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RIVOLI TRUCKING CORP. v. AMERICAN EXPORT LINES

October 21, 1958

RIVOLI TRUCKING CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN EXPORT LINES, Inc., et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ZAVATT

Thirty-four of the thirty-six defendants in this action have moved to dismiss the complaint on the following grounds:

1. That the action does not arise under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States;

2. That the Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter;

 3. That the complaint fails to state a claim against thirty-one of the defendants who are represented by attorney, Herman Goldman;

 4. That the action is barred by a prior determination of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

 As to the two named defendants who have not joined in these motions, one of them, States Terminal Corporation, has not been served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint, and as to the other, Panama Line, the complaint has been dismissed by consent of the plaintiff and that defendant.

 The complaint alleges that 'This cause of action arises under and by virtue of a particular Act of Congress, to wit: Public Law 252; 83rd Congress: First Session, Chapter 407; August 12, 1953; § . 2383; United States Statutes at Large, Vol. 67.' Nevertheless the complaint alleges in substance that the defendants have violated the letter and spirit of the United States Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C.A. 801 et seq.; the letter and spirit of 18 U.S.C.A. 1951; that the defendants have violated sections 580, 850 and 1433 of the Penal Law of the State of New York, McKinney's Consol.Laws, c. 40, Article 22, 340 et seq. of the General Business Law of the State of New York, McKinney's Consol.Laws, c. 20, and have violated the rules and regulations of the Federal Maritime Board, including Maritime Board's Agreement 8005. The complaint also alleges that, if the United States Shipping Act is construed as exempting the defendants from liability for the alleged acts set forth in the complaint, the United States Shipping Act is in conflict with art. III, Sec. 2 of the Constitution of the United States, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and art. I, Sec. 6 of the Constitution of the State of New York; there is also a vague reference in the complaint to the National Labor Relations Board which would suggest that the plaintiff may be attempting to assert a claim under the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.A. 141 et seq.

 This scrambling together of various federal and state statutes is reflected further in the prayer for relief wherein the plaintiff seeks a judgment for damages in a sum of $ 991,763.22 plus what the plaintiff refers to as 'punitive or treble damages or special damages, according to the Law of the State of New York * * *.' The complaint would be most bewildering were it not for the allegations contained in paragraphs 'First' and 'Twenty-Seventh' of the complaint, as follows:

 'First: This cause of action arises under and by virtue of a particular Act of Congress, to wit; Public Law 252; 83rd Congress; First Session, Chapter 407; August 12, 1953; § . 2383; United States Statutes at Large, Vol. 67.

 'Twenty-Seventh: Plaintiff elects to maintain this cause of action under and by virtue of the provisions of Public Law 252; 83rd Congress, First Session, Chapter 407, August 12, 1953; S. 2383; United States Statutes at Large, Vol. 67.'

 In view of these specific allegations of the complaint the Court need determine only one question, to wit: whether the complaint states a claim under this Act of Congress that is within the jurisdiction of and cognizable by this Court. Art. I, Sec. 10 of the Constitution of the United States provides in part as follows:

 'Section 10 * * *.

 'No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, * * * enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, * * *.'

 In 1953 the States of New York and New Jersey decided to enter into a compact to be known as the New York-New Jersey Waterfront Commission Compact and to create the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor to carry out the provisions of such a Compact. This compact was enacted into law by the State of New York by Laws 1953, Chapter 882, effective June 30, 1953 (McKinney's Unconsol. Laws 6700-aa -- 6700-zz) and was enacted into law by the State of New Jersey as New Jersey Statutes at Large ...


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