D'ESTRINOZ v. D'ESTRlNOZ
(Otrcuit Cout't, E. D. Pennsylvania. AprilS, 1890.)
CUSTOMS DU'l'IES-CLASSll.'ICATION-MANUFACTURED TOBACCO.
A cigar-shaped bundle of tobacco of an extremely large size was classl1led"as manufactured tobacco. It was in evidence that it was used as an ornament in cigar dealers' windows, but that it could be smoked as a cigar. Held. that the fact of its capabilltv of being smoked does not altogether determine its character, and. if the principai utility of the article is for some other purpose. the article is to be as manufactured tobacco, if for the ordinary purposes of a cigar, as such.
At Law. This is a suit brought by Francisco R. D'Estrinoz to recover the sum of $525.35, alleged to have been illegally exacted by the defendant as a taxupon 6,5651- ponnds of tobacco, at eight cents a pound, the year 1886. It was shown that the plaintiff was not a manufacturer of .tobacco, and did not have a license therefor, bat was a mapnfacturer of cigars. The tax was levied at the rate of eight cents a pound as upon manufactured tobacco, under the provisions of sections 3362 and 3371, Rev. St., as amended. It was also shown on behalf of the plaintiff that the article was known as a "Jumbo "cigar, and bought, sold, and used in trade under that name. It appeared that it cc>uld be smoked as other cigars of smaller size, as the tobacco was laid without twist; that. the grade was inferior to that known as manufactured tobacco; and that they were not sold as such, but generaJly for the purpose of oroa· or as a novelty. Testimony was produced on the part of the defendant that the highest quantity of tobacco used in the manufacture of the ordinary cigar, as shown from the reports of the internal revenue department, is less than twenty-five ponnds of tobacco to the thousand, and that the highest quantity of tobacco used was from 35 to 55 pounds perthousllnd, and that the quantity of tobacco used in the article in question was much higher. John A. Ward, for plaintiff. Wm. Carr, Asst. U. S. Atty., and John R. Read, U. S. Atty., for deftmdant.
FEJ)ERAL REPORTER, vol.
cover the amount of his claim. By the act of congress, a tax on all cigars made of tobao00 t :or any.substitutetherefOr'l of three dollars per thousand, is charged. You are to determine whether the articles upon which this taxwaEicharged were "cigars,"within the meaning of the term employed in the Itct of congress. That is the only question for )tou. . ' .. _. You have seen the article beforl!! you; you have heard the evidence .of a number of witnesses as to that article is. Is it a" cigar," · -within the meaning of the act of congress, or is it tobacco in llome other form?' That it is manufactured and sUbjected to a procesS of manufacture is evident. It is tobacco used for the purpose of putting the article in the form in which it is presented before you. Is it a "cigar," within 'the meaning of the act of congreSs? because, if it is, then the collector was in error in classifying it as something else. The ordinary rule is that words employed in act of congress are employed to · their usual and accepted meaning, unless they have some special trade -'designatioIP,-.some special definition by the trade in which they are used. That is hardly the case here, because it appears that in the trade 'the word is used in the sense in which it must have been used all over. We all know what cigars are, and it does not require liny great astuteness or any great knowledge to enable one to determine what a cigar is -when he sees it. It isa bunch of tobacco rolled together and put into shape for smoking, and intended for that use. We all know. It is hardly necessary to prodllce witnesses to give any definition of what a "cigar" is, because it is a matter of common and univerSal knowledge, for the reason that the article is in common and' universal use. You have the testimony of a number of witnesses on the part of the plaintiff, all of which I believe are engaged in the manufacture and sale of tobacco in some form or another, and they all say that this article is called a "cigar" in the trade. Whether it has any peculiar or exceptional meaning does not appear in the evidence. It seems to have been spoken of in the trade, as spoken of by everybody else, asa bunch of tobacco rolled up, and adapted for use and used for the purpose of 'smoking. That it may be smoked does not altogether determine its character. It may have some adaptibility for such use, but it mayor may not be principally used for that purpose. If that is not the principal use of it, but if 'it is used for some other purpose, it is not to be 'taken as a cigar memt by the act of congress, and you will be guided ·somewhat by your own judgment as to the category in which this article is to be placed by· your examination of it. lt appears in evidence here that this article was not made at all until some time after the oftheact. Presumably, therefore, the term wMused in the sense in which it was'tmderstood at the time of the passage of the act of It applied only to such articles as were commonly known as "ciga'ts." Besides that, it appears from the evidence of the revenue officer, Mr. Truell, that, taking all the cigars manufactured in the United States to which the term was used, which the department was to consider, not exceeding about 30 pounds of tobacco was em-
»'ESTRINOZ .fl. GERltJIlBo.
plo)'ed in the .manufacture of the articles which were knownandcalledAlf cigars. Cigars in which three pounds of tobacco made a thousand, were known ll-nd Mnsidered throughout the whole trade in the United State$ al! ciga.-s,and presumably, therefore, as cigars referred to in the act.of congress,. and so designated. It appears, further, that this article is not in common used for the purpose of smoking; its use may be regarded as an: exceptional use. Taking this evidence, and all the other evidence in the case, the witnesses on -both sides, and guided to some extent by your own judgment and by your knowledge of what a cigar is, it is for you to determine whether this is 8 cigar which congress intended to classi(y as such, and imposed a duty of three dollars a thousand upon. That is the simple narrow questii>n. If you find, undel' all the evidence, that this is a cigar, then,th1plaintiffis entitled to recover the amount which he claims,four hUDdredand. sixty odd dollars.. If you find it is not, then yourverdict must be for the, defendant. It apparently a. very small certainly a verynarrow oue,_and,as you the classification in this way, you will decide this case. If it is not a cigar, then it seems to metbat it must be classed, as. manufactured tobacco in some form, within the meaning of another clause. The plaintiff' presents the following points: "(1) If the jury find that the ·Jumbo Cigars' were really cigars manufactured. sold, and consumed as sucb. then your verdict must be for the plainti1l. " point. _ I affirDl "(2) If'the jury find that the ordinary and common use of the ·Jumbo Cigars,' as tobl}Cco, was as a cigar·. to be smoked from the mouth. your verdict must be fot thEII>laintl1l." .. I affirm that point. find that the pla:lntiff committed no fraud upon the government of the United States in the manufacture and sale of the 'Jumbo Cigars,' your verdict must be for the plaintiff." . There is no such point involved in this case, and I therefore disaffirm it. '. is no reason to believe that the. plaintiff did not think, as he defines it,thisarticle was a cigar, and therefore it was taxable only under the clause which applies to cigars; but it is immaterial, and therefore I refuse the point; "(4) Ybur verdict must be for the plaintiff." I disaffiri;D point. The defendant presents the following points: Cigars · are not bought. sold, and used for the purpose of Sinoking the tobacco. then ,8renot cigars. witl)in the meaning of . the internal revenue act of Marc/13.1883. and the plaintiff is entitled to: recover. " to what I have already slloid, I may say that they may be adapted to smokingjthey may be put in such form that a person may put: t,l;lem in his mou,thand smoke it; but, if that is. not the prin"(1) If you believe that the rolls of tobacco commonly called ·Jumbo
cipal use to which they arf' devoted, that would not change any under.;. stan.ding and designation of them; they would still be something else than cigars, and snbject to a tax under'another clause of the act.
"(2) If you believe, that the rolls of tobacco, commonJ:Y called ·Jumbo Cigars,' are made of smoking tobacco of any description. and are composed of tobacco I'educed into a condition to be consumed, then they are manufactured tobacco, within the meaning of section 4 of the act of March 3,1883, and the tax is eight cents per pound, and the plaintiff is not entitled to recover."
I am inclined to think that that is the proper classification. If they are not cigars, they are manufactured tobacco, according to the act of congress, reduced in a condition to be consumed, and are therefore subject to taxation under another clause.
"(3) Your verdict in this case should be for the defendant."
I disll.ffirm that point. This whole question is the single and simple within the meaning of the act of congress as it question, is this a was used by congress framing this law? If they are, the plaintiff is entitled to your verdict for $436.03; if they are not, then he is entitled to recover back only the amount which was paid by mistake under the assessment of the tax, $161.78. Take a box of these things out with you, look at them, and exercise, to some extent, your own judgment as to what they are.
,JESSUP & MOORE PAPER Co.
(Cirawlt Court, E. D.
CUSTOMS DUTIES-CLASSIFICATION-OLD RUBBER SHOES.
U the commercial valueo! old rubber shqes is due solely to tbe rnbberwbich tbey contain, and not to the preparation or manU,facture which they had undergone, they are exempt from duty as crude rubber.
At Law. This was a suit brought by the Jessup & Moore Paper Company to recover certain customs duties alleged to have been unlawfully exacted iIi an itllportation of old India-rubber shoes, entered by the importers as scrap rubber. A duty was estimated as upon manufactures of India rubber at 25 per cent. ad valorem, and protest made that the merchandise was entitled to free entry under Tariff Index, (New,) par. 724. and seetion 2499, Rev. St., inasmucb as it was in a condition suitable only to be remanufactured, and therefore similar in material, quality, and texture and use to crude rubber, and unenumerated. It was shown on behalf of the plaintiff thll.t the rubber,which was one of the constituent parts of the article in question, was by chemical process reclaimed, and that the product assimilated in matelial, characteristics, and uses to crude rubber. The article as imported was first ground into a powder, and then put into a vulcanizer and subjected to a high temperature to drive off the sulphur used in the original vulcanization, and then