Is there any case where an individual could file an in rem lawsuit (apparently suing a physical object, as in United States v. One Solid Gold Object in Form of a Rooster, but with an individual as plaintiff)?

  • For in-rem cases, I prefer "US vs. approximately 64k Pounds of Shark Fins" - that was a real fishy case! Not in bad, but because sharks are fish! SD had the nerve to sue 15 cats... and Pensylvania was sued by a car while Kansas was sued by some books
    – Trish
    Jul 2, 2022 at 16:34
  • Could one object sue another object?
    – Someone
    Jul 2, 2022 at 18:59
  • I dont know what you mean by "rem" but anybody can sue anybody for anything.
    – Savage47
    Jul 4, 2022 at 5:26
  • @Savage47 "in rem" is a Latin phrase meaning "about" or "against the thing". It refers to a government's jurisdiction over objects rather than persons. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_rem_jurisdiction
    – Someone
    Jul 4, 2022 at 5:49
  • United States v. One Solid Gold Object in Form of a Rooster, United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins, South Dakota v. Fifteen Impounded Cats, and One 1958 Plymouth Sedan v. Pennsylvania are "in rem" cases because either the plaintiff or (seemingly more commonly) the defendant was an object or animal (or a group of objects or animals) rather than a person. In all of those cases, the other party was either the US or a state; my question was asking if individuals can be parties to in rem cases (e.g. John Doe v. Cell Phone [I made that one up]), and the answer is...
    – Someone
    Jul 4, 2022 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


Yes. This is common in admiralty cases, where a lawsuit will often be filed against a ship itself instead of or in addition to its owners. For instance, see Vimar Seguros y Reaseguros, S. A. v. M/V Sky Reefer. Quiet title actions can also be considered in rem, although that can depend on the jurisdiction and the type of action.


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