF THE CONGRESS.

APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS SHOULD BE ISSUED REQUIRING, IN ALL CASES, ADMISSION FEES OF ATTORNEYS TO PRACTICE BEFORE CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS TO BE DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES AND AN ACCOUNTING RENDERED THEREFOR, THE SAME AS OTHER FEES AND COSTS OF SAID COURTS.