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LUTZ V. MAGONE, 153 U. S. 105 (1894)

U.S. Supreme Court

Lutz v. Magone, 153 U.S. 105 (1894)

Lutz v. Magone

No. 336

Argued April 3, 1894

Decided April 23, 1894

153 U.S. 105


Saccharine, imported into the United States in 1887, was not entitled to free entry as an acid.

This was an action by the administrators of Louis Lutz to recover duties alleged to have been illegally exacted by defendant upon certain importations of saccharine made by Lutz, in 1887, under the firm name of Lutz & Movius. The collector classified the article as a "chemical compound" under the act of 1883, c. 121, 22 Stat. 488, and as falling within the description of

"all preparations known as essential oils, expressed oils, distilled oils, rendered oils, alkalis, alkaloids, and all combinations of any of the foregoing, and all chemical compounds and salts, by whatever name known, and not specially enumerated or provided for in this act, twenty-five percentum ad valorem."

The plaintiffs claimed that the importations were entitled to free entry as "acids used for medicinal, chemical, or manufacturing purposes, not specially provided for or enumerated in this act." 22 Stat. 494, 516.

On the trial, the collector claimed that they were

"proprietary preparations, to-wit, all . . . preparations or compositions recommended to the public as proprietary articles, or prepared according to some private formula, as remedies or specifies for any disease or diseases or affections whatever affecting the human or animal body, . . . not specially enumerated or provided for in this act, fifty percentum ad valorem."

22 Stat. 494.

The case was tried before a jury, and upon the conclusion of the testimony, counsel for the defendant moved the court to direct the jury to find for the defendant, upon the ground (1) that the article was not an acid used for medicinal, chemical, or manufacturing purposes, (2) that, whether or not it was a

Page 153 U. S. 106

acid, it was a preparation or composition recommended to the public as a proprietary article, and (3) that if it were not so dutiable, then that it was dutiable as a chemical compound, by whatever name known. The court granted this motion, and thereupon the jury returned a verdict for the defendant, and the importer sued out this writ of error.

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