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Old 07-11-2016, 14:13   #46
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pirate Re: Non payment for delivery crew

This happened to me.. I tried returning it from Perth to Ft Lauderdale but the marine police turned me round 5 miles out.
I went and found, with the help of a local CF member, found a Lawyer (Consultancy) specialising in Marine Law.
It took 3 months for him to sort things out to get me a payment.
However, as someone else said.. if its in both their names she is liable as much as he for full payment.. and she can add it to her expenses.
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:19   #47
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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Originally Posted by ccannan View Post
Don't accept half payment! Accepting any payment can be construed as fulfilment of contract obligations.
Take the money and have her sign a receipt stating that it is the first half of the payment. No issue with claims of it being fulfillment.
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:21   #48
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

There may be another twist in this situation. If a divorce action is already filed or pending with this couple most states have laws automatically freezing marital assets distributions NOT in the ordinary course of business. One can argue of course that a boat delivery is in ordinary course of business of owning a boat but then again it may not be. IMO best to aproach this situation by getting an indepth consultation with admiralty law attorney and tacking his bill on top of the delivery fees owed.

PS I would not accept any partial payment without an attorney's written opinion that it's OK to do so under the circumstances AND a receipt written by that attorney.
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:26   #49
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Keep us posted. This should be interesting
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:33   #50
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pirate Re: Non payment for delivery crew

IANL,

But as the Treasurer of a boat club deep in the nest of Canadian builders, we would occasionally have outstanding accounts for prep, sea trials, launch and the like. In these circumstances we would contact our barrister (Canadian club) and he would arrange to have the vessel (or in the case of a charter company), vessels, arrested by the Sheriff. Once in Tortola, once in Dade County Florida. It secures the boat to the dock and the funds are forthcoming in short order. Also puts you ahead of any other claims unless they are prepared to cut the chain, which is guaranteed to anger the local sheriff......
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:39   #51
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Years ago there was a collection agency here that sent someone to collect payment that was covered in fish guts and horse poo who just sat in the businesses reception and refused to leave without payment.

Can't have been too efficient they are not around today, but funny anyway.

My vote is for specialist legal advice first.

Hope it works out for you all.
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:58   #52
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Boy do this things get out of control quickly on this forum. Advice starts flying immediately without even knowing the nationality of the vessel or those people involved, like the deliver skipper, the owner or owners and who contracted with the skipper to make the delivery.
The guy asked a simple question but fails to state this information. A vessel can’t be flagged US unless ownership is more than 50% US citizens or a company or corporation that is more than 50% controlled by US citizens. So if the boat is US flag the culprits are US citizens. Legal US residents (Green Card holders) are not eligible to own control of a US flag vessel.
Tort law is not a factor since it appears that no one was injured or kill on this voyage.

However this appears to be an actionable case. If US flag and the vessel is in US waters file a claim in a US federal court first. This can cause the vessel to be “arrested” which makes it the defendant in the ensuing federal court case. US marshals will take possession of the vessel until the case is decided. If the skipper wins the case the vessel will be sold at auction if nobody steps up to pay him and all expenses related thereto which could exceed the value of the vessel in short order. The auction will take place at the dock to which the vessel is chained and US marshals will be there with guns on.
The nationality of the skipper should be irrelevant in a US court since the vessel itself is the offender under Maritime Law. Every civilized country in the world has fashioned its maritime law pretty much after English common law. If foreign flag the action will have to be filed in the country whose flag the vessel flies. However other guilty parties may be pursued in state courts in the US
The foreign country may have a legal mechanism to request that the US Marshals Service take custody of the vessel in the US pending the outcome of the legal case in that foreign county. All this costs money, legal cost in the US and in the foreign country, US Marshall Service fees, moorage fees in the US, all will come out of the losers pocket or from the proceeds of the sale if the vessel is sold at auction.
If the person or persons who contracted with the skipper for the delivery and/or the owners are US citizens or foreign citizens on US soil, they may be sued in state or federal court (along with the vessel) for damages. If the skipper wins in a maritime case in federal court whether the defendant-party pays or the vessel is sold at auction, he/she and any crew members will not only be entitled to their delivery fee but their transportation costs, hotel and meal expenses and any provisions purchased by them expressly for the delivery voyage.
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Old 07-11-2016, 15:59   #53
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

I am a recently retired maritime attorney. The lien the crew have does not rely on the vessel ownership. The lien is against the vessel and in maritime law the vessel is a person subject to arrest.

Unfortunately I had to represent sailmakers a number of times when the customer failed to pay his bills. Invariably the "customer" was very wealthy.

My advice is that you contact a maritime lawyer in Honolulu and get the vessel "arrested", All of your costs and attorney fees will be awarded to you once the case is resolved. The important thing is to gain the leverage. Arrest the boat and it goes nowhere and all costs of custody are for the owner. In the event "S" happens the vessel is auctioned off and after Federal costs you are next in line for a return.

This is sailor to sailor advice and you and I have no attorney/client relationship.

If you need a referral for a good maritime attorn ey in Honolulu contact me offline.
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Old 07-11-2016, 16:01   #54
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Can you get back aboard or are still on the boat? Go to court as well as small claims court. If you can get a court order to impound you could have the boat towed and yarded pending a resolution. The owner went nuts managed to get the court order lifted and me paid in the process. Small claims might be the best.
Question with whom did you make the agreement? Did you agree to a 50/50 split of the fee. Do you have her money?
i have reposed vessels for a bank in my past and always I contacted the sheriff who would sit in their boat and simply observe, should cooler heads not prevail. I do hope it is a US registered vessel for you can lean the boat which means little until sale time comes. At that point all leans must be cured.
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Old 07-11-2016, 16:15   #55
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Perhaps I misread your post Herr Schmidt, but it seems like you are a proponent of seeking qualified legal counsel. I should disclose my specialty is insurance, not the law. But I have been around enough to know that this guy needs competent legal advice before this goes completely sideways.

In that the delivery occurred in Hawaii, one might infer that there will be some legal papers filed before the US Admiralty or Maritime courts. There seem to be a number of issues in play.

The OP indicated a domestic dispute between the owners that live on Oahu. However, this is no concrete indication of nationality. The boat delivery originated in Australia. The skipper (and his family that flew out to meet him) are probably form there too. However, this is no concrete indication of nationality either. There is a female crew member, now stranded on US soil, that needed her wages to fly home to Britain.

A great deal depends on the contract itself as to who is responsible for the delivery fee, the crews wages and subsequent provisions, living and travel expenses. Admiralty and contract law are usually way outside of a layman's purview.

The skipper first said, "I have just delivered a 52ft Cat from Australia to Oahu. I had a contract in place with the owners but when we arrived in Oahu we found ourselves mixed up in a huge domestic between the two owners.", later to confirm, "It is owned jointly by both parties and is registered in Honolulu." That last sentence seems to address several jurisdictional questions.

Then again, I'm not an attorney, but I know a lot of attorney jokes. Learned most of them from attorneys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
Boy do this things get out of control quickly on this forum. Advice starts flying immediately without even knowing the nationality of the vessel or those people involved, like the deliver skipper, the owner or owners and who contracted with the skipper to make the delivery.
The guy asked a simple question but fails to state this information. A vessel can’t be flagged US unless ownership is more than 50% US citizens or a company or corporation that is more than 50% controlled by US citizens. So if the boat is US flag the culprits are US citizens. Legal US residents (Green Card holders) are not eligible to own control of a US flag vessel.
Tort law is not a factor since it appears that no one was injured or kill on this voyage.

However this appears to be an actionable case. If US flag and the vessel is in US waters file a claim in a US federal court first. This can cause the vessel to be “arrested” which makes it the defendant in the ensuing federal court case. US marshals will take possession of the vessel until the case is decided. If the skipper wins the case the vessel will be sold at auction if nobody steps up to pay him and all expenses related thereto which could exceed the value of the vessel in short order. The auction will take place at the dock to which the vessel is chained and US marshals will be there with guns on.
The nationality of the skipper should be irrelevant in a US court since the vessel itself is the offender under Maritime Law. Every civilized country in the world has fashioned its maritime law pretty much after English common law. If foreign flag the action will have to be filed in the country whose flag the vessel flies. However other guilty parties may be pursued in state courts in the US
The foreign country may have a legal mechanism to request that the US Marshals Service take custody of the vessel in the US pending the outcome of the legal case in that foreign county. All this costs money, legal cost in the US and in the foreign country, US Marshall Service fees, moorage fees in the US, all will come out of the losers pocket or from the proceeds of the sale if the vessel is sold at auction.
If the person or persons who contracted with the skipper for the delivery and/or the owners are US citizens or foreign citizens on US soil, they may be sued in state or federal court (along with the vessel) for damages. If the skipper wins in a maritime case in federal court whether the defendant-party pays or the vessel is sold at auction, he/she and any crew members will not only be entitled to their delivery fee but their transportation costs, hotel and meal expenses and any provisions purchased by them expressly for the delivery voyage.
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Old 07-11-2016, 17:27   #56
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

I am posting to keep in the loop. But I agree with the posters that have advised you to use the correct lawyers.

I hope things come out good for you,
Peter.
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Old 07-11-2016, 17:41   #57
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pirate Re: Non payment for delivery crew

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Originally Posted by peter57 View Post
I hope things come out good for you,
.
A1+..
Been there.. its a Bumma..!!
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Old 07-11-2016, 17:48   #58
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

I wonder if you contacted the owners and let them know that the next escalation was to involve lawyers, which they know will cost them far more than the money they currently owe, might motivate them to pay off and be done with it. However they might just hire someone else to move the boat so that it is hard/impossible to place a marshal's sticker on it. Depends on how snaky they are.
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Old 07-11-2016, 18:04   #59
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Hi
Thanks for all the help. I am a British citizen. The owners are US citizens. I can't get the Gentleman owner to respond to my emails now. Maybe I should send him a link to this page.

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Old 07-11-2016, 18:05   #60
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

No matter whether it is USCG registered or registered in Hawaii, go to the proper authority now and register a lien on the title. These clowns who own the boat think you are "just a delivery Captain" who has no resources. Since the boat is more than likely going to be sold in the near future, you will collect at the closing. You could offer to leave the wife out of it by excusing her if she paid you half now and also cut your outstanding invoice in half. ( the one in hand better than 2 in the bush philosophy ) . Sometimes , just registering the lien gets it paid. although once I waited 5 years to collect. Another time, after a couple of depositions, the Owners lawyer finally gave up when he found out my lawyer was working "pro bono".... took the wind out of his" we'll just money the poor captain to death" argument. Shouldn't cost a lot to register a lien. Willy
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