Open main menu

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

123 U.S. 349

The Maggie Smith

This case comes before us from the circuit court of the United States for the district of Maryland. It is a libel against the vessel Maggie J. Smith for damages caused by her collision with the schooner Enoch Robinson, which resulted in sinking the latter, and in the entire loss of both vessel and cargo. The libelants are the owners of the Enoch Robinson. The petitioners are the owners of the property on board, who have intervened for their interest. The claims of libelants and petitioners exceeded the value of the Maggie J. Smith and her freight, and thereupon the owners of that vessel instituted proceedings for the benefit of the limited liability provisions of Rev. St. §§ 4283-4289, under which the value of the vessel was appraised at $32,000, to which amount their liability was accordingly limited. A stipulation for that amount was thereupon given by sufficient sureties, with the condition that the claimants would perform the final order and decree in the case, or that execution might issue against the goods, lands, and tenements of the stipulators wherever found.

On the trial before the district court a decree was entered for the claimants, and the libel dismissed. On appeal, the circuit court reversed the decree, and adjudged that the libelants and petitioners were entitled to recover certain specified sums, which, in the aggregate, exceeded the $32,000; that the stipulators should pay that amount into the registry of the court, and that the clerk, after deducting the costs of the circuit and district courts, should pay the balance to the libelants and petitioners pro rata; that is, in proportion to their respective claims as allowed. From this decree the claimants have appealed to this court. Subsequently the libelants and petitioners applied to the circuit court for a further decree, directing the claimants to pay interest on the amount of the stipulation from its date, and the costs of the district and circuit courts, but the application was refused. From this refusal they have appealed to this court.

Robert H. Smith, John H. Thomas, and W. W. MacFarland, for The Maggie Smith and others.

John Lathrop and Sebastian Brown, for Walker and others.



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).