Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    To adjudge forfeited; to appropriate property. See 3 U. S. 199, 1 L. Ed. 568. Confiscation cases. Cases construing the Confiscation Act of 1861. See 7 Wall. (U. S.) 454, 19 L. Ed. 196; 20 Wall. (U. S.) 92, 22 L. Ed. 320.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    To appropriate property to the use of the sinte. To adjudge property to be forfeited to the public treasury; to seize and condemn private forfeited property to public use. Ware v. Hylton, 3 Dall. 234, 1 L. Ed. 568; State v. Sargent, 12 Mo. App. 234. Formerly, It appears, this term was used as synonymous with "forfeit," but at present the distinction between the two terms is well marked. Confiscation supervenes upon forfeiinre. The person, by his act, forfeits his property; the state thereupon appropriates it, that is, confiscates it. Hence, to confiscate property implies that it has first been forfeited ; but to forfeit property does not necessarily imply that it will be confiscated. "Confiscation" is also to be distinguished from "condemnation" as prize. The former is the act of the sovereign against a rebellious subject; the latter is the act of a belligerent against another belligerent. Confiscation may be effected by such means, summary or arbitrary, as the sovereign, expressing its will through lawful channels, may please to adopt Condemnation as prize can only be made in accordance with principles of law recognized in the common jurisprudence of the world. Both are proceedings in rem, but confiscation recognizes the title of the original owner to the property, while in prize the tenure of the property is qualified, provisional, and destitute of absolute ownership. Winchester v. U. S., 14 Ct. Cl. 48.