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Colonial Cases

Mitsu Bishi Steamship Company vs. The Pacific Mail Steamship Company, 1882

[shipping, jurisdiction]

Mitsu Bishi Steamship Company vs. The Pacific Mail Steamship Company

United States Consular Court, Kanagowa
United States Circuit Court
Sawyer and Hoffman JJ, 1892
Source: Sacramento Daily Union, 7 February 1882



To-day the case of the Matsu Beshi Steamship Company vs. the Pacific Mail Steamship Company was before Judges Sawyer and Hoffman in the United States Circuit Court, on petition for a rehearing of the motion to dismiss.  The suit was brought by the Matsu Beshi Steamship Company to recover from defendant $5,000 for carrying the mail once for defendant between Shanghai and Yokohama.  It was tried in the Consular Court before American Consul-General Van Buren, at Kanagowa, Japan, and plaintiff obtained an allowance of $3,000.

The motion of defendant to dismiss was denied, and the case is here now on appeal from that ruling.  The ground of the motion to dismiss is that plaintiff is a corporation of citizens of Japan, and therefore, under the treaty with Japan, the cause should be tried by a Japanese Court.  The argument was heard and the motion taken under advisement.


Source: Daily Alta California, 8 February 1882


A Question of Jurisdiction.

The motion to dismiss the suit of the Mitsu Bishi Steamship Company vs. The Pacific Mail Steamship Company has been taken under advisement by Judges Sawyer and Hoffman.  The motion is based on the ground that the plaintiff being a corporation composed of Japanese citizens, the cause, under the treaty, should be tried in a Japanese Court.

The suit was brought to recover $5000 for carrying mail matter at one time for defendants between Shanghai and Yokohama.  The plaintiff recovered $3000 when the case was tried in the Consular Court, before the American Consul, General Van Buren, at Kanagawi, Japan.  The defendant in that Court moved to dismiss, but the motion being denied, the case was appealed to the United States District Court.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School