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BARNEY V. RICKARD, 157 U. S. 352 (1895)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Barney v. Rickard, 157 U.S. 352 (1895)

Barney v. Rickard

No. 218

Argued January 31, 1895

Decided April 1, 1895

157 U.S. 352


Under the Act of February 26, 1845, c. 22, 5 Stat. 727, a protest against the exaction of duties on imported goods, in order to be available for recovering the amount of duties illegally exacted, must be made at or before their actual payment, and when the importer deposits with a collector an amount supposed to be sufficient to pay the duties, subject to future liquidation, and receives the goods, and on such liquidation an amount is found to be due the importer as overpayment and is refunded to him, a protest made after the deposit and receipt of the goods, but before the liquidation, is too late and is of no avail.

In an action, tried in 1890, to recover duties alleged to have been illegally exacted in 1861 on an importation of bareges, grenadines, maretz, and merinos, the plaintiff introduced no samples of the imported goods, nor any evidence as to their loss or destruction, and gave no reasons why they were not preserved and produced. He showed to one of his witnesses samples of grenadines, bareges, etc., but without connecting them in any way with the importations, and questioned the witness concerning them. Held that their admission tended to mislead the jury, and was error, and that such evidence came within the rule that

"a fact which renders the existence or nonexistence of any fact in issue probable by reason of its general resemblance thereto, and not by reason of its being connected therewith, is deemed not to be relevant to such fact."

The case is stated in the opinion.

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