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Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies, Inc. v. Beckwith, 449 U.S. 155 (1980)

Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies, Inc. v. Beckwith

No. 79-1033

Argued October 14, 15, 1980

Decided December 9, 1980

449 U.S. 155


Held: Appellee county's taking as its own, under the authority of a Florida statute, the interest accruing on an interpleader fund deposited in the registry of a county court was a taking violative of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments where a fee, based on the amount of the principal deposited as prescribed by another Florida statute, was also charged for the court clerk's services in receiving the fund into the registry, and where the deposited fund was concededly private, and was required by statute in order for the depositor to avail itself of statutory protection from the claims of creditors and others. Neither the Florida Legislature, by statute, nor the Florida courts, by judicial decree, may accomplish the result the county sought simply by recharacterizing the principal of the deposited fund as "public money" because it was held temporarily by the court. The earnings of the fund are incidents of ownership of the fund itself, and are property just as the fund itself is property. Pp. 449 U. S. 159-165.

374 So.2d 951, reversed.

BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

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