Coath v. The “Bruno Gerussi”

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

This was an application for default judgment in personam and in rem. The Prothonotary granted the judgment in personam but refused the judgement in rem as the Statement of Claim had not been served on the vessel but instead had merely been given to the person in charge of the vessel. The Prothonotary noted that such service would only be effective if the affidavit material disclosed that access to the ship was not possible. The Plaintiff requested interest on the judgment at 12.5% per annum compounded semi-annually. The Prothonotary noted that interest is governed by the principle of restitution and that interest is normally awarded at prevailing commercial rates. In the absence of any evidence as to prevailing rates, the Prothonotary awarded interest at the rate paid on monies paid into the Federal Court ie. 3.6%. With respect to compound interest, the Prothonotary again noted that this is discretionary and allowed compound interest as the Plaintiff would have received compound interest if it had been paid and the monies were deposited in a bank account. Finally, the Plaintiff, who was self-represented, requested costs of $500.00. The Prothonotary held that a lay litigant may receive out of pocket expenses for time spent pursuing his legitimate interests and awarded the Plaintiff $300.00.