U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Hill, 123 U.S. 681 (1887)
United States v. Hill
Submitted November 21, 1887
Decided December 12, 1887
123 U.S. 681
On an examination of the face of the record in this case, it appears that the amount due the United States is less than the penalty of the bond given by defendant in error for the faithful performance of his duties as an officer, viz.,: $517.07, and possibly a small amount of interest, and as the jurisdiction of this Court in an action on such a bond depends upon the amount due for the breach of the condition, the Court is without jurisdiction.
The term "revenue law," when used in connection with the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, means a law imposing duties on imports or tonnage, or a law providing in terms for revenue -- that is to say, a law which is directly traceable to the power granted to Congress by the Constitution "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises."
Section 844 Rev.Stat., requiring the clerk of a court of the United States to pay into the Treasury any surplus of fees and emoluments which his return slows to exist over and above the compensation and allowances authorized by law to be retained by him, is not a revenue law within the meaning of that clause of § 699 Rev.Stat. which provides for a writ of error without regard to the sum or value in dispute "upon any final judgment of a circuit court . . . in any civil action brought by the United States for the enforcement of any revenue law thereof."
Motion to dismiss, with which was united a motion to affirm. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.