State Establishment for Agr. Product Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, No. 84-3656

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore HENDERSON and CLARK; CLARK
Citation770 F.2d 987
PartiesSTATE ESTABLISHMENT FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT TRADING, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. M/V WESERMUNDE, etc., et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date10 September 1985
Docket NumberNo. 84-3656

Page 987

770 F.2d 987
1987 A.M.C. 2066
STATE ESTABLISHMENT FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT TRADING,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
M/V WESERMUNDE, etc., et al., Defendants-Appellees.
No. 84-3656.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eleventh Circuit.
Sept. 10, 1985.

Page 988

David G. Hanlon, Jeanne T. Tate, Tampa, Fla., for plaintiff-appellant.

Allen Von Spiegelfeld, Tampa, Fla., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Before HENDERSON and CLARK, Circuit Judges, and HOFFMAN *, District Judge.

CLARK, Circuit Judge:

The appellant, State Establishment for Agricultural Product Trading (hereinafter State Establishment), brought suit alleging that a cargo of eggs had not been delivered in accordance with one or more bills of lading. Named as defendants were the M/V Wesermunde, a vessel of foreign registry which carried the eggs; Marquis Compania Naviera, S.A. and Kittiwake Compania Naviera, S.A., corporations engaged in the common carriage of cargo by sea; Pateras Brothers, Ltd. and Pateras Investment, S.A., corporations engaged in the management of ocean-going vessels including the M/V Wesermunde; and The United Kingdom Mutual Steamship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd., the liability underwriter of the other defendants.

The defendants moved in district court to have the dispute referred to arbitration as provided for in the charter party and bills of lading, and to have the district court case stayed pending arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration Act. 9 U.S.C. Secs. 2, 3 (1970). Although State Establishment argued that it was not bound by the

Page 989

terms of the charter party as it was not a signatory to, and the dispute did not arise from, the charter party, the district court granted the defendants' motion.

State Establishment seeks to appeal from the order staying trial pending arbitration. The defendants, however, contend that this court lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal from such an order. Where it appears that this court may lack jurisdiction to review an action of the district court, we are obligated to review jurisdiction before proceeding to the substance of the appeal. Ray v. Edwards, 725 F.2d 655, 658 n. 3 (11th Cir.1984); Save the Bay, Inc. v. United States Army, 639 F.2d 1100, 1102 (5th Cir.1981). 1

To be appealable, an order must either be final or fall into a specific class of interlocutory orders which are made appealable by statute or jurisprudential exception. Save the Bay, 639 F.2d at 1102.

In the seminal case, Schoenamsgruber v. Hamburg American Line, 294 U.S. 454, 55 S.Ct. 475, 79 L.Ed. 989 (1935), the Supreme Court held that when a district court is sitting in admiralty, an order compelling arbitration and staying the action pending arbitration pursuant to 9 U.S.C. Secs. 1-15 is (1) not a final order under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 225 (now Sec. 1291); (2) not an injunction under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 227 (now Sec. 1292(a)(1)); and (3) not an appealable interlocutory decree under the present Sec. 1292(a)(3). Id. 294 U.S. at 456-58, 55 S.Ct. at 476-77.

Notwithstanding State Establishment's contentions to the contrary, the Schoenamsgruber rule remains valid and controls this case. State Establishment cites several cases from the former Fifth Circuit and other circuits in support of the proposition that an order staying court proceedings pending arbitration is appealable as a final order. These cases are inapposite. All but one deal with actions brought at law, not admiralty. The former Fifth Circuit has recognized a difference between stay orders in admiralty cases and stay orders in cases brought at law. "For reasons more historical than logical an order denying a stay pending arbitration in a proceeding in admiralty is not an appealable order" while "[s]uch an order in an action at law is appealable." W.R. Grace & Co. v. The Trawler Crustamar, 571 F.2d 318, 319 (5th Cir.1978). See Texaco, Inc. v. American Trading Transportation Co., Inc., 644 F.2d 1152, 1154 (5th Cir.1981). The one case cited by State Establishment which may be an admiralty case is also not on point. See Karavos Compania Naviera S.A. v. Atlantica Export Corp., 588 F.2d 1, 7 (2d Cir.1978) (opinion concerning maritime charter does not indicate whether case is at law or admiralty). Karavos simply reaffirmed two past rulings of the Second Circuit that "although an order directing arbitration is interlocutory when made in the course of continuing litigation, it is considered a final decision when handed down in an independent proceeding under Sec. 4 of the Arbitration Act." Chatham Shipping Co. v. Fertex Steamship...

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12 practice notes
  • Robinson v. Tanner, No. 85-7456
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 9, 1986
    ...jurisdiction before proceeding to the substance of the appeal. State Establishment for Agricultural Product Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987, 989 (11th Cir.1985). Thus, it must first be decided if the order compelling Robinson to appear at a deposition and sanctioning him $200 was an......
  • Administrative Management Services, Ltd., Inc. v. Royal American Managers, Inc., No. 87-5573
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 14, 1988
    ...to be interlocutory and not appealable under Sec. 1291). See also State Establishment for Agric. Prod. Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987, 989 (11th Cir.1985) (applying Schoenamsgruber in admiralty 6 In Mar-Len of Louisiana, Inc. v. Parsons-Gilbane, 732 F.2d 444, 445 (5th Cir.1984), th......
  • Sea Lane Bahamas Limited v. Europa Cruises, No. 98-5034
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 17, 1999
    ...Texaco, Inc., 639 F.2d 1342, 1343 (5th Cir. Unit A March 1981). In State Establishment for Agricultural Product Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987 (11th Cir.1985), a panel of this circuit found that an order staying trial pending arbitration did not determine the rights and liabilities......
  • Offshore of the Palm Beaches, Inc. v. Lynch, No. 13–11092.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • February 3, 2014
    ...§ 1292(a)(1) interlocutory jurisdiction, without mentioning Pershing. See State Establishment for Agric. Prod. Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987, 990 (11th Cir.1985); Austracan, (U.S.A.) Inc. v. M/V Lemoncore, 500 F.2d 237, 240 (5th Cir.1974). Under our prior precedent rule, we are bo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Robinson v. Tanner, No. 85-7456
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 9, 1986
    ...jurisdiction before proceeding to the substance of the appeal. State Establishment for Agricultural Product Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987, 989 (11th Cir.1985). Thus, it must first be decided if the order compelling Robinson to appear at a deposition and sanctioning him $200 was an......
  • Administrative Management Services, Ltd., Inc. v. Royal American Managers, Inc., No. 87-5573
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 14, 1988
    ...to be interlocutory and not appealable under Sec. 1291). See also State Establishment for Agric. Prod. Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987, 989 (11th Cir.1985) (applying Schoenamsgruber in admiralty 6 In Mar-Len of Louisiana, Inc. v. Parsons-Gilbane, 732 F.2d 444, 445 (5th Cir.1984), th......
  • Sea Lane Bahamas Limited v. Europa Cruises, No. 98-5034
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • September 17, 1999
    ...Texaco, Inc., 639 F.2d 1342, 1343 (5th Cir. Unit A March 1981). In State Establishment for Agricultural Product Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987 (11th Cir.1985), a panel of this circuit found that an order staying trial pending arbitration did not determine the rights and liabilities......
  • Offshore of the Palm Beaches, Inc. v. Lynch, No. 13–11092.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • February 3, 2014
    ...§ 1292(a)(1) interlocutory jurisdiction, without mentioning Pershing. See State Establishment for Agric. Prod. Trading v. M/V Wesermunde, 770 F.2d 987, 990 (11th Cir.1985); Austracan, (U.S.A.) Inc. v. M/V Lemoncore, 500 F.2d 237, 240 (5th Cir.1974). Under our prior precedent rule, we are bo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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