Ex parte Kumezo Kawato
317 U.S. 69 (1942)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ex parte Kumezo Kawato, 317 U.S. 69 (1942)

Ex parte Kumezo Kawato

No. 10, Original

Argued October 12, 1942

Decided November 9, 1942

317 U.S. 69


1. In an original proceeding in this Court upon a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the District Court to proceed with the trial of a suit in admiralty, a contention that the writ should be denied because the District Court, although it had ordered the abatement of the suit for the duration of the war solely on the ground of the libellant's status as an alien enemy, could have dismissed the libel on other grounds, particularly for claimed defects in the allegations of the libel, is irrelevant, since, if the suit was erroneously abated on the ground assigned, the libelant is entitled to have the District Court proceed with the action and pass upon the sufficiency of his allegations in an orderly way. P. 317 U. S. 71.

2. Mandamus is the appropriate remedy where the District Court has erroneously ordered the abatement, for the duration of the war, of a suit in admiralty by a resident alien enemy. P. 317 U. S. 71.

3. The ancient rule of the common law barring suits by resident alien enemies has survived only so far as necessary to prevent use of the courts to accomplish a purpose which might hamper the war effort or give aid to the enemy. P. 317 U. S. 72.

4. The President not having made, under the Trading with the Enemy Act, any declaration as to "alien enemies," a resident alien enemy --

Page 317 U. S. 70

claiming wages and an allowance for maintenance and cure, arising out of his lawful employment as a seaman -- is not barred from the courts by § 7 of that Act. P. 317 U. S. 75.

This conclusion is in accord with the legislative and administrative policy. P. 317 U. S. 77.

5. The Trading with the Enemy Act was not intended, without Presidential proclamation, to affect resident aliens. P. 317 U. S. 76.

Writ issued.

On petition for a writ of mandamus (leave to file granted, 316 U.S. 650) to compel the District Court to proceed with the trial of a suit in admiralty by a resident alien enemy.

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