The Harrison - 14 U.S. 298 (1816)
U.S. Supreme Court
The Harrison, 14 U.S. 1 Wheat. 298 298 (1816)
14 U.S. (1 Wheat.) 298
IF the national character of property captured and brought in for adjudication appears ambiguous or neutral and no claim is interposed, the cause is postponed for a year and a day after the prize proceedings are commenced, and if no claimant appears within that time, the property is condemned to the captors.
In prize causes, this Court has an appellate jurisdiction only, and a claim cannot be originally interposed here; but where the court below had proceeded to adjudication before the lapse of a year and a day, the cause was remanded to that court with directions to allow a claim to be filed therein and the libel to be amended.
The libel filed by the captors in this case in the district court alleged that the goods for which condemnation was sought were captured and taken out of a Spanish vessel. No claim was filed for the goods in either of the courts below. But upon the hearing, the district court dismissed the libel upon the ground that the property, to whomsoever belonging, was protected by the 15th article
of the treaty of 1795 with Spain, by which free ships make free goods, and this decree was affirmed upon the same principle in the circuit court. The captors brought the cause by appeal to this Court, and a motion was made by Winder in behalf of Elry Herbert, an asserted claimant, to be admitted to file a claim in this Court.