Continental Grain Co. v. Barge FBL-585 - 364 U.S. 19 (1960)
U.S. Supreme Court
Continental Grain Co. v. Barge FBL-585, 364 U.S. 19 (1960)
Continental Grain Co. v. Barge FBL-585
Argued April 20, 1960
Decided June 27, 1960
364 U.S. 19
While a barge was being loaded at Memphis, it sank, with resulting damage to both the barge and the cargo. The barge owner sued the cargo owner in a Tennessee State Court for damages alleged to have resulted from negligence in loading it, and that case was removed to the Federal District Court at Memphis. The cargo owner then brought this action in the Federal District Court at New Orleans against the barge and its owner, claiming damages to the cargo resulting from unseaworthiness. The barge owner then moved under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) for transfer of this case to the Federal District Court at Memphis, alleging that such transfer was "necessary for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice." Finding these allegations to be true, the District Court at New Orleans transferred the case to the District Court at Memphis.
Held: it did not err in doing so. Pp. 364 U. S. 20-27.
(a) Insofar as this is a "civil action" against the barge owner, it clearly was transferable to the District Court at Memphis, since the plaintiff could have brought this action in that court. Hoffman v. Blaski, 363 U. S. 335, distinguished. P. 364 U. S. 22.
(b) Transfer of this action to the District Court at Memphis is not barred by the fact that fictionally it is also an in rem proceeding against the barge itself, which was not within the jurisdiction of the District Court at Memphis when this action was brought. Pp. 364 U. S. 22-27.
268 F.2d 240, affirmed.