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Part XLI.-LEGAL PROCEDURE

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Jurisdiction of district courts.
Seizure--

Summary trial.

Jurisdiction of District Courts.

Wherever, in any law not embraced within this Act, any reference is made to, or any power or duty is conferred or imposed upon, the circuit courts, such reference shall, upon the taking effect of this Act, be deemed and held to refer to, and to confer such power and impose such duty upon, the district courts. (Sec. 291.) Seizure.

Proceedings on seizures made on the high seas, for forfeiture under any law of the United States, may be prosecuted in any district into which the property so seized is brought and proceedings instituted. Proceedings on such seizures made within any district shall be prosecuted in the district where the seizure is made, except in cases where it is otherwise provided. (Sec. 45.)

Proceedings for the condemnation of any property, captured, whether on the high seas or elsewhere out of the limits of any judicial district, or within any district, on account of its being purchased or acquired, sold or given, with intent to use or employ the same, or to suffer it to be used or employed, in aiding, abetting, or promoting any insurrection against the Government of the United States, or knowingly so used or employed by the owner thereof, or with his consent, may be prosecuted in any district where the same may be seized, or into which it may be taken and proceedings first instituted. (Sec. 46.)

Proceedings on seizures for forfeiture of any vessel or cargo entering any port of entry which has been closed by the President in pursuance of law, or of goods and chattels coming from a State or section declared by proclamation of the President to be in insurrection into other parts of the United States, or of any vessel or vehicle conveying such property, or conveying persons to or from such State or section, or of any vessel belonging, in whole or in part, to any inhabitant of such state or section, may be prosecuted in any district into which the property so seized may be taken and proceedings instituted; and the district court thereof shall have as full jurisdiction over such proceedings as if the seizure was made in that district. (Mar. 3, 1911, sec. 47.)

When any vessel, goods, wares, or merchandise are seized by any officer of the customs, and prosecuted for forfeiture by virtue of any law respecting the revenue, or the registering and recording, or the enrolling and licensing of vessels, the court shall cause fourteen days' notice to be given of such seizure and libel, by causing the substance of such libel, with the order of the court thereon, setting forth the time and place appointed for trial, to be inserted in some newspaper published near the place of seizure, and by posting up the same in the most public manner for the space of fourteen days, at or near the place of trial; and proclamation shall be made in such manner as the court shall direct. And if no person appears and claims such vessels, goods, wares, or merchandise, and gives bond to defend the prosecution thereof and to respond the cost in case he shall not support his claim, the court shall proceed to hear and determine the cause according to law. (R. S. 923.)

All vessels, goods, wares, or merchandise which shall be condemned by virtue of any law respecting the revenue from imports or tonnage, or the registering and recording, or the enrolling or licensing of vessels, and for which bonds shall not have been given by the claimant, shall be sold by the marshal or other proper officer of the court in which condemnation shall be had, to the highest bidder, at public auction, by order of such court, and at such place as the court may appoint, giving at least fifteen days' notice (except in cases of perishable merchandise) in one or more of the public newspapers of the place where such sale shall be; or if no paper is published in such place, in one or more of the papers published in the nearest place thereto; for which advertising a sum not exceeding five dollars shall be paid. And the amount of such sales, deducting all proper charges, shall be paid within ten days after such sale by the persons selling the same to the clerk or other proper officer of the court directing such sale, to be by him, after deducting the charges allowed by the court, paid to the collector of the district in which such seizure or forfeiture has taken place, as hereinbefore directed. (R. S. 939.)

In any cause of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, or other case of seizure, depending in any court of the United States, any judge of the said court, in vacation, shall have the same authority to order any vessel, or cargo, or other property to be delivered to the claimants, upon bail or bond, or to be sold when necessary, as the said court has in term time, and to appoint appraisers, and exercise every other incidental power necessary to the complete execution of the authority herein granted; and the recognizance of bail or bond, under such order, may be executed before the clerk upon the party's producing the certificate of the collector of the district, of the sufficiency of the security offered; and the same proceedings shall be had in the case of said order of delivery or of sale, as are had in like cases when ordered in term time: Provided, That upon every such application, either for an order of delivery or of sale, the collector and the attorney of the district shall have reasonable notice in cases of the United States, and the party or counsel in all other cases. (R. S. 940.)

When, in any prosecution commenced on account of the seizure of any vessel, goods, wares, or merchandise, made by any collector or other officer, under any act of Congress authorizing such seizure, judgment is rendered for the claimant, but it appears to the court that there was reasonable cause of seizure, the court shall cause a proper certificate thereof to be entered, and the claimant shall not in such case be entitled to costs, nor shall the person who made the seizure, nor the prosecutor, be liable to suit or judgment on account of such suit or prosecution : Provided, That the vessel, goods, wares, or merchandise be, after judgment, forthwith returned to such claimant or his agent. (R. S. 970.)

If, in any suit against an officer or other person executing or aiding or assisting in the seizure of goods, under any act providing for or regulating the collection of duties on imports or tonnage, the plaintiff is nonsuited, or judgment passed against him, the defendant shall recover double costs. (R. S. 971.)

When proceedings are had before a court of the United States or of the Territories, on several libels, against any vessel and cargo, which might legally be joined in one libel, there shall not be allowed thereon more costs than on one libel, unless special cause for libeling the vessel and cargo separately is satisfactorily shown on motion in open court. And in proceedings on several libels or informations against any cargo, or parts of cargo, or merchandise seized as forfeited for the same cause, there shall not be allowed more costs than would be lawful on one libel or information, whatever may be the number of owners or consignees therein concerned. But allowance may be made on one libel or information for the costs incidental to several claims. (R. S. 978.)

When judgment is rendered in favor of the claimant of any vessel or other property seized on behalf of the United States, and libeled cor informed against as forfeited under any law thereof, he shall be entitled to possession of the same when his own costs are paid. (R. S. 979.) Summary Trial.

Whenever a complaint shall be made against any master, officer, or seaman of any vessel belonging, in whole or in part, to any citizen of the United States, of the commission of any offense, not capital or otherwise infamous, against any law of the United States made for the protection of persons or property engaged in commerce or navigation, it shall be the duty of the district attorney to investigate the same, and the general nature thereof, and if, in his opinion, the case is such as should be summarily tried, he shall report the same to the district judge, and the judge shall forthwith, or as soon as the ordinary business of the court will permit, proceed to try the cause, and for that purpose may, if necessary, hold a special session of the court, either in term time or vacation. (R. S. 4300.)

At the summary trial of offenses against the laws for the protection of persons or property engaged in commerce or navigation, it shall not be necessary that the accused shall have been previously indicted, but a statement of complaint, verified by oath in writing, shall be presented to the court, setting out the offense in such manner as clearly to apprise the accused of the character of the offense complained of, and to enable him to answer the complaint. The complaint or statement shall be read to the accused, who may plead to or answer the same, or make a counter-statement. The trial shall thereupon be proceeded with in a summary manner, and the case shall be decided by the court, unless, at the time for pleading or answering, the accused shall demand a jury, in which case the trial shall be upon the complaint and plea of not guilty. (R. S. 4301.)

It shall be lawful for the court to allow the district attorney to amend his statement of complaint at any stage of the proceedings, before verdict, if, in the opinion of the court, such amendment will work no injustice to the accused; and if it appears to the court that the accused is unprepared to meet the charge as amended, and that an adjournment of the cause will promote the ends of justice, such adjournment shall be made, until å further day, to be fixed by the court. (R. S. 4302.)

At the trial in summary cases, if by jury, the United States and the accused shall each be entitled to three peremptory challenges. Challenges for cause, in such cases, shall be tried by the court without the aid of triers. (R. S. 4303.)

It shall not be lawful for the court to sentence any person convicted in such trial to any greater punishment than imprisonment in jail for one year, or to a fine exceeding five hundred dollars, or both, in its discretion, in those cases where the laws of the United States authorize such imprisonment and fine. (R. S. 4304.)

All the penalties and forfeitures which may be incurred for offenses against this Title [R. S. 4131–4305) may be sued for, prosecuted, and recovered in such court, and be disposed of in such manner, as any penalties and forfeitures which may be incurred for offenses against the laws relating to the collection of duties, except when otherwise expressly prescribed. (R. S. 4305.)

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Place of Trial.

The trial of all offenses committed upon the high seas or elsewhere, out of the jurisdiction of any particular State or district, shall be in the district where the offender is found, or into which he is first brought. (R. S. 730; Mar. 3, 1911, sec. 41.)

When any offense against the United States is begun in one judicial district and completed in another, it shall be deemed to have been committed in either, and may be dealt with, inquired of, tried, determined, and punished in either district, in the same manner as if it had been actually and wholly committed therein. (Sec. 42.)

All pecuniary penalties and forfeitures may be sued for and recovered either in the district where they accrue or in the district where the offender is found. (Mar. 3, 1911, sec. 43.)

Proceedings on seizures made on the high seas, for forfeiture under any law of the United States, may be prosecuted in any district into which the property so seized is brought and proceedings instituted. Proceedings on such seizures made within any district shall be prosecuted in the district where the seizure is made, except in cases where it is otherwise provided. (R. S. 734; Mar. 3, 1911, sec. 45.)

The crimes and offenses defined in this chapter (sections 272–289) shall be punished as herein prescribed :

First. When committed upon the high seas, or on any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, or when committed within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State on board any vessel belonging in whole or in part to the United States or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States, or of any State, Territory, or District thereof.

Second. When committed upon any vessel registered, licensed, or enrolled under the laws of the United States, and being on a voyage upon the waters of any of the Great Lakes, namely: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Saint Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, or any of the waters connecting any of said lakes, or upon the River Saint Lawrence where the same constitutes the International boundary line.

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