The Hoppet v. United States
11 U.S. 389 (1813)

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U.S. Supreme Court

The Hoppet v. United States, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 389 389 (1813)

The Hoppet v. United States

11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 389

Syllabus

Wines, the produce of France, imported into the United States before the nonintercourse act, reexported to a Danish island, there sold to a merchant of that place, and thence exported to New Orleans during the operation of that act of Congress, were liable to forfeiture under that law.

An information in the admiralty for a forfeiture must contain a substantial statement of the offense. A general reference to the provisions of the statute is not sufficient. If the information be defective in that respect, the defect is not cured by evidence of the facts omitted, to be averred in the information.

The decree must be secundum allegata as well as secundum probata.

This was an appeal from the sentence of the District Court for the District of Orleans, exercising the jurisdiction of a circuit court of the United States, condemning the schooner Hoppet and her cargo as forfeited to the United States under the Act of Congress of March 1, 1809, vol. 9, p. 243, entitled "An act to interdict the commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France and their dependencies, and for other purposes."

The 4th section of that act makes it unlawful

"to import into the United States or the territories thereof from any foreign port or place whatever any goods, wares, or merchandise whatever being of the growth, produce, or manufacture of France or of any of her colonies or dependencies"

or of any country in the possession of France.

By the 5th section it is enacted

"That whenever any article or articles the importation of which is prohibited by this act shall, after 20 May, be imported

Page 11 U. S. 390

into the United States or the territories thereof contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, such articles, as well as all other articles on board the same ship or vessel belonging to the owner of such prohibited articles, shall be forfeited."

And by the 6th section it is enacted

"That if any article or articles the importation of which is prohibited by this act shall, after 20 May, be put on board of any ship or vessel . . . with intention to import the same into the United States or the territories thereof contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, and this the knowledge of the owner or master of such ship or vessel, . . . such ship or vessel shall be forfeited."

The information against the vessel did not aver that the goods were put on board the vessel with intention to import the same into the United States or the territories thereof contrary to the act with the knowledge of the owner or master of the vessel, nor did the information against the cargo state that such of the goods as were not prohibited belonged to the owner of the prohibited goods, but both informations averred generally that the goods were imported contrary to the 4th, 5th and 6th sections of the act.

It appeared from the evidence and admissions in the case that the wines, which constituted the principal part of the cargo, were the produce of France, and had been shipped from New York to the Danish Island of St. Bartholomews, where they were purchased by a merchant of that place and shipped to New Orleans. It did not appear certainly whether they had been imported into New York since 20 May, referred to in the act of Congress.

Page 11 U. S. 391

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