Michael Macgowan v. Kelly Cox, et al
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [11-50415 Affirmed ] Judge: JLW , Judge: JWE , Judge: JEG Mandate pull date is 09/28/2012 [11-50415]
Date Filed: 09/07/2012
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
September 7, 2012
Lyle W. Cayce
MICHAEL L. MACGOWAN, JR.,
KELLY COX; DERRICK SHYROCK,
Appeals from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Texas
USDC No. 1:11-CV-22
Before WIENER, ELROD, and GRAVES, Circuit Judges.
Michael L. Macgowan, Jr., filed a pro se suit in federal court alleging
admiralty jurisdiction. Macgowan alleged that he rescued a jet ski drifting on
Lake LBJ, and he sought $3,000, half the value of the vessel, as a salvage fee.
The district court found that Lake LBJ was a landlocked lake, bounded by
impassible dams on both ends, and located entirely within a single state. For
these reasons, the district court found that Lake LBJ is not a navigable
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR.
Date Filed: 09/07/2012
waterway for the purpose of admiralty jurisdiction, and dismissed the case for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Macgowan argues that the district court erred in dismissing his suit. A
district court’s dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction is reviewed de
novo. Musslewhite v. State Bar of Texas, 32 F.3d 942, 945 (5th Cir. 1994). In
Guillory v. Outboard Motor Corp., 956 F.2d 114, 115 (5th Cir. 1992), this court
held that Crooked Creek Reservoir, a body of water contained within Louisiana
and blocked by dams, was not a navigable waterway for admiralty jurisdiction
purposes because interstate travel through the waterway was not possible.
Given the findings of the district court and Macgowans’s concessions, Lake LBJ
is not part of a waterway through which interstate travel is possible.
district court did not err in dismissing this action for lack of jurisdiction.
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