The opinion of the court was delivered by: AVIS
The motorboat Don was seized by the United States Coast Guard in the state of Delaware on July 24, 1930, with a cargo of liquor on board.
Libel proceedings were instituted against the boat in the United States District Court for the district of Delaware, under which the boat was eventually condemned and forfeited in that court. Neither the date of the commencement of the proceeding there nor the date of forfeiture is shown by any record presented to the court.
It appears as a fact that some time after seizure (the record does not show the date) the boat was stored by some one representing the government at base 9, United States Coast Guard, at Cape May, in this district.
On October 2, 1930, while the boat was actually in this district, libelants filed a libel in this court, praying that said boat be seized and sold to satisfy the demands and claims of the libelants, to the amount of $4,111.11, for work, labor, and services performed, and supplies furnished, for said motorboat Don.
Monition on this libel was issued on October 22, 1930, delivered to the marshal, and the return thereon, dated October 22, 1930, reports "Motor Boat 'Don' in custoday Coast Guard at Section Base Nine, Cape May," and further that due notice had been given to all persons claiming the same, requiring appearance before the court on November 11, 1930.
Subsequently, on November 8, 1930, another monition was issued, and the marshal's return to this process was that the boat had been attached on November 12, 1930, and notice had been given to persons in interest to appear before this court on November 25, 1930.
Interlocutory decree and order of reference was signed on December 23, 1930.
On December 22, 1930, on application of the United States attorney, an order was signed temporarily restraining the marshal from exposing the boat for sale until the further order of the court.
The commissioner's report on the reference was filed on June 9, 1931.
On August 8, 1931, libelants filed a petition, stating the facts generally, and further stated that it was claimed the boat had been forfeited in the District Court for the district of Delaware.
The prayers in this petition, briefly, are:
(1) Requiring Capt. Shea, commander of Coast Guard at section base 9, Cape May, N.J., and the United States attorney to show cause why they should not be restrained from removing or permitting the removal of the boat from this district, and to deliver the boat to the United States marshal of this district.
(2) Requiring the same parties to show cause why they should not have the boat brought within the territorial waters of this jurisdiction, and why they should not seek to have forfeiture proceedings heretofore taken in the district of Delaware reopened, ...