The Deep Sea Research Court thus made clear that the actual possession rule for in rem admiralty suits involving the U.
For applications of the actual possession rule in federal common law cases related to the immunities of foreign states and their property, one would have to turn first to a series of lower court opinions decided in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
57) But, just because the sovereign-claimed property satisfied the "public use" requirement that was also a consistent feature of FSI common law, (58) did not mean that it also passed the actual possession test.
64) The court of appeals denied immunity, framing its decision partly on the actual possession rule but also wider considerations of comity.
On the other hand, vessels that were--at the time of the admiralty arrest--actually being operated by the employees or officers of a foreign State, were held to satisfy the actual possession rule, and the in rem libels were thus dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds.
The federal common law of FSI bearing on the actual possession rule, at least prior to the end of World War I, appears to be fairly consistent.
The Pesaro was essentially decided on procedural grounds, but, by implication, has some bearing on the application of the actual possession rule.
In short, the Court believed the position of the libelant--that the Pesaro was a mere common-carrier owned, but not operated, by the Italian government--rather than that of the Italian ambassador, who maintained that the vessel was within the Italian government's actual possession.
82) With the finding of Italy's actual possession of the vessel, the Court went on to conclude:
s underlying holdings concerning the vitality of the threshold actual possession rule.
The first is the continued vitality of the actual possession rule as the doctrinal twin of the requisite that maritime property must be employed for "public service" before immunity will be granted.
100) So, at stake in Hoffman was nothing less than the continued vitality of the actual possession rule itself, which the Mexican government sought to overturn through its submissions.