While answering arrest, if a person has to claim a specific property, s/he has to prove the ownership of property by a statement in the claim to its effect. To emphasize a property’s ownership, a person has to file the claim before commencing the foreclosure and sale of the property. A property claim which is the subject of an in rem action has to be filed within ten days after the execution process or completion of notice of publication, which ever is earlier, or within the time permitted by the court. The answer to a claim of right to possession or ownership has to be filed within twenty days after filing the claim. The interrogatories served with the complaint should also be served with the answers.
A claim for property has to be filed within the prescribed time limit. However, a district court does not misuse its discretion in dismissing claims that are not filed within the prescribed time or for failure to submit reason for not filing the claim on time. To acquire the right to file an answer one has to file a claim. The answer will be stricken off the record if claim is not filed. The court strictly applied the rule of timely filing of claim in forfeiture proceedings. According to Federal Supplemental Admiralty Rules, mere prayer for return of property is not sufficient to constitute a “claim.” Therefore, a motion to amend the claim will not stand because amendment is not possible of a claim that does not exist.