115 U.S. 248 (1885), Starin v. City of New York

Citation:115 U.S. 248, 6 S.Ct. 28, 29 L.Ed. 388
Party Name:STARIN and others v. MAYOR, ETC., OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. [1] INDEPENDENT STEAM-BOAT CO. v. SAME.
Case Date:November 02, 1885
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 248

115 U.S. 248 (1885)

6 S.Ct. 28, 29 L.Ed. 388

STARIN and others

v.

MAYOR, ETC., OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. 1

INDEPENDENT STEAM-BOAT CO.

v.

SAME.

United States Supreme Court.

November 2, 1885

Appeals from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

COUNSEL

[6 S.Ct. 28] Roscoe Conkling and Charles McNamee, for appellants.

W. W. MacFarland, for appellees.

OPINION

WAITE, C. J.

These are appeals from orders of the circuit court remanding a suit which had been removed from a state court under the act of March [6 S.Ct. 29] 3, 1875, c. 137, (18 St. 470.) The questions to be decided arise on the following facts:

The mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the city of New York, a municipal corporation of the state of New York, commonly called the city of New York, brought a suit in equity on or about the eleventh of August, 1884, in the superior court of the city of New York, against John H. Starin, Independent Steam-boat Company, Starin's City, River & Harbor Transportation Company of New York, New York & Staten Island Steam-boat Company, David Manning, Franklin Wilson, William Clark, John G. Belknap, James B. Corwin, Max Golden, SAMUEL

Page 249

UNDERHILL, AND FRANK SMITH, TO REStrAin thEM from using anD emplOying the steam ferry-boats Pomona, D. R. Martin, Laura M. Starin, and Castleton, or any other vessel or vessels of any kind, for and in the transportation of persons, animals, vehicles, freight, goods, and chattels from or to pier No. 18, North river, or from or to any place in Manhattan island to or from certain landing places on the shore of Staten island, without the license or permission of the plaintiffs; and also for an account of moneys received by the defendants, or any or either of them, for such transportation. Both Manhattan island and Staten island are in the state of New York. The cause of action as stated in the complaint is that the city, under its charter granted originally January 15, 1730, by the province of New York, and since confirmed by the state of New York, has the exclusive right of establishing ferries from Manhattan island to the opposite shores, in such and so many places as the common council may think fit; that the defendants, without the permission of the city, have set up and are maintaining a ferry between Manhattan island and certain landing places on Staten island, and for that purpose employ the boats above named; that the defendant Starin is the owner of the Castleton and the D. R. Martin, and the person chiefly interested in Starin's City, River & Harbor Transportation Company, of New York, which owns the Laura M. Starin, and in the New York & Staten Island Steam-boat Company, which owns the Pomona; that while the business in done in the name of the Independent Steam-boat Company, that company was organized and incorporated through his instrumentality and in his interest, and is composed of but three persons, all of whom are in his employ and under his control; that the incorporation of the company was a device for his own personal benefit; and that he is in fact the person actually operating the ferry. The certificate of incorporation, a copy of which is attached to the complaint, shows that the company was organized under the laws of New Jersey, July 26, 1884, with a capital of $5,000, divided into 500 shares of $10 each, all owned by three persons, for the transportation of persons and property upon water as common

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carriers for hire; that the principal part of the business of the company in New Jersey was to be transacted in Jersey City; and that the business out of that state was to be done in the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and the several villages, landing-places, cities, and towns on the Hudson river, Staten island, and Long island, in New York, accessible by water.

The defendants Starin, Independent Steam-boat Company, Starin's City, River & Harbor Transportation Company, and New York & Staten Island Steam-boat Company each filed a separate answer to the complaint. All the other defendants, who are the masters or pilots or engineers employed in running the several boats, united in one answer. The answers all contain substantially the same defenses. They admit the ownership of the boats, as set forth in the complaint, except that it is alleged the Castleton belongs to the New York & Staten Island Steam-boat Company instead of Starin. They admit the charter of the city, with words purporting to grant certain rights as to the establishment of ferries from Manhattan island to the opposite shores, but deny that this grant extends to ferries between New York and that part of Staten island which borders upon the Kill von Kull. They admit [6 S.Ct. 30] that the several boats mentioned in the complaint were run at stated times by the Independent Steam-boat Company, under the management of the masters and engineers, without the license or permission of the city, for the transportation of persons and property between pier 18, North river, which is on Manhattan island, and certain landing places on the shore of Staten island, making daily 14 trips, or thereabouts, but they deny that in so doing the company either operated a ferry or usurped any franchise belonging to the city. They also deny the allegations in the complaint as to the connection of the defendant Starin with the Independent Steam-boat Company, and deny that Starin is the person who is actually operating the boats.

The answers then allege, 'as a matter of special defense under the...

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