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Old 25-06-2014, 07:51   #16
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

Two sides to every story.

The OP mentioned that alcohol was a factor, was the OP sober the whole time while the Owner got wasted? Did the OP imbibe as well and was this a factor?
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:01   #17
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

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Have the US Marshalls do it. It's very effective. You will need either the contract between you guys or a court judgement in your favor.

It is very effective but if things haven't changed in 15 years it costs a $10,000 deposit up front. Probably not worth it for $2,000.
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:08   #18
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

All the "sail-house lawyers" here have failed to ask the most important question....

Did you sign a contract with this guy laying out what was expected of both of you?

If not, this is a lesson learned.

As a Delivery Captain, you should get everything in writing (Written Contract) including things like damages to boat underway, condition of boat at arrival, pay, lay over pay, provisions, number of crew, insurance, break downs and expected delivery times. You should also get some money up front, at least enough to cover you expenses home.

If you did sign a contract with the owner, you may be able to file a Federal Lean against the boat, assuming that the boat is documented. If it is State Registered, you can file a lean in the State the Boat is Registered.

Contrary to what some people have stated, filing liens against documented vessels is not that easy and getting the Marshals to impound the boat will probably not happen. It will cost you more than what he owes you, especially in Federal Court.

Talk to a Marine Title Company or a Maritime Lawyer and they can explain all of this too you,
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:15   #19
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

Who ever mentioned the JONES ACT....

Most delivery Captains do not meet the definition of a "Seaman" in the Jones Act....

"Any worker who spends less than 30 percent of his time in the service of a vessel on navigable waters is presumed not to be a seaman under the Jones Act."
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:18   #20
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

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His name is Lars Lindquist. The boat is a Hardin 45 from Miami. Its named joie de vie III.

Sent from my C5215 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Probably not proper form but can you post this information on the "other" sailing net?. The more sailors who know this the more chances you will hear from others who have been bilked out of wages. Who knows there may even be a sailing lawyer out there with some advice (and a conscience)......or at least they could tell you where to start.
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:25   #21
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

It is under $3000.00. It is a small claims issue period. Go to small claims get a judgement then follow the previously posted instructions on that link. No admiralty lawyer required, file claim, go before a judge, explain your side, other party explains his side, Judge decides who is full of **** and issues judgement which is then legally binding. After you have the judgement in hand there are tools for you to recover your money. By the way plenty of judgements are issued even without written contracts. Ever hear of a verbal contract?
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:33   #22
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

So why was the owner/captain so upset? Friction during the delivery?
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:43   #23
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

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So why was the owner/captain so upset? Friction during the delivery?
Probably finished the rum...
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:45   #24
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

The more I think about this the more I, personally, get irked.

Clearly going to Federal court is crazy. Not only would it take forever, it would cost a fortune.

The more I think about it going to the police seems like a very good first step. If he promised to pay and did not, he committed fraud -- a felony. As you can see, it is easy to get sympathy when the little guy gets screwed, so the police may be quite incensed and want to pursue this, especially if you can show a pattern by taking the other fellow who got stiffed with you. The nice thing about it is if you can get the police involved, they can build your civil case for you for free. You could possibly then be in the position of telling the rascal that if he pays, you'll drop the charges.

Don't follow the advice that has suggested that you are helpless. You're not unless you chose to give up.
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:48   #25
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

speak softly and carry a BIG STICK (baseball bats work well on a boat if you shorten it some)
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:55   #26
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

Back 17 years ago when I worked as a house painter, I had a client (a-hole) do the same thing to me. I spent an entire month painting their house, they were never happy with anything.... it was all pre-planned. They were having an entire team of professionals remodel their house, with no intention of paying anyone.

The licensed guys probably eventually got paid, but I not only didn't get paid, but they also sued me to get their initial deposit refunded. The court system in Massachusetts is a joke, never favoring working people. It was an expensive lesson for me at the time. Don't make any threats on the guy, if he's a professional thief... he'll be waiting for that, and it will be used against you.

Good luck, but you'll probably never see and money.
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:58   #27
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

Call Judge Judy - LOL...

Seriously -

Step 1 - No contract? Forget it. Life lesson
Step 2 - Go to local police station. See if they would do you a solid and visit the guy with your contract in hand, especialy if the guy was "threatening" or you heard he had threatened - The point is you are scared of this unbalanced guy - they may play ball and send a cruiser out with you
Step 3 - Small claims court.

Beyond that it starts costing you money to collect.

if the contract was executed in Fl and you are going back to FL and he is based in FL you may want to do it all there so there is a FL judgement not an NC judgement.

I am not a lawyer and YMMV.
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Old 25-06-2014, 11:06   #28
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

you could allways tell him you hid drugs on board and will not reveal their location untill paid
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Old 25-06-2014, 11:20   #29
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

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Originally Posted by dougdaniel View Post
The more I think about this the more I, personally, get irked.

Clearly going to Federal court is crazy. Not only would it take forever, it would cost a fortune.

The more I think about it going to the police seems like a very good first step.
As a cop with 30 years of experience... I hate when people think the Police are the answer to problems they created.

Going to the police is the wrong thing to do! This is a civil matter and the cops can not arrest him for failing to pay a debt or doing anything about this matter.

They will tell you to CONSULT A LAWYER or START A CIVIL ACTION
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Old 25-06-2014, 11:40   #30
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Re: Owner refuses to pay crew, need advice

start by writing him a nast letter outlining what you'll do if he doesn't pay you, and provide him with hints that you have proof that he said that he'd pay you. maybe even make up a fancy letterhead from a law firm and use that...
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