The Dos Hermanos - 23 U.S. 306 (1825)
U.S. Supreme Court
The Dos Hermanos, 23 U.S. 10 Wheat. 306 306 (1825)
The Dos Hermanos
23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 306
Seizures made jure belli by noncommissioned captors are made for the government, and no title of prize can be derived but from the prize acts.
A noncommissioned captor can only proceed in the prize court as for salvage, the amount of which is discretionary.
The appellate court will not interfere in the exercise of this discretion as to the amount of salvage allowed, unless in a very clear case of mistake.
An appeal under the Judiciary Acts of 1789, ch. 20, s. 22, and of 1803, ch. 353, prayed for and allowed within five years, is valid although the security was not given until after the lapse of five years.
The mode of taking the security, and the time for perfecting it are within the discretion of the court below, and this Court will not interfere with the exercise of that discretion.
This was the same case reported in 15 U. S. 2 Wheat. 76, where the decree of the court below condemning the cargo as enemy's property was affirmed by this Court, reserving the question as to the distribution of the prize proceeds. The original capture was made by Mr. Shields, a purser of the navy, in the year 1814, in a barge armed and fitted out to cruise, but not regularly attached to the navy. The cause was remanded to the court below for further proceedings, and that court decreed the proceeds to be equally distributed between the United States and the captor,
without deducting the captor's expenses. From this decree the captor appealed to this Court.