Ex parte Easton

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Ex parte Easton by Nathan Clifford
Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

95 U.S. 68

Ex parte Easton

PETITION for a writ of prohibition to restrain the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of New York from exercising jurisdiction in a proceeding in rem to enforce an alleged lien for wharfage against the canal-boat or barge 'John M. Welch.'

As the facts in the case are fully stated in the opinion of the court, they are omitted here.

Mr. Edward D. McCarthy and Mr. J. E. Gowen for the petitioners.

The District Court has no jurisdiction over the barge 'John M. Welch,' because, 1, a contract of wharfage is not a maritime contract. The Genesee Chief, 12 How. 443; The Lottawanna, 21 Wall. 558; The Belfast, 7 id. 624; Insurance Company v. Dunham, 11 id. 1; Rex v. Humphrey, 1 McCle. & Yo. 194; Platt v. Hibbard, 7 Cow. (N. Y.) 497; Barry v. Langmore, 12 Ad. & E. 640; Speares v. Hartley, 3 Esp. 81; Richardson v. Goss, 3 Bos. & Pul. 119.

2. The maritime law gives no lien for wharfage. The Coal Barges, 3 Wall. Jr. 53; The General Smith, 4 Wheat. 438; The Lottawanna, 21 Wall. 558; Cunningham v. Hall, 1 Cliff. 51; The Thomas, 7 Am. Law Rev. 381; The Gem, Browne, Adm. 37; The Asa R. Swift, 1 Newb. Adm. 543; The Alexander McNeil, 20 Int. Rev. Rec. 175.

3. If the statutes of New York gave a lien against the vessel, which they do not, it could not be enforced in a court of admiralty by a proceeding in rem. Wick v. The Samuel Strong, 6 McLean, 587; The Laurel, 1 Newb. Adm. 269; Maguire v. Card, 1 How. 248; The Lottawanna, 21 Wall. 558; Delovio v. Boit, 2 Gall. 398; People's Ferry Company v. Beers, 20 How. 393; The Circassian, 1 Ben. 209; Graham v. Haskins, Olc. Adm. 227; The Ship Harriet, id. 229; The Ottawa, 5 Am. Law T. 147; New Jersey Steam Navigation Co. v. Merchant's Bank, 6 How. 344; Allen v. Newberry, 21 id. 246; Ransom v. Mayo, 3 Blatchf. 71; Cunningham v. Hall, 1 Cliff. 51; The Two Friends, Bee, Adm. 440; Brig Hannah, id. 421; The Lady Horatio, id. 169; Cox v. Murray, Abb. Adm. 343; Garvey v. Crocket, id. 490; The Amstel, 1 Blatchf. & H. Adm. 215; McDermott v. The S. S. Owens, 1 Wall. Jr. 370; The Grand Turk, 2 Pittsb. (Pa.) 326; Philips v. Scattergood, Gilp. 3; Nicoll v. Gardner, 13 Wend. (N. Y.) 290; Sacramento v. New World, 4 Cal. 44; Story, Bailm., sects. 451, 453; 2 Kent, Com. 635, 642; Gaisede v. Trent & Mersey Navigation Co., 4 T. R. 581; Steinman v. Wilkins, 7 Serg. & R. 466.

Mr. F. A. Wilcox, contra.

MR. JUSTICE CLIFFORD delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).