Grant Brothers Construction Co. v. United States
232 U.S. 647 (1914)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Grant Brothers Construction Co. v. United States, 232 U.S. 647 (1914)

Grant Brothers Construction Co. v. United States

No. 182

Argued January 21, 22, 1914

Decided March 16, 1914

232 U.S. 647

Syllabus

Errors alleged to have been committed by the trial court which do not involve anything fundamental or jurisdictional must be regarded as waived if they were not presented to the Supreme Court of the Territory.

An action by the United States to recover penalties under the Alien Contract Labor Law is civil and attended with the usual incidents of a civil action. United States v. Regan, ante, p. 232 U. S. 37.

Where an action for penalties was tried on the theory that the defendant

Page 232 U. S. 648

was not liable unless the violations were knowingly committed and the jury returns a verdict against the defendant after being charged that knowledge is an essential element of the cause of action, the petition, if omitting an allegation of knowledge, can be regarded as amended to conform to the facts, the defendants not being prejudiced thereby.

It is most unreasonable to reverse a judgment for a defect in pleading by which the defendant has been in no way prejudiced.

The trial court was right in refusing to suppress depositions because the notices in regard to taking them were defective in certain respects which could not and did not mislead the parties.

While, as a general rule, a judgment binds only the parties and their privies, a judgment in a prior action may be admissible against a stranger as prima facie, although not conclusive, proof of facts which may be shown by evidence of general reputation, such as alienage.

The decision of a board of special inquiry that certain persons were aliens was properly admitted in a suit by the United States to recover penalties for violations of the Alien Contract Labor Act as prima facie evidence of the alienage of the persons before the board.

In this case, it appears from the evidence that there was proof other than of the acts of the professed agent to show his agency, and there was also sufficient testimony to make it a question for the jury to determine whether the instructions given by the defendant to its agent not to violate the Alien Contract Labor Act were given in good faith.

Under the Alien Contract Labor Act, a separate penalty shall be assessed in respect of each alien, and this is so notwithstanding all the aliens for whose employment penalties are asked were brought into the United States at one time. Missouri, Kansas & Texas Ry. Co. v. United States,231 U. S. 112.

There was no error in this case in rendering judgment against defendants for costs.

13 Ariz. 388 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the validity of a judgment obtained by the United States for penalties for violation of the Alien Contract Labor Law, are stated in the opinion.

Page 232 U. S. 656

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