JEDERAL REPORTER,' \rot ,4:3.
UNITED STATES V. THE GEO.
': (DtBtriCt Court, N. D. Wa8h1lnuton. July,189o.)
A vessel stolen frOm ite owner, and used, while out of llis control, without his knowledge or-consent, in bringing Chinese laborers into the United States in violatlOD ohlie law;: 'dOes not for that cause become liable'toseizure and forfeiture. To wotll:a for.feltureof a 'VBssel 'under the. Chinese restriction: act, the master muet knowingly violate the statute. .A person in control of a stolen vessel is not master of the ves8elln theseuse in which'the term ia applledtoan oJJlcer in the statutes of the
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A.OT-Fotill'll\l'ftrBi!I-'MAsTER OP VESSBL. '
In Admiralty.' , .ThiS is a 'case of seizure of a vessel captured while engaged In bringing Chinese,labQl'ersinto the United States contrary to law, and a forfeiture is claimed on the ground that .the person who had actual possession and command oethe' vessel was guilty of knowingly violating the statutes of the UnitElQ Statel:! which prohibit such immigration. P. H. Winston, U. S. Atty., and P. a. Sullivan, Asst. U. S. Atty., for libelant. , " O. D.' 1JJm,e:ry, for claimant. ;' HANFORD, (orally.) The ,evidence clearly establishes, that Mr. Bertram is the owner of the vessel; that the six QhinElse laborers who were brought into the United States were so brought by a person unauthorized by him, who at the time had the possession of the vessel without his ·knowledgeor-cimsent, having in ,fact stolen it ftom him. And on this state cif fllcts: the cjtlestion is whether the vessel is to be forfeited to the United States. The statute that has been cited to me contains no provision whatever for the forfeiture of a vessel. However, there is a statute found on page 504 of this same volume (25 St. U. S.) which prohibits absolutely the bringing of Chinese laborers into the United States, and provides that the duties, liabilities, penalties, and forfeitures imposed 'and the powers conferred by the second, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth sections of the act to which this is a supplement are extended to and made applicable to this act. This refers back to sections 2, 10, 11, and 12 of what is known as the "Chinese Restriction Act of 1882." That act, as amended in 1884, contains a provision for the forfeiture of a vessel as follows: "Sec. 10. That every vessel whose master sllall knOWingly violate any of the provisions of this act shall be deemed forfeited to the United States, and shall be liable to seizure and condemnation in any district of the United States in which said vessel may enter, or in which she may be found," 23 St. U.
It is under this provision of the statute, if at all, that the vessel is to be declared forfeited. Now this forfeiture takes place only when the master of the vessel knowingly violates the law by bringing Chinese
· THE EMMA KATE ROss.
into the States, and landing or attempting to lana them; but in this, case the only persons whom it is claimed were 1(uilty of any attempt to violate the law are persons who were trespassers and wrong-doers against the owner,. of the vessel. They were not put in charge of the v,essel by him in th.e capacity of master. The vessel had no master. It cannot be that a thief in possession of a vessel is the master of it. He may be in full physical, manual possession and control of it, and have. power over it, until the law gets hold of him and deprives him of that power, but he is not the master of the vessel in the sense in which that titIe.is applied to an officer of a vessel in the statutes of the United States. This case does not come within the letter or spirit of any law of the United States under which a forfeiture can be claimed, and I think, as counsel has contended nere, that if congress had made a law that would apply to thiS case it would be unconstitutional as depriving a person ofhis property without compensation, and in a case in which no punishment or penalty could be rightfully inflicted upon him, he having violated no. law. .The decree will be in favor of the claimants. Counsel may. prepare findipgs and a decree. The. court will find the allegations of the libel. t,o be true as far as they allege the bringing. aud attempting to land iii the United States of Chinese persons, llond.all the affirmative allegatioll3o' the answer to be true.
11. TaE EMMA KATE
(lXsUiCt OO'Ub"t, E. D. New York. October 9, 18OO.)
CoLLlSlON-SAJLlNG VBSSBL AND TOW-CROS81NG CoURSES-FAULT.
Tile tug $. :It.,with two heavy mud-scows astem ona hawser came down the North river, about QOO feet oft the New York piers. A lighter, having her mainsail hoisted, but With the peak dropped and with her jib furled, came out from the piers in tow ol':a t.ug,aheB.d of the E. K. R., and crossing her course. The wind at tbe time was fre&h from the south·west. When the lighter came ahead of the towhshe cast oft her tug, the momentum carrying ·her past the course 01 the tow. S e thereupon /IotteIb.pted to shape her course to Hoboken, but was carried by the wind , against tile foremost scow. He/4, that the cbllision was the fault ol.the lighter.
In Admiralty. Suit for damages by collision. Oa1penter &: Mosher, for libelant. .· R. D. Benedict, for claimant.
BENEDICT, J. This is an action to recover for injuries to the lighter Union, caused by a collision between that lighter and a mud-scow, at the time in tow of the tug Emma Kate Ross. The tug was proceeding
lReported by EdwardG. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar.