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J. Hubley Ashton to William A. Dart, 11 August 1865

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Attorney Gen's Office. Aug. 11, 1865. Wm. A. Dart, Esq. U. S. Attorney, Potsdam, St. Lawrence co. N. Y. Sir: You will please report to this office at your earliest convenience the authority for your charge of $252.25, in the case of United States v. 150 bbs. High wines claimed by T. S. Bradley of Peoria, Ill. in which a discontinuance was directed to be entered by the Secretary of the Treasury; and also, so far as you know, the authority for the Marshal's charge of $105.50 in that case. Both you & the Marshal, it seems, charge the commissions on the value of the wines. With your bill a memorandum is presented in which the 11th sec. of the act of March 3, 1864 (12, Stat. 741.) is referred to as authorizing your charge of commissions. This office cannot suppose that you have looked at this statute. It manifestly does not warrant the application given to it. As at present advised the opinion of this Office is that you are entitled to but five-dollars for discontinuing the proceeding in the case under the Act of 1854. You will therefore present at once your views on this point, and also on the question raised as to the legality of the Marshal's charge. Before giving an opinion to the Secretary of the Treasury on the question of the legality of the respective charges of yourself & the Marshal, it was deemed right to enable you, & the Marshal through you, to make any proper explanation. The Att'y Gen. will thank you to give this subject your very earliest attention. Very respectfully your obd't serv't J. Hubley Ashton, Ass't Att'y Gen.
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