The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nickerson, District Judge.
Plaintiff Buchanan Marine Inc. (Buchanan), an owner and
operator of tugboats and barges in Connecticut and elsewhere,
brought this action to enjoin defendants from using its
commercial barge mooring in Stamford Harbor, Connecticut, and
to recover damages allegedly arising from defendants' use of
the mooring. In a memorandum and order, dated October 2,
1987, Buchanan Marine, Inc. v. McCormack Sand Co., 670 F. Supp. 469
(E.D.N.Y. 1987), aff'd 847 F.2d 834 (2d Cir. 1988),
familiarity with which is assumed, the court denied Buchanan's
motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that it had failed
to demonstrate irreparable harm.
Defendants now move for summary judgment, arguing that
Buchanan is not entitled to exclusive use of the buoy and
that its claims for injunctive and declaratory relief should
be dismissed. Defendants also ask for sanctions.
The facts detailed in the court's previous decisions may be
summarized as follows.
Buchanan owns and operates tug boats and barges for the
delivery of stone and other bulk material in, among other
places, Connecticut. Defendants operate barges in Stamford
Harbor (the Harbor).
Both Buchanan and defendants have customers in the Harbor
and say they require a harbor mooring to do business in the
area. Apparently, placing a mooring outside the Harbor would
cause a hazard to navigation and is thus not feasible.
Buchanan claims to own the physical buoy and to have
obtained a permit in October 1981 from the Stamford Harbor
master John Sheridan to maintain the buoy at a particular
location in the Harbor. While allegedly never authorizing
others to use the buoy, Buchanan admittedly tolerated until
1983 the occasional such use by defendants. See Affidavit of
Allen H. Birk, Buchanan's Chief of Maintenance.
In July 1982, Buchanan notified other companies towing
barges in the Harbor that it would charge them for
unauthorized tie-ups at the mooring. In response to
Buchanan's notice, defendant McCormack Sand Company Inc.
allegedly asked Sheridan for its own mooring permit and
received a response that only one commercial
anchorage would be permitted in the Harbor.
In February 1983, Buchanan and Sheridan jointly filed an
application for a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (the Corps) to authorize Buchanan's mooring in the
Harbor in conformity with Section 10 of the federal Rivers
and Harbors Act, 33 U.S.C. § 403 (1986), requiring federal
approval for any "obstructions" placed in the navigable
In May 1983 Sheridan issued Buchanan a new mooring permit
pursuant to his authority under state law. Six months later,
the Corps issued to the "City of Stamford Harbormaster
(Buchanan Marine)," a federal permit to maintain a commercial
barge mooring buoy in the Harbor.
Buchanan asserts that on November 5, 1985 certain of the
defendants wrongly secured barges to the buoy. Because of
their weight, the outermost three barges broke away and
drifted to the Greenwich Town Beach. Buchanan's barge was
damaged, and it incurred costs for cleaning up the beach.
Despite repeated oral and written warnings by Buchanan to
remove their barges, defendants continue ...