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U.S. Supreme Court

North Pacific Steamship Co. v. Hall Bros Co., 249 U.S. 119 (1919)

North Pacific Steamship Company v. Hall Bros

Marine Railway & Shipbuilding Company

No. 53

Argued November 18, 19, 1918

Decided March 3, 1919

249 U.S. 115


A contract for maritime service is within the admiralty jurisdiction, although not to be executed upon navigable waters. P. 249 U. S. 125.

The place of performance -- i.e., whether upon navigable waters or elsewhere -- is but an evidentiary circumstance, to be considered in determining whether the contract is by nature maritime. Id.

A materialman furnishing supplies or repairs may proceed against the ship in rem or against the master or owner in personam. 12th Admiralty Rule. P. 249 U. S. 126.

While a contract for building a ship or supplying materials for her construction is not maritime, a contract for services, materials, and use of facilities, for the repair of a vessel already launched and devoted to maritime use, is a maritime contract, and in this respect it is immaterial whether the repairs are made while she is afloat, in dry dock, or hauled out upon the land. P. 249 U. S. 126. The Robert W. Parsons, 191 U. S. 17, limited. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 249 U. S. 120

The fact that the repairs are made under superintendence of the shipowner doe not destroy the maritime nature of such a contract. P. 249 U. S. 129.

For the purpose of repairing a vessel for a voyage, the owner of a shipyard, marine railway, and machine shops agreed to furnish materials and men to work under supervision of the shipowner, and to tow the vessel in and haul her out upon the land next the shops, as required in the repairs, by means of the railway, stated prices being exacted for labor, use of tug and scow, hauling out, use of railway, materials, etc. Held an entire marine contract, for the repair of the vessel, not involving a lease, or agreement in the nature of a lease, of the railway and machine shop, the use of these being but incidental. P. 249 U. S. 128.


The case is stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 249 U. S. 122

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