Interrogatories can be served with the complaint in an in rem action without leave of court. Answers to the interrogatories must be served along with the answer to the complaint.[i]
It is to be noted that a person who asserts a right of possession or any ownership interest in the property that is the subject of the action must file a verified statement of right or interest within 14 days after the execution of process, or within the time that the court allows. The statement of right or interest must describe the interest in the property that supports the demand of the person for its restitution.[ii]
An agent, bailee, or attorney must state the authority to file a statement of right or interest on behalf of another. A person who asserts a right of possession or any ownership interest must serve an answer within 21 days after filing the statement of interest or right.[iii]
In United States v. 1982 Yukon Delta Houseboat, 774 F.2d 1432 (9th Cir. Nev. 1985), the court observed that a claimant must serve his/her answer within 20 days after the filing of the claim.
In United States v. One Assortment of Eighty-Nine Firearms & Six Hundred & Thirty-Eight Rounds of Ammunition, 846 F.2d 24 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1988), the court observed that if the property is not released within 10 days, the U.S. will publish notice of the action and arrest in a newspaper. Similarly, if the property is not released within 10 days after execution of process, the plaintiff will be allowed by the court to cause public notice of the action and arrest in a newspaper. Such notice must specify the time within which the answer is required to be filed.
[i] USCS Admiralty and Maritime Claims R C(6)