Greeley v. The "Tami Joan"

In Maritime Liens, Mortgages & Priorities on (Updated )

This was a contest between the mortgagee and lessee of the fishing vessel "Tami Joan". The Plaintiff had leased the vessel from its owner and had effected improvements to it. Unknown to the Plaintiff the vessel was mortgaged and the mortgage was in arrears. The mortgagee seized the vessel pursuant to the mortgage and it was eventually sold. The Plaintiff alleged that the mortgagee had wrongly deprived him of possession of the vessel and that he was entitled to a possessory maritime lien for the materials and services he had supplied to the vessel. The Trial Judge held that the mortgagee was entitled to seize the vessel because the mortgage was in arrears and its security was impaired by reason that the vessel was uninsured. The Trial Judge further held that the Plaintiff was not entitled to a possessory lien because he had lost possession of the vessel to the mortgagee. The Plaintiff was, at most, entitled to a statutory right of action In Rem which gave him no priority. The Plaintiff appealed and further claimed monetary relief for equipment he alleged he supplied to the ship. On appeal the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the Trial Judge and further held that the Plaintiff had failed to properly prove any damages as a result of equipment he supplied to the vessel.