Ring v. Maxwell,
58 U.S. 147 (1854)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ring v. Maxwell, 58 U.S. 17 How. 147 147 (1854)

Ring v. Maxwell

58 U.S. (17 How.) 147


The Tariff Act of 1842, 5 Stat. 548, provided that if the appraised value of merchandise should exceed, by ten percentum or more the invoice value, an additional duty should be imposed of fifty percentum of the duty imposed on the same where fairly invoiced.

The Act of 1846, 9 Stat. 42, reduced this additional duty to twenty percentum.

Although this additional duty may have been considered as a penalty, and as such, a moiety given to the officers of the custom house under the act of 1842, and the same disposition of it would have been made under the act of 1846, if there had been no other legislation, yet the Act of February, 1846, 9 Stat. 3, declares that it shall not be considered a penalty for the purpose of being distributed.

Therefore, the additional duty of twenty percentum, levied by the collector under the 8th section of the Act of July 30, 1846, is not to be considered as a penalty one moiety whereof is to be distributed amongst the officers of the custom house.

The facts of the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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