Ex Parte Muir,
254 U.S. 522 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ex Parte Muir, 254 U.S. 522 (1921)

Ex Parte Muir

No. 18, Original

Argued January 7, 1919

Decided January 17, 1921

254 U.S. 522


1. Over a privately owned ship, arrested in the District, and a libel for damages due to a collision alleged to have resulted from negligence of the owner's agents, the district court has prima facie jurisdiction, and a mere allegation that the ship is an admiralty transport in the service of a foreign government is not enough to establish her immunity. P. 254 U. S. 532.

2. A foreign government is entitled to appear in the district court and propound its claim to a vessel in a libel suit upon the ground that the status of the vessel is public and places it beyond the jurisdiction, or its accredited representative may appear in its behalf, or its claim, if recognized by our executive department, may be presented to the court by a suggestion made by or under authority of the

Page 254 U. S. 523

Attorney General, but the public status of the ship, when in doubt, cannot be determined upon a mere suggestion of private counsel appearing as amicus curiae in behalf of the embassy of the foreign government. P. 254 U. S. 532.

3. This Court, in it discretion, may decline to issue the writs of prohibition and mandamus to prevent exercise of jurisdiction by the district court in an admiralty proceeding where the jurisdiction is merely in doubt and the state of the case is such that the question may well be reconsidered by the district court and on appeal. P. 254 U. S. 534.

Rule discharged and petition dismissed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 254 U. S. 527

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