U.S. Supreme Court
The Laura, 114 U.S. 411 (1885)
Argued January 30, 1885
Decided April 13, 1885
114 U.S. 411
A remission by the Secretary of the Treasury, under Rev.Stat. § 5294, of penalties incurred by a steam vessel for taking on board an unlawful number of passengers is effectual to destroy all liability in the suit where the remission is applied for before a suit in rem brought for the penalties against the vessel by an informer is tried.
The practice of granting remissions of pecuniary penalties and forfeitures by officers other than the President, sanctioned by statute and acquiescence for nearly a century, as a valid exercise of authority, and no invasion of the power of pardon granted by the Constitution to the President, is too firmly established to be questioned.
This was a libel filed by Norman H. Pollock against the Steamboat Laura, &c., to recover penalties for the violation of Rev.Stat. § 4465. The facts which make the case are stated in the opinion of the Court. The libel was dismissed in the district court. An appeal was taken to the circuit court, where it was again dismissed. The libellant appealed to this Court.