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U.S. Supreme Court

Marine Transit Corp. v. Dreyfus, 284 U.S. 263 (1932)

Marine Transit Corp. v. Dreyfus

No. 172

Argued December 10, 11, 1931

Decided January 4, 1932

284 U.S. 263


Cargo was lost through the alleged fault of the carrier while being towed in a canal -- a navigable water of the United States -- under a maritime contract providing that all disputes under it should be arbitrated before a designated board, whose decision should be final and binding. The cargo owners, proceeding in a District Court of the United States in admiralty, filed a libel for damages against the carrier and also libeled the tug belonging to the carrier which was charged with having occasioned the loss. The carrier answered as respondent and also as claimant of the tug, and released the latter by a stipulation for value.


1. The proceedings were within the jurisdiction of the court of admiralty. P. 271.

2. Under the United States Arbitration Act, the Court had authority to direct that the issues arising under the contract between the cargo owners and the carrier be arbitrated, as provided by the contract, and to confirm the award of the arbitrators. Pp. 284 U. S. 274-276.

3. Under the agreement that the award should be "final and binding," the carrier was bound by the award against it, both as respondent and as owner and claimant of the tug, and a decree against it upon the award was authorized by § 8 of the Act. P. 284 U. S. 276.

4. The fact that the award in this case was signed by only four of the five arbitrators is not a valid objection to the decree enforcing it, since it does not appear by the record that the agreement required unanimity (the statute being silent on the subject) or that any specific objection raising the point was made on the motion for confirmation. P. 284 U. S. 276.

5. Whether the admiralty court committed error in decreeing against the stipulator as well as the respondent-claimant will not be decided when the stipulator has not sought review in this Court. P. 284 U. S. 277. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 284 U. S. 264

6. In authorizing admiralty court to require specific performance of valid stipulations for arbitration in maritime contracts, and to enter decrees on awards found to be regular and in accordance with the agreements, Congress did not infringe upon the judicial power as extended to cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. P. 284 U. S. 277.

49 F.2d 215 affirmed.

Certiorari, post, p. 601, to review a decree in admiralty, in a loss-of-cargo case, enforcing an agreement to arbitrate and the award of the arbitrators. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 284 U. S. 268

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