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Chapter 1 Jurisdiction.  Constitutional Grant of Admiralty Jurisdiction  “The judicial Power shall extend …to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction”

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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:

1 Chapter 1 Jurisdiction

2  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)

3  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”)

4  Increase of water commerce since mid- 1900’s  admiralty jurisdiction now extends to lakes and navigable rivers of U.S.

5 ◦ 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

6 ◦ 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.

7  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

8 ◦ 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

9  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

10 ◦ 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)

11  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

12  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

13  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.

14 ◦ 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?

15 ◦ No admiralty juris over matters occurring on navigable waters but lacking maritime flavor. ◦ Maritime Nexus test involves 2 queries

16  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*

17  Who cares?  exception to locality requirement  Def: permanently attached to and a member of the crew of a vessel in navigation.

18  Only if caused by ship  Longshore Act ◦ Test  Situs  Status

19  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

20  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.

21  3 divisions of products liability claim ◦ breach of implied warranty ◦ Negligence ◦ strict liability

22  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

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