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MINER V. ATLASS, 363 U. S. 641 (1960)

U.S. Supreme Court

Miner v. Atlass, 363 U.S. 641 (1960)

Miner v. Atlass

No. 156

Argued March 3, 1960

Decided June 20, 1960

363 U.S. 641


A Federal District Court sitting in admiralty has no power to order the taking of oral depositions for the purpose of discovery only, and Rule 32 of the Admiralty Rules of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, purporting to authorize the taking of such depositions, is invalid for want of authority in the District Court to promulgate it. Pp. 363 U. S. 641-652.

(a) A court of admiralty has no inherent power, independent of any statute or rule, to order the taking of depositions for the purpose of discovery. Pp. 363 U. S. 643-644.

(b) Rule 32C of this Court's General Admiralty Rules does not impliedly empower a district judge to order the taking of such depositions. Pp. 363 U. S. 644-646.

(c) Rule 32 of the District Court's Admiralty Rules is not a valid exercise of its power to regulate local practice, conferred by Rule 44 of the General Admiralty Rules. Pp. 363 U. S. 646-652.

265 F.2d 312 affirmed.

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