The George - 14 U.S. 408 (1816)
U.S. Supreme Court
The George, 14 U.S. 1 Wheat. 408 408 (1816)
14 U.S. (1 Wheat.) 408
It is a general rule in prize causes that the adjudication should be prompt and should be made, unless some good reason exist for departing from it, on the papers and testimony afforded by the captured vessel or on evidence invoked from other vessels in the possession of the court.
But in cases of joint or collusive capture, the usual simplicity of the prize proceedings is necessarily departed from, and where in these cases there is the least doubt, other evidence than that arising from the captured vessel or invoked from other prize causes maybe resorted to.
These were British vessels captured and brought in by the private armed vessels the Fly and the Washington, and libeled as prize of war. In each of them, the United States interposed a claim charging that the capture was collusive and that the whole property ought on that account to be forfeited to the United States. In each case the captors applied for permission to make further proof. In that of the George, it was allowed in the district court and partially received, but the application to make still further proof and to introduce into the record testimony already taken was rejected in the circuit court and was again offered in this Court. In the two last cases, further proof was refused both in the district and circuit courts. In all the cases, the vessels and cargoes were condemned to the United States, and from each of these sentences of condemnation the captors appealed to this Court.