Herrera v. United States - 222 U.S. 558 (1912)
U.S. Supreme Court
Herrera v. United States, 222 U.S. 558 (1912)
Herrera v. United States
Argued December 11, 12, 1911
Decided January 15, 1912
222 U.S. 558
War makes the citizens or subjects of one belligerent enemies of the government citizens and subjects of the other.
During the war with Spain, Cuba was enemy's country, and all persons residing there pending the war, whether Spanish subjects or Americans, were to be deemed enemies of the United States, and their property enemy's property and subject to seizure, confiscation, and destruction.
Property in the harbor after the capitulation of Santiago remained enemy property, and seizures thereof by the United States were acts of war.
Nothing in the President's proclamation of July 13, 1898, militated against the right of the United States to confiscate enemy's property for the use of the army of occupation.
There is a distinction between the capture of an enemy's port in a war with a foreign country and the restoration of national authority over territory in a civil war and in the protection of property after capture. The Venice, 2 Wall. 258, distinguished.
There is a distinction between a seizure of private property of an enemy for immediate use of the army and the taking of such property as booty of war. Planters Bank v. Union Bank, 16 Wall. 483.
Under the prohibitions of the Tucker Act, the Court of Claims has no jurisdiction for claims for seizures made in Santiago after its capitulation in violation of the President's proclamation of July 13, 1898, or of the laws of war.
Right of Spanish subjects against the United States for indemnity for illegal seizures and detention of property during the war of 1898 was taken away by the treaty of peace. Hijo v. United States, 194 U. S. 315.
43 Ct.Cl. 430 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims and the liability of the United States for use of enemy vessels seized during the war with Spain, are stated in the opinion.