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oscarzulu 02-04-2007 03:30 PM

Need maritime legal advice...
 
Hello all, need some advice on placing a lien on a Cayman Island flagged sailboat.
I've put a lien up on Marineliens.com, but I was told that that may not be the most effective route.
Again the boat is registered in the Cayman Islands, the work for which I haven't been paid was done in Rhode Island and the owner lives in South Carolina. And the yacht is now down in the caribbean.
It's been since November with the owner at first promising to work things out, but has since clammed up...

Thanks in advance for any advice or help anyone can give.

hellosailor 02-04-2007 04:05 PM

You need an admiralty lawyer, I'm guessing that you're in the realm of international law and treaties unless SC law allows you to file directly against US assets and/of the owner here.

Might be cheaper and more satisfying to just fly down and torch the boat.

Tartan34C 02-04-2007 04:08 PM

It doesnít matter where the boat is registered but if you have a valid lien naming the boat you can arrest the boat in the United States. If you want to chase the boat outside of the United States and the work was done in RI you need to start an action in the country where the boat is. A lien is not portable.

On the other hand if you get a judgment naming the owner and he has propriety in another state or country you can prefect that lien and seize assets that are in his name and it doesnít matter where the assets are. The court will order the seizure and sale of the assets.

I think you will need an attorney unless you have a lot of patience and donít mind doing a lot of research to get the paperwork right. Itís not straight forward and he can bond out of it if you arrest the boat. One action is in Federal court and the other might be in State court with a significant different in cost depending on how you do it.
Good luck and all the best,
Robert Gainer

Disclaimer,
I am not an attorney and donít play one on TV. I owned a marine business for 35 years and have been involved in salvage, commercial repair work and litigation involving both. You need an attorney and depending on how you want to proceed you may need a Admiralty Attorney or simply a civil attorney.

Sailormann 02-05-2007 01:54 AM

You could try some of the tactics that collection agencies use, and because you are not a collector yourself, and hence not bound by laws governing their codes of conduct - you can certainly go a little farther than they can. I would start by embarassing him. Have you tried calling his office and explaining to his secretary and his collegues that you are trying to collect a debt that he refuses to pay ??? You can take this a step further, by obtaining the names of his colleagues and sending them ver polite little notes aasking them if they would be so kind as to remind him that he owes you money. Ditto his boat club in the Caymans... Have you tried running a credit report on him and then contacting the company that holds his ortgage to find out if he is paying them, because he doesn't seem too inclined to pay you ???

hellosailor 02-05-2007 12:56 PM

Sailormann-
"Have you tried calling his office and " Careful there, witnesses can mean countercharges like slander and a sticky mess.

As we gentlemen say in the sport of yacht racing, "Leave no survivors and you'll spend less time in the protest room." (Who me, say that?!<G>)

Besides, it would be more fun to burn his house down and then stop by to ask if his boat was his only remaining asset. (While lighting up your cheap cigar with a big Zippo, and flicking embers around.) Hey, accidents happen.<G>

(Remember, arson is considered outrageous and just shouldn't be done by unlicensed personnel.)

sailingdog 02-05-2007 01:18 PM

Hellosailor-

If the gentleman in question does actually owe the funds...saying that he does is not slander, but the truth...and truth is generally a pretty good defense against a charge of slander. Stating that you are trying to collect a debt that he owes is not slander... if he actually owes it..

hellosailor 02-05-2007 01:51 PM

SD-
I agree with you. And, also know there are many scoundrels who will claim they have been slandered simply because they know a high dollar counterclaim against you has to go to court anyway, and will scare away many people. Cheap bullies and terrorists, nothing more, but still to beware of.

sailingdog 02-05-2007 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hellosailor
SD-
I agree with you. And, also know there are many scoundrels who will claim they have been slandered simply because they know a high dollar counterclaim against you has to go to court anyway, and will scare away many people. Cheap bullies and terrorists, nothing more, but still to beware of.

Unfortunately true... I think that the legal system in this country could do with some serious reform. If the legal system required the losing party to pay all the court costs for both sides, far fewer frivilous lawsuits would occur. If the legal system could award punitive damages and fine the attorneys on the losing side directly, rather than just their clients, in cases deemed frivilous or without merit, then you would see them all but disappear.

hellosailor 02-05-2007 02:14 PM

SD-
"If the legal system required the losing party to pay all the court costs for both sides, I'm told that's the norm in Britain and the complaint there is that the risk of losing prevents poorer people with valid claims from risking court.

In many US courts the judge is not required to be a lawyer or legal scholar even in the loosest definition of the term. Sad thing, because they usually could find grounds for a vengeful whooping if they only bothered.

I think we also need to "motivate" the shyster lawyers, by telling them that if their client loses, they'll have to pay half the claim or forfeit their law licenses unless they've been "batting at least .800". Everyone is going to lose from time to time, but the ones who really KNOW up front they haven't got a leg to stand on--need to be motivated away.

pigslo 02-05-2007 04:10 PM

Hellosailor. I beleive you just realed off a half a dozen fixes that unimplementable what I would consider as having a result worse than what you are trying to fix. We left U.K. and created a slightly different legal system beause of what we considered wrong with theirs.
pigslo


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