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HEDDEN V. RICHARD, 149 U. S. 346 (1893)

U.S. Supreme Court

Hedden v. Richard, 149 U.S. 346 (1893)

Hedden v. Richard

No. 208

Submitted April 24, 1893

Decided May 10, 1893

149 U.S. 346


The language of commerce, when used in laws imposing duties on importations of goods, and particularly when employed in the denomination of articles, must be construed according to the commercial understanding of the terms employed.

This rule is equally applicable where a term is confined in its meaning not merely to commerce, but to a particular trade, and in such case also the presumption is that the term was used in its trade signification.

In an action against a collector to recover an excess of duties paid under protest, the defendant is entitled to show that words employed in a tariff act have a special commercial meaning in the trade, and to have it submitted to the jury whether the imported goods in question came within them.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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