19 USC 1595 - Sec. 1595. Searches and seizures

U.S. Code - Title 19: Customs Duties (2011)

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§1595. Searches and seizures

(a) Warrant

(1) If any officer or person authorized to make searches and seizures has probable cause to believe that—

(A) any merchandise upon which the duties have not been paid, or which has been otherwise brought into the United States unlawfully;

(B) any property which is subject to forfeiture under any provision of law enforced or administered by the United States Customs Service; or

(C) any document, container, wrapping, or other article which is evidence of a violation of section 1592 of this title involving fraud or of any other law enforced or administered by the United States Customs Service,

is in any dwelling house, store, or other building or place, he may make application, under oath, to any justice of the peace, to any municipal, county, State, or Federal judge, or to any Federal magistrate judge, and shall thereupon be entitled to a warrant to enter such dwelling house in the daytime only, or such store or other place at night or by day, and to search for and seize such merchandise or other article described in the warrant.

(2) If any house, store, or other building or place, in which any merchandise or other article subject to forfeiture is found, is upon or within 10 feet of the boundary line between the United States and a foreign country, such portion thereof that is within the United States may be taken down or removed.

(b) Entry upon property of others

Any person authorized by this chapter to make searches and seizures, or any person assisting him or acting under his directions, may, if deemed necessary by him or them, enter into or upon or pass through the lands, inclosures, and buildings, other than the dwelling house, of any person whomsoever, in the discharge of his official duties.

(June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, §595, 46 Stat. 752; Pub. L. 91–271, title III, §301(y), June 2, 1970, 84 Stat. 290; Pub. L. 99–570, title III, §3122, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–87; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, §321, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117.)

Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, §595, 42 Stat. 983. That section was superseded by section 595 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.

Provisions somewhat similar to those in subsec. (a), but authorizing searches in the daytime only, with a further provision as to forfeitures, were contained in R.S. §3066, as amended by act Apr. 25, 1882, ch. 89, 22 Stat. 49. Provisions for searches of buildings on or near the boundary line, and for seizure and forfeiture of merchandise, and removal of the building, were contained in R.S. §3107. Provisions empowering persons, authorized to make searches and seizures, to enter into or upon lands, inclosures, and buildings, were contained in R.S. §3065. All of these sections were repealed by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, §642, 42 Stat. 989.

R.S. §3091, authorized the issuance of a warrant, upon complaint and affidavit of fraud on the revenue, directing the marshal of the district to enter any place and seize books or papers relating to merchandise in respect to which the alleged fraud was committed, and produce them before the judge.

R.S. §3092, provided that no warrant for such seizure should be issued unless the complaint should set forth the character of the fraud alleged, its nature, the importations in respect to which it was committed, and the papers to be seized, and required the return of such warrant as other warrants are returned.

R.S. §3093, provided that books and papers so seized should be subject to the order of the judge, who should allow the examination of the same by the collector or any officer authorized by him, and authorized the retention by the judge of such books and papers as he might deem necessary.

The provisions of act July 18, 1866, §39, and of act Mar. 2, 1867, §2, which were incorporated into these three sections, were repealed by the Anti-Moiety Act of June 22, 1874, ch. 391, §1, 18 Stat. 186. These sections were repealed, therefore, by that act, it having effect as subsequent to the Revised Statutes, and as repealing any portion of the revision inconsistent therewith, by virtue of R.S. §5601.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–570 amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “If any officer or person authorized to make searches and seizures shall have cause to suspect the presence in any dwelling house, store, or other building or place of any merchandise upon which the duties have not been paid, or which has been otherwise brought into the United States contrary to law, he may make application, under oath, to any justice of the peace, to any municipal, county, State, or Federal judge, or to any United States magistrate, and shall thereupon be entitled to a warrant to enter such dwelling house in the daytime only, or such store or other place at night or by day, and to search for and seize such merchandise: Provided, That if any such house, store, or other building, or place in which such merchandise shall be found, is upon or within ten feet of the boundary line between the United States and a foreign country, such portion thereof as is within the United States may forthwith be taken down or removed.”

1970—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 91–271 struck out “collector of customs or other” before “officer or person”.

Change of Name

“Magistrate judge” substituted for “magistrate” in subsec. (a)(1) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 91–271, see section 203 of Pub. L. 91–271, set out as a note under section 1500 of this title.

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the United States Customs Service of the Department of the Treasury, including functions of the Secretary of the Treasury relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 203(1), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.


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