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U.S. Supreme Court

The Steamship Jefferson, 215 U.S. 130 (1909)

The Steamship Jefferson

No. 243

Submitted May 17, 1909

Decided November 29, 1909

215 U.S. 130


Where the district court has allowed an appeal, but has not certified that the question of jurisdiction alone was involved, as required by § 5 of the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, 26 Stat. 826, if it appears from the face of the record, irrespective of recitals in the order, that the

Page 215 U. S. 131

cause was dismissed for want of jurisdiction, the question of jurisdiction, if it is of such a character as to sustain the appeal, is sufficiently certified. United States v. Larkin, 208 U. S. 333.

Where the case is dismissed because the character of the action is one cognizable exclusively by a court of admiralty and the jurisdiction is challenged because the situation of the vessel and the character of the services rendered afforded no jurisdiction in admiralty, the jurisdiction of the court as a federal court is involved, and the case is one cognizable by this Court under § 5 of the act of 1891.

Salvage service, over which a court of admiralty has jurisdiction, may arise from all perils which may encompass a vessel when on waters within the admiralty jurisdiction of the United States, and this includes services rendered to a vessel undergoing repairs in dry dock and in danger of being destroyed by fire which originated on land.

A vessel used for navigation and commerce does not cease to be a subject of admiralty jurisdiction because temporarily in a dry dock without water actually flowing around her.

158 F.2d 5 reversed.

The facts, which involved the jurisdiction of the admiralty court of a case for salvage services rendered to a vessel in dry dock and in peril from a fire originating on land, are stated in the opinion.

Page 215 U. S. 133

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