United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
F. MOORER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Intervenor Plaintiff JP's Marine
Services, LLC's, Unopposed Motion for Partial
Disbursement of Sale Proceeds. Doc. 73, filed December
18, 2019. Intervenor Plaintiff JP's Marine Services, LLC,
requests the Court approve a partial disbursement of the sale
proceeds of the M/Y BRAMBLE to Global Maritime Security for
its custodia legis services that it rendered as a
court-appointed substitute custodian for the benefit of the
M/Y BRAMBLE. Id. at 3. Having considered the motion,
the absence of opposition to the motion, and relevant law,
the Court finds the Motion for Partial Disbursement of Sale
Proceeds is due to be GRANTED.
the Court will refer to Plaintiff Inchcape Shipping Services,
Inc., as “Inchcape;” Intervenor Plaintiff
JP's Marine Services, LLC, as “JPMS;”
Substitute Custodian Global Maritime Security as
“Global Maritime;” Intervenor Alabama Shipyard,
LLC, as “Alabama Shipyard;” in rem
Defendant M/Y BRAMBLE as the “Vessel;” Defendant
Bramble Historic Epic Companies, LLC, as “Bramble
Historic;” and Defendant Orinoco Natural Resources,
LLC, as “Orinoco.”
August 2, 2019, Inchcape filed its Verified Complaint in
which it brought its maritime lien claim against the Vessel
in rem, and the Vessel's owner, Bramble
Historic, in personam, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1333, Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(h), and the Federal Maritime Lien Act,
46 U.S.C. §§ 31301-31343, for necessaries and
services that were provided to the Vessel. Doc. 1. On the
same day, Inchcape requested the Court issue a Warrant of
Arrest for the Vessel and substitute Global Maritime as
custodian of the Vessel in lieu of the United States Marshal.
Docs. 2-3. The Court granted Inchcape's requests. Docs.
August 27, 2019, pursuant to Rule C(4), Supplemental Rules
for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Action
(“Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime
Claims”), and S.D. Ala. CivLR 102(b), Inchcape
requested the Court approve its “Notice of Action In
Rem and Arrest of Vessel” and authorize Inchcape to
publish said notice. Doc. 12. The Court granted
Inchcape's request, approved Inchcape's notice, and
ordered Inchcape to publish the notice in accordance with
S.D. Ala. CivLR 102(b). Doc. 13.
September 16, 2019, Inchcape filed its motion to amend its
complaint, which the Court granted, to add Orinoco as a
defendant upon information that Orinoco may have been an
owner of the Vessel. Docs. 16-17. Inchcape filed its amended
complaint on September 17, 2019. Doc. 18.
September 23, 2019, Inchcape filed its proof of publication
of the notice. Doc. 21. On September 26, 2019, JPMS timely
filed its Verified Complaint in Intervention to assert its
maritime lien claims. Doc. 22.
October 8, 2019, Inchcape filed its Motion for Interlocutory
Sale of Vessel in which it requested, pursuant to Rule E(9),
Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims, the
Court condemn and sell the Vessel at a public sale, the
proceeds of said sale be held in the Registry of the Court
pending final judgment in this matter, and to issue notice of
the sale in accordance with S.D. Ala. CivLR 104(m)(1). Doc.
26. JPMS joined in Inchcape's motion. Doc. 27. On October
15, 2019, the Court granted Inchcape's motion, set the
Vessel's public sale date on November 6, 2019, and
ordered notice of the sale be appropriately published. Doc.
30. Upon unopposed motion by Inchcape, the Court authorized
the use of National Liquidators as a broker to promote the
sale of the Vessel and its fees for such services would be
considered a custodia legis cost. Docs. 35, 40.
October 24, 2019, Alabama Shipyard filed its Verified
Complaint in Intervention to asserts its maritime lien
claims. Doc. 34.
November 5, 2019, Inchcape filed its Joint Motion to
Reschedule Marshal's Sale in which it requested the Court
reschedule the public sale of the Vessel to allow the broker
additional time to stoke interest in the Vessel. Doc. 41. The
Court granted Inchcape's motion, rescheduled the public
sale to December 4, 2019, and ordered notice of the sale be
appropriately published. Doc. 42.
December 4, 2019, the Vessel was sold at public auction to
Modern American Recycling Services, Inc., for $80, 000.00,
which amount was deposited with the Court. Doc. 56. On
December 12, 2019, the Court confirmed the sale of the Vessel
and transferred the Vessel's title to Modern American
Recycling Services, Inc. Doc. 69.
December 6, 2019, Global Maritime filed its Motion for
Payment of In Custodia Legis Expenses and to be
Released as the Substitute Custodian. Doc. 55. On December 9,
2019, Alabama Shipyard filed its Motion for Payment of In
Custodia Legis Expenses. Doc. 57. On December 10, 2019,
Inchcape filed its Motion for (1) Payment of Custodia
Legis Expenses and (2) Order Determining Further
Allocation of Same. Doc. 61. ...