97 F.2d 691 (1st Cir. 1938), 3225, Rogers v. United States

Docket Nº:3225.
Citation:97 F.2d 691
Case Date:June 24, 1938
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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97 F.2d 691 (1st Cir. 1938)




No. 3225.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

June 24, 1938

Joseph E. Fitzpatrick, of Providence, R.I. (Peter M. O'Reilly, of Providence, R.I., on the brief), for appellant.

George F. Troy, Asst. U.S. Atty., of Providence, R.I. (J. Howard McGrath, U.S. Atty., of Providence, R.I., on the brief), for the United States.

Before BINGHAM, WILSON, and MORTON, Circuit Judges.

BINGHAM, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the federal District Court for Rhode Island in favor of the plaintiff in an action of assumpsit, in which it was alleged that the defendant, on or about the 8th day of January, 1933, imported into the United States certain foreign liquors manufactured or distilled from grain, certain cordials, and bottles or containers, and thereby became liable to and promised to pay the plaintiff, as duties on the same, the sum of $7,570.16, under paragraph 802 and 217 of Section 1 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C.A. § 1001, pars. 217, 802. The defendant pleaded the general issue. There was a trial by jury and a verdict for the plaintiff. Judgment having been entered thereon, the defendant appealed.

The first assignment of error relates to the admission of certain evidence obtained by government officials as the result of an unlawful search of the defendant's premises and the seizure of merchandise (liquors) there found. Application for the return of the seized property having been seasonably made, the District Court,

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in that proceeding, held that the search warrant was illegally issued and ordered the property seized returned to the defendant, which was done. Thereafter the government brought this action against the defendant to recover the customs duties above stated, and in support of its case was allowed to introduce evidence, much of which had been thus illegally obtained. The defendant objected to its admission on this ground. The District Court ruled that the evidence was admissible; that this is a suit of a 'civil nature * * * , and that such evidence is admissible in a civil suit,' though not in a criminal one, and the defendant excepted.

The government's position in the District Court and here is 'that the illegality of the manner by which the evidence is secured is not material in a civil case. ' The defendant, on the other hand, contends that...

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