Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42. Page: 293
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1875.] MILLAA V. DOUGLASS. 293
Opinion of the Court.
assessment against him on account of sales of merchandise.
The defendant, who was examined as a witness, testified that
he assessed the plaintiff on his sales, as he did every other merchant,
and also on sales of other property, and which was
included in the assessment on sales of merchandise. It is not
perceived that any injustice was done the plaintiff by this evidence.
Under the charge of the court it is not probable that it
prejudiced the plaintiff's case. The charge presented to the
jury the different phases of the case in which the plaintiff
would be entitled to a verdict; for example, if the defendant
was guilty of extortion, knowing that the amount received was
greater than the amount due; in that case the plaintiff, as the
court instructed the jury, would be entitled to recover at least
the amount wrongfully collected, and such further sum, as damages,
as the plaintiff had sustained, not to exceed double the
amount of his real damage; or, if the defendant collected more
than he was entitled to receive as taxes, but exercised no extortion,
nor did not do so knowing that it was illegal, nor from
willful oppression under color of law; in such case, if the same
was assessed and collected under the objections of the plaintiff,.
the measure of the plaintiff's right would be the actual sum collected,
with legal interest, as damages.
If any part of the sum which the defendant was charged with
extorting was derived from some other source of income than
merchandise, he would only be liable for damages on the part
shown to have been illegally collected, and hence the evidence
was admissible to ascertain the amount.
If it could be shown that the court was in error in the rules
given to the jury for assessing the tax, it would be no valid
ground why the judgment should be-reversed in view of the
evidence in the case. The guilt of the defendant did not
depend upon a doubtful construction of the statute; other considerations,
as we have seen, enter into the question and must
determine the character of his acts, and the motives which
may have prompted them, before he can be held to be guilty of
extortion, as charged in the petition.
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Texas. Supreme Court. Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42., book, 1881; St. Louis, Mo.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28531/m1/301/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .