Friday, December 6, 2013

Whitney v. Robertson case brief

Whitney v. Robertson case brief summary
124 U.S. 190 (1888)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff merchants filed a complaint against defendant collector of the port after he exacted duties on the merchants' goods and the Secretary of the Treasury denied their appeal of the duties. The Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York entered judgment in favor of the collector of the port and the merchants appealed.

CASE FACTS
Merchants, who imported sugars from San Domingo into the United States, alleged that they should not have had to pay duties on their imported products because the sugars were similar to goods imported from the Hawaiian Islands, which were exempt from duties.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that the treaty between the United States and the Dominican Republic did not provide for any concessions of special privileges, which exempted the imported sugar from duties, and the Court affirmed the circuit court's judgment in favor of the collector of the port. 
  • The court held that the treaty did not cover concessions like those made to the Hawaiian Islands for a valuable consideration. 
  • The treaty imposed an obligation upon both countries to avoid hostile legislation that would discriminate against one country's goods in favor of goods of like character imported from any other country. 
  • However, the treaties were not intended to interfere with special arrangements with other countries founded upon a concession of special privileges.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the judgment in favor of the collector of the port who exacted duties on the merchants' goods.


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