U.S. Supreme Court
Herrman v. Arthur's Executors, 127 U.S. 363 (1888)
Herrman v. Arthur's Executors
Argued April 25, 1888
Decided May 14, 1888
127 U.S. 363
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Goods made of calf hair and cotton were imported in November, 1876. The collector assessed duties on them at 50 cents a pound, and 35 percent ad valorem, as upon goods made of wool, hair, and cotton, under Schedule L of § 2504 of the Revised Statutes (p. 471, 2d ed.). The goods contained no wool. The importer protested that the goods were liable to less duty under other provisions. In an action to recover back the alleged excess paid, the defendant at the trial sought to support the exaction of the duties under the first clause of § 2499, commonly called the "similitude" clause. Held that this was a proper proceeding under the pleadings in the case.
The court below having directed a verdict for the defendant, this Court reversed the judgment on the ground that the question of similitude was one of fact which should have been submitted to the jury, as it appeared that the imported goods were of inferior value and material as compared with the goods to which it was claimed they bore a similitude. The case of Arthur v. Fox, 108 U. S. 125. commented on.