subject matter for this Court's jurisdiction, and is not limited to consideration of the claims against the present movants.
In considering a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), allegations of the complaint should be construed favorably to the pleader. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 40 L. Ed. 2d 90, 94 S. Ct. 1683 (1974); Antares Aircraft, L.P. v. Fed. Republic of Nigeria, 948 F.2d 90, 96 (2d Cir. 1991). However, argumentative inferences favorable to the party asserting jurisdiction should not be drawn. Norton v. Larney, 266 U.S. 511, 515, 69 L. Ed. 413, 45 S. Ct. 145 (1925); Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co. v. Balfour MacLaine Int'l Ltd., 968 F.2d 196, 198 (2d Cir. 1992). This Court shall now consider each of the plaintiff's arguments for a possible basis of federal admiralty jurisdiction.
A. Direct Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over the Personal Guaranty
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1333 grants federal district courts the power to entertain "any civil case of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction." As the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ("Second Circuit") has recently noted in Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co. v. Balfour MacLaine Int'l Ltd., "it has long been decided that this grant includes jurisdiction 'over all contracts . . . which relate to the navigation, business, or commerce of the sea.'" 968 F.2d 196, 199 (2d Cir. 1992) (quoting De Lovio v. Boit, 7 F. Cas. 418, 444 (C.C.D.Mass. 1815) (No. 3,776) (Story, J.)). However, the Balfour Court further noted that "'the boundaries of admiralty jurisdiction over contracts . . . being conceptual rather than spatial, have always been difficult to draw.'" Balfour, 968 F.2d at 199 (quoting Kossick v. United Fruit Co., 365 U.S. 731, 735, 6 L. Ed. 2d 56, 81 S. Ct. 886 (1961)). Precedent in this area provides some guidance as to whether or not a contract should be considered maritime. A contract to repair a ship, for example, is a maritime contract, Rubino v. Hudson River Glassworks, No. 90 Civ. 1439, 1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9388, 1990 WL 108364 (S.D.N.Y. July 26, 1990), while a contract to sell a ship is not. Lynnhaven Dolphin Corp. v. E.L.O. Enterps., Inc., 776 F.2d 538 (5th Cir. 1985). A contract to "insure a ship . . . is maritime, but a contract to build a ship is not. . . ." Kossick v. United Fruit Co., 365 U.S. 731, 6 L. Ed. 2d 56, 81 S. Ct. 886 (1960) (citations omitted).
The contract under which the movants here are being sued is one of personal guaranty -- the five individual defendants promised to repay the $ 500,000 to the plaintiff should Levant Line default on the loan. In order for this action to be grounded directly in admiralty jurisdiction, the contract of personal guaranty must be found to be a maritime contract. Ingersoll Milling Machine Co. v. M/V Bodena, 829 F.2d 293, 302 (2d Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1042, 98 L. Ed. 2d 860, 108 S. Ct. 774 (1988).
Any analysis of whether or not a contract should be considered a maritime contract must begin with an examination of the goals of admiralty jurisdiction. "The question of whether a dispute falls within admiralty jurisdiction cannot be divorced from the 'purposes for which admiralty and maritime jurisdiction was granted.'" Balfour, 968 F.2d at 199 (citing Insurance Co. v. Dunham, 78 U.S. 1, 31, 20 L. Ed. 90 (1871)). As the Second Circuit has recently explained:
before attempting to categorize contractual rights as maritime or non-maritime, a federal court must first consider whether an issue related to maritime interests has been raised.