THE VENUS - 14 U.S. 112 (1816)
U.S. Supreme Court
THE VENUS, 14 U.S. 112 (1816)
14 U.S. 112 (Wheat.)
The Venus.-JADEMEROWSKY, Claimant.
February Term, 1816
APPEAL from the decree of the circuit court for the district of Georgia. This ship having taken in a cargo at London, proceeded to Portsmouth, and from thence, on the 12th of April, 1814, sailed for St. Bartholomews, under convoy of a British ship of war. From St. Bartholomews she sailed for the Havannah, but on her passage thither was captured and sent into the island of St. Thomas, for adjudication, by a British cruiser. Upon being released from this detention, she abandoned her destination for the Havannah, and was proceeding to Amelia Island, when she was captured by the flotilla under the command of commodore Campbell, and sent into the port of Savannah, where the vessel and cargo were libelled as prize. The ship was restored by consent, in the court below, as Russian property; the cargo was condemned as prize of war, and an appeal entered from that sentence by the claimant. The proofs of property consisted, 1. Of a recital in a power of attorney, from one Jones, the alleged agent, in London, of the claimant, (who was stated to be a Russian merchant domiciled at St. Petersburgh,) to Mr. Diamond, the supercargo. 2. A certificate of property from the Russian Consul General in
London. 3. The testimony of Mr. Diamond, and other witnesses, taken in preparatorio, expressing their belief that the property was as claimed.
Charleton, for the appellant and claimant, offered to read affidavits in the nature of farther proof.
Until the cause is heard, farther proof cannot be admitted.
MARSHALL, Ch. J.
If, upon the opening, it appears to be a case for farther proof, then it may be admitted instanter, unless, indeed, the court should be of the opinion that the captors ought to be allowed to produce farther proof also. The cause is before us as if in the inferior court.
Charleton. We contend that it is a case entitled to farther proof, and that there is no circumstance of fraud or mala fides to preclude it.
The Attorney General, contra. It is incumbent upon the claimant to make out his title by competent testimony, according to the rules of the prize court; and if the court should be of opinion, that the property does not belong as claimed, the captors will be entitled to condemnation, without specifically proving to whom it does belong.a The recital in the power from Jones to Diamond, cannot be sufficient to show the interest of Mr. Jademerowsky.
a 1 Rob. 227. The Odin. 3 Rob. 68. The Neptunus. [14 U.S. 112, 114]