Scott Steel Ltd. v. Alarissa

In Maritime Liens, Mortgages & Priorities on (Updated )

This was an appeal from the order of the Prothonotary setting the priorities among various claimants to the proceeds of the Court ordered sale of the stern wheeler "Edmonton Queen". The contest was between the builder who had a possessory lien over the vessel, the mortgagee who held a builder’s mortgage which matured into a registered mortgage and a supplier of goods and services. The usual ranking of priorities in such a case would be that the possessory lien holder would rank first (after the Marshall’s fees), the mortgagee would rank second and the supplier of goods and services last. The mortgagee argued that the Court had the jurisdiction to depart from the usual order of priorities. The Court upheld the decision of the Prothonotary to not depart from the usual order of priorities unless very special circumstances were shown or it was necessary to prevent an obvious injustice. The Court found no such obvious injustice and declined to interfere with the usual order of priorities. The decision also contains an useful discussion of the standard of review upon an appeal from a Prothonotary’s order.