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In re Pueblos

March 4, 1935

IN RE THE PUEBLOS; THE MONALOLA; THE CHOCTOWS


Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the District of Connecticut.

Author: Hand

Before MANTON, SWAN, and AUGUSTUS N. HAND, Circuit Judges.

AUGUSTUS N. HAND, Circuit Judge.

Libels for forfeiture and fines were filed by the United States against the Pueblos, the Monalola, and the Choctows, respectively. The causes of action and the proof and disposition in the court below were as follows:

The Pueblos.

This vessel was seized by the Coast Guard about 5 miles south of Sakonet Point, when running without lights, because she was believed to be carrying intoxicating liquor. After being taken to New London, she was found to have a cargo of such liquor, and thereafter this suit was begun. Six causes of action were alleged in the libel.

The first cause of action is to recover a penalty under sections 584 and 594 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 USCA §§ 1584, 1594) because the master did not produce a manifest when requested by the Coast Guard. This cause of action cannot be sustained because section 584 (19 USCA § 1584) only relates to a vessel "bound to the United States," and there was no proof of the origin or destination of the vessel. Matoil Service & Transport Co. v. United States (C.C.A.) 72 F.2d 772.

The second cause of action is for forfeiture of the vessel and cargo under section 4377 of the Revised Statutes (46 USCA § 325), which provides that, whenever any licensed vessel "is employed in any other trade than that for which she is licensed, * * * such vessel with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the cargo, found on board her, shall be forfeited. * * *" The license of the Pueblos was "for coasting trade -- service fishing." We think that section 4377 (46 USCA § 325), and particularly the last clause, which says that "vessels which may be licensed for the mackerel fishery shall not incure * * * forfeiture by engaging in catching cod or fish of any other description whatever," show that licenses may be limited to use in a specific business, whether the vessel is to be employed in coasting or foreign trade. Our decision in The Gander, 54 F.2d 505, indicates that such has been the interpretation of the statute. There we forfeited a vessel, having a coasting license for "fishing," because she carried liquor. The license was like the one here. This cause of action should be sustained.

The third cause of action is for forfeiture of the vessel and cargo under Rev. St. § 4337 (46 USCA § 278), for proceeding on a foreign voyage without first giving up her enrollment and license to the collector of the district. This cause of action was not sustained because there was a lack of proof that the Pueblos was proceeding on a foreign voyage.

The fourth cause of action is to recover a penalty under Rev. St. § 4376 (46 USCA § 324), because of the failure of the master to exhibit the enrollment or license of the vessel when required. There was no proof of this cause of action which the District Judge found to have been abandoned.

The fifth cause of action is to recover a penalty of $500 under Rev. St. § 3068 (18 USCA § 122), for obstructing an officer in lawfully going on board the Pueblos. There was no proof of this cause of action which the District Judge also found to have been abandoned.

The sixth cause of action is to recover a penalty of $100 for running without lights in violation of the Act of June 9, 1910, §§ 2, 3, 7 (46 USCA §§ 512, 513, 517). This section did not apply to the Pueblo because she was a motorboat of more than 65 feet in length.

The Monalola.

The libel against the Monalola, a motorboat having a length of 57.4 feet, also contained six causes of action like those set up against the Pueblos. She was sighted running without lights, was overhauled by the Coast Guard about 6 1/2 miles from shore, suspected of carrying a cargo of liquor, and taken to New London, Conn. There her cargo was found to be intoxicating liquor, but no evidence was produced as to her origin or destination. The first, third, fourth, and fifth causes of action lacked proof. A fine of $75 was properly ...


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