United States v. Brigantine Mars, 12 U.S. 417 (8 Cranch 417) (1814)

12 U.S. 417

8 Cranch 417

3 L.Ed. 609


March 15, 1814

THIS was an appeal from the sentence of the Circuit Court of Massachusetts district, which affirmed the sentence of the district Court, restoring the brig to the Claimants.

An information was filed against the brig Mars, for a breach of the act of 28th of June, 1809, (entitled 'An act to amend and continue in force certain parts of the act, entitled an act to interdict the commercial intercourse,' & c.) in departing from port without having given bond according to the 3d section of the act, which provides that 'if any ship or vessel shall, contrary to the provisions of this section depart from any port of the United States without chearance, or without having given bond in the manner above mentioned, such ship or vessel, together with her cargo, shall be wholly forfeited.'

The vessel, after her return to the United States, and before seizure, was bona fide purchased by the Claimants, for a full and valuable consideration without notice of the offence. Upon this ground she was by the decree of the district Court ordered to be restored; which decree was affirmed by the Circuit Court. Judge Story's opinion in pronouncing that decree, will be found in the preceding case of the United States v. 1960 bags of coffee.

This case having been submitted upon the arguments which were had in that case,

JOHNSON, J. delivered the opinion of the Court as follows:

'This case depends upon the principle established in the case against the coffee, the Bohlens, Claimants.

The decision, as in that case, was founded upon the ground of a sale to a bona fide purchaser without notice.

The decree of the Circuit Court of Massachusetts district, in this case is therefore reversed, and the Brigantine Mars adjudged forfeited to the United States.'

The case of the United States v. 1960 bags of coffee, ante p. 398.

Last modified: October 4, 2009