Buckley v. United States
45 U.S. 251 (1846)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Buckley v. United States, 45 U.S. 4 How. 251 251 (1846)

Buckley v. United States

45 U.S. (4 How.) 251

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Syllabus

In the trial of a cause where goods had been seized upon suspicion of being fraudulently imported, it was proper to allow to go to the jury as evidence appraisements of the goods made either by the official appraisers or appraisers acting under an appeal, they being present to verify the papers. The objection that the appraisements had not been made in presence of the jury was not sufficient.

Such papers are documents or public writings, not judicial, and may be used as evidence under the rules which regulate all that class of papers.

Other invoices of other goods imported by the party are admissible. The decision on this point in Wood v. United States, 16 Pet. 359-360, confirmed.

It was proper to show in such a case that the agent of the claimant had sold goods for him at prices which yielded profits which other persons engaged in the same trade averred could not fairly have been made in the then state of the market.

The court is the tribunal to determine from the evidence whether or not there was probable cause for the seizure.

In order to sustain counts in the information founded on the acts of 1830 and 1832, it is not necessary that they should contain averments of the special circumstances of the examination of the goods and detection of the fraud under the authority of the collector. The language of the court in Wood's Case reexamined, explained, and controlled.

The court below was right in instructing the jury that under such an information, they were not restricted in the condemnation of the goods to any entered goods which they found to be undervalued, but that they might find either the whole package or the invoice forfeited, though containing other goods correctly valued, provided they should find that such package or invoice had been made up with intent to defraud the revenue.

On 16 August, 1839, Patrick Brady, a resident of the City of Philadelphia, presented to the custom house in that city an entry of certain goods which had arrived from Liverpool in the ship Franklin. Accompanying the entry was the oath of James Buckley, the present claimant, taken at Liverpool on 8 June, 1839. It was what is called the manufacturer's oath, as contradistinguished from the purchaser's oath, and stated the value, the purchaser's oath stating the actual cost, of the goods. The bill of lading was for three bales, marked P.B. 810, 811, 812, and eight cases, marked P.B. 813 to 820, which were consigned to the said Patrick Brady.

These goods were ordered to be appraised by the two regularly

Page 45 U. S. 252

appointed appraisers for the port of Philadelphia, namely Thomas Stewart and Henry Simpson. The examination was not finished until 25 September, 1839, the result of which was an appraisement of 1,917, the invoice being

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