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BATES V. CLARK, 95 U. S. 204 (1877)

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Bates v. Clark, 95 U.S. 204 (1877)

Bates v. Clark

95 U.S. 204


1. In the absence of any different provision by treaty or by act of Congress, all the country described by the first section of the Act of June 30, 1834, 4 Stat. 729, as Indian country, remains such only as long as the Indians retain their title to the soil.

2. Whatever may be the rule in time of war and in the presence of actual hostilities, military officers can no more protect themselves than civilians for wrongs committed in time of peace under orders emanating from a source which is itself without authority in the premises. Hence a military officer, seizing liquors supposed to be in Indian country when they are not, is liable to an action as a trespasser.

3. The difference between the value of the goods so seized at the place where they were taken and the place where they were returned to the owners is the proper measure of damages.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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