THIS was an appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the eastern district of Louisiana, sitting in admiralty. The steamer Capitol was libelled in the District Court of the United States for the eastern district of Louisiana, by Roach & Long, residing at Louisville, in Kentucky. The libel was filed under the general admiralty law and the law of the State of Kentucky for $2,347.48, part of the price of the engine and boilers of the steamer Capitol, furnished at Louisville. The District Court sustained the claim, but the Circuit Court reversed the decree, and dismissed the libel for want of jurisdiction. The libellants appealed to this court. The case was argued for the appellants by Mr. Benjamin, no counsel appearing for the appellees.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mr. Justice Grier delivered the opinion of the court.
Mr. Benjamin made the following points:
1. As to the existence of a lien in favor of the builder, under the general maritime law, the adverse opinion of the Circuit Court will not be called in question, as the decision of this court in the case of the People's Ferry Co. of Boston v. Beers et al., 20 Howard, 393, must be considered as conclusive on this point.
2. But a lien in this case was given both by the law of the State of Kentucky, where the boat was built, and by that of the State of Louisiana, where she was intended to be employed, and where the libel was filed.
Revised Statutes of Kentucky, 143, sec. 2.
This lien, under the law of Kentucky, where the contract for the work was made, was available for one year only from the time the cause of action accrued, as against a purchaser without actual notice, or such constructive notice as is afforded by endorsement on the enrolment.
The libel was filed before the adoption of the new twelfth rule in admiralty, which took effect only on the 1st May, 1859.
The cause of action accrued on the 5th January, 1855, and the libel was filed within the year, viz: on the 15th December, 1855.
3. The District Court, sitting in admiralty, had jurisdiction to enforce this lien.
Read v. the hull of a new Brig, 1 Story, 244.
Davis v. a new Brig, Gilpin's R., ...