in rem jurisdiction meaning and examples

In rem Jurisdiction: Meaning and Examples

There are several laws that are there in the constitution which guide the actions of the government and the court. In rem jurisdiction is one of this kind, and has been explained in this Buzzle article.

When is it Called for?
If there is an outstanding tax payment pending, the property can come under 'in rem jurisdiction'. Also, if there is an ownership of a property in an area which is considered neglected or blighted, this property too can come under it.
The word jurisdiction has a two-fold attribution; one, in which the court has the power to officially render legal decisions and judgments; the other is the denomination or the stretch or the boundary of the court to exercise its power. One of the daunting questions in the world of law and order is whether there is sufficient rights given to the court to take up a case and give decisions on it. To understand this, there are two opposing, yet complementary phenomena. The court's jurisdiction over a person, and the court's jurisdiction over a substance. The former is known as 'in personam', and the latter is known as 'in rem'. With the jurisdiction setting in, there also comes power. Let's have a look at the importance of in rem jurisdiction.
In rem Jurisdiction: Definition
In law, in rem Jurisdiction pertains to the actions of the court that would be taken with respect to a material or thing. The term 'in rem' refers to a thing and is contrary to 'in personam' which means directed to a person. In rem is a Latin term. It demands that the property or the article must be in the same country as the court which will undertake the proceedings.
Quasi In rem Jurisdiction
This is when a court of law has the power to enact a judgment upon a person who is not physically present in the state as of the court, by virtue of the person's personal property that is present in the same geographical location of the court. This benefits the court to compel the person to come to court by warning him or her of seizing his or her property.
# It is in this light it can be said, that in cases of in rem jurisdiction, or quasi in rem jurisdiction, the property of the convict must have the same location as the court's flexibility to exercise its power.
# In both the instances, the court holds the right to pronounce a judgment against the convict in his absence. His absence from the court doesn't prevent the court from passing a judgment.
# The line of difference between the two is in the fact that, in rem jurisdiction pertains to those cases where there involvement of some sort of property which has raised the conflict in the first place. However, in quasi in rem, the property is not the subject of the conflict, but can be demanded as compensation for an act. But, the fact is quasi in rem is no longer active, where it was commonplace on the part of the courts to acquire personal jurisdiction, merely because the person owns some property in the same land in which the court operates.
5-point Guide to Establish In rem Jurisdiction
Control of Property
The court must have control of the property, even if it doesn't have the actual ownership of it.
Value of Property
The value of the property must be another criterion to enable the passing of the in rem jurisdiction. It is utterly important that the object or the property must have significant value, so that it can qualify for the jurisdiction.
Location of Property
This means that the property should be in the same territorial location as that of the court, so that it can take the actions as deemed necessary by the government.
Due Process (procedural)
This is the condition in which the procedures employed by the government to seize life, liberty, and property are controlled or checked. This means that the government must ensure the public notice and sufficient chances of hearing before denying the person of the property.
Due Process (substantive)
A substantive due process limits the government's ability to enact certain laws that may be pertaining to life, liberty, or property, unless the laws are absolutely necessary to meet justice.
Examples of In rem Jurisdiction
#1 When a property is mortgaged against a sum of money, and when the debtor is unable to pay for it, this property be taken in exchange of the money provided.
#2 When the court can order a lawsuit to quiet title, which means the court can pass a lawsuit to establish a person's right to a real property against other applicant(s). This is relevant in real estate, when the property has gone through many changes in owners, leading to multiple changes in ownership.
#3 This jurisdiction is also seen in divorce cases. It allows the court to decide about the property and status. In divorce cases, the court holds the right to decide the status of the marriage, and also has the right to terminate it.
In rem jurisdiction is one of the most effective powers that the court has to pass judgment on real estate cases, or cases where there is need for a status to be assigned to a relationship.

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