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Gardner v. Calvert

decided: March 7, 1958.

CHARLES GARDNER
v.
THE CALVERT, HER ENGINES, MACHINERY, TACKLE, FITTINGS, EQUIPMENT, ETC., AND ERNEST E. FUCHS AND SOUND STEAMSHIP LINES, INC., AND ALL OTHER PERSONS LAWFULLY INTERVENING FOR THEIR INTERESTS. APPEAL OF CHARLES GARDNER. APPEAL OF ERNEST E. FUCHS AND SOUND STEAMSHIP LINES, INC.



Author: Maris

Before BIGGS, Chief Judge, and MARIS and McLAUGHLIN, Circuit Judges.

MARIS, Circuit Judge.

These cross-appeals arise out of an admiralty suit brought by the libelant, Charles Gardner, in the District Court for the District of New Jersey against the Motor Vessel Calvert and her alleged owners, the respondents, Ernest E. Fuchs and the Sound Steamship Lines, Inc., following the alleged breach of an oral agreement to charter the Calvert. The libel asserted two causes of action. In the first, the libelant claimed the sum of $7900 for expenses incurred in hiring a crew and for the value of equipment furnished the Calvert and in the second, he claimed damages in the sum of $100,000 as a result of the respondents' breach of the charter party and withdrawal of the vessel. After a trial, the district court on October 3, 1956 filed findings of fact and conclusions of law as follows:

"Finding of Fact

"1. In July, 1951, respondent Sound Steamship Lines, Inc. was the owner of the Motor Vessel 'Calvert', and respondent Ernest E. Fuchs was president of said corporation.

"2. Beginning on July 2, 1951, libellant negotiated with respondent Fuchs with a view toward chartering the 'Calvert'. A parol charter resulted. Charter was for the purpose of transporting passengers from New York City to Attlantic Highlands en route to the Monmouth Park Race Track at Oceanport, New Jersey, for Sunday trips to Atlantic Highlands, and for other stated purposes at the end of the racing season.

"3. Libellant also delivered equipment to complete the outfitting of the 'Calvert' to that ship on July 8, 1951, which respondent Fuchs took on board without protest, the evidence indicating to the court that the value of said equipment was $1,500.00.

"4. On July 8, 1951, libellant put a crew aboard the 'Calvert' without protest from respondent Fuchs.

"5. On July 10, 1951, libellant appeared with $5,000.00 as an advance ready to proceed, but respondent Fuchs failed, neglected and refused to go through with the charter agreement.

"6. Respondent Fuchs removed the vessel from its berth in New York to another in Perth Amboy, refusing to carry out the charter agreement.

"7. The equipment delivered by libellant has remained aboard the 'Calvert' and due demand for payment has been made.

"8. No attempt to pay for the equipment or to go through with the parol charter agreement has been made by respondent Fuchs, though duly demanded by libellant.

"Conclusions of Law

"1. This court has jurisdiction of the subject matter and the ...


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