The law stipulates that a claimant who has given a bond is entitled to property without the necessity of paying costs incidental to its seizure. Courts have upheld this practice in the larger interests of justice. For instance, in U.S. v. Eight Cases of Paper, 98 F. 416 (S.D. N.Y. 1899), the goods imported by a steamer were seized for undervaluation. The claimant of the goods appeared and paid the duties. The claimant also gave a bond pursuant to the Revised Statutes for obtaining possession and applied for a delivery order. Law stipulates that the court shall order the release of vessel, goods, etc., to the claimant on payment of a bond.[i] The government objected to delivery by claiming that the claimant shall pay the cost of publication to the marshal before delivery of the goods. The court held that the claimant was entitled to a delivery of the property without any additional charge for costs or expenses since the claimant had complied with the stipulations of the statute. The court found that besides the bond, costs were also given by the claimant, and that had fulfilled the Marshal’s expenses for publication, and the government was abundantly secured by the act of the claimant.[ii]
The court held that “the omission of a requirement for payment of costs as a condition of receiving delivery on bonding should be regarded as an intentional omission” for the purpose of granting equal justice to the parties. The court also clarified that the same practice was followed in the case of ordinary arrests of property in suits in rem in admiralty.[iii]
However, this is not the practice where release is by consent or stipulation or by order of the court or clerk. In such a case, the marshal will not deliver the property until costs and charges of the officers of the court have first been paid.
[i] Id. at 416
[ii] Id. at 417.