Maritime Digests

Vessel Fijian Swift v. Trial Division, 4 A.S.R. 983.
High Court could have in rem admiralty jurisdiction, if Fono, subject to veto by Secretary of Interior, as sub-sub-sub delegatee of Congressional power, chose to enact statutory authorization therefor. Vessel Fijian Swift v. Trial Division, 4 A.S.R. 983.
TCW Special Credits, Inc. v. F/V Kassandra Z, 3 A.S.R.3d 163 (Trial Div. 1999).
Seamen’s liens for wages take priority over all preferred liens except for expenses of justice while the vessel is in custodia legis. TCW Special Credits, Inc. v. F/V Kassandra Z, 3 A.S.R.3d 163 (Trial Div. 1999).
Southwest Marine of Samoa, Inc. v. M/V Kwang Myong #71, 24 A.S.R.2d 152.
Under the dead-ship doctrine, a vessel which has been permanently removed from navigation (and so is a "dead" ship) does not attract liens of a maritime nature, and any watercrafts deemed to be “dead” are outside a court's admiralty jurisdiction. Southwest Marine of Samoa, Inc. v. M/V Kwang Myong #71, 24 A.S.R.2d 152.
Sembawang Maritime Ltd. v. F/V Don Juan, 31 A.S.R.2d 193.
Claims for costs incurred in securing a vessel while it is in custodia legis prior to judicial sale are recoverable from the proceeds of the sale and have priority over the litigants' claims. The principal qualification is that the services or goods for which payment or reimbursement is sought must be necessary for the care and preservation of the vessel and be for the common benefit of all parties who have a claim to the vessel. Sembawang Maritime Ltd. v. F/V Don Juan, 31 A.S.R.2d 193.
Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Unification of common law and admiralty procedure was a factor court should consider in determining whether to apply prior rule that maritime liens could only be foreclosed in admiralty and ship mortgages could only be foreclosed in courts of common law or equity. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Under the general law of admiralty applicable in American Samoa, a ship mortgage, which complied with statutory requirements of a Preferred Ship Mortgage, created a maritime lien enforceable in admiralty, and its priority was the same as it would have been if foreclosed in federal district court. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
To allow lienholder to obtain higher priority by foreclosing in jurisdiction that does not have a federal district court, where Congress apparently intended to create uniform set of priorities and parties contracted accordingly, would give rise to unjust enrichment. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Unification of common law and admiralty procedure was a factor court should consider in determining whether to apply prior rule that maritime liens could only be foreclosed in admiralty and ship mortgages could only be foreclosed in courts of common law or equity. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Under the general law of admiralty applicable in American Samoa, a ship mortgage, which complied with statutory requirements of a Preferred Ship Mortgage, created a maritime lien enforceable in admiralty, and its priority was the same as it would have been if foreclosed in federal district court. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
To allow lienholder to obtain higher priority by foreclosing in jurisdiction that does not have a federal district court, where Congress apparently intended to create uniform set of priorities and parties contracted accordingly, would give rise to unjust enrichment. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Rev. Const. Am. Samoa, art. II, § 1; 5 A.S.C. §§ 1, 402, 801, 803; 11 A.S.C. § 2001. Vessel Fijian Swift v. Trial Division, 4 A.S.R. 983.
Congress can vest admiralty jurisdiction in courts created by territorial legislature. Adoption of Federal Admiralty Rules which allow in rem jurisdiction does not extend jurisdiction of High Court absent legislative of constitutional grant of such jurisdiction. Unless conferred by Constitution of American Samoa, admiralty jurisdiction in rem must be conferred on Trial Division by territorial legislature. Rev. Const. Am. Samoa, art. II, § 1; 5 A.S.C. §§ 1, 402, 801, 803; 11 A.S.C. § 2001. Vessel Fijian Swift v. Trial Division, 4 A.S.R. 983.
Pacific N. Marine Fuels, Inc. v. M/V Clover #7, 30 A.S.R.2d 152.
Administrative expenses are recoverable when the expenditures inure to the benefit of all claimants, where they contribute to or create an available fund. Pacific N. Marine Fuels, Inc. v. M/V Clover #7, 30 A.S.R.2d 152.
Interocean Ships, Inc. v. Samoa Gases, 23 A.S.R.2d 76.
The widely accepted rule of Restatement (Second) of Torts § 402A, which states that an action for recovery under a theory of strict products liability may be entertained by a court sitting in admiralty, is now accepted in American Samoa. Interocean Ships, Inc. v. Samoa Gases, 23 A.S.R.2d 76.
Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
While High Court has no jurisdiction to foreclose mortgage under federal ship mortgage act, it had subject matter jurisdiction over mortgaged vessel situated in the territory and could determine validity of purported mortgage, and therefore properly placed the vessel in custodia legis upon default by mortgagor, thereby nullifying subsequent attempt by mortgagor to create second preferred ship mortgage. Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
One who furnishes goods or services to a vessel in custodia legis does not acquire a maritime lien against the vessel for the value of such goods or services. Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
One who furnishes goods or services to a vessel in custodia legis does not acquire a maritime lien against the vessel for the value of such goods or services. Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
Fa'atasiga v. M/V Ocean Pearl, 19 A.S.R.2d 59.
The High Court of American Samoa has no authority, statutory or otherwise, to order a stay of admiralty proceedings in a federal district court. Fa'atasiga v. M/V Ocean Pearl, 19 A.S.R.2d 59.
Fa'atasiga v. M/V Ocean Pearl, 19 A.S.R.2d 59.
The High Court's general admiralty jurisdiction includes limiting a shipowner's liability to the value of the ship, although lacking the statutory power of federal district courts to enforce this principle by injunction, pending the outcome of the limitation proceeding. Fa'atasiga v. M/V Ocean Pearl, 19 A.S.R.2d 59.
Fa'atasiga v. M/V Ocean Pearl, 19 A.S.R.2d 59.
The High Court refused to approve parties' stipulation to lift a stay of an action in federal district court when no such stay was issued because of the lack of statutory authority to do so. Fa'atasiga v. M/V Ocean Pearl, 19 A.S.R.2d 59.
Clifton v. Voyager, Inc., 29 A.S.R.2d 80.
In addition to the power to exercise jurisdiction over the general maritime claims of unseaworthiness and maintenance and cure, the High Court of American Samoa can exercise jurisdiction over a plaintiff’s Jones Act claim. Clifton v. Voyager, Inc., 29 A.S.R.2d 80.
A.S.C.A. § 3.0208(a)(3). Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
Local statute granting admiralty jurisdiction to High Court allows Court to apply substantive principles of the maritime common law, even though Congress has never directly and specifically conferred admiralty jurisdiction upon High Court. A.S.C.A. § 3.0208(a)(3). Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
46 U.S.C. §§ 911-84. Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
High Court, neither an article III district court nor a non-article III district court empowered under the "territorial exception," has no jurisdiction to foreclose mortgage under federal ship mortgage act, enforcement of which is permissible only by "district courts of the United States." 46 U.S.C. §§ 911-84. Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye v. HGN Corp., 6 A.S.R.2d 64.
46 U.S.C. §§ 911 et seq. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Although Ship Mortgage Act was inapplicable in High Court of American Samoa, its provisions could be applied by analogy by court in applying general law of admiralty. 46 U.S.C. §§ 911 et seq. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
46 U.S.C. §§ 911 et seq. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
Although Ship Mortgage Act was inapplicable in High Court of American Samoa, its provisions could be applied by analogy by court in applying general law of admiralty. 46 U.S.C. §§ 911 et seq. Security Pacific National Bank v. M/V Conquest, 4 A.S.R.2d 59.
46 U.S.C. §§ 145, 181 et seq.; T.C.R.C.P. Rule F(1). In re Complaint of Voyager, Inc., 23 A.S.R.2d 47.
The High Court cannot enjoin proceedings in other jurisdictions in a limitation-of-liability proceeding, because the federal statute restricts jurisdiction to federal district courts and because neither the territorial legislature nor the court's rules can extend the court's jurisdiction to encompass proceedings in other jurisdictions. 46 U.S.C. §§ 145, 181 et seq.; T.C.R.C.P. Rule F(1). In re Complaint of Voyager, Inc., 23 A.S.R.2d 47.
28 U.S.C. § 1333. Rainwater v. The Sea Encounter, 3 A.S.R.2d 87.
The High Court of American Samoa is not a court "of the states" within the meaning of the federal statute denying admiralty jurisdiction to state courts. 28 U.S.C. § 1333. Rainwater v. The Sea Encounter, 3 A.S.R.2d 87.