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a penalty of not more than treble the value of the money or effects, or, if such value is not ascertained, not more than two hundred dollars; and if any such money, wages, or effects are not duly paid, delivered, and accounted for by the master, the owner of the vessel shall pay, deliver, and account for the same, and such money and wages and the value of such effects shall be recoverable from him accordingly; and if he fails to account for and pay the same, he shall, in addition to his liability for the money and value, be liable to the same penalty which is incurred by the master for a like offense; and all money, wages, and effects of any seaman or apprentice dying during a voyage shall be recoverable in the courts and by the modes of proceeding by which seamen are enabled to recover wages due to them. (R. S. 4540.)
Whenever any such seaman or apprentice dies at any place out of the United States, leaving any money or effects not on board of his vessel, the consular officer of the United States at or nearest the place shall claim and take charge of such money and effects, and shall, if he thinks fit, sell all or any of such effects, or any effects of any deceased seaman or apprentice delivered to him under the provisions of this Title [R. S. 4501-4613], and shall quarterly remit to the district court for the district embracing the port from which such vessel sailed, or the port where the voyage terminates, all moneys belonging to or arising from the sale of the effects or paid as the wages of any deceased seamen or apprentices which have come to his hands; and shall render such accounts thereof as the circuit court requires." (R. S. 4541; Mar. 3, 1897, sec. 4.)
Whenever any seaman or apprentice dies in the United States, and is, at the time of his death, entitled to claim from the master or owner of any vessel in which he has served, any unpaid wages or effects, such master or owner shall pay and deliver, or account for the same, to the shipping-commissioner at the port where the seaman or apprentice was discharged, or was to have been discharged, or where he died. (R. S. 4542; Mar. 3, 1897, sec. 6.)
) Every shipping-commissioner in the United States shall, within one week from the date of receiving any such money, wages, or effects of any deceased seaman or apprentice, pay, remit, or deliver to the district court of the district in which he resides, the money, wages, or effects, subject to such deductions as may be allowed by the district court for expenses incurred in respect to such money and effects; and should any commissioner fail to pay, remit, and deliver the same to the district court, within the time hereinbefore mentioned, he shall incur a penalty of not more than treble the value of such money and effects. (R. S. 4543.)
If the money and effects of any seaman or apprentice paid, remitted, or delivered to the district court, including the moneys received for any part of his effects which have been sold, either before delivery to the district court, or by its directions, do not exceed in value the sum of three hundred dollars, then, subject to the provisions hereinafter contained, and to all such deductions for expenses incurred in respect to the seaman or apprentice, or of his money and effects, as the said court thinks fit to allow, the court may pay and deliver the said money and effects to any claimants who can prove themselves either to be his widow or children, or to be entitled to the effects of the deceased under his will, or under any
statute, or at common law, or to be entitled to procure probate, or take out letters of adininistration or confirmation, although no probate or letters of administration or confirmation have been taken out, and shall be thereby discharged from all further liability in respect of the money and effects so paid and delivered; or may, if it thinks fit so to do, require probate, or letters of administration or confirmation, to be taken out, and thereupon pay and deliver the said money and effects to the legal personal representatives of the deceased; and if such money and effects exceed in value the sum of three hundred dollars, then, subject to deduction for expenses, the court shall pay and deliver the same to the legal personal representatives of the deceased. (R. S. 4544.)
A district court, in its discretion, may at any time direct the sale of the whole or any part of the effects of a deceased seaman or apprentice, which it has received or may hereafter receive, and shall hold the proceeds of such sale as the wages of deceased seamen are held. When no claim to the wages or effects or proceeds of the sale of the effects of a deceased seaman or apprentice, received by a district court, is substantiated within six years after the receipt thereof by the court, it shall be in the absolute discretion of the court, if any subsequent claim is made, either to allow or refuse the same. Such courts shall, from time to time, pay any moneys arising from the unclaimed wages and effects of deceased seamen, which in their opinion it is not necessary to retain for the purpose of satisfying claims, into the Treasury of the United States, and such moneys shall form a fund for, and be appropriated to, the relief of sick and disabled and destitute seamen belonging to the United States merchant marine service. (R. S. 4545; Mar. 3, 1897, sec. 7.) Offenses and Punishments.
Whenever any seaman who has been lawfully engaged or any apprentice to the sea service commits any of the following offenses, he shall be punished as follows:
First. For desertion, by forfeiture of all or any part of the clothes or effects he leaves on board and of all or any part of the wages or emoluments which he has then earned.
Second. For neglecting or refusing without reasonable cause to join his vessel or to proceed to sea in his vessel, or for absence without leave at any time within twenty-four hours of the vessel's sailing from any port, either at the commencement or during the progress of the voyage, or for absence at any time without leave and without sufficient reason from his vessel and from his duty, not amounting to desertion, by forfeiture from his wages of not more than two days' pay or sufficient to defray any expenses which shall have been properly incurred in hiring a substitute.
Third. For quitting the vessel without leave, after her arrival at the port of her delivery and before she is placed in security, by forfeiture from his wages of not more than one month's pay.
Fourth. For a willful disobedience to any lawful command at sea, by being, at the option of the master, placed in irons until such disobedience shall cease, and upon arrival in port by forfeiture from his wages of not more than four days pay, or, at the discretion of the court, by imprisonment for not more than one month.
Fifth. For continued willful disobedience to lawful command or continued willful neglect of duty at sea, by being, at the option of the master, placed in irons, on bread and water, with full rations every fifth day, until such disobedience shall cease, and upon arrival in port by forfeiture, for every twenty-four hours' continuance of such disobedience or neglect, of a sum of not more than twelve days' pay, or by imprisonment for not more than three months, at the discretion of the court.
Sixth. -For assaulting any master or mate, by imprisonment for not more than two years.
Seventh. For willfully damaging the vessel, or embezzling or willfully damaging any of the stores or cargo, by forfeiture out of his wages of a sum equal in amount to the loss thereby sustained, and also, at the discretion of the court, by imprisonment for not more sec. 16.)
Eighth. For any act of smuggling for which he is convicted and whereby loss or damage is occasioned to the master or owner, he shall be liable to pay such master or owner such a sum as is sufficient to reimburse the master or owner for such loss or damage, and the whole or any part of his wages may be retained in satisfaction or on account of such liability, and he shall be liable to imprisonment for a period of not more than twelve months. (R. S. 4596; Mar. 49
; , 1915, sec. 7.)
Upon the commission of any of the offenses enumerated in the preceding section an entry thereof shall be made in the official log book on the day on which the offense was committed, and shall be signed by the master and by the mate or one of the crew; and the offender, if still in the vessel, shall, before her next arrival at any port, or, if she is at the time in port, before her departure therefrom, be furnished with a copy of such entry, and have the same read over distinctly and audibly to him, and may thereupon make such a reply thereto as he thinks fit; and a statement that-a copy of the entry has been so furnished, or the same has been so read over, together with his reply, if any, made by the offender, shall likewise be entered and signed in the same manner. In any subsequent legal proceedings the entries hereinbefore required shall, if practicable, be produced or proved, and in default of such production of proof the court hearing the case may, at its discretion, refuse to receive evidence of the offense. (R. S. 4597; Dec. 21, 1898, sec. 20.)
All clothes, effects, and wages which, under the provisions of this Title [R. S. 4501-4613], are forfeited for desertion, shall be applied, in the first instance, in payment of the expenses occasioned by such desertion, to the master or owner of the vessel from which the desertion has taken place, and the balance, if any, shall be paid by the master or owner to any shipping-commissioner resident at the port at which the voyage of such vessel terminates; and the shipping-commissioner shall account for and pay over such balance to the judge of the district court within one month after the commissioner receives the same, to be disposed of by him in the same manner as is prescribed for the disposal of the money, effects, and wages of deceased seamen. Whenever any master or owner neglects or refuses to pay over to the shipping-commissioner such balance, he shall be liable to a penalty of double the amount thereof, recoverable by the commissioner in the same manner that seamen's wages are recovered.
In all other cases of forfeiture of wages, the forfeiture shall be for the benefit of the master or owner by whom the wages are payable. (R. S. 4604.)
Any master of, or any seaman or apprentice belonging to, any merchant vessel, who, by willful breach of duty, or by reason of drunkenness, does any act tending to the immediate loss or destruction of, or serious damage to such vessel, or tending immediately to endanger the life or limb of any person belonging to or on board of such vessel; or who, by willful breach of duty, or by neglect of duty, or by reason of drunkenness, refuses or omits to do any lawful act proper and requisite to be done by him for preserving such vessel from immediate loss, destruction, or serious damage, or for preserving any person belonging to or on board of such ship from immediate danger to life or limb, shall, for every such offense, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than twelve months. (R. S. 4602.)
No seaman in the merchant-service shall wear any sheath-knife shipboard. It shall be the duty of the master of any vessel registered, enrolled, or licensed under the laws of the United States, and of the person entering into contract for the employment of a seaman upon any such vessel, to inform every person offering to ship himself of the provisions of this section, and to require his compliance therewith, under a penalty of fifty dollars for each omission, to be sued for and recovered in the name of the United States, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce; one half for the benefit of the informer, and the other half for the benefit of the fund for the relief of sick and disabled seamen. (R. S. 4608.) Corporal Punishment Prohibited.
Flogging and all other forms of corporal punishment are hereby prohibited on board of any vessel, and no form of corporal punishment on board of any vessel shall be deemed justifiable, and any master or other officer thereof who shall violate the aforesaid provisions of this section, or either thereof, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than two years. Whenever any officer other than the master of such vessel shall violate any provision of this section, it shall be the duty of such master to surrender such officer to the proper authorities as soon as practicable, provided he has actual knowledge of the misdemeanor, or complaint thereof is made within three days after reaching port. Any failure on the part of such master to use due diligence to comply herewith, which failure shall result in the escape of such officer, shall render the master or vessel or the owner of the vessel liable in damages for such flogging or corporal punishment to the person illegally punished by such officer. (R. S. 4611; Mar. 4,
( 1915, sec. 9.) Procedure.
All penalties and forfeitures imposed by this Title [R. S. 45014613], for the recovery whereof no specific mode is hereinbefore provided, may be recovered, with costs, in any district court of the United States, at the suit of any district attorney of the United States, or at the suit of any person by information to any district attorney in any port of the United States, where or near to where the offense is committed or the offender is found; and if a conviction is had, and the sum imposed as a penalty by the court is not paid either immediately after the conviction, or within such period as the court at the time of the conviction appoints, it shall be lawful for the court to commit the offender to prison, there to be imprisoned for the term hereinbefore provided in case of such offense, the commitment to be terminable upon payment of the amount and costs; and all penalties and forfeitures mentioned in this Title for which no special application is provided, shall, when recovered, be paid and applied in manner following: So much as the court shall determine, and the residue shall be paid to the court and be remitted from time to time, by order of the judge, to the Treasury of the United States, and appropriated as provided for in section forty-five hundred and forty-five: Provided always, That it shall be lawful for the court before which any proceeding shall be instituted for the recovery of any pecuniary penalty imposed by this act, to mitigate or reduce such penalty as to such court shall appear just and reasonable; but no such penalty shall be reduced to less than one-third of its original amount: Provided also, That all proceedings so to be instituted shall be commenced within two years next after the commission of the offense, if the same shall have been committed at or beyond the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn, or within one year if committed elsewhere, or within two months after the return of the offender and the complaining party to the United States; and there shall be no appeal from any decision of any of the district courts, unless the amount sued for exceeds the sum of five hundred dollars. (R. S. 4610.)
Form of Articles of Agreement.
(Date and place of first signature of agreement, including name of shipping-office.) It is agreed between the master and seamen or mariners of the of which
is at present master, or whoever shall go for master, now bound from the port of to
(here the voyage is to be described, and the places named at which the vessel is to touch, or if that cannot be done, the general nature and probable length of the voyage is to be stated.)
And the said crew agree to conduct themselves in an orderly, faithful, honest, and sober manner, and to be at all times diligent in their respective duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands of the said master, or of any person who shall lawfully succeed him, and of their superior officers in everything relating to the vessel, and the stores and cargo thereof, whether on board, in boats, or on shore; and in consideration of which service, to be duly performed, the said master hereby agrees to pay the said crew, as wages, the sums against their names respectively expressed, and to supply them with provisions according to the annexed scale. And it is hereby agreed that any embezzlement, or willful or negligent destruction of any part of the vessel's cargo or stores, shall be made good to the owner