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CHAMBERS v. MOORE-MCCORMACK LINES

July 21, 1949

CHAMBERS
v.
MOORE-MCCORMACK LINES, Inc.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER

Libellant is here seeking the imposition of the so-called '2 for 1' penalty provisions of R.S. § 4529, 46 U.S.C.A. § 596. He claims that his wages were wrongfully withheld following his services aboard the Steamship Mark Hanna.

 1. The libellant is Lyle T. Chambers.

 2. The respondent is Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc.

 3. The Steamship 'Mark Hanna' was owned by United States of America, acting by and through the United States Maritime Commission, on or about July 28, 1947, and respondent operated said vessel pursuant to the terms of a bareboat charter from the United States of America.

 4. The libellant was employed aboard the Steamship 'Mark Hanna' in the capacity of Chief Engineer from May 12, 1947, to August 19, 1947, at a monthly wage of $ 514.00, pursuant to the terms of a written contract embodies in the shipping articles of said vessel.

 5. While the vessel was still in the port of New York on May 14, 1947, libellant requested a $ 200.00 advance from the Master of the vessel; the advance was refused.

 6. While the vessel was at sea en route from New York to Norway, libellant exhibited to the Master of the vessel a large supply of ladies' nylon stockings, slips, lingerie, cosmetics, face power, lipsticks, etc., and admitted at that time that it was in order to purchase these articles that he had requested the advance on May 14, 1047.

 7. While the vessel was en route from Oslo, Norway, to Copenhagen, Denmark, the Master issued a written order to libellant to search the engineroom for stowaways and contraband. That order specifically directed libellant to declare any contraband which he had on board, with particular reference to the nylons, lingerie and cosmetics.

 8. Libellant declared only 200, or 10 packs of cigarettes.

 9. On June 19, 1947, the Danish Custom authorities found secreted in the void space between the engineers' storeroom and #4 'tween deck, port side, a large quantity of tobacco products, ladies' nylon stockings, face powder, lipstick, and lingerie.

 10. The tobacco products were found stowed together in this void space in bundles with the stockings, lingerie and cosmetics in such a way as to indicate that they had been placed there at the same time and by the same person.

 11. The nylons, lingerie, cosmetics, etc., were the same type and brand as previously displayed to the Master of the vessel by the libellant.

 12. The area in which these articles were discovered was under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the libellant as ...


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