Thursday, June 18, 2009

Travelers v. Bailey

Interpretation: in a statute, “the phrase ‘in relation to’ is expansive,” Smith v. United States, 508 U. S. 223, 237; even if, before the entry of the 1986 Orders, Travelers understood the proposed injunction to bar only such derivative claims, where a court order’s plain terms unambiguously apply, as they do here, they are entitled to their effect. If it is black-letter law that an unambiguous private contract’s terms must be enforced irrespective of the parties’ subjective intent, it is also clear that a court, such as the Bankruptcy Court here, should enforce a court order, a public governmental act, according to its unambiguous terms (U.S.S.Ct., 18.06.09, Travelers v. Bailey, J. Souter).

Tout comme en matière d’interprétation contractuelle, une ordonnance judiciaire doit être comprise conformément à ses termes lorsqu’ils sont dépourvus d’ambiguïtés. L’intention subjective des parties, dans de tels cas, est irrelevante.

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