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R. S., 3081.
R. S., 3083.
R. S., 3086.
R. S., 3063.
The collectors of the several districts of the United 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 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 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 law. 193. 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., 2517– 3129] 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. 194. Procedure in cases of fines, penalties, and forfeitures.
The several collectors of customs shall report within ten 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 collector, 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
R. S., 3084.
R, S., 3085.
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 R. 8., 3087. 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, R. S., 3088. 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 mer- R. S., 3089. chandise 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. 195. Moieties—Informers' and custom officers' awards.
All provisions of law under which moieties of any June 22, 1874. 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 the date of the passage of this act the proceeds of June 23, 1890. all such fines, penalties, and forfeitures shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States.
It shall hereafter be the duty of the Secretary of the Sec.:22, 1874. 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 Sec. 4. 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 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 ment 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 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.
And any such person so furnishing information as aforesaid, who shall pay to any such officer of the United States, or to any person for his use, directly or indirectly, any portion of said money, or any other valuable thing, on account of or because of such money, shall have a right of action against such officer or other person, and his legal representatives, to recover back the same, or the value thereof.
No officer, or other person entitled to or claiming com- Sec. 8. pensation under any provision of this act, shall be thereby disqualified from becoming a witness in any action, suit, or proceeding for the recovery, mitigation, or remission thereof, but shall be subject to examination and crossexamination in like manner with other witnesses, without being thereby deprived of any right, title, share, or interest in any fine, penalty, or forfeiture to which such examination may relate; and in every such case the defendant or defendants may appear and testify and be examined and cross-examined in like manner. 196. Procedure.
In all suits and proceedings other than criminal aris- Sec. 5. ing under any of the revenue-laws of the United States, the attorney representing the Government, whenever, in his belief, any business-book, invoice, or paper, belonging to or under the control of the defendant or claimant, will tend to prove any allegation made by the United States, may make a written motion, particularly describing such book, invoice, or paper, and setting forth the allegation which he expects to prove; and thereupon the court in which suit or proceeding is pending may, at its discretion, issue a notice to the defendant or claimant to produce such book, invoice, or paper in court, at a day and hour to be specified in said notice, which, together with a copy of said motion, shall be served formally on the defendant or claimant by the United States marshal by delivering to him a certified copy thereof, or otherwise serving the same as original notices of suit in the same court are served; and if the defendant or claimant shall fail or refuse to produce such book, invoice, or paper in obedience to such notice, the allegations stated in the said motion shall be taken as confessed unless his failure or refusal to produce the same shall be explained to the satisfaction of the court. And if produced, the said attorney shall be permitted, under the direction of the court, to make examination (at which examination the defendant or claimant, or his agent, may be present) of such entries in said book, invoice, or paper as relate to or tend to prove the allegation aforesaid, and may offer the same in evidence on behalf of the United States. But the owner of said books and papers, his agent or attorney, shall have, subject to the order of the court, the custody of them, except pending their examination in court as aforesaid.
It shall be the duty of any officer or person employed in the customs-revenue service of the United States, upon detection of any violation of the customs laws, forth with to make complaint thereof to the collector of the district, whose duty it shall be promptly to report the same to the district attorney of the district in which such frauds shall be committed. Immediately upon the receipt of such complaint, if, in his judgment, it can be sustained, it shall be the duty of such district attorney to cause investigation into the facts to be made before a United States commissioner having jurisdiction thereof, and to initiate proper proceedings to recover the fines and penalties in the premises, and to prosecute the same with the utmost diligence to final judgment.
Whenever, for an alleged violation of the customs-revenue laws, any person who shall be charged with having incurred any fine, penalty, forfeiture, or disability other than imprisonment, or shall be interested in any vessel or merchandise seized or subject to seizure, when the appraised value of such vessel or merchandise is not less than one thousand dollars, shall present his petition to the judge of the district in which the alleged violation occurred, or in which the property is situated, setting forth, truly and particularly, the facts and circumstances of the case, and praying for relief, such judge shall, if the case, in his judgment, requires, proceed to inquire, in a summary manner into the circumstances of the case, at such reasonable time as may be fixed by him for that purpose, of which the district attorney and the collector shall be notified by the petitioner, in order that they may attend and show cause why the petition should be refused.
The summary investigation hereby provided for may be held before the judge to whom the petition is presented, or if he shall so direct, before any United States commissioner for such district, and the facts appearing thereon shall be stated and annexed to the petition, and, together with a certified copy of the evidence, transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall thereupon have power to mitigate or remit such fine, penalty, or forfeiture, or remove such disability, or any part thereof, if, in his opinion, the same shall have been incurred without willful negligence or any intention of fraud in the person or persons incurring the same, and to direct the prosecution, if any shall have been instituted for the recovery thereof, to cease and be discontinued upon such terms or conditions as he may deem reasonable and just.
It shall not be lawful for any officer or officers of the United States to compromise or abate any claim of the United States arising under the customs laws, for any fine, penalty, or forfeiture incurred by a violation thereof;
a and any officer or person who shall so compromise or abate any such claim, or attempt to make such compromise or abatement, or in any manner relieve or attempt to