Clay v. Sun Insurance Office, Limited

RESPONDENT: Sun Insurance Office, Limited
LOCATION: Dry Docks at Reed, WV

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 363 US 207 (1960)
ARGUED: Mar 22, 1960 / Mar 23, 1960
DECIDED: Jun 13, 1960

Facts of the case


Media for Clay v. Sun Insurance Office, Limited

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 22, 1960 in Clay v. Sun Insurance Office, Limited

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 23, 1960 in Clay v. Sun Insurance Office, Limited

Earl Warren:

John Clay, Petitioner versus Sun Insurance Office Limited.

Mr. Kelly, you may proceed with your argument.

Robert J. Kelly:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

Yesterday, at the close of the presentation of Mr. Reese, Mr. Justice Frankfurter posed a question as to whether or not we thought the State of Florida would apply its statute of limitation.

Felix Frankfurter:

Did you say would -- did you say wouldn't?

Robert J. Kelly:

Would apply.

Felix Frankfurter:

My question was not whether it would, but it is has it done so?

Robert J. Kelly:

It has not done so in fact to an out-of-state contract.

However, in the case of Hoagland versus Railway Express Agency, 75 So.2d 822, it's in the reply brief, there the Court --

Felix Frankfurter:

75 Southern?

Robert J. Kelly:

Second, appears to have --

Felix Frankfurter:


Have you got the page?

Robert J. Kelly:

822, appears to have applied the spirit of the statute that's under discussion.

Florida has a statute number 9506 which is a suit savings clause where a plaintiff wins in the lower court, loses on appeal, within one year he may bring a new suit.

In the New York Shipping contract involved in that case, there was a provision that suits must be brought within two years.

The Florida Supreme Court held that that contractual provision must give way to the Florida statute.

So, they applied the statute, the saving statute of limitations to that situation.

That is the only direct --

Felix Frankfurter:

Have you stated all the circumstances of the situation?

Is this a contract made outside of the (Voice overlap) --

Robert J. Kelly:

This was a contract made as far as the --

Felix Frankfurter:

-- outside of Florida?

Robert J. Kelly:

It was made outside of the State of Florida.

Felix Frankfurter:

By persons then outside of Florida, by non -- at the time, a non citizen of Florida?

Robert J. Kelly:


This person was a citizen of the State of Florida, shipping -- shipping goods into Florida.

Felix Frankfurter:

For me, that's a very different story.

Robert J. Kelly:

I wanted to merely call your attention to the case si.

Charles E. Whittaker: