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Third. Penalties and forfeitures.-Of all suits for penalties and forfeitures incurred under any law of the United States.
24 Sept., 1789, c. 20, s. 9, v. 1, p. 76.
In case of proceedings for forfeiture.-In case of a libel or information against a vessel to procure her forfeiture under the revenue laws, it must show that she has been seized for the offense, and that the seizure still subsists; as the seizure is the jurisdictional fact, and the absence of the averment is a defect of which advantage may be taken at any time. The Washington, 4 Blatch., C. C., 101. See also Ketland v. The Cassius, 2 Dall., 365; Hall v. Warren, 2 McLean, C. C., 332.
In case of seizure on land, under the revenue laws, the district court proceeds as a court of common law in rem; the trial of issues of fact are to be by jury, but if the seizure is on navigable waters from the sea, it is triable in admiralty by the court. The Sarah, 8 Wh., 391.
Fourth. Suits at common law by United States or officer.-Of all suits at common law brought by the United States, or by any officer thereof, authorized by law to sue.
24 Sept., 1789, c. 20, s. 9, v. 1, p. 76. 3 Mar., 1815, c. 101, s. 4, v. 3, p.
General right of the United States to sue.-Although as a sovereign the United States cannot be sued, except in courts and under conditions, that she may provide, yet as a corporation or body politic she may bring suits to enforce contracts and protect her property--in the State courts or in her own tribunals. As the owner of property in almost every State in the Union the government has the same rights and remedies, in respect to it, that a natural person has. Cotton v. The United States, 11 How., 229; Dugan v. The United States, 3 Wh., 172.
In The United States v. The Bank of the Metropolis, 15 Pet., 377, it was decided that when the United States, by their authorized agents, became a party to negotiable papers they have all the rights and incur all the responsibilities of other persons who are parties to such instruments. In The United States v. Gear, 3 How., 120, the right of the United States to maintain an action for trespass was not questioned.
Fifth. Suits in equity to enforce internal revenue taxes. Of all suits in equity to enforce the lien of the United States upon any real estate for any internal revenue tax, or to subject to the payment of any such tax any real estate owned by the delinquent, or in which he has any right, title or interest. (See 2 3207.]
20 July, 1868, c. 186, s. 106, v. 15, p. 167.
Sixth. Suits for penalties and damages for frauds against United States.—Of all suits for the recovery of any forfeiture or damages under section thirty-four hundred and ninety, title “ DEBTS DUE BY OR TO THE UNITED STATES;” and such suits may be tried and determined by any district court within whose jurisdictional limits the defendant may be found. [See 22 3490-3494 ] 2 Mar., 1863, c. 67, s. 4, v. 12, p. 698.
Seventh. Suits under postal laws.-Of all causes of action arising under the postal laws of the United States. 3 Mar., 1845, c. 43, s. 20, v. 5, p. 739.
The circuit has concurrent jurisdiction with the district court in actions arising under postal laws. See post, $ 629, Sub. 4, and notes.
Eighth. Admiralty causes and seizures on land.Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it; and of all seizures on land and on waters not within admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. And such jurisdiction shall be exclusive, except in the particular cases where jurisdiction of such causes and seizures is given to the circuit courts. [And shall have original and exclusive cognizance of all prizes brought into the United States, except as provided in paragraph six of section six hundred and twenty-nine.]
24 Sept., 1789, c. 20, s. 9, v. 1, p. 76. 22 Mar., 1794, c. 11, s. 1, v. 1, p. 347. 10 May, 1800, c. 51, ss. 1, 5, v. 2, pp. 70, 71. 2 Mar., 1807, c. 22, ss. 2, 7, v. 2, pp. 426, 428. 6 Aug., 1861, c. 60, s. 2, v. 12, p. 319. 13 July, 1866, c. 184, ss. 9, 19, v. 14, pp. 111, 145, 152. 2 Mar., 1867, c. 169, ss. 10, 25, v. 14, pp. 475, 483. 20 July, 1868, c. 186, s. 106, v. 15, p. 167. 30 June, 1864, c. 173, ss. 41, 179, v 13, pp. 239, 240, 305. 3 Mar., 1865, c. 78, s. 1, v. 13, p. 483. 18 Feb., 1875, c. 80, v. 18, p. 317.
Admiralty, instance and prize courts.—The district courts of the United States possess all the powers of a court of admiralty, whether considered as an instance or prize court. They have original exclusive jurisdiction in questions of prize, and are authorized to decree restitution in whole or in part where the capture is wrongful, and if the capture is made without probable cause they may order and decree damages against the captors. Glass v. Sloop Betsey, 3 Dall., 6 (1793); Penhallou v. Doane, Id., 54; Talbot v. Janson, Id., 133; Bingham v. Cabot, Id., 19; Jennings v. Carson, 4 Cr.. 2; Brouen v. United States, 8 Id., 110; The Estrilla, 4 Wh., 298; The Siren, 7 Wall., 152. See also, post, $ 711, and notes.
Jurisdiction as affected by contract and locality.—The admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts is not impaired by the fact that the common law courts have concurrent jurisdiction; the trial by jury being no test of admiralty, powers. The subject-matter of the contract or service gives jurisdiction, as well as locality, in case of tort or collision. In case of tort or collision upon the high seas or upon a river as far up as the tide flows, even though it may be infra corpus comitatus, the federal courts have jurisdiction; and the saving to suitors a common law remedy, when the common law gives one, as provided in the statute, does not divest the district courts of the United States of jurisdiction in all adıniralty cases. Waring v. Clark, 5 How., 441; New Jersey Steam Navigation Co. v. Merchants’ Bank, 6 Id., 344; Manro v. The Almeida, 10 Wh., 473; Peyroux v. Howard, 7 Pet., 324; The General Smith, 4 Wh., 438; The Belfast, 7 Wall., 624; De Lovio v. Boit, 2 Gall., 393. Where jurisdiction depends on contract it must be a marine one. Railroad Co. v. Steam Towboat Co., 23 How., 215.
Instances of jurisdiction growing out of contracts.-A contract to carry passengers or merchandise on the high seas is a maritime contract and the district courts of the United States have jurisdiction in admiralty in cases of controversies relating to them. Contracts of charter party and affreightment are maritime contracts within the meaning of the constitution and acts of congress and cognizable in courts of admiralty either by process in rem or in personam. The Moses Taylor, 4 Wall., 411; Morewood v. Enequist, 23 How., 491. .
Seamen have a lien for wages which may also be enforced in admiralty, and if subsistence is not furnished them by the master of the vessel they may recover the amount they have necessarily paid therefor. The Gazelle, 1 Sprague, 378 (1858).
So pilot's services are strictly maritime and within the admiralty jurisdiction of the district courts of the United States. Hobart v. Drogan, 10 Pet., 108; McGinnis v. Steamboat, 5 McLean, 359.
But the service must be substantially performed upon the sea, or upon waters navigable for purposes of commerce. Steamboat Jefferson, 10 Wh., 428; The Lottawanna, 21 Wall., 558, and other cases above cited.
And a contract for supplies furnished a vessel in a foreign port, or in the port of a State other than the one where the vessel belongs, is a maritime contract, and the furnisher has a lien on the vessel therefor, which can only be enforced in admiralty. The St. Lawrence, 1 Black, 522; The General Smith, 4 Wh., 433; The Robert Fulton, 1 Paine, 620.
But a contract for supplies furnished in the original construction of a vessel is not a maritime contract. Peoples' Ferry Co. v. Beers, 20 How., 393 (1857). See, also, Roach v. Chapman, 22 Id., 129, where it was held that a contract for supplies for a vessel sailing between ports and places in the same State, was not a maritime contract.
And where parties joined together to carry on an adventure in trade for their mutual benefit, one contributing a vessel, and the other his skill, labor,
and experience, and there was to be a communion of profits, etc., this was held not to be a maritime contract, over which a court of admiralty had jurisdiction. Ward v. Thompson, 22 How., 330. See, also, The Steamboat Orleans, 11 Pet., 175.
Jurisdiction depends upon locality in case of torts.-In case of torts, the jurisdiction of the courts of admiralty depends entirely upon the locality, or place where the tort was committed. It may extend above tide water, to places within the body of a county. And where a railroad company employed contractors to build a bridge in a county in Maryland, and for that purpose to drive piles in a river, and owing to an abandonment of the work, they were left there in such a condition as to injure a vessel when sailing on her course, it was held, that the district court of the United States for the district of Maryland, had jurisdiction of the case, and that the railroad company were liable for the injury. Philadelphia, etc., R. Co.n, Philadelphia, etc., Towboat Co., 23 How., 209; Newton v. Stebbins, 10 Id., 586.
Jurisdiction in admiralty: exclusion of Stato court.-The distinguishing feature of admiralty jurisdiction, is the power to subject the vessel, or other thing proceeded against, to the satisfaction of the claim made and established. But a State court has no such power; nor can the legislature of a State confer such power upon her courts, or authorize them to act in rem against vessels for causes of action cognizable in admiralty, as such authority is vested exclusively in federal courts by the constitution and laws of the United States. The Moses Taylor, 4 Wall., 411. See, also, The Hine v. Treror, Id., 555; The Steamboat Co. v. Chase, 16 Id., 529; Steamer St. Lawrence, 1 Black, 526; The Isabella, 1 Brown Ad., 96.
In case of collision of vessels.--The admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts extends to cases of collision of vessels, upon navigable waters, although the collision may have occurred within some county of a State, and be above tide water. The district courts have jurisdiction in such cases over fresh water navigable from the sea, where the vessels are of ten tons burden and upwards, under the judiciary act of 1789. Jackson v. Steamboat Magnolia, 20 How., 296. See, also, Nelson v. Leland, 22 Id., 48; Walch v. Rogers, 13 Id., 283 (1851); Ure v. Coffman, 19 Id., 56; Sturgis v. Boyer, 24 l'a., 110; Propeller Commerce, 1 Black, 580; Norwich v. Wright, 13 Wall., 104; The United States v. Bolman, 4 Cr., 75; The United States v. The Betsey, 4 Id., 443.
Suits in rem and in personam.-In suits properly cognizable in the admirality, and in rem, the constitution and laws of the United States have conferred jurisdiction, exclusively, of the State courts, upon the district courts of the United States; but where the suit is in personam, the party seeking a remedy may proceed by libel in the district court of the proper district, or in the circuit court, where he and the defendant reside in different States, or in a State court, as in other cases of common law actions. Thus, where a steamboat company was a common carrier of passengers over the waters of the Narraganset Bay, in the State of Rhode Island, between the ports of Newport and Providence, and one of the public highways within the State, and the plaintiff's intestate was passing over the waters of the bay in a sailboat, and lost his life in a collision between said boats, and the steamboat of the said company, while he was exercising due care, and wholly through the unfitness, negligence, and carlessness of the master of the steamboat, and a suit was brought in one of the courts of said State by the administrator of the deceased, under the statutes of said State, providing for the recovery of damages in such cases for the benefit of the widow or next of kin of the deceased, and judgment was obtained by said administrator in said State court in the sum of $12,000, which judgment was subsequently affirmed on appeal in the Supreme Court of that State, and said case was afterward removed to the Supreme Court of the United States by writ of error, it was there beld that said statutes and action of the State courts did not interfere with the admirality jurisdiction of the United States district courts conferred by the constitution and acts of Congress. Steamboat Co. v. Chase, 16 Wall., 522. See, also, Railroad Co. v. Whitton, 13 Id., 270.
In case of maritime liens.-The original jurisdiction to enforce maritime liens, is in the district courts, except that suitors may, if they see fit, pursue a common law remedy in a State court or in the circuit courts of the United States, in all cases where such a remedy is applicable. But common law remedies are not applicable to enforce a maritime lien by a proceeding in rem, as practiced in adıniralty courts. A State legislature has no authority to create such a lien, nor can it confer jurisdiction on a State court to enforce them, such authority being vested exclusively in the district courts of the United States by the constitution and acts of Congress. The provision in the judiciary act, giving to "suitors in all cases the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it," does not authorize a proceeding in rem, to enforce a maritime lien in a common law court, whether State or federal; as common law remedies are not applicable to the enforcement of them. But they may waive the maritime lien, and proceed to admiralty, or in a State, or federal court, in personam, against the owners of vessels, to recover damages for the nonfulfillment of contracts, irrespective of the fact that they might have proceeded in admiralty to enforce the lien. And in States where they have attachment laws they can have the benefit of these to secure their claims. The Belfast, 7 Wall., 624; The Lottauoanna, 21 Id., 558.
When maritime liens arise-jurisdiction.-Besides the instances of maratime liens referred to in the foregoing notes, they arise, also, in favor of shippers, who have a lien, by the maritime law, upon the vessel employed in the transportation of their goods and merchandise from one part to another on the high seas, as security for the fulfillment of the contract of the carrier, to safely keep, duly transport, and rightly deliver the goods and merchandise shipped on board the vessel, as stipulated in the bill of lading or other contract of shipment. The liens, in such cases, can be enforced in the district courts. The Belfast, 7 Wall., 624; The Maggie Hammond, 9 Id., 435. See, also, The Bird of Paradise, 5 Id., 545, and The Eddy, Id., 481, as to the lien of the ship-owner for freight on goods transported, which may be enforced by a proceeding in rem, in the district court.