RESPUBLICA v. LACAZE - 2 U.S. 118 (1791)
U.S. Supreme Court
RESPUBLICA v. LACAZE, 2 U.S. 118 (1791)
2 U.S. 118 (Dall.)
Lacaze, et. al.
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
September Term, 1791
This was an action of debt in the debet et detinet, for L 4000 sterling, equal to L. 6,666. 13. 8. currency, brought in the name of the commonwealth for the use of Lewis Lanoix, against James Lacaze, Michael Mallet, and John Ross, upon a writing signed by the defendants, dated the 4th of November 1783, and taken in the Court of Admiralty of Pennsylvania, in the nature of a caution, or stipulation. The information (which states the whole case) was in the following words:
- 'Philadelphia County ss.
James Lacaze, Michael Mallet and John Ross, all late of the city of Philadelphia in the said county, merchants, were summoned to answer the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a plea,
that they render to the said commonwealth for the use of Lewis Lanoix, the sum of six thousand six hundred and sixty-six pounds thirteen shillings and eight pence, which to the said commonwealth they owe and unjustly detain &c. And thereupon William Bradford Jun. Attorney General of the said commonwealth, on behalf of the said commonwealth, giveth the Court here to understand and be informed, that whereas on the twenty-fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord 1783, the said James Lacaze and Michael Mallet exhibited their bill to the honorable Francis Hopkinson Esq. Judge of the Court of Admiralty for the state of Pennsylvania, setting forth, that by the process of the same court five barrels of silvercoin, amounting to five thousand two hundred and eighty-five French crowns, and one thousand five hundred and eighty dollars, then lately before saved from the wreck of the brigantine Count Durant, whereof Anthony Fourne was commander (and upon whose suit or libel in the same court depending the said process had issued) had been taken into the custody of the marshall of the said court, and that the said silver coin was the property of and did belong to Lewis Lanoix, merchant residing in Bourdeaux, and that they, the said James Lacaze and Michael Mallet, then were the agents of the said Lewis and did transact the business of the said Lewis, and that the same coin ought to be delivered into the hands of them, the said James Lacaze and Michael Mallet, in order that the same might be forthwith remitted to the said Lewis Lanoix: And whereas upon the said bill of them, the said James Lacaze and Michael Mallet, the said judge did order and decree, that the said silver coin (after deducting therefrom all costs and charges for saving the same from the wreck aforesaid and prosecuting the several claims in the said court against it) should be delivered into the hands of the said James Lacaze, and Michael Mallet, for and on account of the said Lewis Lanoix, or the right owner thereof, in order that the same might be forthwith remitted to the said Lewis, agreeably to the tenor of the said bill, they the said James Lacaze and Michael Mallet, giving caution for the performance of the trust reposed in them, agreeably to the practice and usage of the said court, and the laws of this commonwealth: In consideration whereof, the said James Lacaze and Michael Mallet and John Ross afterwards, to wit. on the fourth day of November 1783, at the said county, appeared before the said Francis Hopkinson Esq. Judge of the Court of Admiralty as aforesaid, and then and there stipulated and acknowledged themselves to owe and be indebted to the said commonwealth, in the sum of L 4000 sterling money aforesaid (equal in value to the sum of L. 6666. 13. 8 aforesaid) to be paid to the said commonwealth, in case the said James Lacaze and Michael Mallet, did not well and faithfully perform the trust in [2 U.S. 118, 120]