By treble costs, in the English law, is understood, 1st. The usual taxed costs. 2d. Half thereof. 3d. Half the latter; so that in effect the treble costs amount only to the taxed costs, and three-fourths thereof.
Treble costs are sometimes given by statutes, and this is the construction put upon them.
In Pennsylvania the rule is different; when an act of assembly gives treble costs, the party is allowed three times the usual costs, with the exception, that the fees of the officers are not to be trebled, when they are not regularly or usually payable by the defendant.
And in New York the directions of the statute are to be strictly pursued, and the costs are to be trebled.
In actions arising ex contractu some statutes give treble damages; and these statutes have been liberally construed to mean actually treble damages; for example, if the jury give twenty dollars damages for a forcible entry the court will award forty dollars more, so as to make the total amount of damages sixty dollars.
The construction on the words treble damages, is different from that which has been put on the words treble costs.