- maintain an action
- To uphold, continue on foot, and keep from collapse a suit already begun. Smallgood v Gallardo, 275 US 56, 72 L Ed 152, 48 S Ct 23; National Fertilizer Co. v Fall River Five Cents Savings Bank, 196 Mass 458, 82 NE 671. As used in § 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act providing that an action to recover unpaid overtime and liquidated damages "may be maintained in any court of competent jurisdiction," it has been held that the phrase was merely used to confer jurisdiction on the state courts and not to restrict the operation of the removal statute. But a majority of the cases hold that the phrase in effect amends, or creates an exception to the operation of, the removal statute, giving the employee the right to select the forum in which to prosecute the action to a conclusion, and deprives the defendant of the right to remove the action. The disagreement is due almost entirely to the uncertainty as to the true meaning of the word "maintained." The courts following the first view hold that it means merely that the action may be "commenced" in any court of competent jurisdiction, and that if it is brought in a state court it may be prosecuted to a conclusion there if the defendant does not remove it; but the majority interpret the word "maintained" to mean "prosecute to judgment," so that the statute in effect provides that if the plaintiff brings the action in a state court of competent jurisdiction he may prosecute it there to judgment notwithstanding the desire of the defendant to remove the case to the Federal court. Anno: 172 ALR 1163.
Ballentine's law dictionary. Anderson, W.S.. 1998.