Global Enterprises International v. The Ships “Aquarius”,”Sagran” and “Admiral Arciszewski”

In Admiralty Practice, Judicial Sales on (Updated )

This was an application by the Polish trustee in bankruptcy of the Defendant shipowner for an extension of time in which to file an appeal of an order authorizing the sale of the Defendant ships and for a stay of the sale proceedings. The Prothonotary reviewed the case authorities on time extensions and noted that an applicant must generally show an intention to appeal before the time ran out, that the appeal has merit, a reasonable explanation for the delay and that the other parties are not prejudiced. The Prothonotary held that the applicant had failed to address these issues in its affidavit evidence and further found that there was prejudice to the other parties given that the vessels were incurring substantial expenses and a delay might frustrate a sale. The Prothonotary next considered the stay application. The proper test on such an application is that there must be a serious question to be tried, there must be irreparable harm if the application is refused and the balance of convenience must be considered. The Prothonotary noted that the applicant’s material did not suggest the sale order was in error and was silent as to irreparable harm. On the matter of balance of convenience, the Prothonotary was of the view that the balance of convenience favoured an early sale of the ships.