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Opinion of the Court.
paid, is too clear for argument. We know of no reason why this principle is not applicable to property towed as well as to property carried. While the duties of a tug to its tow are not the duties of a common carrier, it would seem that his remedy for his charges is the same, provided that the property towed be of a nature admitting of the retention of possession by the owner of the tug. But whatever might be our own opinion upon the subject, the Supreme Court of Illinois, having held that under the laws of that State the plaintiff had a possessory lien upon this raft, that such lien extended to so much of the raft as was retained in his possession, for the entire bill, and that under the facts of this case plaintiff did have possession of the half raft until he surrendered it under order of the court for its release upon bond given, we should defer to the opinion of that court in these particulars, as they are local questions dependent upon the law of the particular State.
Whether a bill in equity will lie to enforce a possessory lien may admit of some doubt, and the authorities are by no means harmonious. That a person having a lien upon chattels has no right himself to sell such chattels in the discharge of his lien, is well settled. Doane v. Russell, 3 Gray, 382; Jones v. Pearle, 1 Strange, 557; Lickbarrow v. Mason, 6 East, 21; Briggs v. Boston and Lowell Railroad, 6 Allen, 246; Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad v. Herndon, 81 Ill. 143; Hunt v. Haskell, 24 Me. 339; and in the case of the Thames Iron Works &c. Co. v. Patent Derrick Co., 1 J. & H. 93, it was held by Vice Chancellor Wood that ship builders, having a lien upon the ship built by them according to the contract for the purchase money, could not enforce their lien by sale. But in some jurisdictions, and notably so in Illinois, it is held that liens for the enforcement of which there is no special statutory provision, are enforceable in equity. Black v. Brennan, 5 Dana, 310; Charter v. Stevens, 3 Denio, 33; Dupuy v. Gibson, 36 Ill. 197; Cushman v. Hayes, 46 Ill. 145; Cairo & Vincennes Railroad v. Fackney, 78 Ill. 116; Barchard v. Kohn, 157 Ill. 579. Such being the practice in Illinois, we recognize it as expressive of the local law. There were circumstances in this case which appealed with peculiar force to the discretion of a court of equity. The
Opinion of the Court.
defendant disputed McCaffrey's lien and right of possession to the raft, and announced its intention of towing it to St. Louis itself. It was in a position where it might have been taken away by a superior force, unless the plaintiff incurred the expense of employing a gang of men to watch it. Under such circumstances it was not only natural but just that he should have applied to a court of equity for relief in the enforcement of his common law remedy.
We have held in several cases that analogous proceedings were no infringement upon the exclusive admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal courts. Thus, in Leon v. Galceran, 11 Wall. 185, three sailors brought suits in a state court against the owner of a schooner to recover their wages, and had the schooner, which was subject to a lien or privilege in their favor, according to the laws of Louisiana, similar in some respects to the principles of the maritime law, sequestered by the sheriff of the parish. The writ was levied upon the schooner, which was afterwards released upon a forthcoming bond. This was held to be an ordinary suit in personam with an auxiliary attachment of the property of the defendant, and no infringement upon the admiralty jurisdiction. Said Mr. Justice Clifford: "They brought their suits in the state courts against the owner of the schooner, as they had a right to do, and, having obtained judgment against the defendant, they might levy their execution upon any property belonging to him, not exempted from taxes or execution, which was situated in that jurisdiction."
In Steamboat Co. v. Chase, 16 Wall. 522, a steamboat owned by the company ran over a sail boat containing the plaintiff's intestate, and killed him. His administrator brought suit against the company in a state court of Rhode Island, under an act making common carriers responsible for deaths occasioned by their negligence, and providing that the damages be recovered in an action on the case. Defendant took the position that the saving clause must be limited to such causes of action as were known to the common law at the time of the passage of the judiciary act, and as the common law gave no remedy for neg ligence resulting in death, an action subsequently given by the statute was not a common law remedy. The contention was
Opinion of the Court.
held to be unsound. So, also, in Schoonmaker v. Gilmore, 102 U. S. 118, it was held that courts of admiralty had no exclusive jurisdiction of suits in personam growing out of collisions.
In the case already cited of Johnson v. Chicago &c. Elevator Co., 119 U. S. 388, a petition was filed by the elevator company against the owner of a tugboat for injuries done by the jib boom of a schooner in tow of the tug to the wall of plaintiff's warehouse. The petition prayed for a writ of attachment against the defendant, commanding the sheriff to attach the tug, summon the defendant to appear, and for a decree subjecting the tug to a lien for such damages. The statute under which the proceedings were instituted gave a lien for all damages arising from injuries done to persons or property by such water craft. It was held that the damage having been done upon the land, there was no jurisdiction in admiralty, and that the suit was in personam with an attachment as security, the attachment being based upon a lien given by the state statute. Said the court: "There being no lien on the tug by the maritime law for the injury on land inflicted in this case, the State could create such a lien therefor as it deemed expedient, and could enact reasonable rules for its enforcement, not amounting to a regulation of commerce." It would seem that even if the suit had been in rem against the vessel, it would have been sustained, as the injury was not one for which an action would have lain in admiralty.
In the case under consideration the suit was clearly one in personam to enforce a common law remedy. It was no more a suit in rem than the ordinary foreclosure of a mortgage. The bill prayed for process against the several defendants; that they be required to answer the bill; that plaintiff be decreed to have a first lien upon the raft for the amount due him; that the defendants be decreed to pay such amount; that in default of such payment the raft be sold to satisfy the same; and, that in case of such sale, the purchaser have an absolute title, free from all equity of redemption and all claims of the defendants, and that they be debarred, etc. This is the ordinary prayer of a foreclosure bill. The decree of the appellate court reversed that of the Circuit Court, and directed a recovery of a specified
Opinion of the Court.
amount. It resembles a decree in rem only in the fact that the property covered by the lien was ordered to be sold. Such sale, however, would pass the property subject to prior liens, while a sale in rem in admiralty is a complete divestiture of such liens, and carries a free and unincumbered title to the property, the holders of such liens being remitted to the funds in the registry which are substituted for the vessel. The Helena, 4 Rob. Ad. 3.
The true distinction between such proceedings as are and such as are not invasions of the exclusive admiralty jurisdiction. is this: If the cause of action be one cognizable in admiralty, and the suit be in m against the thing itself, though a monition be also issued to the owner, the proceeding is essentially one in admiralty. If, upon the other hand, the cause of action be not one of which a court of admiralty has jurisdiction, or if the suit be in personam against an individual defendant, with an auxiliary attachment against a particular thing, or against the property of the defendant in general, it is essentially a proceeding according to the course of the common law, and within the saving clause of the statute (sec. 563) of a common law remedy. The suit in this case being one in equity to enforce a common law remedy, the state courts were correct in assuming jurisdiction.
The decree of the Supreme Court of Illinois is, therefore,
Statement of the Case.
BRYAR v. CAMPBELL.
APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT.
No. 227. Argued April 12, 1900.- Decided May 14, 1900.
Plaintiff's intestate, a married woman, filed a bill in the District Court of the United States against her husband's assignee in bankruptcy and the purchaser of a lot of land at the assignee's sale, setting forth her equitable claim to the property, and praying that the purchaser be required to convey to her. A decree was entered in her favor and an appeal taken to the Circuit Court by Campbell, the purchaser. Plaintiff did not press the appeal, but began a new action in ejectment in a state court against the defendant, Campbell, who set up a new title in himself and recovered a judgment. Thereupon, and sixteen years after the decree in her favor in the District Court, plaintiff moved to dismiss the appeal to the Circuit Court. This motion was denied. Thereupon she set up the decree in her favor, although it had not been pleaded by either party in the state court. Held:
(1) That the plaintiff having abandoned her suit in the District Court, it was too late to move to dismiss the appeal;
(2) That the decree not having been pleaded in the state court could not now be resuscitated;
(3) That the judgment of the state court was res adjudicata of all the issues between the parties, and that the decrees of the Circuit Court and Circuit Court of Appeals reversing the decree of the District Court and dismissing plaintiff's bill should be affirmed.
THIS was a suit in equity instituted in the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, April 30, 1877, by Jane Bryar against James Bryar, her husband, and Robert Arthurs, his assignee in bankruptcy, to enjoin the latter from partitioning or offering for sale an undivided half of seven acres of land in the city of Pittsburgh, for which, as she alleged, a conveyance had been made by mistake to her husband, though she had paid the purchase money with her own individual funds. Notwithstanding the pendency of this bill the assignee proceeded to sell the land at assignee's sale to the defendant Thomas Campbell, subject to the two mortgages hereinafter mentioned. On August 15, 1878, Campbell was permitted to intervene and de