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hundred dollars, he shall cause a list and particular description of the property seized to be prepared in duplicate, and an appraisement of the same to be made by two sworn appraisers under the revenue laws, if there are such appraisers at or near the place of seizure; but if there are no such appraisers, then by two competent and disinterested citizens of the United States, to be selected by him for that purpose, residing at or near the place of seizure; which list and appraisement shall be properly attested by such collector or other officer and the persons making the appraisal. For such services of the appraisers they shall be allowed out of the revenue one dollar and fifty cents each, for every day necessarily employed in such service.
If the amount of the appraisal of property so seized as R. S., 3075. forfeited shall not exceed the sum of five hundred dollars, the collector or other principal officer shall publish a notice once a week for three successive weeks in some newspaper of the county or place where such seizure shall have been made, if any newspaper shall be published in such county; but if no newspaper shall be published in such county, then such notice shall be published in some newspaper of the county in which the principal customs office of the district shall be situated; and if no newspaper shall be published in such county, then notices shall be posted in proper public places, which notices shall describe the articles seized, and state the time, cause, and place of seizure, and shall require any person claiming such articles to appear and file with such collector or other officer his claim to such articles within twenty days from the date of the first publication of such notice.
Any person claiming the property so seized may, at any R. 8., 3076. time within twenty days from the date of such publication, file with the collector or other officer a claim, stating his interest in the articles seized, and, upon depositing with such collector or other officer a bond to the United States in the penal sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, with two sureties, to be approved by such collector or other officer, conditioned that, in case of the condemnation of the articles so claimed, the obligors shall pay all the costs and expenses of the proceedings to obtain such condemnation. Such collector or other officer shall transmit the same, with the duplicate list and description of the articles seized and claimed, to the United States district attorney for the district, who shall proceed for a condemnation of the property in the ordinary mode prescribed by law.
If no such claim shall be filed or bond given within the B. 8., 3077. twenty days above specified, such collector or other officer shall give not less than fifteen days' notice of the sale of the property so seized, by publication in the manner before mentioned; and, at the time and place specified in
R. S., 3078.
such notice, he shall sell at public auction the property so seized, and shall deposit the proceeds, after deducting the actual expenses of such seizure, publication, and sale, in the Treasury of the United States, as shall be directed by the Secretary of the Treasury. The collector, however, shall have power to adjourn such sale from time to time for a period not exceeding thirty days in all.
Any person claiming to be interested in the property Feb. 14, 1903. sold under the provisions of the preceding section_may, within three months after such sale, apply to the Secretary of the Treasury for a remission of the forfeiture and a restoration of the proceeds of such sale, and the same may be granted by the Secretary upon satisfactory proof, to be furnished in such manner as he shall direct, that the applicant, at the time of the seizure and sale of the property in question, did not know of the seizure, and was in such circumstances as prevented him from knowing of the same, and that such forfeiture was incurred without willful negligence or any intention of fraud on the part of the owner of such property. [NOTE.-In certain cases the application will be made to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor-Feb. 14, 1903, sec. 10.]
R. S., 3079.
If no application for such remission or restoration shall Feb. 14, 1903. be made within three months after such sale, the Secretary of the Treasury [or Secretary of Commerce and Labor] shall then cause the proceeds of such sale to be distributed in the same manner as if such property had been condemned and sold in pursuance of a decree of a competent court.
B. 8., 3080.
Whenever seizure shall be made of any property which, in the opinion of the appraisers, is liable to perish or waste, or to be greatly reduced in value by keeping, or which cannot be kept without great disproportionate expense, whether such property consists of live animals or merchandise, and when the property thus seized shall not exceed five hundred dollars in value, and when no claim shall have been interposed there for as is hereinbefore provided, the appraisers, if requested by the collector or principal officer making the seizure, at the time when such appraisal is made, shall certify on oath in their appraisal their belief that the property seized is liable to speedy deterioration, or that the expenses of its keeping will largely reduce the net proceeds of the sale; and in case the appraisers thus certify, such collector or other officer may proceed to advertise and sell the same at auction, by giving notice for such time as he may think reasonable, but not less than one week, of such seizure and intended sale, by advertisement as is hereinbefore provided; and the proceeds of such sale shall be deposited to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States, subject, nevertheless, to the payment of such claims as shall be presented within three months from the day of sale, and allowed by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The collectors of the several districts of the United R. S., 3081. States, in all cases of seizure of any merchandise for violation of the revenue laws, the appraised value of which, in the district wherein such seizure shall be made, does not exceed one thousand dollars, are hereby authorized, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to release such merchandise on payment of the appraised value thereof.
Whenever any seizure shall be made for the purpose of R. S., 3083. enforcing any forfeiture, the collector or other person causing such seizure to be made shall immediately give information thereof to the Solicitor of the Treasury.
All merchandise or property of any kind seized under R. S., 3086. the provisions of any law of the United States relating to the customs, shall, unless otherwise provided for by law, be placed and remain in the custody of the collector or other principal officer of the customs of the district in which the seizure shall be made, to abide adjudication by the proper tribunal, or other disposition according to
186. Exemption from forfeiture.
No vessel used by any person or corporation, as common carriers, in the transaction of their business as such common carriers, shall be subject to seizure or forfeiture by force of the provisions of Title thirty-four [R. S., 25173129] of the Revised Statutes of the United States unless it shall appear that the owner or master of such vessel at the time of the alleged illegal act was a consenting party or privy thereto.
187. Procedure in cases of fines, penalties, and forfeiture.
R. S., 3063.
Feb. 8, 1881.
The several collectors of customs shall report within ten R. S., 3084. days to the district attorney of the district in which any fine, penalty, or forfeiture may be incurred for the violation of any law of the United States relating to the revenue, a statement of all the facts and circumstances of the case within their knowledge, or which may come to their knowledge from time to time, stating the names of the witnesses, and the provisions of the law believed to be violated, and on which a reliance may be had for condemnation or conviction. If any collector shall in any case fail to report to the proper district attorney, as prescribed in this section, such collector's right to any compensation, benefit, or allowance in such case shall be forfeited to the United States, and the same may, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, be awarded to such persons as may make complaint and prosecute the same to judgment or conviction.
District attorneys, upon receiving the report of a col- R. S., 3085. lector, shall cause suit and prosecution to be commenced and prosecuted without delay for the fines and personal penalties by law in such case provided, unless upon in
. 8., 3087.
R. 8., 3088.
R. 8., 3089.
June 22, 1874.
quiry and examination they shall decide that a conviction cannot probably be obtained, or that the ends of public justice do not require that a suit or prosecution should be instituted, in which case they shall report the facts to the Secretary of the Treasury for his direction. For expenses incurred and services rendered in prosecution for such fines and personal penalties, they shall receive such allowance as the Secretary of the Treasury shall deem just and reasonable, upon the certificate of the judge before whom such prosecution was had.
The collector within whose district any seizure shall be made or forfeiture incurred for any violation of the duty laws is hereby enjoined to cause suits for the same to be commenced without delay, and prosecuted to effect; and is, moreover, authorized to receive from the court within which such trial is had, or from the proper officer thereof, the sum recovered, after deducting all proper charges to be allowed by the court; and on receipt thereof he shall pay and distribute the same without delay, according to law.
Whenever a vessel, or the owner or master of a vessel, has become subject to a penalty for a violation of the revenue laws of the United States, such vessel shall be holden for the payment of such penalty, and may be seized and proceeded against summarily by libel to recover such penalty.
Whenever a seizure, condemnation, and sale of merchandise takes place within the United States, and the value thereof is less than two hundred and fifty dollars, that part of the forfeiture which accrues to the United States, or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall be applied to the payment of the cost of the prosecution.
188. Moieties, informers' and customs officers' awards.
All provisions of law under which moieties of any fines, penalties, or forfeitures, under the customs-revenue laws, or any share therein, or commission thereon, are paid to informers, or officers of customs, or other officers of the United States, are hereby repealed; and from and after June 10, 1890. the date of the passage of this act the proceeds of all such fines, penalties, and forfeitures shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States.
June 22, 1874. It shall hereafter be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, out of any money specifically appropriated by Congress, to make suitable compensation in certain cases under the customs revenue laws, as hereinafter provided, and not otherwise; and he shall annually report to Congress, in detail, all payments by him for such purpose.
Whenever any officer of the customs or other person shall detect and seize goods, wares, or merchandise, in the act of being smuggled, or which have been smuggled, he shall be entitled to such compensation therefor as the Sec
retary of the Treasury shall award, not exceeding in amount one-half of the net proceeds, if any, resulting from such seizure, and deducting all duties, costs, and charges connected therewith:
Provided, That for the purposes of this act smuggling shall be construed to mean the act, with intent to defraud, of bringing into the United States, or, with like intent, attempting to bring into the United States, dutiable articles without passing the same, or the package containing the same, through the custom house, or submitting them to the officers of the revenue for examination. And whenever any person not an officer of the United States shall furnish to a district attorney, or to any chief officer of the customs, original information concerning any fraud upon the customs-revenue, perpetrated or contemplated, which shall lead to the recovery of any duties withheld, or of any fine, penalty, or forfeiture incurred, whether by importers or their agents, or by any officer or person employed in the customs-service, such compensation may, on such recovery, be paid to such person so furnishing information as shall be just and reasonable, not exceeding in any case the sum of five thousand dollars; which compensation shall be paid, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, out of any money appropriated for that purpose.
No payment shall be made to any person furnishing Sec. & information in any case wherein judicial proceedings shall have been instituted, unless his claim to compensation shall have been established to the satisfaction of the court or judge having cognizance of such proceedings, and the value of his services duly certified by said court or judge for the information of the Secretary of the Treasury; but no certificate of the value of such services shall be conclusive of the amount thereof. And when any fine, penalty, or forfeiture shall be collected without judicial proceedings, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, before directing payment to any person claiming such compensation, require satisfactory proof that such person is justly entitled thereto.
Except in cases of smuggling as aforesaid, it shall not Sec. 7. be lawful for any officer of the United States, under any pretense whatever, directly or indirectly, to receive, accept, or contract for any portion of the money which may, under any of the provisions of this or any other act, accrue to any such person furnishing information; and any such officer who shall so receive, accept, or contract for any portion of the money that may accrue as aforesaid shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court, and shall not be thereafter eligible to any office of honor, trust, or emolument.