DL Piazza Co. v. West Coast Line, 133

Decision Date02 March 1954
Docket NumberNo. 133,Docket 22899.,133
Citation210 F.2d 947
PartiesD. L. PIAZZA CO. et al. v. WEST COAST LINE, Inc., et al.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit

McNutt & Nash, J. Newton Nash and Edward B. Hayes, New York City, Edward B. Hayes and Stephen A. Milwid, Chicago, Ill., of counsel, for plaintiff-appellant.

Stanley W. Schaefer, New York City, William M. Kimball, New York City, of counsel, for defendants-appellees, West Coast Line, Inc., Wessel, Duval & Co., Inc. and J. Lauritzen.

Stanley N. Barnes, Asst. Atty. Gen., J. Edward Lumbard, U. S. Atty., Southern Dist. of N. Y., Ralph S. Spritzer and Lawrence Gochberg, Sp. Assts. to Atty. Gen., Max E. Halpern, Acting General Counsel, and Edward Aptaker, Attorney, Federal Maritime Board, Washington, D. C., for defendants-appellees United States of America and Federal Maritime Board.

Before CHASE, Chief Judge, and AUGUSTUS N. HAND and MEDINA, Circuit Judges.

AUGUSTUS N. HAND, Circuit Judge.

In May 1948, the appellant, D. L. Piazza Company, commenced a proceeding before the Federal Maritime Board (at that time known as the United States Maritime Commission) pursuant to Section 22 of the Shipping Act of 1916, 46 U.S.C.A. § 821, to recover $51,132.69 in reparations from defendant-appellees, West Coast Line, Inc., Wessel, Duval & Co. and J. Lauritzen. Recovery was sought for alleged violations of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C.A. §§ 812, 815, 816, resulting from discriminatory charges and practices occurring in connection with a charter party entered into between the parties. The Board, in a final order of December 11, 1951, awarded appellant $2,500 but denied all further claims for reparations. After refusing to accept a tender of $2,500 by defendant J. Lauritzen, the appellant brought this action a year later in the district court alleging invalidity of the Board's order and demanding judgment for the full $51,132.69. On motion of the defendants United States and the Maritime Board, Judge Dimock dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. D.C., 113 F.Supp. 193. A similar action brought by the appellant challenging the Board's order in the Northern District of Illinois was dismissed on the same ground, D. L. Piazza Co. v. West Coast Line, Inc., D.C.N.D.Ill., 1953, 119 F.Supp. 937, and by stipulation of the parties appeal in that case is stayed pending our decision here. Brief of Appellees West Coast Line, Inc., et al., p. 4 fn.

The appellant seeks first to find jurisdiction in the district court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. However, this would make the action an original suit to recover reparations under the Shipping Act, and the Supreme Court has made it clear that the Federal Maritime Board has exclusive primary jurisdiction over such matters. United States Navigation Co. v. Cunard S. S. Co., 284 U.S. 474, 52 S.Ct. 247, 76 L.Ed. 408; Far East Conference v. United States, 342 U.S. 570, 72 S.Ct. 492, 96 L.Ed. 576. The appellant cannot proceed originally here in the district court without defeating this primary jurisdiction. Thus, the appellant's only remedy is to review the decision of the Board by way of the appropriate statutory procedure.

The appellant argues first that the district court is the proper tribunal to review the order of the Board here by virtue of Section 30 of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C.A. § 829. That statute provides: "In case of violation of any order of the commission for the payment of money * * *" an action may be brought in the district court to enforce the award and "the findings and order of the commission shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated * * *." Since defendant has offered to pay the $2,500 award, that is no longer in issue. Thus appellant is seeking review of a denial of reparations by the Board but the statute, by its language, applies only to actions to enforce reparations awarded by the Board.

The appellant argues, however, that the Supreme Court, in United States v. I.C.C., 337 U.S. 426, 69 S.Ct. 1410, 93 L. Ed. 1451, held that review of a denial of reparations by the I.C.C. could be had under the statute providing for enforcement of awards, 49 U.S.C.A. § 16(2), and since that provision is substantially similar to Section 30 of the Shipping Act, it should be followed here. But the Supreme Court, in disregarding a line of decisions holding orders of the I.C.C. denying reparations not reviewable, see Standard Oil Co. v. United States, 283 U.S. 235, 51 S.Ct. 429, 75 L.Ed. 999; Ashland Coal & Ice Co. v. United States, 325 U.S. 840, 65 S.Ct. 1573, 89 L.Ed. 1966, clearly based its decision on 28 U.S.C. § 41 (28) (now § 1336), the general statutory provision providing for a review of I.C.C. orders. See 337 U.S. at page 440-441, 69 S.Ct. 1410. Although the court found the normal three judge district court requirement unnecessary in view of the one judge requirement for enforcement of awards under 49 U.S.C.A. § 16(2) that does not change the fact that...

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    ...action, see Baltimore & Ohio R. Co. v. Brady, 288 U.S. 448, 457—458, 53 S.Ct. 441, 443, 77 L.Ed. 888; D. L. Piazza Co. v. West Coast Line, 210 F.2d 947 (C.A.2d Cir. 1954), cert. denied, 348 U.S. 839, 75 S.Ct. 42, 99 L.Ed. Pennsylvania R. Co. v. United States, supra, involved a suit by a car......
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    ...into appellate review of the agency's decision, see Federal Maritime Bd. v. Isbrandtsen Co., supra; cf. D. L. Piazza Co. v. West Coast Line, Inc., 210 F.2d 947 (C.A.2d Cir., 1954), or even to preclude such enforcement entirely if the agency has the power to approve the challenged activities......
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    ...at 1007, citing Baltimore & Ohio R.R. v. Brady, 288 U.S. 448, 457-58, 53 S.Ct. 441, 443, 77 L.Ed. 888 (1933); D. L. Piazza Co. v. West Coast Line, 210 F.2d 947, 949 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 348 U.S. 839, 75 S.Ct. 42, 99 L.Ed. 661 The characterization of the action below as a direct review p......
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    ...1288-89. Furthermore, we agree with the district court, Guam I, supra, 809 F.Supp. at 154, and appellees, thatD.L. Piazza Co. v. West Coast Line, Inc., 210 F.2d 947 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 348 U.S. 839, 75 S.Ct. 42, 99 L.Ed. 661 (1954) (Piazza ), is most clearly on point. In that case, aft......
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