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acting under the authority of the United States, or any Department, or any officer of the Government thereof, and who shall take upon himself to act as such, or who shall in such pretended character demand or obtain from any person or from the United States, or any Department, or any officer of the Government thereof, any money, paper, document, or other valuable thing, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not longer than three years, or both said punishments, in the discretion of the court. [23 Stat. L. 11.]

See, for sufficiency of indictment under this Act, U. S. v. Brown, (1902) 119 Fed. Rep. 482.




For fees of various officials, jurors, witnesses, etc., consult the General Index.











R. S. 732. Suits for Pecuniary Penalties and Forfeitures, Where to Be Brought. 94.

734. Proceedings on Seizures, Where Cognizable, 95.
909. Burden of Proof, When It Lies on Claimant in Seizure Cases, 95.
923. Seizure for Forfeiture in Certain Cases - Procedure -- Publication, 96.
938. Bailing of Property Seized under Customs Laws, 96.
939. Sale After Condemnation, 98.
940. In Cases of Seisure, Bailing of Property in Vacation, 98.
1041. Fudgments for Fines, How Collected, 98.
1042. Poor Convicts Sentenced and Imprisoned for Fines, 99.
1047. Limitation of Suit or Prosecution for Penalties and Forfeitures under

Laws of United States, 100.
5292. Mitigation or Remission upon Summary Investigation Before District

Fudge, 101. 5293. Remission upon Investigation under Regulations of Secretary of Treasury,

103. 5294. Remission or Mitigation of Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures under

Laws Relating to Vessels - Informers' Rights, 104. 5295. Officers and Informers May Be Witnesses, 106.

5296. Discharge of Indigent Convicts, 106. Act of Fune 26, 1884, ch. 121, 106. Sec. 26. Refund or Remission of Fines, etc., Illegally Assessed under Laws Relat

ing to Vessels or Seamen, 106. Act of Fune 22, 1874, ch. 391, 107. Sec. 6. Customs-Revenue Law - Payment to Informers, 107. 7. Officer Receiving Part of Informer's Fees - Action to Recover Money So Paid, 108.

For Particular Offenses, Defaults, or omissions, consult the General Index.
Jurisdiction of Suits, see JUDICIARY.
Costs in Suits for Recovery, see COSTS.


Sec. 732. [Suits for pecuniary penalties and forfeitures, where to be brought.] 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. [R. S.]

Act of Feb. 28, 1839, ch. 36, 5 Stat. L. 322; This section is a general Act applicable to Act of June 30, 1864, ch. 173, 13 Stat. L. 239, a multitude of penalties and forfeitures con305; Act of July 13, 1866, ch, 184, 14 Stat. cerning which there is no other provision in L, 111, 145.

regard to the place where the suit may be

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brought. But when, as in section 4901, R. S., Hat-Sweat Mfg. Co. v. Davis Sewing-Mach. the statute prescribing a penalty for a stated Co., (1887) 31 Fed. Rep. 294. offense provides that the penalty shall “ be An action to recover a penalty for the imrecovered by suit in any district court of the portation of a foreign laborer in violation of United States within whose jurisdiction such the Act of Congress of Feb. 26, 1885, may be offenses may have been committed,” such a brought in the district into which the alien provision is mandatory, and the remedy must laborer may enter or in the district in which be sought in the precise mode and subject to the defendant be “found.” U. S. v. Craig, the precise limitations provided by the Act (1886) 28 Fed. Rep. 795. See also Lees v. which creates the offense. Pentlarge U. S., (1893) 150 U. S. 476. Kirby, (1884) 19 Fed. Rep. 501. See also

Sec. 734. [Proceedings on seizures, where cognizable.] Proceedings on seizures, for forfeiture under any law of the United States, made on the high seas 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.]

Act of Sept. 24, 1789, ch. 20, 1 Stat. L. 76; A state court has no legal authority to enAct of July 13, 1861, ch. 3, 12 Stat. L. 256, tertain a question of forfeiture arising under 257, 258; Act of Aug. 6, 1861, ch. 60, 12 Stat. the laws of the United States, and any interL. 319; Act of June 30, 1864, ch. 173, 13 Stat. vention of a state authority which, by taking L. 240; Act of July 13, 1866, ch. 184, 14 the thing seized out of the possession of the Stat. L. 111; Act of March 2, 1867, ch. 169, officer of the United States, might obstruct 14 Stat. L. 483.

the exercise of this jurisdiction, would unThe District Court has exclusive jurisdic questionably be unlawful, and the federal tion of actions to recover penalties and for court having cognizance of the seizure might feitures that have accrued to the United enforce a redelivery of the thing by attachStates. U. S. v. The Helena, (1850) 26 Fed. ment or other summary process against the Cas. No. 15,341. See also The Ship Rich parties who should divest such possession. mond v. U. S., (1815) 9 Cranch (U. S.) 102; Slocum v. Mayberry, (1817) 2 Wheat. (U. Keene r. U. S., (1809) 5 Cranch (U. S.) 304; S.) 1. Evans v. Bollen, (1800) 4 Dall. (U. S.) The seizure being a jurisdictional fact, 342; Ketland v. The Cassius, (1796) 2 Dall. necessary to give to the District Court cogniz(Pa.) 365; U. S. v. Bougher, (1854) 6 Mc ance of the cause, advantage may be taken at Lean (U. S.) 277; Hall v. Warren, (1840) any stage of the proceedings of the absence 2 McLean (U. S.) 332; Burke v. Trevitt, of an averment in the libel. The Washington, (1816) 1 Mason (U. S.) 96.

(1857) 4 Blatchf. (U. S.) 101. This statute gives exclusive jurisdiction of Executive seizures “ for forfeiture all seizures made within any district to the under any law of the United States.” The District Court of such district. Concurrent Steamboat Joshua Leviness, (1878) 9 Ben. jurisdiction exists in the district courts of (U. S.) 339. other districts only where the seizure is on If a seizure be completely and explicitly the high seas. The Sloop Abby, (1818) 1 abandoned, and the property restored by the Mason (U. S.) 360. See also The Brig Little voluntary act of the party who has made the Ann, (1810) 1 Paine (U. S.) 40; The Slavers, seizure, the District Court has no jurisdiction. (1864) 2 Wall. (U. S.) 383; The Merino, The Brig Ann, (1815) 9 Cranch (U. S.) 289. (1824) 9 Wheat. (U. S.) 391; Gedney v. L'Amistad, (1840) 10 Fed. Cas. No. 5,294a.

Sec. 909. [Burden of proof, when it lies on claimant in seizure cases.] In suits or informations brought, where any seizure is made pursuant to any act providing for or regulating the collection of duties on imports or tonnage, if the. property is claimed by any person, the burden of proof shall lie upon such claimant: Provided, That probable cause is shown for such prosecution, to be judged of by the court. [R. S.]

Act of March 2, 1799, ch. 22, 1 Stat. L. 678. 402; The John Griffin, (1872) 15 Wall. (U.

The term "probable cause" does not mean S.) 29; Wood v. U. S., (1842) 16 Pet. (U. S.) prima facie evidence, or such evidence as, in 312. the absence of exculpatory proof, would jus The failure of the claimant to produce the tify condemnation, as this would render the papers known to be in his possession, which provision totally inoperative; but the term might explain suspicions excited by the unmeans less than evidence which would justify common circumstances of the case, makes out condemnation, and imports a seizure made a prima facie case, and the burden of proof to under circumstances which warrant suspicion. rebut it rests on him. The Luminary, (1823) Locke r. V. S., (1813) 7 Cranch (l'. s.) 339. 8 Wheat. (U. S.) 407. See also Clifton v. See also U. S. v. Three Thousand Eight Hun U. S., (1846) 4 How. (U. S.) 242. dred and Eighty Boxes, (1822) 12 Fed. Rep. Under the Act of March 15, 1820, ch. 122,


prohibiting commercial intercourse with the alleged to have been incurred by her master British colonies, it was held that no goods by violations of sections 2806, 2807, 2809, and were forfeited unless they were part of the 3126, R. S., but the uncontradicted testimony cargo on board the vessel, and consequently for the claimant showed that the contraband that that fact must be affirmatively estab merchandise had been received as freight in lished. U. S. v. An Open Boat, (1829) 5 the due course of business, being delivered on Mason (U. S.) 232.

the dock for shipment by a regular transfer It is the province of the court and not the company, and receipted for in the usual way, jury to judge whether there is such probable without any circumstances to justify suscause shown as to throw the onus probandi picion on the part of the ship's officers, and upon the claimant. Taylor v. U. S., (1845) that the master had no particular knowledge 3 How. (U. S.) 197. See also U. S. v. Six in regard to the cargo in question, a decree teen Cases Silk Ribbons, (1870) 12 Int. Rev. in favor of the claimants was entered. U. S. Rec. 175, 27 Fed. Cas. No. 16,301; U. S. v. v. The Walla Walla, (1891) 44 Fed. Rep. 796. Gay, (1815) 2 Gall. (U. S.) 359; Buckley v. Applies to all suits on seizures. - The rule U. S., (1846) 4 How. (U. S.) 251.

prescribed by this section applies to all suits A suit by the government to recover timber on seizures under revenue laws, when probable cut on the public lands, or its value, “is not cause for the seizure is shown. Cliquot's a suit to recover a penalty, or to impose a Champagne, (1865) 3 Wall. (U. S.) 114. See punishment, or to declare a forfeiture.” In also Taylor v. U. S., (1845) 3 How. (U. S.) such a suit the burden would be on the gov. 197; U. S. v. Sixteen Cases Silk Ribbons, ernment to prove that the timber had been (1870) 12 Int. Rev. Rec. 175, 27 Fed. Cas. cut from the public lands, and it cannot es No. 16,301. But see The Schooner Abigail, cape this burden by seizing and taking the (1824) 3 Mason (U. S.) 331. And this intimber and filing a libel. Handford v. U. S., cludes suits for penalties and forfeitures un(C. C. A. 1899) 92 Fed. Rep. 881.

der sections 2867 and 2868, R. S. The CoDecree on uncontradicted testimony for quitlam, (1893) 57 Fed Rep. 706. And also claimant. — Where probable cause has been a case of seizure under section 3082, R. S. shown for the seizure of a vessel to enforce a U. S. v. Seven Hundred and Forty Tins lien under section 3088, R. S., for a penalty Opium, (1891) 44 Fed. Rep. 798.

Sec. 923. [Seizure for forfeiture in certain cases procedure publication.] 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 vessel, 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.]

Act of Aug. 4, 1790, ch. 35, 1 Stat. L. 176; omission by the owners to answer, and thereby Act of Dec. 31, 1792, ch. 1, 1 Stat. L. 298; Act make disclosure as to material facts within of Feb. 18, 1793, ch. 8, 1 Stat. L. 317; Act of their knowledge, might, of itself, satisfy the March 2, 1799, ch. 22, 1 Stat. L. 678, 695, 696. court that a forfeiture should be decreed.

The provision that “the court shall pro But the court will require the prosecutor to ceed to hear and determine the cause accord introduce full proof of the allegations in the ing to law” makes it imperative that there libel, whenever the circumstances shall make shall be some hearing before a decree of for it reasonable.” U. S. v. The Schooner Lion, feiture, but to what extent must depend upon (1858) 1 Sprague (U. S.) 399. But see The the circumstances of the case, “A wilful Mary Anne, (1826) 1 Ware (U. S.) 104.

Sec. 938. [Bailing of property seized under customs laws.] Upon the prayer of any claimant to the court, that any vessel, goods, wares, or merchandise, seized and prosecuted under any law respecting the revenue from imports or tonnage, or the registering and recording, or the enrolling and licensing of vessels, or any part thereof, should be delivered to him, the court shall appoint three proper persons to appraise such property, who shall be sworn in open court, or before a commissioner appointed by the district court to administer paths to appraisers, for the faithful discharge of their duty; and the appraise

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ment shall be made at the expense of the party on whose prayer it is granted. If, on the return of the appraisement, the claimant, with one or more sureties, to be approved by the court, shall execute a bond to the United States for the payment of a sum equal to the sum at which the property prayed to be delivered is appraised, and produce a certificate from the collector of the district where the trial is had, and of the naval officer thereof, if any there be, that the duties on the goods, wares, and merchandise, or tonnage-duty on the vessel so claimed, have been paid or secured in like manner as if the same had been legally entered, the court shall, by rule, order such vessel, goods, wares, or merchandise to be delivered to such claimant; and the said bond shall be lodged with the proper officer of the court. If judgment passes in favor of the claimant, the court shall cause the said bond to be canceled; but if judgment passes against the claimant, as to the whole or any part of such vessel, goods, wares, or merchandise, and the claimant does not within twenty days thereafter pay into the court, or to the proper officer thereof, the amount of the appraised value of such vessel, goods, wares, or merchandise so condemned, with the costs, judgment shall be granted upon the bond, on motion in open court, without further delay. [R. S.]

Act of Aug. 4, 1790, ch. 35, 1 Stat. L. 176; lawful entry could have been made. In re Act of Dec. 31, 1792, ch. 1, 1 Stat. L. 298; Act Chichester, (1891) 48 Fed. Rep. 281. of Feb. 18, 1793, ch. 8, 1 Stat. L. 317; Act of Remit duties or for depreciation. — In a June 9, 1794, ch. 64, 1 Stat. L. 395; Act of case in which goods were proceeded against as March 2, 1799, ch. 22, 1 Stat. L. 695, 696. smuggled goods, being landed without a per

Appraisement includes duties. — The ap mit, the claimant, with sureties, executed a praisement of goods seized in the hands of stipulation for value by agreement, which the importer must be the actual cash value was designed to be a substitute for the apat the time of the seizure, and the legal duties praisement provided for in such cases by this paid cannot be deducted; but to the value of section. Upon final decree against the claimthe goods seized in warehouse the duties need ant, it was held that the court had no disnot be added. '. S. v. Three Horses, (1870) cretion to remit any part of the stipulation, 1 Abb. (U. S.) 426.

either as to the amount of duties paid on the The appraisement of property in warehouse goods, or by the amount of depreciation under bond for duties does not include the caused by the carelessness or improper conduties, as they form no part of its value duct of the government officers. U. S. v. Two at the time it was seized. Four Cases Silk Trunks, (1879) 10 Ben. (U. S.) 374. Ribbons, (1867) 1 Ben. (U. S.) 214.

Delivery on bail is not compulsory on the But in U. S. v. Twelve Thousand Three court, but is a matter of sound discretion, and Hundred and Forty-seven Bags Sugar, (1868) where the property consists wholly of dry 1 Abb. (U. S.) 407, it was held that the ap goods and not at all of perishable articles, praisement should include the duties whether and there has been no delay in the prosecuthe goods are seized in the hands of the im tion, an application for release of the goods porter or in warehouse. See also U. S. v.

on appraisement and bond will be refused. 1,291 Bales Tobacco, (1872) 2 Lowell (U. S.) Fifteen Pieces Black Silk, (1869) 3 Ben. 107; U. S. v. Cargo of Sugar, (1874) 3 Sawy. (U. S.) 189. See also The Brig Struggle, (U. S.) 27; Hoyt v. U, S., (1850) 10 How. (1813) 1 Gall. (U. S.) 476. (U. S.) 109.

Costs and expenses of suit. The claimant And as to penal duties included in the ap is entitled to a delivery of the property to praisement in addition to the regular duties, him upon compliance with the conditions of see U. S. v. Linens, (1859) 3 Phila. (Pa.) 523, this section, without any additional charge 16 Leg. Int. (Pa.) 388.

for costs or expenses in the suit, and the The “duties” required to be certified as marsha) cannot require that the cost of pubpaid, in order to entitle the claimant to a de lication should be paid by the claimant, as livery of the property, include all burdens the statute does not attach any such require. or taxes imposed upon property imported into ment to the obligation to discharge the vessel the country, and all other burdens or taxes

or property. U. S. v. Eight Cases Paper, upon such property declared to be such by (1899) 98 Fed. Rep. 416. law. U. S. v. Three Horses, (1870) 1 Abb.

Validity of bond. - Where the claimant (l'. S.) 426.

voluntarily accepts a delivery of property on "In like manner as if the same had been

bail, it is an estoppel of his right to contest legally entered ” means no more and no less the validity of the security. The Brig than that the claimant shall, as a condition

Struggle. (1813) 1 Gall. (U'. S.) 476. precedent to obtaining the goods, pay the A judgment on the bond ought to be in duties as claimed by the United States, to be

open court, after the lapse of the twenty days summarily estimated and determined by the

from the rendition of the decree. McLellan v. collector on the theory of a lawful entry of

U. S., (1812) | Gall. (U. S.) 227. the good-, taking it for granted that such

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