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Syllabus.

except by a new exercise of judicial power, and no appeal by the dissatisfied party can of itself revive it. A fortiori, the mere prosecution of an appeal cannot operate as an injunction where none has been granted.

As stated by Mr. Chief Justice Waite, in Spraul v. Louisiana, 123 U. S. 516, 518, “The supersedeas provided for in $ 1007 of the Revised Statutes stays process for the execution of the judgment or decree brought under review by the writ of error or appeal to which it belongs."

The supersedure of process on the decree dismissing the bill could not supersede process on the judgment at law, and this is so, notwithstanding a bill to impeach a judgment is regarded as an auxiliary or dependent and not as an original bill.

The record presents no ground for the interference sought, and

The motion must be overruled.

ROBERTSON V. FRANK BROTHERS COMPANY.

ERROR TO THE

CIRCUIT COURT OF

THE UNITED STATES FOR THE

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.

No. 15. Argued October 17, 1889. — Decided October 28, 1889.

The payment of money to a customs official to avoid an onerous penalty,

though the imposition of that penalty may have been illegal, is sufficient

to make the payment an involuntary one. The compulsory insertion by an importer of additional charges upon the

entry and invoice, which necessarily involve the payment of increased

duties, makes the payment of those duties involuntary. The general rule that the valuation of merchandise made by a customs

appraiser is conclusive if no appeal be taken therefrom to merchant appraisers, is subject to the qualification that if the appraiser proceed upon & wrong principle, contrary to law, and this be made to appear, his

appraisement may be impeached. A statute which requires the dutiable value of imported goods to be reached

by adding to the market value of the goods the cost of transportation, and other defined charges, does not authorize an appraiser to reach the

VOL. CXXXII-2

Opinion of the Court.

amount of such cost and charges by an estimate or percentage ; and an importer who pays duties on an importation thus calculated may, in an action brought to recover such as were illegally exacted, show wherein such estimate or percentage was illegal and excessive.

This was an action to recover duties alleged to have been illegally exacted. Verdict for the plaintiff, and judgment on the verdict. The defendant sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion.

Mr. Solicitor General for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Henry E. Tremain for defendant in error. Mr. Mason W. Tyler and Mr. W. B. Coughtry were with him on the brief.

MR. JUSTICE BRADLEY delivered the opinion of the court.

This is an action to recover for an alleged overcharge of duties on imports. The goods imported were bananas brought from Aspinwall. The duty was ten per cent ad valorem. The plaintiffs offered evidence tending to show the market value of the bananas at the port of shipment, which was claimed to be only fifty cents a piece for the large bunches and twentyfive cents apiece for the small bunches. The invoices received with the cargo exhibited this as the true market value, and added certain charges for labor and consul fees. The appraisers required the plaintiffs to add fifty per cent of these amounts as transportation charges for bringing the bananas into Aspinwall, and also certain shipping charges and commissions. The plaintiffs protested against this as an unjust addition ; but whenever it was omitted, the charge was added by the appraiser and a penalty of twenty per cent of the whole duty was imposed and exacted; and the officers declared that this would be done whenever the addition should be omitted. To avoid this penalty, and to get immediate possession of their goods, (which are of a perishable nature,) the plaintiffs made the addition required, and paid the increased duties that resulted, - but always under protest as before stated.

Opinion of the Court.

The form of the entries and invoices with the additions was as follows, the additions being in italics:

Entry: “Merchandise imported by Frank Brothers Company in the

steamship Alsa, whereof Seymour is master, from Aspinwall to New York, Feb. 23, 1882. Marks, F. B.”

“Two bins of bananas, containing 4132 large bunches, at sixty cents," "pesos, 2479.20,” “3463 small bunches at thirty cents," "1038.90 pesos.”

“Charges, two hundred and thirty-nine pesos.”

Shipping charges added as required by the appraiser to make five cents Colombian currency per bunch, 140.38 pesos.

Transportation charges added as required by appraiser on 4132 large bunches at 25 cents, $1033, and 3463 small bunches at 12 cents, $132.87."

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Invoice :

“Invoice of merchandise shipped by the Frank Bros. Co. on

board the Alsa, Sansome master, bound for New York, and consigned to Frank Bros. Co.; Colon, Feb. 11, 1882, 2 bins

containing “ 4202 bunches bananas at 60

2521.20 pesos. “ 3564 bunches bananas at 30

1069.20 Charges for labor .

239.37 “ Consul fee

3.

.

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.

3832.77

“The Frank Bros. Company: “4132 large bunches at 60 6 3463 small bunches at 30 “Charges Shipping charges added as required by the appraiser to make 5 cents Colombia currency

2479.20 1038.90 239.37

per bunch

140.38

3897.85

Opinion of the Court.

Reduced to U. S. currency

$3207.93 Transportation charges added as required by the

appraiser on 4132 large bunches at 25 cents 1033. “ 3463 small bunches at 124 cents

432.87

4673.80
116.84

“Commission 2 per cent.

4790.64"

The appraiser's return indorsed thereon was as follows: “Value correct, with importer's additions.”

It was contended by the counsel for the government at the trial, and is contended here, that the payment of the duties complained of was a voluntary payment, inasmuch as the plaintiffs themselves made the additions to the entries and invoices, and that, therefore, they cannot recover back any part of the money so paid ; and they requested the court below to instruct the jury to render a verdict for the defendant. This the court refused to do; and left it to the jury to decide, upon the evidence, whether the making of the additions was a voluntary act on the part of the plaintiffs, or done under constraint in view of the penalty sure to be imposed in case it was not done.

On this point the judge, in his charge to the jury, speaking of the entry and the additions made by the plaintiffs or their agent, said:

“ He says he put them on there because he was compelled to. If that is so he ought not to be estopped from recovering, and here is a question for you on that subject, and you will decide it in this way. If those statements and figures were put on there because he thought that was the best way, on the whole; if, exercising his own judgment freely, he thought that it was the best way to get along with this to put it on there and let it go, he can't take it back,

he can't recover anything back. The verdict will have to be for the defendant anyway, if that is so, because it was his own act in putting it on there. The collector assessed the duty just as he made it, and he can't complain. But

if

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.

Opinion of the Court.

he was required to do it, or given to understand by some officer in the collector's department that it would be the worse for him, seriously, if he didn't; as, for instance, if the appraiser told him if he didn't put those on there the collector's office would, that the appraiser would, and that he would be exposed to a penalty that would be assessed against him; if he was given to understand by the collector's department, or some officer of it, that if he didn't put these figures on there they should, and make it the worse for him because he didn't, and he would thereby be exposed to a penalty of a larger duty which he would have to pay for not doing it, and he was in that way, for the sake of saving himself from the penalty which they would put upon him beyond what would otherwise be chargeable, induced to put them on, then he is not bound by it.

If you find he did not do it freely, then you can look further, and see if there was anything put on there that ought not to be. If he was compelled to do it, it ought not to go on, and if he was, the plaintiffs are entitled to recover. And if you decide he is bound by putting that on, that will end the case; you must give a verdict for the defendant. If not, you may look and see if he was compelled to pay more than he ought; if he was compelled to pay transportation charges more than he ought to; and, if so, find a verdict for the right amount. If they were compelled to pay labor charges more than they ought to pay, find the verdict for the plaintiffs for the right amount of that. If they didn't pay any more than they ought to, transportation or labor charges, then the verdict is for the defendant."

Under this charge, of course, the jury in finding for the plaintiffs must have found that they acted under constraint, under moral duress, in making the additions for transportation and labor. We do not see how the verdict can be set aside for error in the charge on this point, unless the law be that virtual or moral duress is insufficient to prevent a payment made under its influence from being voluntary.

This point was discussed in Maxwell v. Griswold, 10 How. 242, 256, and in Swift Co. v. United States, 111 U. S. 22, 28. In Maxwell v. Griswold, an appraisement was erroneously

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