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United States v. Board of Harbor Commissioners

United States District Court for the District of Delaware
73 F.R.D. 460 (D. Del. 1977)


Facts

The SICO Company and North American Smelting Company (defendants) were charged with discharging oil into navigable waters in violation of a federal statute. The complaint of the United States (plaintiff) read in pertinent part as follows: “The defendants, and each of them, own and operate onshore facilities...from which oil was discharged into the Delaware River...or the defendants, and each of them, took actions which caused such oil to be discharged.” The defendants moved for a more definite statement of a pleading under Rule 12(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the grounds that the government’s complaint was vague in that it did not allege the amount of oil discharged or what “actions” caused the discharge.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Latchum, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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