Bond Substitutes for Res

Monday, August 15, 2005
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that as long as there is a valid seizure of the res at the initiation of an in rem proceeding, jurisdiction is not lost by substitution of a bond followed by return of the bond under court order. In the instant case, plaintiff brought an in rem admiralty action against three fishing vessels to execute a necessaries lien and the vessels were arrested. The owners made a restricted appearance and posted a bond to obtain release of the vessels. The trial court then granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment and ordered the bond to be returned. The appellate court reversed the summary judgment decision and remanded the case. The trial court then held that it lacked jurisdiction because the bond had been returned. On this second appeal, the court held that when the vessels were seized by order of the court and brought within its control, jurisdiction was complete and the subsequent return of the bond did not divest the court of its continuing jurisdiction. Ventura Packers, Inc. v. F/V Jeanine Kathleen, No. 03-56547 (9th Cir., HK Law)

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