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Washington-Southern Nav. Co. v. Baltimore Co., 263 U.S. 629 (1924)

Washington-Southern Navigation Company v.

Baltimore & Philadelphia Steamboat Company

No. 108

Argued November 27, 28, 1923

Decided January 28, 1924

263 U.S. 629


1. The function of rules of court is to regulate the practice of the court and facilitate the transaction of its business. P. 263 U. S. 635.

Page 263 U. S. 630

2. A rule of court cannot enlarge or restrict jurisdiction or abrogate or modify the substantive law. P. 263 U. S. 635.

3. And this limitation applies to the rules prescribed by this Court for inferior tribunals in admiralty cases. Id.

4. Admiralty Rule 50 was intended to formulate practice already settled, and is not to be construed as empowering the district court to stay proceedings on an original libel until the libelant shall give security to respond to a counterclaim in a case where the original libel is in personam and where the cross-libelant has given security voluntarily. Pp. 263 U. S. 632, 263 U. S. 638.

Questions certified by the circuit court of appeals.

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