Internet Equipment Ruled Essential Part of Cruise Ship

Friday, February 10, 2006
In an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that internet communications equipment is an essential part of a cruise ship and is to be included when the ship becomes subject to a maritime lien. In the instant case, petitioner leased telecommunications and internet equipment to the operator of a cruise ship. Petitioner retained ownership of the equipment and provided service and maintenance. The ship was arrested for unpaid shipyard work totally unrelated to petitioner’s equipment. The ship was sold at a judicial sale. Petitioner sought to recover the value of its equipment, which was included in the ship sale. The court held that “it is unimaginable in today’s world that a luxury cruise ship could be successful without a fully functioning telecommunications system.” Therefore, petitioner’s equipment was found to be appurtenant to the ship and properly included in the sale. Motor-Services Hugo Stamp, Inc. v. M/V Regal Empress, No. 04-14179 Source: HK Law

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