COLD METAL PROCESS CO. V. UNITED CO., 351 U. S. 445 (1956)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cold Metal Process Co. v. United Co., 351 U.S. 445 (1956)

Cold Metal Process Co. v. United Engineering & Foundry Co.

No. 76

Argued February 28, 1956

Decided June 11, 1956

351 U.S. 445


In a multiple claims action, the Federal District Court, pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended in 1946, expressly determined that there was no just reason for delay and expressly directed entry of judgment on one of the claims. The unadjudicated claim was a counterclaim arising in part out of the same transactions and occurrences as the adjudicated claim.

Held: the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 to entertain an appeal from the judgment. Pp. 351 U. S. 446-453.

(a) Rule 54(b), as amended, treats counterclaims, whether "compulsory" or "permissive," like other multiple claims. P. 351 U. S. 452.

(b) Under amended Rule 54(b), the relationship of the adjudicated claims to the unadjudicated claims is one of the factors which the District Court can consider in the exercise of its discretion. P. 351 U. S. 452.

(c) That the order in this case is appealable at a time when it would no have been appealable prior to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or under Rule 54(b) in its original form, does not mean that Rule 54(b), as amended, is invalid. Pp. 351 U. S. 452-453.

(d) Amended Rule 54(b) meets the needs and problems of modern judicial administration by adjusting the unit for appeal to fit multiple claims actions, while retaining a right of judicial review over the discretion exercised by the District Court in determining when there is no just reason for delay. P. 351 U. S. 453.

(e) Rule 54(b), as amended, does not impair the statutory concept of finality embraced in 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and it is within the rulemaking power of this Court. P. 351 U. S. 453.

221 F.2d 115 affirmed.

Page 351 U. S. 446

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