NEW HARBOR PROTEO'N CO. V. STR.CBAS.P.OHOUTEAU.
PROTECTION CO. V. STEAMER CUARLES CHOUTEAU.
(Di8trict Court, D. Loui,.iana. January, 1881.)
1. SALVAGE-BURNING VESSEL-SERVICES DECLINED.
Salvage cannot be claimed for aid tendered a burning vessel, when such assistance was absolutely declined.
SAME-ATTEMPT TO COMPEL ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICES.
An attempt to compel an acceptance of such aid will forfeit all right to compensation for expenses incurred in going to the relief of the burning vessel.-[ED.
In Admiralty. On the twenty-fourth day of 1880, about 8: 15 P. M., a fire was discovered, which had originated in some bales· of jute stored on the larboard guards of the ·Charles.P. Chou· teau, some 50' feet aft of the boilers. The officers and crew immediately assembled and commenced to put it out, and in about two minutes the fire-engines of the boat were in operation and playing three streams of water on the fire. Two Babcock extinguishers were also playing on the flames, and the crew were so alive and vigilant that in about five minutes after the fire was discovered it was put out by their efforts, without aid from anyone else. Soon after the fire was dis. covered the watchman rang the bell several times as a signal to the pilot to stop the boat. The sound of this bell, and the smoke rising from the flames, drew to· the scene the Pro. tector, a fire-boat belonging to libellarits, which is always kept in a state of readiness to render service at any poil1t' on the city front. Although the fire was nearly extinguls'hed, the Protector came along.side,and, without any hailing or usual inquiry if any aid was needed, endea"ored' to force her aid in putting out the remainder of the fire. The captain of the Chouteau told the crew of the Protector that he did not need their aid, and ordered them to! desist. In spite of this' order, they began to pump water on the burning vessel, whereupon the captain of the latter threatened to shoot them if they did not stop. The Protector was finally driven off,
and returned to her station. The damages by fire were so slight that the consignees of the freight receiveG. it without any claims for losses. A few days later the owners of the Protector filed a libel for salvage. M. M. Oohen, for libellant. A. Micon, for claimant. BILLINGS, D. J. A large amount of testimony has been taken in this case to ascertain the amount of services that . were rendered by the Protector, and the circumstances under which they were rendered. The statements of the witnesses are very conflicting, but this much seems to be fully established: that although a bell was rung several times, and the Protector, thinking it an alarm-bell, responded to it, yet the captain of the burning boat absolutely refused to accept the aid of the libellant's boat. This, I think, it was competent for him to do. If the master of a burning vessel prefers to allow her to burn rather than to permit outside parties to extinguish the flames, he may do so. He has a perfect right to decline any assistance that may be offered him: he should not ,be assisted against his will. Even if the crew of the Protector had rendered any services, which, it appears, they did not do, after having been ordered off by the captain of the Chouteau, they could not claim anything for such services. At first I was in some doubt as to whether the Protector was not entitled to recover the value of the fuel used in getting up steam, and for the labor employed in going to where the Chouteau was lying. Had she merely gone to the scene of the fire, offered her services in the usual manner, and, on the refusal of the captain ()f the burning vessel to accept them, returned to her wharf, I should have allowed her something for the labor and fuel expended in doing thus much; but the subsequent unjustifiable conduct of her crew in endeavoring to force their aid on an unwilling subject, deprived her of the right to demand compensation for what little she did do.
HOWARDS V. SELDER.
HOWARDS V. SELDEN
and others; Ex pa,"
Court, E. D. Virginia.
JURISDICTION 01l' FEDERAL OoUR'i-EQmTABLE RELlIl:1l'-RESIDENT8
SAME STATE. In a suit in a state court for an account against a deputy sheritf, who was insolvent and in default, an.d against his sureties, in which the high sheritf and his sureties and two creditors were parties,. & decree was rendered in favor of the creditors, awarding each a sum of money. The non-resident representatives of one of these creditors, who had died, brought a chancery suit in a United States circuit court making the other creditor and all the parties to the suit in the state court parties defendant, all the defendants being residents of the state. In this suit, in the federal court, it was ascertained that the two debt. could not be made except against a surety of the high sheriff, and they were made by a sale of the lands of that surety, and the plaintiffs and the other creditor were paid. But, before the cause was ended, one of ( the sureties of the deputy sheriff became solvent; whereupon the surety of the high sheriff, whose lands had been sold, filed his petition in the federal court praying that this now solvent surety of the deputy sheriff, who was liable before himself for the two debts which had been paid, should be made to re-imburse himself in the amount of the two debts. Held, that the federal court having, as a court of equity, jurisdic. tion over the parties before it, had jurisdiction to grant the prayer of the petition, though both the petitioning and respondent suretiea defendant were residents of the same state.
DECREE OF STATE COURT-DEFENCE IN FEDERAL COURT.
Held, that the decree of the state court, which had not been ap_ pealed from, was conclusive against all who were parties to the suit in that court, and that it was not competent for them to make any defence in the federal court against the two debts decreed which it .might originally have been competent for them to make in the state court, but which they did not make there.
JURISDICTION OF FEDERAL COURT-CREDITORS' BILL.
Held, that it was cvropetent for the non-resident complainants in the federal court to bring in as defendants all the parties to the suit in the slate court, including the other creditor, and, by a credo itors' bill, to obtain a decree for the pa)'ment of both debts awarded by the decree of the state COUI'to
HUGHES, D. J. Charles Selden was high sheriff of Powhatan county during the year March 3,1847, to March 3,1848, and gave bond to the county as such, with W. A. Turpin as one of v.5,no.6-30