Liverpool, N.Y. & Phila. S.S. Co. v. Commissioners,
113 U.S. 33 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Liverpool, N.Y. & Phila. S.S. Co. v. Commissioners, 113 U.S. 33 (1885)

Liverpool, New York & Philadelphia Steamship Co.

v. Commissioners of Emigration

Argued March 24, 25, 1884

Decided January 5, 1885

113 U.S. 33


In an action of indebitatus assumpsit, to recover money alleged to have been illegally exacted, a declaration, which avers the fact of indebtedness, and a promise in consideration thereof, is sufficient on a general demurrer unless it appears that the alleged indebtedness was impossible in law.

To such a declaration, treated as a complaint according to the New York Code, an answer was filed setting up as a defence an act of Congress to legalize the collection of head moneys already paid, approved June 19, 1878. The Circuit Court refused to hear evidence in support of the plaintiff's case, and gave judgment on the pleadings in favor of the defendant.

Held: that this was error because it did not appear from the record that the money sued for was within the description of the act of Congress.

This was an action of assumpsit to recover back moneys paid to the Commissioners of Emigration of the State of New York by the steamship company, a carrier of emigrants to the United States. The case was elaborately argued, but the question on which the case is remanded was not discussed in the briefs. The facts in respect of it are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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