General Import & Export Co., Inc. v. United States
286 U.S. 70 (1932)

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U.S. Supreme Court

General Import & Export Co., Inc. v. United States, 286 U.S. 70 (1932)

General Import & Export Co., Inc. v. United States

No. 811

Argued April 15, 1932

Decided May 2, 1932

286 U.S. 70

CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

Syllabus

A vessel seized in territorial waters while carrying an unmanifested cargo of intoxicating liquor may be libeled under the Tariff Act of 1922, §§ 584 and 594, (19 U.S.C. §§ 486, 498) to enforce the money penalties thereby imposed upon the matter and charged upon the vessel for his misconduct in not producing a manifest and in carrying cargo not described in a manifest. Section 26 of the National Prohibition Act does not prevent. General Motors Acceptance Corp. v. United States, ante, p. 286 U. S. 49; United States v. The Ruth Mildred, ante, p. 286 U. S. 67. P. 286 U. S. 73.

56 F.2d 590 affirmed.

Certiorari, 285 U.S. 534, to review the reversal of a decree, 47 F.2d 336, dismissing a libel to enforce liens on a vessel.

Page 286 U. S. 72

MR. JUSTICE CARDOZO delivered the opinion of the Court.

The steamship Sebastopol was seized by Coast Guard officers in the harbor of New York while carrying an unmanifested cargo of intoxicating liquors. The master of the vessel did not produce a manifest for the cargo when a manifest was demanded by the boarding officer. Thereafter a libel of information was filed by the government under §§ 584 and 594 of the Tariff Act of 1922 (Act of Sept. 21, 1922, c. 356, 42 Stat. 858, 980, 982, 19 U.S.C. §§ 486, 498) for the enforcement of two liens, one of $500 for failing to produce a manifest and another for an amount equal to the value of the cargo for having on board merchandise not described in the manifest.

The district court dismissed the libel on the ground that § 26 of the National Prohibition Act had established a system of forfeiture exclusive of any other. 47 F.2d 336. The circuit court of appeals advanced the view

Page 286 U. S. 73

that the suit was not strictly one for the forfeiture of the vessel, but one for the enforcement of money penalties charged upon the vessel by reason of the misconduct of the master. 56 F.2d 590. On this ground, it distinguished its own decision in the case of the Ruth Mildred, announced at the same time, and gave judgment for the government.

For that reason, as well as for the broader reasons stated in General Motors Acceptance Corporation v. United States, ante, p. 286 U. S. 49, and United States v. The Ruth Mildred, ante, p. 286 U. S. 67, the decree will be affirmed.

Affirmed.

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