In the Matter of S&W Marine, Inc.
ORDER AND REASONS re 6 Motion for Default Judgment as to Any and all parties that did not enter a claim in S&W's limitation proceeding. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that any and all parties that did not enter a claim in the a bove-captioned limitation proceeding are hereby in default, and are enjoined from entering a claim against S&W Marine, Inc. arising out of or in connection with the alleged incident which took place on or about June 4, 2016 on the M/V NANCY GISCLAIR, as described in the Complaint for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability. Signed by Judge Lance M Africk on 3/3/2017. (bwn)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
IN THE MATTER OF
S&W MARINE, INC.
ORDER AND REASONS
This is an admiralty limitation of liability action filed pursuant to Rule F of
the Supplementary Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and Title 46, United States Code, Section 30501, et seq.
Before the Court is an unopposed motion 1 filed by petitioner S&W Marine, Inc.
seeking a default judgment against all non-appearing claimants. For the reasons set
forth below, the motion is granted.
On December 21, 2016, S&W Marine filed a Complaint for Exoneration from
or Limitation of Liability pursuant to 46 U.S.C. § 30501, et seq. in connection with
allegations that the M/V NANCY GISCLAIR was operated negligently on or about
June 4, 2016. This Court ordered notice to be issued requiring all persons claiming
damages arising from the voyage of the M/V NANCY GISCLAIR to file their
respective claims with the Clerk of Court on or before February 3, 2017. See R. Doc.
No. 3. Legal notice appeared in The Times-Picayune on January 4, 11, 18, and 25,
R. Doc. No. 6.
2017, and on February 1, 2017. See R. Doc. No. 6-2, at 1. The period for filing claims
has expired and the only claim filed was that of claimant Timothy Istre. There have
been no other claims filed with respect to the voyage of the M/V NANCY GISCLAIR.
S&W Marine asserts that it is entitled to a default judgment pursuant to Rule
55(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule F(5) of the Supplemental Rules
for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, mandates:
(5) Claims and Answer. Claims shall be filed and served on or before the date
specified in the notice provided for in subdivision (4) of this rule. Each claim
shall specify the facts upon which the claimant relies in support of the claim,
the items thereof, and the dates on which the same accrued. If a claimant
desires to contest either the right to exoneration from or the right to limitation
of liability the claimant shall file and serve an answer to the complaint unless
the claim has included an answer.
S&W Marine fulfilled its obligation to publish notice of the limitation proceeding once
a week for four consecutive weeks in The Times-Picayune, as required by
Supplemental Rule F(4). The notice expressly and clearly stated that the deadline
for filing a claim was February 3, 2017 and that a consequence of failing to file a claim
by that deadline would be entry of a default. See R. Doc. No. 6-2, at 2. Approximately
three weeks have elapsed since the deadline for filing a claim. To date, only Timothy
Istre has filed a claim. Accordingly, S&W Marine is entitled to a default judgment as
to all other non-appearing claimants.
For the foregoing reasons,
IT IS ORDERED that S&W Marine’s motion is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that any and
all parties that did not enter a claim in the above-captioned limitation proceeding are
hereby in default, and are enjoined from entering a claim against S&W Marine, Inc.
arising out of or in connection with the alleged incident which took place on or about
June 4, 2016 on the M/V NANCY GISCLAIR, as described in the Complaint for
Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability.
New Orleans, Louisiana, March 3, 2017.
LANCE M. AFRICK
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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