Spear v. Place
52 U.S. 522 (1850)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Spear v. Place, 52 U.S. 11 How. 522 522 (1850)

Spear v. Place

52 U.S. (11 How.) 522

Syllabus

Where the admiralty court decreed that a vessel should pay salvage to the amount of one-fifth of her value, and that value was shown to be $2,600, an appeal to this Court would not lie, for want of jurisdiction.

It is the amount of salvage, and not of the vessel, which tests the jurisdiction, the salvage only being in controversy.

The master could not properly represent without special authority the consignees of the cargo who had received their respective consignments before the filing of the libel. They lived in the place where the court was held, and ought to have represented their own interests.

The master therefore, cannot appear for them all conjointly, and in this case the amount of salvage to be paid by the largest consignee would be only $1,136.80. Neither the salvage upon the vessel or cargo, therefore, is sufficient in amount to bring the case within the jurisdiction of this Court.

This was a libel filed on 22 December, 1848, by Henry Place, master of the steamship Globe, for himself and the other owners of the ship, against the schooner Lucy Ann and cargo for salvage.

The return of the marshal to the writ of seizure was as follows:

"Received this writ the 22 December, 1848, and executed the same day by seizing the schooner Lucy Ann, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and on the same day seized certain goods, wares, and merchandise as per bills and bills of lading hereto attached and marked No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, as furnished by the owners and consignees of said goods, which said goods I left in the possession of the consignees, first taking their receipts to be delivered when called for."

"JAMES H. COCKE, Marshal"

"By H. B. MARTIN, D. Marshal"

Page 52 U. S. 523

On 29 December, 1848, Spear intervened, claiming as follows:

"To the Honorable John C. Watrous, Judge of the District Court of the United States within and for the District of Texas."

"And Arthur Spear, of the State of Maine, intervening for his interest in the schooner Lucy Ann, as well as for the other owners of said schooner and for the owners and consignees of the cargo thereof, and for all whom it may concern; this respondent, the said Arthur Spear, being master of said schooner, and also owner of an interest of about one-fourth therein, appears before this Honorable Court and claims the said schooner and her said cargo, and for answer to the libel and complaint of Henry Place, of New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana, against the schooner Lucy Ann, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and all and singular the goods, wares, and merchandises now or late on board of said schooner, in a cause of salvage, civil and maritime, alleges and articulately propounds, as follows,"

&c.

The case having been dismissed by this Court for the want of jurisdiction, it is not necessary to state the circumstances which gave rise to the claim for salvage.

On 3 January, 1849, Norman Hurd and E. P. Hunt were ordered by the court to appraise the schooner, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and also the cargo, who appraised the vessel &c., at $2,600 and the cargo at $21,325.73, divided amongst several different owners or consignees as follows:

J. S. Vedder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 5,698.00

J. K. Brown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92.89

Perry & Flint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.42

Perry & Flint, for Leyles & Co. . . . . . . 6.07

Sydnor & Bone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,113.34

Rice, Adams & Co., for acc. Sampson & Co. . 615.21

Rice, Adams & Co., for their own acc. . . . 4,566.11

Rice, Adams & Co., for Rice & Nichols. . . . 1,133.69

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$21,325.73

On 30 January, 1849, the district court passed the following decree:

"This cause having been heard by the court upon the pleadings and proofs, and the court being now sufficiently advised in the premises, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the schooner Lucy Ann and cargo, now before the court libeled against in this cause are of the value of

Page 52 U. S. 524

$23,925.73, to-wit, said schooner being of the value of $2,600, and said cargo of the value of $21,325.73, and the same was, on 18 December, 1848, saved from entire loss and destruction by means of assistance rendered by the steamship Globe, whereof Henry Place was master, and Charles Morgan, John T. Wright Henry Morgan, and C. Harris owners; it is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed by the court that the libellants, Henry Place, Charles Morgan, John T. Wright Henry Morgan, and C. Harris have and recover in full satisfaction for their salvage the one fifth part of the aforesaid gross amount of the aforesaid value of said schooner and cargo, to-wit, the sum of $4,785.14, and that said schooner and cargo be and the same are hereby charged with and subjected to the payment of said amount of salvage, the said schooner to be charged with the payment of the sum of $520 thereof, and the said cargo to be charged with the payment of the sum of $4,265.14 thereof. And it is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed that said schooner Lucy Ann, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, be condemned and that the same be sold by the marshal of this district for the payment of said sum of $520 so assessed thereon as aforesaid, and that said cargo be condemned, and that the same be sold by the marshal of this district, for the payment of said sum of $4,235.14 so assessed as aforesaid, and that the proceeds of said schooner and cargo be brought into court to abide the further order of this court herein. And it is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed that said sales take place on 24 February, 1849, after giving ten days' notice of the time and place of sale, and that all costs and charges in this cause be taxed upon and paid out of the balance of the proceeds of said schooner and cargo after the payment of the aforesaid amount of salvage, unless Arthur Spear, the respondent, shall immediately pay the same into court."

"By agreement of the libellants in this cause by their proctors made in open court, it is ordered, adjudged, and decreed by the court that the sum of $4,785.14 decreed to be paid to the libellants in said cause be distributed, apportioned, and paid to the libellants in proportions as follows, to-wit, to Henry Place, the master of the steamship Globe, the sum of $250, and to Charles Morgan, John T. Wright Henry Morgan, and C. Harris the owners of the steamship Globe, the sum of $4,535.14."

From this decree the claimant appealed to this Court.

Afterwards the district court allowed the vessel and cargo to be released upon payment into court of the amount decreed for salvage and costs.

Page 52 U. S. 525

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