OpenJurist

19 USC 1305 - Immoral articles; importation prohibited

(a) Prohibition of importation 
All persons are prohibited from importing into the United States from any foreign country any book, pamphlet, paper, writing, advertisement, circular, print, picture, or drawing containing any matter advocating or urging treason or insurrection against the United States, or forcible resistance to any law of the United States, or containing any threat to take the life of or inflict bodily harm upon any person in the United States, or any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, writing, advertisement, circular, print, picture, drawing, or other representation, figure, or image on or of paper or other material, or any cast, instrument, or other article which is obscene or immoral, or any drug or medicine or any article whatever for causing unlawful abortion, or any lottery ticket, or any printed paper that may be used as a lottery ticket, or any advertisement of any lottery. No such articles whether imported separately or contained in packages with other goods entitled to entry, shall be admitted to entry; and all such articles and, unless it appears to the satisfaction of the appropriate customs officer that the obscene or other prohibited articles contained in the package were inclosed therein without the knowledge or consent of the importer, owner, agent, or consignee, the entire contents of the package in which such articles are contained, shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture as hereinafter provided: Provided, That the drugs hereinbefore mentioned, when imported in bulk and not put up for any of the purposes hereinbefore specified, are excepted from the operation of this subdivision: Provided further, That the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, admit the so-called classics or books of recognized and established literary or scientific merit, but may, in his discretion, admit such classics or books only when imported for noncommercial purposes: Provided further, That effective January 1, 1993, this section shall not apply to any lottery ticket, printed paper that may be used as a lottery ticket, or advertisement of any lottery, that is printed in Canada for use in connection with a lottery conducted in the United States.
(b)  1 Enforcement procedures 
Upon the appearance of any such book or matter at any customs office, the same shall be seized and held by the appropriate customs officer to await the judgment of the district court as hereinafter provided; and no protest shall be taken to the United States Court of International Trade from the decision of such customs officer. Upon the seizure of such book or matter, such customs officer shall transmit information thereof to the United States attorney of the district in which is situated either
(1) the office at which such seizure took place; or
(2) the place to which such book or matter is addressed; and the United States attorney shall institute proceedings in the district court for the forfeiture, confiscation, and destruction of the book or matter seized. Upon the adjudication that such book or matter thus seized is of the character the entry of which is by this section prohibited, it shall be ordered destroyed and shall be destroyed. Upon adjudication that such book or matter thus seized is not of the character the entry of which is by this section prohibited, it shall not be excluded from entry under the provisions of this section. In any such proceeding any party in interest may upon demand have the facts at issue determined by a jury and any party may have an appeal or the right of review as in the case of ordinary actions or suits.
(c)  1 Institution of forfeiture proceedings 
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, whenever a customs officer discovers any obscene material after such material has been imported or brought into the United States, or attempted to be imported or brought into the United States, he may refer the matter to the United States attorney for the institution of forfeiture proceedings under this section. Such proceedings shall begin no more than 30 days after the time the material is seized; except that no seizure or forfeiture shall be invalidated for delay if the claimant is responsible for extending the action beyond the allowable time limits or if proceedings are postponed pending the consideration of constitutional issues.
(d) Stay of forfeiture proceedings 
Upon motion of the United States, a court shall stay such civil forfeiture proceedings commenced under this section pending the completion of any related criminal matter.
(b)  1 Coordination of forfeiture proceedings with criminal proceedings 

(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, whenever the Customs Service is of the opinion that criminal prosecution would be appropriate or that further criminal investigation is warranted in connection with allegedly obscene material seized at the time of entry, the appropriate customs officer shall immediately transmit information concerning such seizure to the United States Attorney[2] of the district of the addressees residence. No notice to the addressee or consignee concerning the seizure is required at the time of such transmittal.
(2) Upon receipt of such information, such United States attorney shall promptly determine whether in such attorneys opinion the referral of the matter for forfeiture under this section would materially affect the Governments ability to conduct a criminal investigation with respect to such seizure.
(3) If the United States attorney is of the opinion that no prejudice to such investigation will result from such referral, such attorney shall immediately so notify the Customs Service in writing. The appropriate customs officer shall immediately notify in writing the addressee or consignee of the seizure and shall transmit information concerning such seizure to the United States Attorney[2] of the district in which is situated the office at which such seizure has taken place. The actions described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection shall take place within sufficient time to allow for the filing of a forfeiture complaint within 14 days of the seizure unless the United States Attorney[2] of the district of the addressees residence certifies in writing and includes specific, articulable facts demonstrating that the determination required in paragraph (2) of this subsection could not be made in sufficient time to comply with this deadline. In such cases, the actions described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection shall take place within sufficient time to allow for the filing of a forfeiture complaint within 21 days of seizure.
(4) If the United States attorney for the district of the addressees residence concludes that material prejudice to such investigation will result from such referral, such United States attorney shall place on file, within 14 days of the date of seizure, a dated certification stating that it is the United States attorneys judgment that referral of the matter for forfeiture under this section would materially affect the Governments ability to conduct a criminal investigation with respect to the seizure. The certification shall set forth specific, articulable facts demonstrating that withholding referral for forfeiture is necessary.
(5) 
(A) As soon as the circumstances change so that withholding of referral for forfeiture is no longer necessary for purposes of the criminal investigation, the United States attorney shall immediately so notify the Customs Service in writing and shall furnish a copy of the certification described in paragraph (4) above to the Customs Service.
(B) In any matter referred to a United States attorney for possible criminal prosecution wherein subparagraph (5)(A) does not apply, the United States attorney shall immediately notify the Customs Service in writing concerning the disposition of the matter, whether by institution of a prosecution or a letter of declination, and shall also furnish a copy of the certification described in paragraph (4) of this subsection to the Customs Service.
(C) Upon receipt of the notification described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph, the appropriate customs officer shall immediately notify the addressee or consignee of the seizure and shall transmit information concerning the seizure, including a copy of the certification described in paragraph (4) above and a copy of the notification described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph, to the United States attorney of the district in which is situated the office at which such seizure has taken place, who shall institute forfeiture proceedings in accordance with subsection (a) hereof within 14 days of the date of the notification described in subparagraph (A) or (B) above. A copy of the certification described in paragraph (4) above and a copy of the notification described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph shall be affixed to the complaint for forfeiture.
(c)  3 Stay on motion 
Upon motion of the United States, a court, for good cause shown, shall stay civil forfeiture proceedings commenced under this section pending the completion of any related criminal matter whether in the same or in a different district.
[1] So in original. Two subsecs. (b) and (c) have been enacted. Second subsecs. (b) and (c) probably should be designated (e) and (f), respectively.
[2] So in original. Probably should not be capitalized.
[3] So in original. Two subsecs. (b) and (c) have been enacted. Second subsecs. (b) and (c) probably should be designated (e) and (f), respectively.