233 N.Y. 373, Red Cross Line v. Atlantic Fruit Co.

Citation:233 N.Y. 373
Party Name:In the Matter of the Petition of RED CROSS LINE, Respondent, for an Order Directing ATLANTIC FRUIT COMPANY, Appellant, to Proceed to Arbitration.
Case Date:May 31, 1922
Court:New York Court of Appeals

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233 N.Y. 373

In the Matter of the Petition of RED CROSS LINE, Respondent, for an Order Directing ATLANTIC FRUIT COMPANY, Appellant, to Proceed to Arbitration.

New York Court of Appeal

May 31, 1922

Argued March 2, 1922.

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John W. Crandall and E. F. Rapallo for appellant. The order appealed from finally determined an action or special proceeding where the construction of the Constitution of the United States is directly involved. ( Meacham v. Jamestown & Co., 211 N.Y. 346; U.S. Asphalt R. Co. v. T. L. P. Co., 222 F. 1006; Insurance Co. v. Morse, 20 Wall. 457; Doyle v. Insurance Co., 94 U.S. 535; Morewood v. Enequist, 23 How. [ U. S.] 491; Dunbar v. Weston, 93 F. 472; The Moses Taylor, 4 Wall. 411; Chelentis v. Luckenbach, 247 U.S. 372; Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 U.S. 205; Knickerbocker Ice Co. v. Stewart, 253 U.S. 149; Hine v. Trevor, 4 Wall. 555; Brookman v. Hamill, 43 N.Y. 554.)

Homer L. Loomis and Reginald B. Williams for respondent. The appeal should be dismissed. ( E. S. I. Mining Co. v. Hanley, 205 U.S. 225; Matter of Haydorn v. Carroll, 225 N.Y. 84; People ex rel. Moss v. Supervisor, 221 N.Y. 367.) The remedy provided by the statute applies to and enforces the specific agreement to arbitrate and does not apply to or enforce the rights alleged in the controversy to be arbitrated. A remedy to enforce the agreement to arbitrate is not one to enforce a maritime contract. A remedy provided in a state court that makes available a remedy for the settlement of a maritime controversy through the specific enforcement of an agreement for that remedy is not an infringement of the jurisdiction of the admiralty court. ( Berkowitz v. Arbib

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& Houlberg, 230 N.Y. 261; Matter of Division 132, 196 A.D. 206; Atlantic Fruit Co. v. Red Cross Line, 276 F. 319; Jacobus v. Colgate, 217 N.Y. 235; The Perseverance, 19 Fed. Cas. 308; N. P. S. S. Co. v. Hall Bros. Co., 249 U.S. 119; Plummer v. Webb, 4 Mason, 380; The Sirius, 65 F. 226; P. S. Co. v. Leatham, etc., Co., 151 F. 440; Marquardt v. French, 53 F. 603.)The remedy provided by the statute is constitutional because it is the common-law remedy of specific performance if it enforces the agreement to arbitrate even although this agreement should be considered maritime, and would be the common-law remedy of arbitration originating in the agreement of the parties if it could be considered as a remedy for the settlement of controversies. ( Hine v. Trevor, 4 Wall. 555; Chelentis v. Luckenbach S. S. Co., 247 U.S. 372; The Moses Taylor, 4 Wall. 411; Knapp, Stout & Co. v. McCaffrey, 177 U.S. 638; Berton v. Tietjen & Lang D. D. Co., 219 F. 763; Steamboat Co. v. Chase, 16 Wall. 522; Union Fish Co. v. Erickson, 248 U.S. 308; Watts v. Camors, 115 U.S. 353.) The controversy here to be arbitrated is itself not a maritime controversy and is one over which admiralty has no jurisdiction. ( U. T. & L. Co. v. N.Y. & B. T. Line, 185 F. 386.)


Section 2, article 3 of the Federal Constitution provides: 'The judicial power shall extend * * * to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.'

The Judicial Code confers upon the District Courts original jurisdiction of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction saving to suitors in all cases the right of common-law remedy where the common law is competent to give it. Section 256 of the Judicial Code provides: 'The jurisdiction vested in the courts of the United States * * * shall be exclusive of the courts of the several states.'

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The appellant having invoked the foregoing provisions of the Federal Constitution in opposition to the granting of an order of arbitration and thereby made the provisions of the Constitution stated, as...

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