Compagnie Generale Transatlantique v. Elting,
298 U.S. 217 (1936)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Compagnie Generale Transatlantique v. Elting, 298 U.S. 217 (1936)

Compagnie Generale Transatlantique v. Elting

No. 6

Argued October 14, 1935

Decided May 18, 1936*

298 U.S. 217


1. Section 20(a) of the Immigration Act of 1924 imposes a fine upon "the owner, charterer, agent, consignee or master" of any vessel arriving in the United States from any place outside who fails to detain any alien seaman employed on such vessel, after inspection by the immigration officer in charge at the port of arrival, if required by such officer to do so.

Held, that the duty to detain is personal, and that, where the requirement is made of the master, the owner, if not notified of it, is not liable if the seaman escapes. P. 298 U. S. 222.

2. While the admiralty law regards the master of a ship as the agent of the owner, § 20(a), supra, takes no account of that relation, but deals with the master just as it does with the owner; if either is notified to detain, he must comply or be subjected to fine. Nothing in the section indicates that notice to the master to detain an alien seaman, and his failure to obey the direction, are to be imputed to the owner and made the basis of fining him. P. 298 U. S. 225.

74 F.2d 209 reversed.

Certiorari in two cases, 295 U.S. 724, to review judgments upholding fines imposed by immigration authorities upon the owners of two vessels for failure to detain on board certain alien seamen. The actions were by the shipowners for the recovery of sums deposited by them in advance to obtain clearance of their vessels.

Page 298 U. S. 220

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