Definition of IN REM


IN REM

remedies. This technical term is used to designate
proceedings or actions instituted against the thing, in
contradistinction to personal actions which are said to be in
personam. Proceedings in rem include not only judgments of property
as forfeited, or as prize in the admiralty, or the English
exchequer, but also the decisions of other courts upon the personal
status, or relations of the party, such as marriage, divorce,
bastardy, settlement, or the like. 1 Greenl. Ev.
525, 541.

2. Courts of admiralty enforce the performance of a contract by
seizing into their custody the very subject of hypothecation; for
in these case s the parties are not personally bound, and the
proceedings are confined to the thing in specie. Bro. Civ. and
Adm. Law, 98; and see 2 Gall. R. 200; 3 T. R. 269, 270.

3. There are cases, however, where the remedy is either in
personam or in rem. Seamen, for example, may proceed against the
ship or cargo for their wages, and this is the most expeditious
mode; or they may proceed against the master or owners. 4 Burr.
1944; 2 Bro. C. & A. Law, 396. Vide, generally, 1 Phil. Ev. 254; 1
Stark. Ev. 228; Dane s Ab. h. t.; Serg. Const. Law, 202, 203, 212.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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