Roach v. ChapmanAnnotate this Case
63 U.S. 129 (1859)
U.S. Supreme Court
Roach v. Chapman, 63 U.S. 22 How. 129 129 (1859)
Roach v. Chapman
63 U.S. (22 How.) 129
Where a steamboat was built at Louisville, in Kentucky, and the persons who furnished the boilers and engines libeled the vessel in admiralty in the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana, that court had no jurisdiction of the case.
A contract for building a ship, or supplying engines, timber &c., is not a maritime contract. This Court so decided in 61 U. S. 20 How. 400, and now reaffirms that decision.
The state law of Kentucky, which creates a lien in such a case, cannot confer jurisdiction on the courts of the United States, and the preceding decisions of this Court do not justify an inference to the contrary.
The steamer Capitol was libeled in the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana by Roach & Long, residing at Louisville, in Kentucky. The libel was filed under the general admiralty law and the law of the State of Kentucky for $2,347.48, part of the price of the engine and boilers of the steamer Capitol, furnished at Louisville. The district court sustained the claim, but the circuit
court reversed the decree and dismissed the libel for want of jurisdiction. The libellants appealed to this Court.
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