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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

James v Balcombe [1825] NSWSupC 32

money had and received - import duties - customs duties - excise - taxation

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 6 August 1825

Source: Australian, 11 August 1825


This was an action brought to recover an amount of money had and received.

Mr. Wentworth opened the case.  The plaintiff is a Merchant of this town, and the defendant the Colonial Treasurer.  The plaintiff had been induced to pay a sum of £750, for duties, to Captain Piper (the Naval Officer), in consequence of a letter which he received, threatening to institute legal proceedings against him, unless immediately paid.  The money had been subsequently paid by the Naval Officer into the hands of the defendant.[1 ]

The Court now adjourned to give Counsel on both sides an opportunity of drawing up admissions for a special case.


Tuesday.[2 ]


The above ease [sic] came before the Court this day, and a verdict was found for the plaintiff for £750, subject to decision of the law points.[3 ]



[1 ] The prosecution of James was quashed: see R. v. James, May 1825.  See also Australian, 2 June 1825, and see Sydney Gazette, 11 August 1825.

The other tobacco case at this time was Raine and Ramsay v. Piper, August 1825. See Sydney Gazette, 11 August 1825 for commentary, the editor arguing that the duties were lawfully due.  He described the plaintiff's case as being ``pregnant with imbecility".  He also said that the plaintiffs were attempting to recover duty even though the public had already reimbursed them for it.

[2 ] 9 August 1825.

[3 ] The Australian, 11 August 1825 continued as follows:

``The Court again adjourned to Wednesday [10 August 1825]

``When the case came on of Raine and Ramsay v. Balcombe, in which the Plaintiffs claimed several sums for money had and received, &c.  Verdict £4559, subject, as in the former cases, to the decisions of the Court.

``It is expected that the question respecting the legality of The Duties will be finally argued on Saturday next [13 August 1825]."  The argument was reported by the Sydney Gazette, 18 August 1825.  See Raine and Ramsay v. Piper, August 1825.


Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University