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model for other courts. With some additions, but with little variation, they have been adopted by the several district judges in the courts of the United States, and with some modifications prepared by the learned judge for the southern district of New York, will be found in the appendix, together with the prize rules adopted by that court.
Fourth. In the taking of the examination of witnesses, it is the duty of the commissioners to require each question to be answered, and to write down the answers, or cause them to be written down, fully and perfectly, so as to meet the point of every inquiry, and not allow the witness to evade a searching question by vague or ambiguous statements. In the event of a refusal of a witness either to answer at all, or to answer fully, it is the duty of the commissioners to certify the fact to the court, in which case, not only is the witness subjected to the penalty of imprisonment for contempt, but the owners of the ship and cargo may be subjected to the consequences of a wilful suppression of evidence.
Fifth. After the examination is complete, it is the duty of the commissioners to read or cause to be read to the witness, each sheet of the same, and require him to sign each sheet separately, and also to affix thereto their own signatures, or the signature of one of them, if only one be present, or the Commissioners jointly or separately, as they please, and as emergencies may require.
Sixth. When the examination of all the witnesses is concluded, it is the duty of the commissioners securely to enclose the same, and cause it to be sealed with their seals, and, together with any papers and documents found on board the vessel, and not before lodged in the registry of the court, to be forthwith transmitted to the court; and no papers or documents found on board, and not de livered to the judge or the commissioners before, or at the time of, the examination, will be admitted in evidence.
These several rules of practice will be found to be recognized and established in many decided cases.
As soon as the papers, and documents, and pre paratory examinations are transmitted to the registry of the court, it is the duty of the captors, without delay, to apply to the court for adjudication; and in case of neglect or refusal on their part, the
do so. This is done by libel. The The libel in prize and its prize libel should be general in its allegation, con
taining no special averments of the circumstances on which the captors base their claim to condemnation; but simply setting forth the bringing the vessel in, and the proceedings against her, and alleging generally that she is a subject of prize rights. They are not required to state their grounds. They are entitled to institute the inquiry, and take the chances of the benefit of any fact that the inquiry may elicit. This is considered an advantage in favor of the captors, but controlled by their liability for costs and damages, if the inquiry should prove futile; and over-balanced by the advantage in favo of the claimant, that all the evidence upon which the
'The Eliza and Katy, 6 Rob., 185; The Henrick and Maria, 4 Rob., 43; The Speculation, 2 Rob., 243; The William end Mary, 4 Rob., 381; The Apollo, 5 Rob., 286; The Vigilanti, 1 Rob., 1 ; Jennings vs. Carson, 4 Cranch, 2.
The Adeline, 9 Cranch, 244; The Fortuna, 1 Dod., 81.