Thorsteinsson v. M/V Drangur

891 F.2d 1547, 1990 AMC 2478 (1990)

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Thorsteinsson v. M/V Drangur

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
891 F.2d 1547, 1990 AMC 2478 (1990)

Facts

The M/V Drangur (defendant) was an Icelandic cargo vessel owned by an Icelandic corporation. Olafur Thorsteinsson and Bergthor Havardsson (plaintiffs) were seamen on the ship. Certain Icelandic creditors filed claims against the M/V Drangur in Icelandic court. The Icelandic court had jurisdiction over the vessel under Icelandic law but did not arrest the vessel. After various legal proceedings, Utvegsbanki Islands HF (the bank) (defendant) purchased the M/V Drangur in a judicial auction and thereby obtained title to it, purportedly free and clear of all liens. When the vessel was in Florida, however, Thorsteinsson and Havardsson brought an in rem action against the M/V Drangur in federal district court to assert various maritime liens against the ship for unpaid wages and other claims. The district court ordered the arrest in rem of the vessel, and it was seized. The bank appeared before the court as the owner of the vessel and posted a cash bond to secure its release. The bank moved for summary judgment, arguing that the court was required to recognize the Icelandic court’s sale of the vessel to the bank free of liens. The court granted the motion, and Thorsteinsson and Havardsson appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fay, J.)

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