The Ruby Star
Court of First Instance
Admiralty Action No. 129 of 2013
Queeny Au-Yeung J
Admiralty
30 April 2015

Action in rem – order of priorities – plaintiff held only judgment obtained against vessel – no reason justifying departure from prima facie order of priorities

P held the only judgment against a vessel and her proceeds of sale (the "Proceeds"). The bailiff’s fees and expenses had already been paid out from the Proceeds. P’s costs for arrest, preservation and sale pendente lite and its party-and-party costs in respect of arrest and sale pendente lite had been agreed. P sought orders that it have first priority against the remaining Proceeds held by the Court with interest.

Held, granting the application, there was no reason why the Court should depart from the prima facie order of priorities, ie, (a) the court’s bailiff fees for the arrest, preservation and sale of the vessel; (b) the expenses of arrest, preservation and sale pendente lite; (c) the costs of the arresting party; (d) maritime liens attached to the ship, not the sister ship, to which the claim arose; (e) secured maritime claims; and (f) unsecured maritime claims. The judgment sum exceeded the Proceeds. P should be paid their entire remainder together with interest thereon in satisfaction of P’s party-and-party costs of the arrest and sale pendente lite and in partial satisfaction of P’s judgment.

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