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did not engage in a piratical act in making a meditated hostile attack, when it was done upon a mistake of the facts, under the notion of just self-defense against what the master very imprudently deemed a piratical cruiser.
To make the fire of one vessel into another a piratical aggression within this statute, it must be a first aggression, unprovoked by any previous act of hostility or menace from the other side. (1860) 9 Op. Atty.-Gen. 455.
Innocence of owners.- In Harmony v. U. S., (1844) 2 How. 210, 11 U. S. (L. ed.) 239, the court said: “The act makes no exception whatsoever, whether the aggression be with or without the co-operation of the owners. The vessel which commits the aggression is treated as the offender, as the guilty instrument or thing to which the forfeiture attaches, without any reference whatsoever to the character or conduct of the owner. The vessel or boat (says the act of Congress) from which such piratical aggression, etc., shall have been first attempted or made shall be condemned. Nor is there anything new in a provision of this sort. It is not an uncommon course in the admiralty, acting under the law of nations, to treat the vessel in which or by which, or by the master or crew thereof, a wrong or offense has been done as the offender, without any regard whatsoever to the personal misconduct or responsibility of the owner thereof. And this is done from the necessity of the case, as the only adequate means of suppressing the offense or wrong, or insuring an indemnity to the injured party. The doctrine also is familiarly applied to cases of smuggling and other misconduct under our revenue laws; and has been applied to other kindred cases, such as cases arising on embargo and non-intercourse acts. In short, the acts of the master and crew, in cases of this sort, bind the interest of the owner of the ship, whether he be innocent or guilty; and he impliedly submits to whatever the law denounces as a forfeiture attached to the ship by reason of their unlawful or wanton wrongs.”
“A vessel captured for engaging in piratical aggression becomes a prize on account of the state of universal war presumed to have been declared by a pirate against commerce and human kind at large, which requires no reciprocal declaration from any nation. Whether piracy is considered as a name applied only to indiscriminate plundering and robbery, either upon the high seas or upon the coasts where the high seas are used as the basis of operation, where the animus furandi is the distinguishing feature, as is expressed and held by President Woolsey, precluding the idea of a revolutionary or political sentiment, or whether there may be acts of piracy committed in fol
lowing out the direct course of a revolutionary struggle, as is contended by Judge Brown in the recent case of The Ambrose Light, 25 Fed. Rep. 408, there must be some overt act either in committing or attempting some offense against the law of nations, to give a piratical character to a vessel. An intent alone can never determine such a state of warfare as would justify the seizure of a prize.” The City of Mexico, (S. D. Fla. 1886) 28 Fed. 148.
Jurisdiction of the courts.- A statute authorizes a capture and condemnation by the United States courts of foreign vessels engaged in a piratical aggression.. Whatever may be the responsibility incurred by the nation to foreign powers, in executing the statute, there can be no doubt that courts of justice are bound to obey and administer it. The Marianna Flora, (1826) 11 Wheat. 1, 6 U. S. (L. ed.) 405.
Necessity of judgment in personam before libel in rem.- In The Palmyra, (1827) 12 Wheat. 1, 6 U. S. (L. ed.) 531, it was held that a judgment of conviction upon a prosecution in personam is not necessary to maintain a libel in
A proceeding in rem stands independent of and wholly unaffected by any criminal proceeding in personam.
“ Condemnation of the vessel as piratical does not necessarily imply a criminal liability of her officers or crew. The vessel might be condemned for being engaged upon a piratical expedition only, or for attempts at piratical aggression or straint. In such a case no indictment for piracy would lie, because criminal punishment is inflicted only according to the municipal law of the captors; and our statutes do not make criminally punishable piratical undertakings or aggressions merely.' The Ambrose Light, (S. D. N. Y. 1885) 25 Fed. 408.
Exemption of cargo.- In Harmony v. U. S., (1844) 2 How. 210, 11 U. S. (L. ed.) 239, the court said: “The remaining question is, whether the cargo is involved in the same fate as the ship. In respect to the forfeiture under the Act of 1819, it is plain that the cargo stands upon a very different ground from that of the ship. Nothing is said in relation to the condemnation of the cargo in the fourth section of the act; and in the silence of any expression of the legislature, in the case of provisions confessedly penal, it ought not to be presumed that their intention exceeded their language. We have no right to presume that the policy of the act reached beyond the condemnation of the offending vessel.”
Proceedings as in prizes captured in war. - In (1834) 2 Op. Atty.-Gen. 656, the attorney-general said that this statute does not expressly refer to the general statutory prize regulations, but in all
cases arising under it the respective rights of the United States and the captors are to be settled, and the course of proceedings to be regulated, by the statutes applicable to prizes captured in war.
The expenses of pilotage, maintenance of her crew, etc., between the capture of the vessel and delivery to the marshal, ought to be paid out of the public treasury, and not charged on the proceeds of the captured vessel. (1834) 2 Op. Atty.Gen. 648.
Costs and damages.-Although probable cause of seizure will not exempt from costs and damages, in seizures under mere municipal statutes, unless expressly made a ground of justification by the law itself, this principle does not extend to captures jure belli, nor to marine torts generally, nor to acts of Congress authorizing the exercise of belligerent rights to a limited extent, such as the piracy acts of the 3d of March, 1819, c.75, and the 15th of May, 1820, c. 112. The Palmyra, (1827) 12 Wheat. 1, 6 U. S. (L. ed.) 531.
Although the crew may be protected by a commission bona fide received, and
acted under, from the consequences attaching to the offense of piracy, by the general law of nations, although such commission was irregularly issued; yet, if the defects in the commission be such as, connected with the insubordination and predatory spirit of the crew, to exeite a justly founded suspicion, it is sufficient, under the act of Congress, to justify the captors from bringing in the vessel for adjudication, and to exempt them from costs and damages. The Palmyra, (1827) 12 Wheat. 1, 6 U. S. (L. ed.) 531.
Where by mistake an aggression was committed by a foreign armed merchant vessel on a public armed ship of the United States, and a combat ensued upon mutual misapprehension and mistake, the commander of the public ship was held exempt from costs and damages for subduing, seizing, and bringing into a port of this country, for adjudication, the offending vessel, though the latter and her cargo were restored by the sentence of the court. The Marianna Flora, (1826) 11 Wheat. 1, 6 U. S. (L. ed.) 405.
Sec. 4297. [Seizure of vessels fitted out for piracy.] Any vessel built, purchased, fitted out in whole or in part, or held for the purpose of being employed in the commission of any piratical aggression, search, restraint, depredation, or seizure, or in the commission of any other act of piracy, as defined by the law of nations, shall be liable to be captured and brought into any port of the United States if found upon the high seas, or to be seized if found in any port or place within the United States, whether the same shall have actually sailed upon any piratical expedition or not, and whether any act of piracy shall have been committed or attempted upon or from such vessel or not; and any such vessel may be adjudged and condemned, if captured by a vessel authorized as hereinafter mentioned, to the use of the United States and to that of the captors, and if seized by a collector, surveyor, or marshal, then to the use of the United States. [R. 8.]
Act of Aug. 5, 1861, ch. 48, 12 Stat. L. 314. Captors' right in proceeds.-- Where a of-war, who aided in the seizure, were not vessel was fitted out within a loyal state entitled to a share of the proceeds as of for the purpose of cruising against the a vessel fitted out for the commission of commerce of the United States, under a acts of piracy - the piracy referred to in letter of marque issued by the government the statute being piracy under the laws of the Confederate states, and was seized, of nations. The Schooner Chapman, libeled, and condemned on the instance (1864) 4 Sawy. 501, 5 Fed. Cas. No. side of the court, it was held that the 2,602. officers and crew of a United States man
Sec. 4298. [What vessels may be authorized to seize pirates.] The President is authorized to instruct the commanders of the public armed vessels of the United States, and to authorize the commanders of any other armed vessels sailing under the authority of any letters of marque and reprisal granted by Congress, or the commanders of any other suitable vessels, to subdue, seize, take, and, if on the high seas, to send into any port
of the United States, any vessel or boat built, purchased, fitted out, or held as mentioned in the preceding section. [R. S.]
Act of Aug. 5, 1861, ch. 48, 12 Stat. L. 315.
Sec. 4299. [Duties of officers of customs and marshals.] The collectors of the several posts of entry, the surveyors of the several ports of delivery, and the marshals of the several judicial districts within the United States, shall seize any vessel or boat built, purchased, fitted out, or held as mentioned in section forty-two hundred and ninety-seven, which may be found within their respective ports or districts, and to [sic] cause the same to be proceeded against and disposed of as provided by that section. (R. S.]
Act of Aug. 5, 1861, ch. 48, 12 Stat. L. 315.
For provisions relating to the various ports of entry to collectors and surveyors, see Customs DUTIES, vol. 2, p. 711. For provisions relating to the various judicial districts, see JUDICIARY, vol. 4, p. 800.
See ALASKA; MINERAL LANDS, MINES AND MINING
PLANT QUARANTINE ACT
POLYGAMY See BIGAMY, POLYGAMY AND UNLAWFUL INTERCOURSE; PENAL LAWS
PORTO RICO Act of March 24, 1900, ch. 91, 1258.
Appropriation of Amount of Customs Revenue on Importations from
Porto Rico for Use of Its Government, etc., 1259
2. Tariff on Foreign Import3, 1260.
to Cease after ('ertain Time, 1260.
Pay of Agents, 1261. 5. Duties on Imports, etc., on Passage of Act, 1262. 6. Capital, 1263. 7. Spanish Subjects Deemed Citizens, etc. - to Constitute Body
Politic, etc., 1263. 8. Existing Laws ('ontinued Amendments Marriage and
Divorce, 1263. 9. Nationalization of Porto Rican Vessels - Regulation of
Coasting Trade, 1264. 10. Quarantine Stations to Be Established, 1265. 11. Redemption of Porto Rican Cir - Recoinage by Govern
ment - Legal Tender – Payment of Debts, 1265. 12. Payment of Salaries and Expenses, 1266. 13. Property Acquired under Treaty - Power of Legislative
Assembly, 1266. 14. Laws of United States Applicable, 1267. 15. Legislature May Amend, etc., Laws, 1268. 16. Judicial Process Official Oaths, 1268. 17. The Governor Appointment Term Residence
Powers Reports, 1268. 18. Executive Council -- Appointment Qualifications
Duties Assistants, 1268. 19. Secretary Duties, 1269 20. Secretary to Act as Governor During Vacancy, 1269. 21. Attorney-General - Duties, 1269. 22. Treasurer Bond Duties, 1269. 23. Auditor – Duties, 1270. 24. Commissioner of the Interior - Duties, 1270. 25. Commissioner of Education — Duties, 1270. 26. Duties of Other Members of Council, 1270. 27. Legislative Assembly - House of Delegates — Composition
and Election, 1270. 28. Election Districts, 1270. 29. Election of Delegates - Qualification of Voters - Organi
zation and Sessions of House Enactments Pay of
Members, 1271. 30. Powers of House Delegates - Qualifications of Members,
1271. 31. Bills Passage – Approval Veto Report of, to
Congress — Failure to Make Appropriations for Support
of the Government, 1271. 32. Legislative Authority — Amendments, Repeals, etc. - Grant of Franchises, 1272.
33. Courts — Jurisdiction and Procedure - Appointment of
Judges and Territorial Officers — Legislation as to Courts,
1273. 34. Judicial District - Appointment of Judicial Officers —
District Court - Officers - Jurisdiction - Procedure
Terms -- Pending Cases, 1273. 35. Appeals to United States Supreme Court - Habeas Corpus,
1275. 36. Salaries - Amount and Payment, 1275. 37. Salaries of Municipal Officers, 1276. 38. Export Duties Not to Be Imposed — Assessment of Taces
Bond Issue Authorized – Limit of Indebtedness, 1276. 39. Resident Commissioner to United States Salary
Qualifications, 1277. 40. Commission to Revise Laws to Report on Permanent
System of Government, etc.— Expenses — Report, 1277.
41. Effect, 1278. Res. of May 1, 1900, No. 23, 1278. Sec. 2. Franchises to Receive President's Approval, 1278. 3. Franchises Provisions
Engaging in Real Estate Transactions -- Foreign Corporations, 1278. Act of March 2, 1901, ch. 812, 1279. Sec. 1. Salary of Commissioner of Education Salaries of District
Court Officials, 1279.
Court Commissioners, 1279.
4. Mileage of Jurors and Witnesses, 1281. Act of July 1, 1902, ch. 1383, 1281. Sec. i. Reservation of Public Lands, etc., for Public Purposes
Grant of Other Lands to Government of Porto Rico, 1281. 3. Resident Commissioner to United States — Traveling
Expenses ---Term of Office, 1282.
2. Import of the Word “Person,” 1282.
to Purchase Improvements Reserved Payment of
Vessels - Further Restriction, 1283. 4. Grantee Must Control Shore End Approaches — Plans, etc.,
5. Prior Rights Not Affected, 1284. Act of June 22, 1906, ch. 3514, 1284. Sec. 1. Salary and Expenses of Resident Commissioner -- Method
of Payment, 1284. Act of June 25, 1906, ch. 3542, 1285. Jurors in Federal Courts Qualifications Exemptions