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It is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed, that the sentence of the District Court be reversed, and that there be paid by the appellants to the respondents and libellants, the said sum of two thousand nine hundred and nine dollars and sixty-four cents, in the manner following, that is to say : To the libellant, Peter Joseph Merault, owner of the schooner
The Amiable Nancy.
and cargo, the sum of four hundred and ninety-eight dollars ninety-four cents: To the libellant, Galien Aneil, master of the schooner, the sum of two hundred and twenty-six dollars sixty-six cents : To the libellant, Frederick Roux, the supercargo, the sum of eighteen hundred and sixty-four dollars thirty-two cents: To the libellant, Anthony Moasset, the mate, the sum of two hundred and one dollars thirty-two cents; and to the libellant, Elia Lenar, one of the mariners, the sum of one hundred and eighteen dollars forty cents. And it is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed, that the appellants pay to the libellants the further sum of seven hundred and fifty dollars for counsel fees, and also the proctor's costs, and the costs of the District Court, to be taxed; and it is further ordered, that each party pay his own costs in this Court.
D. B. OGDEN and C. D. COLDEN for the appellants.
Note. The libellants appealed from the decree of the Circuit Court to the Supreme Court, and it was there ordered, that the decree should be reformed, by allowing five hundred and forty-two dollars twenty-one cents, for costs and expenses of the Court in Antigua; one hundred and eighty-eight dollars, the loss on exchange, to pay the sum of five hundred and forty-two dollars, twenty-one cents; and forty-four dollars deducted by the Circuit Court from the expenses at Antigua, (probably by mistake.)
CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES,
NEW-YORK, APRIL TERM, 1818, AT NEW-YORK.
Hon. BROCKHOLST LIVINGSTON, Associate Justice of the Su.
THE UNITED STATES v. Nine PACKAGES OF LINEN.
Where goods are libelled under the 67th section of the law for the collection of
duties for disagreeing with the entries, and the claimant sets up mistake as an excuse,-the circumstance that probable cause of seizure has been made out, does not impose on the claimant the necessity of making out an unusually
clear case of mistake. All he has to do is to produce ordinary proof. Circumstances must be of a controlling and irresistible nature to justify a dis
regard of positive testimony. It was holden a sufficient and legal excuse for an incorrect entry of goods,
that they were entered from an invoice made out in great hurry and agitation, while the goods were packed at Caen, in the absence of the owner, in order to secure them by removal from an apprehended pillage by the Prus. sian soldiery, who occupied the place.
This was an appeal from a sentence of the District Court of the Southern District of New York. A part of the goods libelled, had been condemned, and a part restored in the District Court, and both the libellants and claimant appealed from the decree.
The cause of forfeiture alleged in the libel was, that the goods which had been imported from France, were entered
United States v. Nine Packages of Linen.
at the custom-house at less than their real quantities. It was alleged that nine packages of linen, two packages of silk, two packages of crapes, two packages of gloves, one package of stockings, one package of linen and napkins, one package of flounces, two packages of shawls, and twelve packages of clocks, were on suspicion of fraud opened and examined in the presence of two respectable merchants, and found to contain greater quantities than the quantities at which they were entered. The difference in the quantities as stated, amounted to from one-half to one-sixth in the dry goods, and the twelve cases of clocks which were entered as containing twelve clocks were stated to have contained nineteen.
The defence set up in the claim of William Vintroux Hersan, was, that the goods were not incorrectly entered with the intention of defrauding the revenue, but in consequence of mistake and accident. That the goods were packed at Caen in France, when that place was in possession of the Prussians and threatened with pillage, in great haste and confusion for the purpose of removal, and that if the entry was wrong, it was owing to this circumstance. That a large part of the merchandise imported had been found on examination to contain no more than the quantity at which it was entered. William Vintroux Hersan claimed the clocks as the property of John Louis Vintroux of Paris, and the rest of the goods as his own property.
A great number of witnesses were examined in the cause on both sides, some of them residing at home and others abroad, for the purpose of showing the circumstances under which the goods were purchased, packed up and sent to America, their situation here both before and at the time of the seizure, and the variation of the real quantities from the invoice and entries.
United States v. Nine Packages of Linen.
There were thirty-three packages of goods libelled. These packages were a part of seventy-two packages or boxes, with various marks, shipped by the claimant (who came with them) at Havre, in the ship Ann Williams, about the first of October, 1815, and consigned to Joseph Bouchaud of New-York. On their arrival at New-York, some delay in entering them was occasioned by a variation between the marks of two or three packages in the invoice and bill of lading. After the entry was made, a part of the goods were sent to Bouchaud's store and a part remained at the public stores. A part of those sent to Bouchaud's store were also removed to the house where the claimant lived, for the purpose of being unpacked and exposed for sale. While the claimant was engaged in unpacking them, the whole were seized for the causes alleged in the libel.
Examiners were appointed by the collector to ascertain the real quantities contained in the packages. The thirty-three packages libelled were found to exceed the quantities at which they were entered, as stated in the libel. The rest of the seventy-two packages were found correct.
of the packages libelled, ten contained linen, and twelve contained clocks. These were condemned in the District Court. The remaining eleven packages, containing crapes, silk goods, gloves, shawls, and stockings, were acquitted.
The excuse set up by the claimant was, that there was no intention to defraud the revenue, but that the variances in quantity were the result of accident. It appeared that the elaimant kept a dry goods and jewelry store at Caen in France. He left that city for Paris about the 25th of August, 1815, to buy goods. France was then in the possession of the allied armies, and goods were very low. In the course of the month, he bought and sent considerable quantities of goods to Caen, intending them for the United States. About the first of September, learning from his wife that the Prussians, who then occupied Caen, were committing great excesses, and threaten,