Arthur v. Homer
96 U.S. 137

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U.S. Supreme Court

Arthur v. Homer, 96 U.S. 137 (1877)

Arthur v. Homer

96 U.S. 137

Syllabus

1. The duty imposed on embroidered linen goods by the twenty-second section of the Act of March 2, 1861, 12 Stat. 192, is not reconsidered in the seventh section of the Act of June 30, 1864, 13 id. 209, but remains as fixed by the former act.

2. A statute does not, by implication, repeal a prior one, unless there is such a positive repugnancy between them that they cannot stand together.

In 1873, Homer & Co. imported into the port of New York certain goods, of which linen was the basis, upon which the collector imposed and collected duties at the rate of forty percent, under the seventh section of the Act of June 30, 1864, 13 Stat. 209. The importers insisted that they were dutiable at thirty-five percent only, under the twenty-second section of the Act of March 2, 1861, 12 id. 192, and brought this action to recover the alleged excess of duties.

The plaintiffs introduced testimony tending to show that the goods were dress patterns, or patterns for dresses, designed for ladies' wear, each piece, or the contents of each carton, comprising the material for a garment, either as an overskirt (polonaise) or dress (robe a jour), although not made up. The size of these patterns or articles varied from about eight to twelve yards. About the edge or above it and arranged so as to form an appropriate ornamentation to the article when made up for wear there was worked sometimes in cotton thread and sometimes in linen thread, more or less embroidery. The amount of this embroidery and its elaboration was a substantial and influential element in the cost or value of the article.

The component material of chief value in the articles in

Page 96 U. S. 138

question was flax or linen, as embroidered; and in the condition in which they were imported -- packed in cartons and boxes -- the value of the goods exceeded thirty cents per square yard.

The testimony further showed that the general descriptive and commercial names of the articles in question were polonaise and robe, more particularly described as linen embroidered robes and linen embroidered polonaise, &c.

The court below directed the jury to find a verdict for the plaintiffs, and from the judgment entered upon such verdict this writ of error is brought.

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