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Old 07-11-2016, 06:24   #31
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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Originally Posted by lifeboatcox View Post
It is owned jointly by both parties and is registered in Honolulu. I think a lien is the only way ahead. Who do I contact in the USA to do that. I'm from the UK so not up on US law.
Is the boat a US Coast Guard documented vessel? My guess is that it is. If so, you can file a lien with the US Coast Guard. Someone put up the link to a document that will get you started. You won't need to hire an attorney for that.

I agree with other posts, write a letter demanding payment by a certain date, before taking explicit action to include filing a lien against the boat. My guess, is when notified with a letter, they will come to their senses and pay their bills.

If the boat is not a US Coast Guard documented vessel, then contact/visit the local county courthouse in Honolulu and ask for the forms to complete to file a lien against their property.

If all the above fails. Hire a maritime attorney.

Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:11   #32
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Respectfully, I disagree with the idea that the crew should negotiate, write a letter or take any other action before consulting a lawyer that specializes in Maritime or Admiralty law. The initial consultation with an attorney is free. Getting a letter explaining the situation to the owners on an Admiralty lawyer's letterhead can be as cheap as $50. If the cost is $250, it's still cheap. Getting his advice? Priceless!

On the other hand, making any kind of decision without the advice of an attorney that specializes in these matters can prove disastrous. All the legal websites recommend filing a lien as quickly as possible to protect your position. US Admiralty law is filled with exceptions, conflicting rulings and a plethora of pitfalls to the uninitiated.

Call the attorney. Let him know that possession of the yacht at play. With a large Cat in the mix, the attorney will probably come to you for the initial consultation. It gives him the advantage of seeing the yacht, the ship's log, the contractual agreement and interviewing the stranded crew. There are multiple claims at play here. The Jones Act gives the seamen's attorney a lot of leverage.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:07   #33
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Some great advice on maritime liens. File ASAP and advise the reluctant owner he now will owe damages increasing over time. I suspect he will quickly change his tune.
For the rest of us it is real scary that an unregistered lien can be enforced on a new owner. Anybody know a way to prevent this situation besides only purchasing from solid , easy to trace owners?
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:18   #34
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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For the rest of us it is real scary that an unregistered lien can be enforced on a new owner. Anybody know a way to prevent this situation besides only purchasing from solid , easy to trace owners?
You hire an agency that does a title / lean search, that comes with a guarantee that if one surfaces, they are on the hook for it.

Sorry I don't know exactly what it is called and luckily I have never had to use this guarantee so I have no idea how enforceable it actually is
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:21   #35
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Yeah... a terse stern note on legal stationary gets people thinking straight sometimes....
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:24   #36
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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What is the husband's reason for NOT paying your contracted delivery fee?
I am still curious
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:44   #37
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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..... i have threatened people in the past but today the phone can record your actions so don't do that, but use your phone to record everything you discuss with them as a record for future should you need it.

go to the local yacht club/marina /his workplace and badmouth him as much as possible, you may be surprised when all this starts to happen other businesses will start to question his ability to receive credit, i even try to call his bank manager, they all ask questions which puts them in a sticky situation,
I would suggest avoiding both of these approaches. The first is illegal. The second could be construed as 'slander'. Be careful about disparaging someone's reputation. It is not yet clear the grounds for refusal to pay by one of the parties. For all we know one of the owning parties was not in a legal position to relocate the vessel, such as if the asset is under legal dispute by the owning parties.

We had a boat in the marina a few years ago that was being held hostage as a disputed asset during a divorce proceeding. The judge ordered that neither the husband, nor the wife were allowed on the vessel until the the dispute was cleared. The concern was that assets would be removed from the vessel. We were advised that if either owner were on the property, to report them to the police as a trespassers.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:32   #38
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

All the advice may be spot on, but it seems to me that a paid crew is a paid crew, delivery or not, and I have a recollection (admittedly, very vague) about some special rules applicable to the payment of a vessel's crew. Maybe contact a marine attorney in Honolulu or even the local UK consul for added advice? Sailors have been left stranded at times for centuries or millennia, and it is probable that rules and solutions have developed. It would not even surprise me if this were somehow covered by the vessel's insurance.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:32   #39
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Hi Brian,

I think this is the post you want: Non payment for delivery crew
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All the advice may be spot on, but it seems to me that a paid crew is a paid crew, delivery or not, and I have a recollection (admittedly, very vague) about some special rules applicable to the payment of a vessel's crew. Maybe contact a marine attorney in Honolulu or even the local UK consul for added advice? Sailors have been left stranded at times for centuries or millennia, and it is probable that rules and solutions have developed. It would not even surprise me if this were somehow covered by the vessel's insurance.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:46   #40
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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Respectfully, I disagree with the idea that the crew should negotiate, write a letter or take any other action before consulting a lawyer that specializes in Maritime or Admiralty law. The initial consultation with an attorney is free. Getting a letter explaining the situation to the owners on an Admiralty lawyer's letterhead can be as cheap as $50. If the cost is $250, it's still cheap. Getting his advice? Priceless!
Initially, crew have a beef with the guy who hired them (not the owner unless he personally hired the crew independent of the captain). If things escalate thru the legal process, the owner might get pulled in at some point.

As far as the Captain/Business owner, as long as you don't get into doing something stupid like making a threat of violence, there is no harm in sending a letter pointing out that the bill is over due requesting payment by a due date in accordance with the original contract and that you will escalate the issue if the owner does not take action to correct the situation. Put it in polite but firm language and make sure you don't conflict with the written contract.

As long as you stay level headed, there is no need to involve a lawyer unless the owner is not responding. If you can solve it without a lawyer, it almost always works out better for everyone.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:47   #41
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Again. Maritime Attorney!

The OP is in a much stronger position than someone with a dispute ashore. This is not a contract issue or something for small claims court - it's federal. And not just federal - possibly Admiralty court. If necessary, the Federal Government can enforce Admiralty court decisions using ships with large guns. It's not a place for novices. Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were admiralty lawyers.

The only other place boaters might bump into Admiralty court is in a salvage claim. This can happen if BoatUS decides you are aground on a rock rather than a "soft grounding" on sand. In that case, they make you sign a Lloyds (of London) salvage contract before pulling you off. This contract dates from the age of sail where a square rigger might be blown ashore on a lee shore. The court wants to encourage salvors to risk life and limb to save a ship (and more importantly the cargo) so they pay well. Rewards are typically 30%-50% of the value of the ship+cargo. The salvor will typically place a large lien on your boat while they negotiate with your insurance company.

Every boat owner should understand something about salvage law. It comes up more often than you'd guess.

http://www.boatus.com/towing/salvage.asp
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:48   #42
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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Hi Brian,

I think this is the post you want: Non payment for delivery crew
I am over my head, as bald and aged as it is. If I am reading the reference in Careknot's post correctly (I may well not be) it would be the OP, as the master, (post #1) who owes the crew, not the owners. I guess, the "captain, as the master, would be able to go after the owners on some basis, at least the contract. That admiralty lawyer (proctor in admiralty?) seems the way to go -ASAP. In any event, no more comment from me on this one.
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Old 07-11-2016, 13:04   #43
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

And if the OP falls under the Jone's Act rules I posted earlier, it appears that he (and the rest of the crew) will get double their day rate for every day they have to wait to be paid. I would guess that even includes the family members who flew home.

But again, Admiralty law is ancient and mysterious. No place for novices or knuckleheads like me on an internet site.
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Old 07-11-2016, 13:30   #44
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

If the lady has offered half payment...take that...being certain that all paperwork indicates that it is only part payment. Half is better than nothing, and will at least get you home.
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Old 07-11-2016, 13:58   #45
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Don't accept half payment! Accepting any payment can be construed as fulfilment of contract obligations.
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