Calogeras & Master Supplies Inc. v. Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd.

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

This was an application to set the amount of bail. The Court noted that the general rule was that bail should be sufficient to cover the Plaintiff’s reasonably arguable best case including interest and costs but limited by the value of the arrested vessel. An apparently novel point raised in the motion was the standard that should be applied by the court when weighing the evidence. The Defendant argued that the standard should be similar to that applied in summary judgment motions, namely, that the Plaintiff is prima facie entitled to the amount claimed but once the Defendant files a motion to set bail the Plaintiff must put its best case forward to show that the amount claimed constitutes a genuine issue for trial. The Court questioned whether that standard was too high but concluded that even applying that standard the bail should not be reduced. A further novel point was raised in the motion in relation to the costs. Specifically, even though unsuccessful in the motion, the Defendant took the position that the Plaintiff should pay the costs since the Plaintiff had obtained a warrant of arrest notwithstanding the existence of a Caveat warrant. The Court reviewed Rule 494 relating to Caveat warrants and recognized that a Plaintiff was entitled to obtain the issuance of a valid warrant when a Caveat warrant had been filed but would be liable for all resulting costs and damages. The Court found, however, that there were no damages as the parties had agreed to security prior to the arrival of the vessel and the vessel was not, in fact, arrested.