United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
Coastal Marine Management d/b/a Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina, Plaintiff,
M/V Sea Hunter O.N. 598425, Sea Hunters LP and Gregory Brooks, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge.
have a dispute about the sale at auction of a deeply indebted
vessel, the M/V Sea Hunter (O.N. 598425). The purported owner
of the Vessel, Gregory Brooks, and Sea Hunters LP
(collectively, “defendants”), allegedly failed to
make payments to Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina
(“BHS” or “plaintiff”) for the
storage and removal of rubbish from the subject vessel,
causing BHS to incur a lien for necessaries against the
January, 2017, BHS filed a motion for 1) interlocutory sale
of the vessel and 2) permission to credit bid up to the
amount of the indebtedness of the Vessel. For the reasons
that follow, the motion will be, with respect to
plaintiff's request for interlocutory sale, allowed, but
will be, with respect to its request for the right to credit
about 2008, Gregory Brooks and Sea Hunters LP entered into a
maritime contract with BHS specifying that BHS would provide
“necessaries” to the M/V Sea Hunter by storing
and removing rubbish from it. In exchange, Brooks and Sea
Hunters agreed to pay BHS $1, 833 per month for the service.
Since March 2, 2015, BHS has not, however, received payment
from Brooks and Sea Hunters despite repeated demands.
Currently, BHS possesses a maritime lien on the vessel for
the provision of “Necessaries and Services”
through July, 2016, in the amount of $33, 899.94 plus
interest and costs.
August, 2016, BHS filed a two-count complaint against Brooks
and Sea Hunters LP for 1) enforcement of its maritime lien
for necessaries against the subject vessel and 2) breach of
maritime contract against Brooks and Sea Hunters LP. In
October, 2016, Brooks filed an answer to the complaint but
did not deny the factual allegations.
same month, the United States Marshals served an in
rem warrant on the vessel and arrested it. This Court
subsequently appointed BHS custodian of the vessel which has
remained in its custody and has continued to incur costs.
parties have filed statements of claim against, or interest
in, the M/V Sea Hunter. Specifically, Additional Return, LLC
(“Additional Return”) has asserted a claim or
interest in the vessel on the grounds that it has several
“preferred ship mortgages” against the vessel
totaling approximately $430, 000.
January, 2017, plaintiff moved for interlocutory sale of the
vessel and for the right to credit bid up to the amount of
the indebtedness of the vessel at such sale. Additional
Return objects. This memorandum addresses the pending motion
and objections thereto.
Plaintiff's Motion for Interlocutory Sale and for an
Order Granting It the Right to Credit Bid up to the Amount of
the Indebtedness of the Vessel and its Owner
to the Supplemental Rules of Civil Procedure, a district
court may order the sale of an arrested property if:
(A) the attached or arrested property is perishable, or
liable to deterioration, decay or injury by being detained in
custody pending the action;
(B) the expense of keeping the property is excessive or
(C) there is an unreasonable delay in securing release of the