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Old 06-11-2016, 15:17   #1
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Non payment for delivery crew

Hi Guys

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. I have asked them to pay half each which the Lady has agreed to do but the Gentleman is refusing to pay his half. Any legal eagles out there with advice on how I can get payment for myself and my crew. One of my crew needs to get back to the UK but has got no funds because she has not been paid.
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Old 06-11-2016, 15:26   #2
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Verify ownership of the vesel. Is it actuality owned by one person, both, more, or another entity. With whom was your contract? If only one person/owner then pursue with that person. What is the flag of the vessel? If USA, it is very easy to place a lien on their boat. You won't get any money soon, but at least you can register your claim.
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Old 06-11-2016, 15:36   #3
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Correct me if I am mistake, but if compensation is not made according to the terms of the contract, then the boat can be returned to it's point of origin. Correct?
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Old 06-11-2016, 15:39   #4
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Hi Chip
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.
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Old 06-11-2016, 16:21   #5
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Would this help?

Maritime Liens for Necessaries 101 - Bullivant Houser Bailey PC - Attorneys at Law
Quote:
Maritime Liens for Necessaries 101

July, 2010
By Marilyn Raia
Pacific Maritime Magazine
A maritime lien is a non-possessory property right in a vessel. Maritime liens arise under various circumstances and have been characterized as "one of the most striking peculiarities of admiralty law." A person who supplies certain goods or services to a vessel, otherwise known as "necessaries", has a maritime lien against that vessel. Civil wrongs arising from the operation of vessels such as personal injuries or collisions give rise to a maritime lien against the offending vessel. The breach of certain contractual obligations of the vessel owner in connection with a specific vessel such as payment of wages, contracts of carriage, towage agreements, and charters also can give rise to a maritime lien against a vessel. This article focuses on maritime liens for necessaries.

Necessaries Defined

Federal statutory law at 46 U.S.C. 31301(4) defines "necessaries" as "includ[ing] repairs, supplies, towage, and the use of a drydock or marine railway". This definition has been interpreted broadly to include any item reasonably needed for the venture in which the vessel in engaged. For example, courts have held "necessaries" include the services of a marine surveyor in connection with vessel repairs, fees for vessel document preparation, taxi fare for crewmembers to get to the vessel, insurance premiums, and gambling equipment furnished to a cruise ship. Held not to be "necessaries" giving rise to a maritime lien have been a credit card contract and naval architecture services related to the reconstruction of two vessels. In Kodiak Fishing Company v. M/V Pacific Pride, 535 F.Supp 915 (W.D.Wa. 1982) the court expressed doubt that the delivery of crab to a crab processing vessel constituted delivery of "necessaries" which gave rise to a maritime lien.
Or this?

Arresting Vessels & Maritime Tort Liens | US Maritime Law

Quote:
STOP: You Are Under Arrest
ARRESTING VESSELS TO ENFORCE MARITIME TORT LIENS
S. Scott Bluestein
I. BACKGROUND
When a plaintiff is injured on a vessel due to the negligence of the vessel's owner, operator, or crew or, in the case of a seaman, the vessel's unseaworthiness, the vessel itself becomes liable to the plaintiff for his damages. This results in the plaintiff acquiring a maritime tort lien against the vessel. These liens arise without the necessity of recordation, do not require possession of the vessel, and continue to encumber the vessel even if it is sold to a good faith purchaser without notice of the encumbrance. One of the strongest weapons a plaintiff and his attorney have in prosecuting a maritime tort claim is the right to use the Supplemental Rules For Certain Admiralty And Maritime Claims (hereinafter referred to as "Supplemental Rules") to arrest the offending vessel.

The plaintiff's maritime tort lien is enforced by arresting the vessel in a federal admiralty proceeding. The federal court's jurisdiction over maritime tort liens is exclusive of state courts. To enforce the lien, the plaintiff is required to file a verified complaint in federal court naming the vessel as a party and requesting the court to order the vessel's arrest. Rule C of the Supplemental Rules permits a plaintiff to arrest a vessel by having a warrant of arrest issued and served on the vessel. The vessel is physically taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal. The arrest of a vessel serves several important purposes, including obtaining jurisdiction over the vessel and pre-judgment security for the plaintiff's claims against the vessel itself. In the event that a vessel's owner fails to adequately compensate a plaintiff for his damages or post adequate security with the court for the plaintiff's claims to secure the vessel's release from the arrest, the plaintiff is entitled to have the court sell the vessel at a U. S. Marshal's sale and use the proceeds of the sale to satisfy the plaintiff's in rem claim against the vessel. The sale of a vessel in an action in rem is not a typical judicial sale of property, as it divests all existing liens and mortgages of any kind.

The notion of obtaining pre-judgment security for a claim is unique to maritime tort law and is largely not permitted under land based tort law. Despite the ability to arrest a vessel to enforce a tort lien and the potential risk of not being able to collect a judgment, many maritime lawyers do not investigate whether it is in their client's best interest to arrest the vessel. This is not to suggest that a vessel must always be arrested to enforce a maritime tort lien. Instead, the decision to arrest a vessel must be made on a case by case basis with the client's participation in the decision making process. Factors to consider in arresting a vessel include the extra cost and time in litigating a civil action in federal court compared to state court, the additional time and costs associated with arresting a vessel, and whether the client wants to abandon his right to a jury trial.

If it is determined that it is not in the client's best interest to arrest a vessel, then another option available to preserve the plaintiff's maritime tort lien is to file a notice of the lien with the U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center. The filing of this notice of lien, which can be accomplished with minimum effort and cost, will place the world on notice of the lien and place a cloud on the vessel's title. Generally, most vessel owners will eventually satisfy the lien, because the filing of the lien may be in violation of the terms and conditions of the vessel's preferred ship mortgage or deter potential buyers from purchasing the vessel. This paper will provide a general guide for filing the proper pleadings to arrest a vessel to enforce a maritime tort lien and will discuss the steps that must be taken in order to arrest the vessel.
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Old 06-11-2016, 16:22   #6
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Disclaimer: I'm an insurance agent, not an attorney.
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Old 06-11-2016, 16:31   #7
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Good Post CareKnot!

Good luck Lifeboatcox!

Since it is a Cat, you could deliver just ONE hull if only Half paid. . (Just kidding of course.)
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Old 06-11-2016, 16:34   #8
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

What is the husband's reason for NOT paying your contracted delivery fee?
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Old 06-11-2016, 16:45   #9
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Thanks Steady,

What I normally do is call around to attorneys offices and see if someone will talk to me about my case. Many will give up valuable information for free.

You can file an Admiralty lien 'pro se' from what I understand. Often the threat of expensive litigation will bring reluctant respondents to the table quickly. But again, call an attorney and ask for advice is my best recommendation.

Here is one more thing to note:
Quote:
A lien is a legal interest in property, held by a creditor, that secures payment of a debt or a liability. A lien may entitle the creditor to take the property or to have the property sold to raise money to pay a debt in default or a liability secured by the lien.
I probably would NOT surrender the boat without getting legal advice on the matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Good Post CareKnot!

Good luck Lifeboatcox!

Since it is a Cat, you could deliver just ONE hull if only Half paid. . (Just kidding of course.)
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Old 06-11-2016, 16:53   #10
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

A similar deal happened a while back on CF when a British passport holder was stiffed his delivery fee in Australia.

In that case, it proved necessary to hire a maritime attorney, and in that event, I believe the injustice of the situation was so egregious that the atty. took it on "pro bono".

Good luck with the situation, but, imho, best to turn the professional loose on the owners.

Possibly it will come right when the Gentleman in question learns what his liability really is.

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Old 06-11-2016, 17:09   #11
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Where is the boat registered?
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Old 06-11-2016, 17:15   #12
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

I also found these tidbits at another attorney's site.

Quote:
Does anything special have to be done to create a maritime lien?

The filing of appropriate documents with the National Vessel Documentation Center is needed to create a preferred ship mortgage lien. All other liens arise spontaneously upon the provision of goods or services to the vessel or other maritime property, or upon the commission of the accident or other event that gives rise to a liability secured by the lien. Since there is no need to file, there is no reliable means of discovering all liens that may exist against a vessel. Liens not of record are called "secret liens."
AND

Quote:
Should a notice of lien be registered with the National Vessel Documentation Center?

A preferred ship mortgage must be registered to create a lien. No other maritime lien need be registered at the NVDC or anywhere else to be valid. But registration may extend the life of a lien by precluding a claim of laches. Further, lenders and buyers who have learned of a lien on file may require a vessel owner to pay off the debt or obligation secured by the lien before proceeding with a loan or sale. Filing information can be found at USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page.
So it appears that this can be started as a DIY project!
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Old 06-11-2016, 17:23   #13
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

A 52' cat is not usually cheap. Quoted from above:
Quote:
the filing of the lien may be in violation of the terms and conditions of the vessel's preferred ship mortgage
Perhaps the threat of this filing and the notifying of the lender (who will be on file at National Vessel Documentation Center) of same may be enough to end the standoff, no matter how acrimonious the dispute between the owners. It's bad enough to get an attorney involved, but bankers almost always get their way. Just saying..
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Old 06-11-2016, 17:25   #14
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

Try this site: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/instr/inst%20NCL.pdf
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Old 06-11-2016, 17:37   #15
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Re: Non payment for delivery crew

The only legal advise I would ever give is to seek qualified legal advice .....
However as part of a discussion and based on the limited information available to this discussion I would make the following observations:

If the boat is jointly owned then both owners would be jointly and severally liable to contracted party. We do not know if the delivery captain was contracted to provide the crew or if there are separate contacts with captain and crew. This is relevant in a number of different ways including who had the right to seek legal redress against the owners and who is legally responsible for landing a destitute person on US soil.

Regardless of which owner signed the contract (assuming that a formal contract exists) it would be normal to consider that the owner who signed the contract the implied and actual authority to contact on behalf of all owners and that the captain has the right to rely on that.

While I do not disagree with the previous posts I wonder if speaking to the US Coast Guard may be useful. While government authorities do not normally get involved in what is essentially a commercial dispute the stated fact remains that an alien person is there without the means to leave and this would be of concern to them in their assigned duties. Of course this raises the issue of who the crew member contracted with and who is considered to be responsible for landing that crew without the means to leave.

If I was the crew member is would be contacted the British Consular services for advise / support.
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