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$ 641. Canals.

In later cases the admiralty jurisdiction of the United States has been construed to extend to cases arising on canals.?

In the former of these cases it was held that the canals are navigable waters within the meaning of admiralty law; in the latter that canal-boats are ships or vessels within the meaning of the same law. In the latter case the court say: “The only dis tinction between canals and other navigable waters is that they are rendered navigable by artificial means, and sometimes, though by no means always, are wholly within the limits of a particular State. We fail to see, however, that this creates any distinction in principle.

If it be once conceded .. that navigable canals used as highways for interstate or foreign commerce are navigable waters of the United States, it would be an anomaly to hold that such jurisdiction did not extend to the only craft used in navigating such canals.” As regards the argument that admiralty jurisdiction should not atfach for the reason that the canal-boats are drawn by mules or horses walking on land, the court say: “ This

is an argument which appeals less to the reason than to the imagination. So long as the vessel is engaged in commerce and navigation it is difficult to see how the jurisdiction of admiralty is affected by its means of propulsion, which may vary in the course of the same voyage, or with new discoveries made in the art of navigation.”

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8 642. Repairs on Land and in Dry Dock.

It has been held that repairs made to, or injuries sustained by, a ship while in dry dock are maritime in character, but the dry dock not being itself used for the purpose of navigation is not a subject of salvage service or of admiralty jurisdiction.8

7 Ex parte Boyer, 109 U. S. 629; 3 Sup. Ct. Rep. 434; 27 L, ed. 1056; and Perry v. Haines, sub. nom. The Robert W. Parsons, 191 U. S. 17; 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 8; 48 L. ed. 73.

8 Cope v. Vallette Dry Dock Co., 119 U. S. 625; 7 Sup. Ct. Rep. 336; 30 L. ed. 501. See also Simmons v. The Jefferson, Sup. Ct. Rep., adv. sheets, 1910.

8 643. Admiralty Jurisdiction Does not Carry with It General

Political Jurisdiction Over Navigable Waters. It has been held in an unbroken line of cases that the grant to the United States of admiralty jurisdiction does not, in itself, carry with it any general or political jurisdiction. That is to say, unless Congress has expressly so legislated, the state courts still have exclusive cognizance of crimes committed upon their navigable waters, and upon the sea within a marine league of the shore. In the leading case of United States v. Bevansø Marshall points out that the delegation to the federal judiciary carries with it, indeed, a legislative power to render that jurisdiction effective, but it does not operate to take the navigable and territorial waters of a State from without the general jurisdiction of the State in the sense that districts purchased by the Federal Government, with the consent of the legislature of a State, for the erection of forts, arsenals, etc., arc so removed. In his opinion Marshall says: “In describing the judicial power the framers of our Constitution had not in view any cession of territory; or, which is essentially the same, of general jurisdiction: It is not questioned, that whatever may be necessary to the full and unlimited exercise of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction is in the government of the Union. Congress may pass all laws which are necessary and proper for giving the most complete effect to this power. Still the general jurisdiction over the place, subject to this grant of power, adheres to the territory, as a part of sovereignty not yet given away.

The residuary powers of legislation are still in Massachusetts." 10

8 644. Admiralty Courts.

During the colonial period admiralty jurisdiction in this country was exercised by vice-admiralty courts created by commissions from the British High Court of Admiralty, authority being given to the colonial authorities by their charters to establish these tribunals. After the Declaration of Independence, however, each of the States, in the exercise of their several sovereignties, established admiralty courts with varying powers. In 1777 Congress appointed a standing committee to entertain appeals from the state courts in cases of maritime prizes. Under the Articles of Confederation there was established by Congress a

93 Wh. 336; 4 L. ed. 404.

10 For a later affirmance of this doctrine, see Manchester v. Massachusetts, 139 U. S. 240; 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 559; 35 L. ed. 159.

Court of Appeals in cases of Capture,” to which appeals might be taken from the state admiralty courts.

Under the present Constitution admiralty jurisdiction is wholly withdrawn from the States and vested exclusively in the federal courts.

By the Judiciary Act of 1789 this jurisdiction was vested in the district courts, where it has since remained.

Section 711 of the Revised Statutes provided that the district courts shall have jurisdiction: “Of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common-law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it."

In all prize cases an appeal lies direct from the district to the Supreme Court. In other cases an appeal lies to the Circuit Courts of Appeals.

8 645. State Legislative Powers with Reference to Admiralty

Matters. It will be observed that the act vesting admiralty jurisdiction in the district courts saves to suitors, in all cases, their right to a common-law remedy, where that law is competent to give it. The effect of this provision is not to permit the state courts to exercise in any way admiralty jurisdiction, but to give to the suitor the option of pursuing in those courts any common-law right that he may have."

But in no case may a state court entertain a suit in the nature of an admiralty proceeding, that is, a proceeding in rem against a


11 Sherlock v. Alling, 93 U. S. 99; 23 L. ed. 819.


vessel. This is conclusively determined in The Moses Taylor12 and Hine v. Trevor.13

But though the state courts may not exercise admiralty jurisdiction, it has been held that the state legislatures may by statute create maritime rights, which the federal district courts, sitting as admiralty tribunals, will enforce. In other words, the state law-making body may create admiralty rights which the state courts may not enforce as such, but which the federal courts may. In The Lottawanna case the court say:


seems to be settled in our jurisprudence that so long as Congress does not interpose to regulate the subject, the rights of material men furnishing necessaries to a vessel in her home port may be regulated in each State by state legislation. State laws, it is true, cannot exclude the contract for furnishing such necessaries from the domain of admiralty jurisdiction, for it is a maritime contract, and they cannot alter the limits of that jurisdiction; nor can they confer it upon the state courts so far as to enable them to proceed in rem for the enforcement of liens created by such state laws, for it is exclusively conferred upon the District Courts of the United States. They can only authorize the enforcement thereof by common-law remedies, or such remedies as are equivalent thereto. But the District Courts of the United States having jurisdiction of the contract as a maritime one, may enforce liens given for its security, even when created by state laws."

The court go on to admit that this is a somewhat anomalous practice, but in justification say: “The practice

has existed from the origin of the government and, perhaps, was originally superinduced by the fact that prior to the adoption of the Constitution, liens of this sort created by state laws had been enforced by state courts of admiralty; and as those courts were immediately succeeded by the District Courts of the United States, and in several instances the judge of the state court was trans

12 4 Wall, 411; 18 L. ed. 397. 13 4 Wall. 555; 18 L. ed. 451.

14 The Lottawanna, 21 Wall. 558; 22 L. ed. 654; and The Glide, 167 U. S. 606; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 930; 42 L. ed. 296.


ferred to the district court, it was natural, in the infancy of federal legislation in commercial subjects, for the latter courts to entertain jurisdiction over the same class of cases, in every respect, as the state courts had done, without due regard to the new relations which the States had assumed toward the maritime law and admiralty jurisdiction.”

In Butler v. Boston Steamship Co.15 a limitation upon the power of the States to create maritime liens which the federal courts will recognize and enforce is suggested, though not definitely declared. In that case Justice Bradley, after applying an act of Congress in modification of the federal maritime law, and with reference to a cause arising within the territorial limits of a State, said: “It might be a much more serious question whether a state law can have force to create a liability in a maritime case at all, within the dominion of the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, where neither the general maritime law nor an act of ('ongress has created snch a liability. On this subject we prefer not to express an opinion.” This dictum would, however, appear to be overruled in Old Dominion S. S. Co. v. Gilmore. 14a

The Supreme Court has, however, held that until Congress acts on the subject a State may legislate in regard to the duties and liabilities of its citizens and corporations while on the high seas and not within the territory of any other sovereign, and that where a fund is being distributed in a proceeding to limit the liability of the owners of a vessel all claims to which the admiralty does not deny existence must le recognized whether admiralty liens or not. In this case the vessel belonged to a Delaware corporation. The law of Delaware gave damages for death caused by a tort. The vessel was in collision with another vessel belonging also to a Delaware corporation. It was held that claim against the owner of one of the vessels in fault for such death can be enforced in a proceeding in the admiralty brought by such owner to limit its liability. 141

In The Lottawanna case it is pointed out that the general doctrines of maritime law as they are to be deduced from the practice

14a 207 L'. S. 398; 52 L. ed. 264. 146 The Hamilton, 207 L'. S. 398; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep. 133; 52 L. ed. 264.

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