Locke v. United States
11 U.S. 339

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U.S. Supreme Court

Locke v. United States, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 339 339 (1813)

Locke v. United States

11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 339

Syllabus

In a count in a libel upon the fiftieth section of the Collection Law of March 2, 1799, for unlading goods without a permit, it is not necessary to state the time and place of importation, nor the vessel in which it was made, but it is sufficient to allege that they were unknown to the attorney.

"Probable cause" means less than evidence which would justify condemnation. It imports a seizure made under circumstances which warrant suspicion.

Error to the sentence of the Circuit Court for the District of Maryland, which condemned the cargo of the schooner Wendell belonging to Locke, the claimant, as forfeited to the United States.

The libel contained 11 counts.

The 1st count charged that the goods between 1 June, 1808, and the day of filing the libel, at Boston, with intent to transport them to Baltimore, without a permit from the collector and naval officer of the port of Boston, were clandestinely laden on board the schooner Wendell a vessel enrolled and licensed according to statute, whose employment was not then confined to the navigation of bays, sounds, rivers and lakes within the jurisdiction of the United States, nor exempted from the obligation of giving bond according to the provisions of the statute (the embargo law).

The 2d count charged that the goods being of foreign growth and manufacture and subject to the payment of duties, between 1 May, 1808, and the day of filing the libel were unladed without the authority of the proper officers of the customs, from on board some vessel to the attorney unknown, after she had arrived within four leagues of the coast of the United States, the said vessel being then bound from some foreign port or place (to the attorney unknown) to the United States.

The 3d count charged that the goods being of foreign growth and manufacture and subject to duties, were, without any unavoidable accident, necessity, or distress of weather, unladen without the authority of the proper officers of the customs.

The 4th count charged that the goods, being of foreign growth and manufacture and subject to the payment of duties imposed by the laws of the United States

Page 11 U. S. 340

between 1 May, 1804, and the day of filing the libel, were imported from some foreign port or place to the attorney unknown into some port of the United States to the said attorney unknown in a certain vessel to the said attorney unknown, and were afterwards and before filing the libel unladed at the said last mentioned port from the said vessel without a permit from the proper officers of the customs of the last mentioned port.

The 5th count charged that the goods were imported into Boston and were falsely and by a false name and denomination entered at the custom house of the port of Boston.

The 6th count charged that they were imported into a port of the United States to the attorney unknown, and were falsely and by a false name and denomination entered at the custom house of such port.

The 7th count stated that the goods were of the manufacture of Great Britain, and were imported into New York, between 1 March, 1808, and the day of filing the libel, from some foreign port or place to the attorney unknown.

The 8th count stated that they were so imported into Boston.

The 9th count stated them to have been so imported into Philadelphia.

The 10th count averred them to have been so imported into Baltimore.

The 11th count stated them to have been so imported into some port of the United States, to the attorney unknown.

The 1st count was under the embargo law.

The 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th counts were under the collection law.

The other counts were under the nonimportation acts

Page 11 U. S. 341

of 18 April, 1806, Vol. 8, p. 80, and 19 Dec. 1806, Vol. 8, p. 219.

Page 11 U. S. 344

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