Hartranft v. Wiegmann - 121 U.S. 609 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hartranft v. Wiegmann, 121 U.S. 609 (1877)
Hartranft v. Wiegmann
Argued April 20-21, 1887
Decided May 2, 1887
121 U.S. 609
Shells cleaned by acid, and then ground on an emery wheel, and some of them afterwards etched by acid, and all intended to be sold for ornaments, as shells, were not dutiable at 35 percent ad valorem as " manufactures of shells," under Schedule M of § 2504 of the Revised Statutes, page 481, 2d edition, but were exempt from duty, as "shells of every description, not manufactured" under § 2505, page 488.
Duties are never imposed on the citizen upon vague or doubtful interpretations.
The findings of a jury on which the circuit court reserved points of law, having been treated by that court and by the counsel for both parties in it as amounting to either a special verdict or an agreed statement of facts, this Court overlooked the irregularity on a writ of error and considered the case on its merits.
An action to recover back duties alleged to have been illegally exacted. Judgment for plaintiff; defendant sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.