Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Supreme Court of the United States
Argued December 13, 14, 1887. ; January 9, 1888, Decided
No Number in Original
[*190] [**456] [***387] MR. JUSTICE FIELD delivered the opinion of the court.
The plaintiffs are merchants, doing business in the city of New York, and in August, 1882, they imported a large quantity [*191] of "centrifugal and molasses sugars," the produce and manufacture of the island of San Domingo. These goods were similar in kind to sugars produced in the Hawaiian Islands, which are admitted free of duty under the treaty with the king of those islands, and the act of Congress, passed to carry the treaty into effect. They were duly entered at the [****3] custom house at the port of New York, the plaintiffs claiming that by the treaty with the Republic of San Domingo the goods should be admitted on the same terms, that is, free of duty, as similar articles, the produce and manufacture of the Hawaiian Islands. The defendant, who was at the time collector of the port, refused to allow this claim, treated the goods as dutiable articles under the acts of Congress, and exacted duties on them to the amount of $21,936. The plaintiffs appealed from the collector's decision to the Secretary of the Treasury, by whom the appeal was denied. They then paid under protest the duties exacted, and brought the present action to recover the amount.
The complaint set forth the facts as [**457] to the importation of the goods, the claim for the plaintiffs that they should be admitted free of duty because like articles from the Hawaiian Islands were thus admitted, the refusal of the collector to allow the claim, the appeal from his decision to the Secretary of the Treasury and its denial by him, and the payment under protest of the duties exacted, and concluded with a prayer for judgment for the amount. The defendant demurred to the complaint, [****4] the demurrer was sustained, and final judgment was entered in his favor, to review which the case is brought here.
The treaty with the king of the Hawaiian Islands provides for the importation into the United States, free of duty, of various articles, the produce and manufacture of those islands, in consideration, among other things, of like exemption from duty, on the importation into that country, of sundry specified articles which are the produce and manufacture of the United States. 19 Stat. 625. The language of the first two articles of the treaty, which recite the reciprocal engagements of the two countries, declares that they are made in consideration [*192] "of the rights and privileges" and "as an equivalent therefor," which one concedes to the other.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
124 U.S. 190 *; 8 S. Ct. 456 **; 31 L. Ed. 386 ***; 1888 U.S. LEXIS 1852 ****
WHITNEY v. ROBERTSON.
Prior History: [****1] ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.
THIS was an action to recover back duties alleged to have been illegally exacted. Verdict for the defendant and judgment on the verdict. The plaintiffs sued out this writ of error.
treaty, importation, manufacture, articles, Islands, Republic, courts, stipulations
Business & Corporate Compliance, Types of Commercial Transactions, Sales of Goods, Modification, Rescission & Waiver, Constitutional Law, Supremacy Clause, General Overview, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Governments, Federal Government, US Congress, Legislation, Interpretation, International Law, Dispute Resolution, Remedies, Treaty Interpretation, Separation of Powers, Evidence, Judicial Notice, Treaty Formation, The Judiciary, Jurisdiction, Tribunals, Congressional Limits