THE S. O.
general character, good or bad. Their credibility has not been assailed. Without doubt it would have been assailed if the attack were profitable. The case being thus nicely balanced, I will follow the course of Mr. Justice NElLSON under similar circumstanoes, (The SamplMm,4 Blatchf. 28,) and let things stand as they are. :B'or this reason, also, no rUling is made upon the construction of the bridge. If the collision arose from the sheer, it cannot be attributed to the bridge. I am not prepared to say that it did not arise from the sheer. There can be no doubt as to the jurisdiction. Railroad 00. v. Tow-Boot 00., 23 How. 209; Atlee v. Packet 00., 21 Wall. 389; The ArkanBa8, 17 Fed. Rep. 383. I will there· fore dismiss the libel; the costs to be equally divided between the libelant and both respondents.
THE S. O. PIERCE.1
PmRCBo 19, 1889.,
(DImict CO'Un't, 8. D. New York.
BLow...DEUT IN BUINe-OLD BOATS·. The ;lil!elant'. while lying at a dock, was hit by another boat 111 tow at thetugB. O. P.; but it appeared that the blow was not a hard one; that libelant's boat was very old; that nothing was found broken in he1'at the time; that she continued to run for several months without repairs, and was then only caulked a little; that the impinging boat was not even scratched by the contact; and that the libel in this suit was not filed until 21 months after the occurrence. Held, that under such circumstances there was too much doubt of any substantial damage to warrant a decree, and that the suit should be dismissed, but without costs.
In Admiralty. Action for damage by collision. T. O. Campbell, for libelant. R. D. Benedict, (E. G. Benedict, of counsel,) for claimant.
BROWN, J. The evidence leaves no doubt that while the libelant's canal-boat S. A. Derrick, loaded with ice, was lying moored alongside the bulk-head at Whitbeck's Ice-House dock, North river, August 23, 1887, she received something of a blow, or contact, from another canalboat, the Hummel, which had been towed to that dock by the tug S. O. Pierce, and was cast oft' there by the tug. There is great contradiction as to all the details of the occurrences at the dock,-as to the tidej the object oflanding the Hummel; the manner and kind of contact or blow; the number of other boats in tow of the Pierce; the time of landing; the length of the stop; and when the Hummel was removed. These contradictions are such as to make difficult any satisfactory decision as to these details. There are other undisputed circumstances, however, which bring the libelant's claim to any substantial damage under so much
Reported by Edward G. Benediot, Esq., of the New York bar.
doubt that I calUlot feel warranted in rendering aQY decree in his favor. Nothing was found broken at the time,-only some additional leak. This was very soon stopped. The boat continued· to run upon her regular business for several months afterwards without any repairs, and, so far as appears, without any material change in her leaking or in the nec,essary work of running her. In December she had some repairs, but only a small bill for caulking, over'three months after the injury complained of. In the following spring her repairs were general. The Hummel received no harre,-not a scratch or mark was caused by the contact. No survey was mll.de of the Derrick at the time, nor any notice Qf any survey given to the respondents, nor opportunity afforded them· to see what, if any, had been done; and. it was not until about 21 months afterwards that this libel was filed, though nothing prevented immediate suit. The libelant's boat was a very old one. Under the evidence, it is very doubtful even whether the blow was more than one of the OTdinary contacts of navigation. Under such other circumstances as I have named, there is too much doubt as to any substantial injury eaused by the blow to warrant any decree. I think the entertainment of such demands, and any attempt to give damages for the comparatively .slight blow that this must' have been, would be more likely to result in injustice, and lead to the. multiplication of suits on ill-grounded and fictitious claims, than to promote the cause of substantial justice. I must therefore dismiss the libel; but" as I am satisfied as to the contact. though not as to any substantial legal damage from it, the dismissal must be without costs.
MEXICAN NAT. BY.
UNITED STATES V. MEXICAN NAT. Ry. CO., (six cases.) SAME 'V. VILLE(three cases.) SAME V. FOWZER. SAME V. SANCHEZ, (five cases.)
(Circuit Oourt, W. D. Texa8. December 10,1889.)
STATUTES-REPEAL--J"URISDICTION OF CIRCUIT COURTS-SUITS TO RECOVER PENALTIES.
Act Congo Feb. 26. 1885, (23 St. 333.) prohibiting the importation of contract labor, provides in !¥lction 3 that every person violating its provisions shall forfeit for each offense the sum of $1,000, which may be sued for and recovered as debts of like amount are now recovered in the circuit courts of the United States, and that it shall he the duty of the district attorney of the proper district to prosecute every such suit at the expense of the United States. Held that, as the suit to recover such penalty is of a criminal nature, this provision is not repealed by the act of August 13, 1888, (25 St. 484,) providing in section 1 that "the circuit courts of the United States shall have original cognizance * * * of all suits of a civil nature, at common law or in equity, where the matter in dispute exceeds, exclusiv, of interest and costs, the sum or value of $2,000," eta.
Andrew J. Evans, Dist. Atty., for plaintiff. Dodd &: Nicholson, for defendant.
Action to recover penalty.
MAXEY,1. This suit was instituted by the govemm.ent against the defendant to recover a penalty of $1,000 for the unlawful introduction or importation into the United States of a. foreign laborer from the republic of Mexico, in violation of the act of February 26, 1885, entitled "An act to prohibit the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia." The defendant demurs to the jurisdiction of the court, on the ground that the amount in controversy is less than $2,000. The provisions of the act under which jurisdiction is claimed by the district attorney are as follows: "Sec. 3. That for every violation of any of the provisions of section one,of this act the person, partnership, company, or corporation violating the same II< II< * shall forfeit and pay for every such offense the sum of one thou-. sand dollars, which may be sued for and recovered by the United States, or by any person who shall first bring his action therefor, including any such alien or foreigner who may be a party to any such contract or agreement, as debts of like amount are now recovered in the circuit courts of the United States; the proceeds to be paid into the treasury of the United States; and separate suits may be brought for each alien or foreigner being a party to such contract or agreement aforesaid. And it shall be the duty of the district attorney of the proper district to prosecute every such suit at the expense of the United States." 23 St. at Large, 333. Several amendments have been made to this statute, but the only one deemed essential in this connection to consider authorizes "the secretary of the treasury to pay to an informer who furnishes original information that the law has been violated such a share of the penalties recovered as he may deem reasonable. and just, not exceeding fifty per centum, where it appears that the recovery was had in consequence of the information thus furnished." Act Oct. 19, 1888, (25 St. at Large, 567.) Prior to the passage of the act of August 13, 1888, the circuit courts v.40F.no.14-49