IN REM, remedies. This technical term is used to designate proceedings or actions instituted against the thing, in contradistinction to personal actions which are said to be in personam. Proceedings in rem include not only judgments of property as forfeited, or as prize in the admiralty, or the English exchequer, but also the decisions of other courts upon the personal status, or relations of the party, such as marriage, divorce, bastardy, settlement, or the like. 1 Greenl. Ev. 525, 541.
2. Courts of admiralty enforce the performance of a contract by seizing into their custody the very subject of hypothecation; for in these case's the parties are not personally bound, and the proceedings are confined to the thing in specie. Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 98; and see 2 Gall. R. 200; 3 T. R. 269, 270.
3. There are cases, however, where the remedy is either in personam or in rem. Seamen, for example, may proceed against the ship or cargo for their wages, and this is the most expeditious mode; or they may proceed against the master or owners. 4 Burr. 1944; 2 Bro. C. & A. Law, 396. Vide, generally, 1 Phil. Ev. 254; 1 Stark. Ev. 228; Dane's Ab. h. t.; Serg. Const. Law, 202, 203, 212.