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10 U.S. Code § 8852 - Jurisdiction

(a) The United States district courts have original jurisdiction, exclusive of the courts of the States, of each prize and each proceeding for the condemnation of property taken as prize, if the prize is—
brought into the United States, or the Commonwealths or possessions;
brought into the territorial waters of a cobelligerent;
brought into a locality in the temporary or permanent possession of, or occupied by, the armed forces of the United States; or
appropriated for the use of the United States.
(b) The United States district courts, exclusive of the courts of the States, also have original jurisdiction of a prize cause in which the prize property—
is lost or entirely destroyed; or
cannot be brought in for adjudication because of its condition.
The jurisdiction conferred by this section of prizes brought into the territorial waters of a cobelligerent may not be exercised, nor may prizes be appropriated for the use of the United States within those territorial waters, unless the government having jurisdiction over those waters consents to the exercise of the jurisdiction or to the appropriation.
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 474, § 7652; Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title X, § 1057(a)(5), Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3440; renumbered § 8852, Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title VIII, § 807(d)(9), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1837.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


34 U.S.C. 1159 (less applicability to capture).

Aug. 18, 1942, ch. 553, § 1 (less applicability to capture), 56 Stat. 746; July 1, 1944, ch. 370, § 1, 58 Stat. 678; Nov. 14, 1945, ch. 472, § 1, 59 Stat. 581.

34 U.S.C. 1164 (2d sentence).

Aug. 18, 1942, ch. 553, § 6 (less 1st sentence), 56 Stat. 747.


34 U.S.C. 1166.

Aug. 18, 1942, ch. 553, § 8, 56 Stat. 747.

34 U.S.C. 1161.

Aug. 18, 1942, ch. 553, § 3, 56 Stat. 746.

Subsection (a) reflects 28 U.S.C. 1333 by restating the basic prize jurisdiction of that section over prizes brought into the United States, and by providing that the extension of prize jurisdiction conferred by 34 U.S.C. 1159 on the United States district courts is exclusive of the courts of the States. 34 U.S.C. 1166 and the second sentence of 34 U.S.C. 1164 are executed in the single jurisdictional statement of this section and the consolidation of the Act of August 18, 1942, ch. 553, 56 Stat. 746 (34 U.S.C. 1159–1166) with the earlier prize provisions. The words “during war” in 34 U.S.C. 1159 are omitted as covered in § 7651 of this title. In clause (1) the words “or the Territories, Commonwealths, or possessions” are added, since “United States” in this title is geographically limited to the 48 States and the District of Columbia, whereas the term here is intended to include all places within the jurisdiction of the district courts.

In clause (4) the words “taken or” preceding the words “appropriated for the use of the United States” are omitted as surplusage and in order to avoid confusion between the two meanings of the word “taken” in prize law. In both the Revised Statutes and the 1942 Act the phrase “taken or appropriated” means no more than “appropriated” alone, whereas “taken”, in the phrase “taken as prize” means “captured”.

Subsection (b) is included to make the statement of jurisdiction complete. It is derived by implication from the first sentence of R.S. 4625 (34 U.S.C. 1141) which is the source of subsection (c) of § 7653 of this title.

Editorial Notes
Prior Provisions

A prior section 8852, added Pub. L. 85–861, § 1(192), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1537; amended Pub. L. 86–559, § 1(74), June 30, 1960, 74 Stat. 280; Pub. L. 99–145, title XIII, § 1303(a)(27)(B), Nov. 8, 1985, 99 Stat. 740; Pub. L. 100–456, div. A, title XII, § 1234(a)(1), Sept. 29, 1988, 102 Stat. 2059, related to transfer or discharge of reserve major generals and brigadier generals with 35 years of service or five years in grade, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 103–337, div. A, title XVI, § 1629(c)(3), Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 2963, effective Oct. 1, 1996.


2018—Pub. L. 115–232 renumbered section 7652 of this title as this section.

2006—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–163 substituted “Commonwealths or possessions” for “Territories, Commonwealths, or possessions”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 115–232 effective Feb. 1, 2019, with provision for the coordination of amendments and special rule for certain redesignations, see section 800 of Pub. L. 115–232, set out as a note preceding section 3001 of this title.