Davis v. Corona Coal Co, 819

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation265 U.S. 219,68 L.Ed. 987,44 S.Ct. 552
Docket NumberNo. 819,819
PartiesDAVIS, Director General of Railroads, as Agent, v. CORONA COAL CO
Decision Date26 May 1924

Messrs. Harry McCall and George Denegre, both of New Orleans, La., for petitioner.

Mr. Richard B. Montgomery, of New Orleans, La., for respondent.

[Argument of Counsel from page 220 intentionally omitted] Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

On March 3, 1923, the Director General of Railroads sued the respondent Coal Company in a City Court of New Orleans, for damages done by it to a railroad wharf on January 9, 1920, while the wharf was under federal control. The Coal Company pleaded the prescription of one year under the statutes of Louisiana. Civil Code, art. 3536. This defence was upheld by the City Court and by the Court of Appeals and a review was denied by the Supreme Court on the ground that the ruling below was correct. A writ of certiorari was granted by this Court. 264 U. S. 578, 44 Sup. Ct. 403, 68 L. Ed. ——.

In E. I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. v. Davis, 264 U. S. 456, 44 Sup. Ct. 364, 68 L. Ed. ——, April 7, 1924, it was held that the Director General was not barred by the statutes of the United States in an action on behalf of the United States in its governmental capacity to recover upon a liability arising out of his control. The familiar rule was repeated that the United States should not be held to have waived any sovereign right or privilege unless it was plainly so provided. The reasoning of that case excludes the notion that there was any intentional waiver by the United States of its sovereign right to collect its claims, irrespective of any statute, 'as soon as practicable.' The provision of section 10 of the Federal Control Act of March 21, 1918, c. 25, 40 Stat. 451, 456 (Comp. St. 1918, Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1919, § 3115 3/4 j), subjecting carriers 'to all laws and liabilities as common carriers, whether arising under State or Federal laws or at common law, except,' etc., rightly was said by the counsel for the petitioner to do no more than subject operations of the carriers to existing laws, not to adopt from the States their several limitations to suits that this Government might bring, while the United States applied no limitations of its own. The distinction in the statute between carriers and the Government is pointed out in the above cited case. Also it is established that a state statute of limitations cannot bar the United States, at least when a suit is brought in the United States courts. United States v. Thompson, 98 U. S. 486, 25 L. Ed. 194; United States v. Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Ry. Co., 118 U. S. 120, 6 Sup. Ct. 1006, 30 L. Ed. 81; Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Co. v....

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  • National Labor Relations Board v. Company 8212 93
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • December 8, 1971
    ...was held to be on behalf of the United States and thus was not barred by the relevant statute of limitations. Davis v. Corona Coal Co., 265 U.S. 219, 44 S.Ct. 552, 68 L.Ed. 987. 5 Congress has vested the Board with broad powers to seek injunctive relief in the district courts. Section 10(l)......
  • Southwest Washington Production Credit Ass'n of Chehalis v. Fender
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    • August 11, 1944
    ... ... manifested that intention. In Davis v. Corona Coal ... Co., 265 U.S. 219, 222, 44 S.Ct. 552, 553, 68 L.Ed ... 987[988], ... ...
  • Taylor v. United States
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    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • September 28, 1949
  • United States v. De Queen and Eastern Railroad Co., 16203.
    • United States
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    • December 8, 1959
    ... ... Co., 247 U.S. 310, 313-314, 38 S.Ct. 525, 62 L.Ed. 1130; E. I. Dupont de Nemours & Co. v. Davis, 264 U.S. 456, 462, 44 S.Ct. 364, 68 L.Ed. 788; Davis v. Corona Coal Co., 265 U.S. 219, 221-223, 44 ... ...
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