Scott v. Donald (165 U.S. 58)
In the circuit court of the United States for the district of South Carolina, in February, 1895, two suits at law were brought by James Donald against J. M. Scott, and one by James Donald against Gardner and others, wherein the plaintiff sought to recover damages caused by the action of the defendants, who were state constables of the state of South Carolina, in seizing and carrying away several packages of wines and liquors belonging to the plaintiff, and at the time of the seizure in the possession of railroad companies which, as common carriers, had brought the packages within the state.
It appeared that one of the packages, consisting of a case of domestic California wine, came by rail from Savannah, Ga., whither it had been imported by the plaintiff; another, consisting of a case of whisky, in bottles, made in Maryland, and imported by the plaintiff by way of the Baltimore Steam Packet Line; and another, consisting of one barrel of bottled beer, made at Rochester, N. Y., and imported by the plaintiff into the state of South Carolina by way of the Old Dominion Steamship Line.
Demurrers to the several declarations or complaints were interposed and overruled. Thereupon issues of fact were joined, and, trial by jury having been duly waived, the causes were tried and determined by the court, and resulted in findings and judgments in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of $300 and costs in each case, respectively. Writs of error from this court were then sued out and allowed.
Wm. A. Barber, for plaintiffs in error.
[Argument of Counsel from pages 60-66 intentionally omitted]
P. Kennedy Bryan, for defendant in error.
Mr. Justice SHIRAS, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court.