Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1 Jurisdiction. Constitutional Grant of Admiralty Jurisdiction “The judicial Power shall extend …to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction”"— Presentation transcript:
Constitutional Grant of Admiralty Jurisdiction “The judicial Power shall extend …to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction” S.Ct. has interpreted 3 grants of power: 1) Congress may confer admiralty/maritime jurisdiction on tribunals inferior to the S.Ct. 2) Fed courts empowered to draw on substantive law inherent in admiralty/maritime jurisdiction and continue the development of this law (within Constitutional limits) 3) Congress may revise/supplement maritime law (within limits of Constitution)
First Judiciary Act DeLovio v. Boit (1815) jurisdiction extends over all contracts (wherever made) which relate to navigation, business, or commerce of the sea. i.e. contract jurisdiction depends on subject matter. Tort actions also under jurisdiction, but bounded by locality. i.e. Tort jurisdiction depends on where it occurred (“Locality Doctrine”)
Increase of water commerce since mid- 1900’s admiralty jurisdiction now extends to lakes and navigable rivers of U.S.
◦ District Courts have jurisdiction over civil cases of admiralty/maritime jurisdiction Any prize brought into the U.S. ◦ Thus wide variety of civil claims, torts, contracts and distinctively admiralty actions (salvage, etc.) within admiralty jurisdiction ◦ Also admiralty criminal jurisdiction
◦ alter, qualify or supplement substantive admiralty law, and may even clarify the boundaries of admiralty jurisdiction. ◦ 2 Constitutional limits cannot destroy the essential uniformity of admiralty law cannot fundamentally change the basis of federal admiralty jurisdiction.
reasons behind giving (admiralty) jurisdiction to the federal courts is to ◦ provide uniform rules of law for the business of shipping ◦ facilitate maritime commerce ◦ apply uniform remedies for persons traveling or working on navigable waters in connection with maritime activities
◦ Fed courts have subject matter juris, w/o regard to diversity of citizen ship ◦ maritime lien (security interest only available in admiralty) ◦ In rem proceedings against the vessel (which obtains security for the claim) ◦ special “federal maritime law” - distinct from state and common law. Judiciary plays greater role than in other law ◦ Special rules Usually no jury Liberal venue rule. appeals sovereign immunity Historically prevented from granted equitable relief (now probably can) Special removal from state court rules ◦ No Statute of Limitations (Laches) ◦ Prejudgement interest automatic in admiralty
locality is important in determining whether admiralty jurisdiction exists in tort cases. (“Locality Doctrine”) Test of “Navigability” (Daniel Ball case– 1871) ◦ highways for commerce, trade/travel on water with other States or foreign countries on water. ◦ Threshold: “interstate nexus”: continuous highway for commerce b/w states or foreign country. ◦ 2 nd requirement: navigability in fact
◦ admiralty jurisdiction over cases of damage caused by a vessel on navigable water, even if injury done on land. ◦ i.e. ship to shore collisions now within admiralty jurisdiction ◦ Gutierrez case (1963) ◦ Victory case (1971)
Foremost case (1982) Sisson case (1990) Admiralty Tort Jurisdiction Test ◦ Occur on navigable waters ◦ Bear substantial relationship to traditional maritime activity ◦ Potentially disruptive impact on maritime commerce
1) Incident occurred on navigable waters 2) vessel 3) Admiralty Extension Act extends juris ashore in some cases 4) tort occurs where negligent/intentional act takes effect
wrong must have signif relation with trad maritime activity not limited to aviation activity need not be exclusively commercial Negligent operation of (even pleasure) vessel on navigable waters has sufficient nexus to trad maritime activity Ship need not be involved in commercial use.
◦ Test for potential disruptive impact on maritime commerce applied as follows: Determine generally whether such an incident is likely to disrupt commerce (not actual effect) ◦ Nexus test now 2-part analysis Does incident have potentially disruptive impact on maritime commerce, and substantial relationship b/w activity giving rise to the incident and trad’l maritime activity?
◦ No admiralty juris over matters occurring on navigable waters but lacking maritime flavor. ◦ Maritime Nexus test involves 2 queries
Who cares? Common sense Borderline cases Basic Criterion: purpose Purpose Test ◦ mobile and capable of transportation on water ◦ subject to perils of the sea ◦ designed to be permanently fixed ◦ statutory/policy consideration*
Who cares? exception to locality requirement Def: permanently attached to and a member of the crew of a vessel in navigation.
Only if caused by ship Longshore Act ◦ Test Situs Status
Increased activity out there Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (1953) ◦ fed regulates Longshore Act on the OCS ◦ OCSLA extends benefits of Longshore Act ◦ Status/Situs tests State waters
criterion is nature/subject matter of contract “maritime contract” relates to a ship in its use or to commerce or to navigation on navigable waters, or to transportation by sea or to maritime employment.
3 divisions of products liability claim ◦ breach of implied warranty ◦ Negligence ◦ strict liability
Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction ◦ High seas ◦ Objective territoriality ◦ Protective Principle ◦ Searches and Seizures of Ships at Sea Customs waters High seas (drug trafficking) US Vessels Foreign vessels Stateless