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OHIO V. KENTUCKY, 410 U. S. 641 (1973)

U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio v. Kentucky, 410 U.S. 641 (1973)

Ohio v. Kentucky

No. 27, Orig.

Argued January 10, 1973

Decided March 5, 1973

410 U.S. 641


Ohio sought leave to file an amended bill of complaint in an original action involving a boundary dispute with Kentucky. By the amendment, Ohio claimed that the boundary between Ohio and Kentucky was located in the middle of the Ohio River. The motion was referred to the Special Master, who recommended that the motion be denied.


1. In the exercise of its original jurisdiction, this Court is not invariably bound by common law precedent or by current rules of civil procedure. The requirement of a motion for leave to file a complaint permits the Court to dispose of it at a preliminary stage in an appropriate case, such as where the claim is barred as a matter of law and a hearing on the issues presented "would only serve to delay adjudication on the merits and needlessly add to the expense that the litigants must bear." Pp. 410 U. S. 644-645.

2. Ohio's long acquiescence in the location of the Ohio-Kentucky line at the northern edge of the Ohio River bars Ohio's present claim that the boundary is at the middle of the river. Pp. 410 U. S. 648-652.

Motion for leave to file amended bill of complaint denied.

BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion pos, p. 410 U. S. 652.

Page 410 U. S. 642

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