Confiscation Cases
74 U.S. 454 (1868)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Confiscation Cases, 74 U.S. 7 Wall. 454 454 (1868)

Confiscation Cases

74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 454

Syllabus

1. An informer, in prosecutions under the Act of August 6, 1861, which subjects to confiscation, upon libel filed, property whose owner used or consented to its use in aiding the rebellion, has no vested interest in the subject matter of the suits, and this notwithstanding that the act declares that where any person files an information with the Attorney of the United States (as the act allows any person to do), the proceedings shall be "for the use of such informer and the United States in equal parts."

2. Hence, the Attorney General may properly, and against the interest and objection of the informer, ask a dismissal of an appeal to this Court in cases where the decree below, having been against it, the government has appealed, and in the same way ask, upon agreement to that effect with the counsel of the claimants, for a reversal of a decree, where, on decree against them, the appeal has been by the other side, and for a remand of the cause to the court below, with directions to it to dismiss the libel.

The question in this case arose upon a motion of Mr. Evarts, Attorney General, in fifteen appeals from the Eastern District of Louisiana, in which judgments had been given on libels for condemnation and forfeiture -- as having been employed in aid of the rebellion, with the consent of the owners -- against the Trent and five other vessels, from which judgments the owners of the vessels appealed, and given in favor of the Eleanor and eight other vessels, from which the United States appealed.

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