Maritime law can be a confusing topic because of jurisdiction issues and the various problems that may occur on vessels and in the waters.
When the U.S. Marshals Service handles marine incidents, it will classify them into three different categories of maritime actions. These actions include quasi in rem, in personam and in rem
Quasi in rem
Quasi in rem applies in situations where there is a need to maintain or protect property. It aids in getting jurisdiction on the value of the seized property when the person accused of wrongdoing is not within the right district. It allows an attachment or garnishment, which allows whoever issues the order to seize the assets.
In personam actions are anything against a specific person. It is usually for the owners of a vessel. When used, this action allows officials to get a judgment against the person instead of the vessel.
In rem is where enforcement is against a vessel or property. It is a lien. It can be on anything or any part of a property. It will come from charges of injury or damage on part of the vessel in question. The action may only happen in the jurisdiction in which the vessel is and not the owner or other places.
Jurisdiction plays a huge role in any maritime action. It refers to the legal power authority has over a person or property based on location. In general, if the U.S. Marshals Service does not have jurisdiction in a case, it cannot do anything to punish or seize property or people.