Paramount Enterprises International Inc. v. The "An Xin Jiang" et al.

In Admiralty Practice, In Rem Actions and Arrest on (Updated )

The issue on this appeal was whether the claims in rem against the Defendant ship and her cargo should be struck. The underlying action was for breach of contract against one Defendant and for wrongful interference with contractual relations against the other Defendant. The facts were that the Plaintiff had entered into a contract with the one Defendant for the carriage of that Defendant’s cargo on board the vessel "Len Speer". The Plaintiff positioned the "Len Speer" for the carriage but the Defendant did not supply the cargo. Instead the Defendant had the cargo carried on board the "An Xin Jiang". The Plaintiff then commenced this action and arrested the "An Xin Jiang" and the cargo. The issue before the Court was whether this was a proper exercise of the in rem procedure. The Court of Appeal held that in order to support an action in rem the property arrested must be the "subject" of the "cause" of the action. Applying this test to the facts of the case the Court of Appeal held that the actions in rem had to be struck. The "An Xin Jiang" was not the subject of the contract relied upon by the Plaintiff. Further, the Plaintiff never had possession of the cargo and had no lien on the cargo and therefore there was no basis for an in rem action against the cargo.