It has frequently been decided that the rule of no recovery does not extend to the case of the payment of money by public officers or public agents.4 The reason generally offered for this limitation is the importance of protecting the public funds and the interests of the community. But in some of the cases, where the defendant also is a public officer or agent, stress is laid upon the fiduciary relation existing between the parties, or between the plaintiff's principal and the defendant.1 As it was put in the case of Alleghany County v. Grier:2 "Fidelity to the government, which he represents and is sworn to support, makes restitution a duty."

1 Culbreath v. Culbreath, 1849, 7 Ga. 64, 70; 50 Am. Dec. 375. See also Lawrence v. Beaubien, 1831, 2 Bailey (S. C.) 623 ; 23 Am. Dec. 155.

2 Georgia Code, Sec. 3978. See Arnold & DuBose v. Georgia, etc., Co., 1873, 50 Ga. 304.

3 Georgia Code, Sec. 3979.

4Wisconsin, etc., R. Co. v. United States, 1896, 164 U. S. 190; 17 S. Ct. 45 (cf. Badeau v. United States, 1888, 130 U. S. 439; 9 S. Ct. 579); Barnes v. Dist. of Col., 1887, 22 Ct. CI. 366; Ada County v. Gess, 1895, 4 Idaho 611; 43 Pac. 71; Board of Com'rs v. Heaston, 1895, 144 Ind. 583 ; 41 N. E. 457 ; 43 N. E. 651; 55 Am. St. Rep. 192 ; Heath v. Albrook, 1904, 123 la. 559; 98 N. W. 619; State v. Young, 1907, 134 la. 505; 110 N. W. 292; Board of Com'rs v. Patrick, 1874, 12 Kan. 605 ; Ellis v. Board of Auditors, 1895, 107 Mich. 528; 65 N. W. 577; Board of Supervisors v. Ellis, 1875, 59 N. Y. 620; Alleghany County v. Gri'er, 1897, 179 Pa. St. 639; 36 Atl. 353 ; Commonwealth v. Field, 1887, 84 Va. 26; 3 S. E. 882; Douglas County v. Sommer, 1904, 120 Wis. 424; 98 N. W. 249. See also Kerr v. Regester, 1908, 42 Ind. App. 375; 85 N. E. 790, (action by a taxpayer). Contra: Jefferson