U.S. Supreme Court
Pettigrew v. United States, 97 U.S. 385 (1878)
Pettigrew v. United States
97 U.S. 385
I. An action by the United States to recover the proceeds arising from sales of tobacco which, found in the hands of the defendant, a bailee, was seized as forfeited for the nonpayment of the tax due thereon and then left with him, under an agreement with the collector of internal revenue that he, the bailee, should sell it and hold the proceeds subject to the decision of the proper court, is, within the meaning of sec. 639 of the Revised Statutes, an action to enforce a revenue law, and this Court has jurisdiction to reexamine the judgment, without regard to the amount involved.
2. The defendant having set up in his plea that while he held such proceeds pursuant to the agreement, a suit to recover them, defended by A., the owner of the tobacco, was dismissed by the United States after plea filed, and that the defendant, after retaining them for nearly four years, and no other suit having been brought, paid them to A., the court, although testimony was offered sustaining his plea, instructed the jury that he was liable. Held that the instruction was erroneous.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.