by Tristan

US v. H. N. BULL, GR No. 5270, 1910-01-15

Facts:

H. N.  Bull  was the... master  of a  steam sailing  vessel known as the  steamship Standard, which vessel was then and there... engaged in carrying and transporting cattle, carabaos, and other animals from a foreign port... to the port and city of Manila... the said accused H.  N. Bull... on or about the  2d day of December, 1908... did... carry, transport, and bring into the port and city of Manila, aboard said vessel, from the port of Ampieng, Formosa, six  hundred and seventy-seven (677) head... of cattle and carabaos, without providing suitable means for securing said animals while  in transit, so as to  avoid cruelty and  unnecessary suffering to the said animals... that by reason of the aforesaid neglect and failure of the accused to provide suitable means for securing... said animals while so in transit, the noses of some of said animals were cruelly torn, and many of said animals were tossed about upon the decks and hold of said vessel, and cruelly wounded, bruised, and killed.

It is contended that the information  is insufficient because it does  not  state that the  court  was sitting at a port where the cattle were disembarked, or that the offense was committed on board a vessel registered and licensed under the... laws of the Philippine Islands.

Issues:

whether the court had jurisdiction over an offense of this character, committed on board a foreign ship by the master thereof, when the neglect... and omission which constitutes the offense continued during the time the ship was within the territorial waters of the  United  States

Ruling:

No court of the Philippine Islands had jurisdiction over &n offense or crime committed on the high seas or within the territorial... waters of any other country, but when she came within 3 miles  of a line drawn from the headlands  which embrace the entrance to  Manila Bay, she was within territorial waters, and a new set of principles became applicable.

The ship and her crew were then subject to the jurisdiction of the territorial sovereign subject  to such  limitations as have been conceded by that sovereignty through the proper... political agency.  This offense was committed within territorial waters.

The offense, assuming that it originated at the port of departure in Formosa, was a... continuing one, and every element necessary to constitute it  existed during the voyage  across the territorial waters.  The completed forbidden act was done within American waters, and the court therefore had jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the offense... and  the person of the offender.

The defendant was  found guilty, and sentenced to  pay a fine of two  hundred and fifty  pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment in case  of  insolvency, and to  pay the costs.

Principles:

Every  state has  complete  control and jurisdiction over its territorial waters.