Flanigan v. Turner - 66 U.S. 491 (1861)
U.S. Supreme Court
Flanigan v. Turner, 66 U.S. 1 Black 491 491 (1861)
Flanigan v. Turner
66 U.S. (1 Black) 491
A respondent sued in admiralty for repairs to a vessel cannot deny that he is sole owner if the vessel has been sold by the order of another court and he has claimed and received the proceeds as sole owner.
This was an admiralty suit in personam commenced by the libel of Andrew Flanigan, John S. Beacham, George P. Beacham, Lenox Beacham, and Samuel Beacham, partners trading as A. Flanigan & Co., against Robert Turner, owner of the steamboat Susquehannah, in the District Court of the United States for the District of Maryland. The libellants claimed $2,762 for work done and materials furnished in repairs to the Susquehannah at the request of Turner, who was either owner or agent for the owner. Turner answered that Flanigan & Co. were joint owners of the boat with him and others, and therefore had no right to recover against him for the work. He also alleged and showed that a bill was pending in a state court, brought by himself against these libellants and others, to dissolve the partnership, sell the vessel, and after paying expenses &c., divide the proceeds ratably among the several owners. This cause was then suspended until that in the state court should be decided. The last mentioned proceeding went on, the vessel was sold under it, and Turner claimed the proceeds as sole owner; the other parties consented, and the court so ordered. The present cause was then pressed in the district court and a decree made there in favor of the libellants for the amount found to be due for their work and materials -- $2,665.73, with interest from 1 July, 1857, and costs. Turner, the respondent, appealed to the circuit court, where the decree was changed to $2,827,88. Turner appealed to the Supreme Court and attempted to reverse the decree of the circuit court upon the grounds which will be found stated in the opinion of MR. JUSTICE NELSON.