Goldsmith, Jr Grant Co v. United States, No. 214

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcKENNA
Citation65 L.Ed. 376,254 U.S. 505,41 S.Ct. 189
PartiesJ. W. GOLDSMITH, JR.-GRANT CO. v. UNITED STATES
Decision Date17 January 1921
Docket NumberNo. 214

254 U.S. 505
41 S.Ct. 189
65 L.Ed. 376
J. W. GOLDSMITH, JR.-GRANT CO.

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 214.
Argued Dec. 8, 1920.
Decided Jan. 17, 1921.

Messrs. L. C. Hopkins and C. T. Hopkins, both of Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiffs in error.

Page 506

Assistant Attorney General Adams, for the United States.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 506-507 intentionally omitted]

Page 508

Mr. Justice McKENNA delivered the opinion of the Court.

By an act of Congress passed July 13, 1866 (now section 3450, Revised Statutes [Comp. St. § 6352], and we shall so refer to it), it was enacted that:

'Whenever any goods or commodities for or in respect whereof any tax is or shall be imposed, * * * are removed, or are deposited or concealed in any place, with intent to defraud the United States of such tax, or any part thereof, all such goods or commodities, * * * shall be forfeited; and in every such case all the casks, vessels, cases, or other packages whatsoever, containing, or which shall have contained, such goods or commodities, respectively, and every vessel, boat, cart, carriage, or other conveyance whatsoever, and all horses or other animals, and all things used in the removal or for the deposit or concealment thereof, respectively, shall be forfeited.'

In pursuance of this enactment a libel was filed against a Hudson automobile of the appraised value of $800, and it charged that the automobile before its seizure was used by three persons who were named, in the removal and for the deposit and concealment of 58 gallons of distilled spirits upon which a tax was imposed by the United States, and had not been paid.

Plaintiff in error, herein referred to as the Grant Company, was, on its petition, permitted to intervene and to give bond and replevy the automobile.

The company subsequently answered, alleging the facts hereinafter mentioned, and in addition, pleaded against a condemnation and forfeiture of the car, the Constitution of the United States, especially article 5 of Amendments, which prohibits the deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

The case was to a jury upon an agreed statement of facts, which recited that: The Grant Company was a

Page 509

seller of automobiles and was the owner in fee simple of the automobile used in this case, and sold it, retaining the title for unpaid purchase money, to J. G. Thompson (he was named in the libel), who was a taxicab operator, and W. M. Lamb, who was in the newspaper business; that the car was used by Thompson in violation of section 3450, R. S., but that such use was without the knowledge of the company or of any of its officers, nor did it or they have any notice or reason to suspect that it would be illegally used.

The court charged the jury to render a verdict finding the car guilty overruling a motion of the Grant Company to direct a verdict for it on the grounds: (1) That section 3450, U. S. R. S., was in violation of article 5 of Amendments of the Constitution of the United States, in that it deprived the Grant Company of its property without due process of law. (2) That the section was not to be construed to forfeit the title of a third party entirely innocent of wrongdoing, and that the proper construction of the section was that it contemplated forfeiting only the interest or title of the wrongdoer. (3) That the title reserved by the company for the balance of the purchase money had never been divested, and therefore, could not be condemned, and that only the interest of Thompson and Lamb could be condemned.

The jury found the car guilty and in pursuance of the verdict a judgment of condemnation and forfeiture was entered, but as a bond with security had been given for the car, it was adjudged that the United States recover from the Grant Company as principal and J. W. Goldsmith, Jr., as security, the principal sum of $800 and costs. Execution was awarded accordingly.

Motion for a new trial was denied, and this writ of error was then prosecuted.

This statement indicates the questions in the case and, as we have seen, involves the construction of section 3450 and

Page 510

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291 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Huber, No. 1202
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 20, 1979
    ...where that owner is not the person guilty of using the property for criminal purposes. See Goldsmith-Grant Page 397 Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 505, 511, 41 S.Ct. 189, 191, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921) (statute "too firmly fixed in the punitive and remedial jurisprudence of the country to be now ......
  • U.S. v. One 1976 Mercedes Benz 280S, Serial No. 11602012072193, No. Q55-103
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 25, 1980
    ...v. Hoyt, 3 Wheat. 246, 291, 312-20, 4 L.Ed. 381 (1818); The Palmyra, 12 Wheat. 1, 14-15, 6 L.Ed. 531 (1827); Goldsmith-Grant Co. v. U. S., 254 U.S. 505, 510-13, 41 S.Ct. 189, 190-191, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921); U. S. v. One Ford Coupe, 272 U.S. 321, 332-33, 47 S.Ct. 154, 158, 71 L.Ed. 279 (1926);......
  • Von Hofe v. U.S., No. 05-2969-cv.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • June 27, 2007
    ...transportation of goods concealed to avoid taxes." Id. at 334 n.9, 118 S.Ct. 2028 (citing J.W. Goldsmith, Jr.-Grant Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 505, 508, 41 S.Ct. 189, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921)). The cash, while a precondition to the reporting offense, was not the means by which defendant comm......
  • McKeehan v. United States, No. 20328.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • February 19, 1971
    ...United States v. One Ford Coupe Automobile, 272 U.S. 321, 47 S.Ct. 154, 71 L.Ed. 279 (1926); Goldsmith Jr.-Grant Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 505, 41 S.Ct. 189, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921); Dobbin's Distillery v. United States, 96 U.S. 395, 24 L.Ed. 637 (1877); Henderson's Distilled Spirits, 14 W......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
291 cases
  • U.S. v. Huber, No. 1202
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 20, 1979
    ...where that owner is not the person guilty of using the property for criminal purposes. See Goldsmith-Grant Page 397 Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 505, 511, 41 S.Ct. 189, 191, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921) (statute "too firmly fixed in the punitive and remedial jurisprudence of the country to be now ......
  • U.S. v. One 1976 Mercedes Benz 280S, Serial No. 11602012072193, No. Q55-103
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • March 25, 1980
    ...v. Hoyt, 3 Wheat. 246, 291, 312-20, 4 L.Ed. 381 (1818); The Palmyra, 12 Wheat. 1, 14-15, 6 L.Ed. 531 (1827); Goldsmith-Grant Co. v. U. S., 254 U.S. 505, 510-13, 41 S.Ct. 189, 190-191, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921); U. S. v. One Ford Coupe, 272 U.S. 321, 332-33, 47 S.Ct. 154, 158, 71 L.Ed. 279 (1926);......
  • Von Hofe v. U.S., No. 05-2969-cv.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • June 27, 2007
    ...transportation of goods concealed to avoid taxes." Id. at 334 n.9, 118 S.Ct. 2028 (citing J.W. Goldsmith, Jr.-Grant Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 505, 508, 41 S.Ct. 189, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921)). The cash, while a precondition to the reporting offense, was not the means by which defendant comm......
  • McKeehan v. United States, No. 20328.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • February 19, 1971
    ...United States v. One Ford Coupe Automobile, 272 U.S. 321, 47 S.Ct. 154, 71 L.Ed. 279 (1926); Goldsmith Jr.-Grant Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 505, 41 S.Ct. 189, 65 L.Ed. 376 (1921); Dobbin's Distillery v. United States, 96 U.S. 395, 24 L.Ed. 637 (1877); Henderson's Distilled Spirits, 14 W......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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