Grant Brothers Construction Company v. United States, No. 182

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtVan Devanter
Citation34 S.Ct. 452,58 L.Ed. 776,232 U.S. 647
PartiesGRANT BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY et al., Plffs. in Err., v. UNITED STATES
Decision Date16 March 1914
Docket NumberNo. 182

232 U.S. 647
34 S.Ct. 452
58 L.Ed. 776
GRANT BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY et al., Plffs. in Err.,

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 182.
Argued January 21 and 22, 1914.
Decided March 16, 1914.

Page 648

Messrs. Isidore B. Dockweiler, A. C. Baker, and Robert B. Murphey for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 648-656 intentionally omitted]

Page 656

Assistant Attorney General Wallace for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Van Devanter delivered the opinion of the court:

In an action of debt, tried to the court and a jury, in one of the district courts of the territory of Arizona, the United States recovered a judgment against the Grant Brothers Construction Company, a California corporation, for the prescribed penalty of $1,000 for each of forty-five alleged violations of § 4 of the alien immigration act of February 20, 1907 (34 Stat. at L. 898, chap. 1134, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 499); and upon an appeal to the supreme court of the territory, the judgment was affirmed. 13 Ariz. 388, 114 Pac. 955. The construction company and the surety upon its supersedeas bond then sued out this writ of error, claiming that divers errors had been committed by the trial court which should have been, but were not, corrected by the appellant court.

Page 657

The portions of the statute upon which the action was founded are as follows:

'Sec. 2. That the following classes of aliens shall be excluded from admission into the United States: . . . persons hereinafter called contract laborers, who have been induced or solicited to migrate to this country by offers or promises of employment, or in consequence of agreements, oral, written, or printed, express or implied, to perform labor in this country of any kind, skilled or unskilled; . . . And provided further, That skilled labor may be imported if labor of like kind unemployed cannot be found in this country: And provided further, That the provisions of this law applicable to contract labor shall not be held to exclude professional actors, artists, lecturers, singers, ministers of any religious denomination, professors for colleges or seminaries, persons belonging to any recognized learned profession, or persons employed strictly as personal or domestic servants.

* * * * *

'Sec. 4. That it shall be a misdemeanor for any person, company, partnership, or corporation, in any manner whatsoever, to prepay the transportation or in any way to assist or encourage the importation or migration of any contract laborer or contract laborers into the United States, unless such contract laborer or contract laborers are exempted under the terms of the last two provisos contained in section two of this act.

'Sec. 5. That for every violation of any of the provisions of section four of this act the persons, partnership, company, or corporation violating the same, by knowingly assisting, encouraging, or soliciting the migration or importation of any contract laborer into the United States, shall forfeit and pay for every such offense the sum of one thousand dollars, which may be sued for and recovered by the United States, or by any person who shall first bring his action therefor in his own name and for his

Page 658

own benefit, including any such alien thus promised labor or service of any kind as aforesaid, as debts of like amount are now recovered in the courts of the United States; and separate suits may be brought for each alien thus promised labor or service of any kind as aforesaid. And it shall be the duty of the district attorney of the proper district to prosecute every such suit when brought by the United States.'

The petition contained forty-five counts, each charging, with considerable detail, that the defendant, by offers and promises of employment and by providing transportation and paying expenses, assisted, encouraged, and solicited the migration and importation into the United States from Mexico of a designated alien laborer who was not within the terms of either of the last two provisos in § 2 of the statute. A different alien laborer was named in each count, and the date of the offending act was given in all as October 29, 1909.

In a preliminary way, the evidence tended to show these facts: The construction company was building a line of railroad in southern Arizona, near Naco, a town on the international boundary. Laborers in large numbers were required for the work, and in August, 1909, the company employed one Carney to procure laborers for it and to take them to the vicinity of the work. For this he was to be paid $1 in gold for each laborer secured, and 20 cents for each meal provided while they were en route. It was contemplated that he would arrange with others to aid him, and he secured the assistance of Holler, Rupelius, and Randall, who, like himself, were located at Nogales, another boundary town. Under this employment Carney procured, and the company accepted, prior to the transaction in question, about 450 laborers, 95 per cent of whom were Mexicans. Many of these came across the line on their own initiative and were then engaged by Holler, but a substantial number were engaged in Mexico

Page 659

by Rupelius, and then brought into the United States at Nogales. Only a few days before the transaction in question, Rupelius gathered together 80 or 90 in Mexico, and induced them to enter the United States at Nogales by promising that the construction company would employ them, which it did.

As respects the forty-five laborers named in the petition there was evidence tending to show the following: These men were citizens of Mexico, and were unskilled laborers who were not within the exemptions specified in the last two provisos in § 2 of the statute. They were secured at Hermosillo, Mexico, by Rupelius, October 28, 1909, were brought into the United States, at Naco, by Randall the next day, were there taken into custody by an immigration inspector, and were examined before a board of special inquiry. The board found that they were alien contract laborers, ordered that they be excluded, and notified them of the order and of their...

To continue reading

Request your trial
33 practice notes
  • Helvering v. Mitchell, No. 324
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 7, 1938
    ...S.Ct. 612, 55 L.Ed. 582; United States v. Regan, 232 U.S. 37, 34 S.Ct. 213, 58 L.Ed. 494; Grant Bros. Construction Co. v. United States, 232 U.S. 647, 660, 34 S.Ct. 452, 58 L.Ed. 776; Murphy v. United States, 272 U.S. 630, 47 S.Ct. 218, 71 L.Ed. 446; Various Items v. United States, 282 U.S.......
  • Noriega-Perez v. US, No. 96-70513.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 9, 1999
    ...sanctions against individuals and regulated companies attempting to evade regulation. See Grant Brothers Constr. Co. v. United States, 232 U.S. 647, 658, 34 S.Ct. 452, 58 L.Ed. 776 (1914) (upholding the award of a civil fine against a defendant who "solicited the migration and importation i......
  • Attorney Gen. v. Pelletier
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • February 21, 1922
    ...by the informant. United States v. Zucker, 161 U. S. 475, 16 Sup. Ct. 641, 40 L. Ed. 777;Grant Bros. Construction Co. v. United States, 232 U. S. 647, 660, 34 Sup. Ct. 452, 58 L. Ed. 776. 2. The respondent, after the taking of evidence began, moved that paragraphs, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 be s......
  • United States v. Minneapolis, St. P. & S. S. M. Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • May 19, 1916
    ...actions. ' United States v. Regan, supra. Among the incidents to such an action are costs and disbursements. Grant Bros. v. United States, 232 U.S. 647, 665, 34 Sup.Ct. 452, 58 L.Ed. 776. 2. The question of costs and disbursements must therefore be decided upon the same principles as are in......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Helvering v. Mitchell, No. 324
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 7, 1938
    ...S.Ct. 612, 55 L.Ed. 582; United States v. Regan, 232 U.S. 37, 34 S.Ct. 213, 58 L.Ed. 494; Grant Bros. Construction Co. v. United States, 232 U.S. 647, 660, 34 S.Ct. 452, 58 L.Ed. 776; Murphy v. United States, 272 U.S. 630, 47 S.Ct. 218, 71 L.Ed. 446; Various Items v. United States, 282 U.S.......
  • Noriega-Perez v. US, No. 96-70513.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • June 9, 1999
    ...sanctions against individuals and regulated companies attempting to evade regulation. See Grant Brothers Constr. Co. v. United States, 232 U.S. 647, 658, 34 S.Ct. 452, 58 L.Ed. 776 (1914) (upholding the award of a civil fine against a defendant who "solicited the migration and importation i......
  • Attorney Gen. v. Pelletier
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • February 21, 1922
    ...by the informant. United States v. Zucker, 161 U. S. 475, 16 Sup. Ct. 641, 40 L. Ed. 777;Grant Bros. Construction Co. v. United States, 232 U. S. 647, 660, 34 Sup. Ct. 452, 58 L. Ed. 776. 2. The respondent, after the taking of evidence began, moved that paragraphs, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 be s......
  • United States v. Minneapolis, St. P. & S. S. M. Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • May 19, 1916
    ...actions. ' United States v. Regan, supra. Among the incidents to such an action are costs and disbursements. Grant Bros. v. United States, 232 U.S. 647, 665, 34 Sup.Ct. 452, 58 L.Ed. 776. 2. The question of costs and disbursements must therefore be decided upon the same principles as are in......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT