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Preservation of Property

Fed. R. Civ. P. Supp. Admiralty Rule E(4)(b) provides that a tangible property attached or arrested must be taken to the possession of marshal or other person or organization having the warrant.[i]  This is to ensure the safe custody of the property.  If the nature or condition of the property is such that taking of actual possession by marshal or other person is impossible or unfeasible, then the marshal or other person implementing the process of attachment or arrest must affix a copy of such process to any conspicuous part of the property.[ii]  The marshal or other person must leave a copy of the complaint and process with the person having possession of the property or the agent of that person.  In furtherance of the marshal’s custody of any vessel s/he is authorized to make a written request to the customs collector not to grant clearance to such vessel until notified by him/her or his/her deputy or by the clerk, that the vessel has been released in accordance with the specified rules.[iii]

Further pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Supp. Admiralty Rule E(10), when the owner of a property or any other person continues in possession of an attached or arrested property under the provisions of rule E (4)(b), which consents implementation of process without taking actual possession, the court, either by a party’s motion or on its own, can enter any such order which is essential to protect the property and to prevent its removal.[iv]

[i] USCS Admiralty and Maritime Claims R E

[ii] Id.

[iii] Id.

[iv] Id.

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