United States District Court, N.D. California
In re OREGON SEALARK, LLC, et al. Plaintiffs-in-Limitation
ORDER REASSIGNING CASE; REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO
ISSUE INJUNCTION RE: DKT. NOS. 2, 13
M. Ryu, United States Magistrate Judge.
26, 2019, Oregon Sealark, LLC and Brusco Tug & Barge,
Inc. (“Applicants”) filed an application for an
issuance of monition and injunction pursuant to the
Limitation of Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30501 et
seq. (the “Act”) and Rule F of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, Supplemental Rules for Certain
Admiralty and Maritime Claims (“Rule F”). [Docket
No. 2.] On September 17, 2019, the court ordered Applicants
to submit additional information and documentation in support
of their application. [Docket No. 10.] On September 24, 2019,
Applicants submitted supplemental documentation. [Docket No.
have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge.
[Docket No. 9.] However, the potential claimants to this
action have not. Generally, injunctive relief is considered a
case dispositive matter for which a magistrate judge cannot
rule on without the consent of all parties. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). To avoid any claims that the
court exceeded its jurisdiction under section 636 and Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 72, the court orders the Clerk to
reassign this case to a district judge, with the
recommendation that the application be granted.
are the owners of a ship known as “M/V Arthur
Brusco” (the “Vessel”). [Docket No. 3
(“App.”) at 1-2.] On January 27, 2019, the Vessel
was heading west through the Bulls Head Channel of Suisun
Bay, pushing an empty barge ahead of it. Id. at 3.
At approximately 6:30 a.m., another vessel (the
“Boat”) crossed in front of the Vessel.
Id. Applicants believe that the owners, operators
and guests aboard the Boat contend that the two vessels
collided, although Applicants dispute that contention.
Id. They also believe that the individuals on the
Boat claim that they suffered damages and injuries because of
the alleged collision and intend to assert claims against
Applicants and/or the Vessel as a result of such injuries.
seek an order directing all possible claimants to bring their
claims in this action; an injunction prohibiting or stopping
all related claims in other courts; and approval of the
preliminary stated value of the vessel.
“allows a vessel owner to limit liability for damage or
injury, occasioned without the owner's privity or
knowledge, to the value of the vessel or the owner's
interest in the vessel.” Lewis v. Lewis & Clark
Marine, Inc., 531 U.S. 438, 446 (2001). The Act also
“permits both American and foreign shipowners facing
multiple suits arising out of one voyage to bring the
claimants into one proceeding to apportion the owner's
liability.” Matter of Bowoon Sangsa Co., Ltd.,
720 F.2d 595, 597 (9th Cir. 1983). In addition to providing
an upper cap for damages, a limitation action allows a vessel
owner certain benefits to streamline proceedings against it.
These include an injunction prohibiting other claims or
proceedings against the owner or its property (so that all
claims are brought within the same action) and a monition for
claimants to appear in the action. Rule F(3)-(4).
process for bringing a limitation action is governed by Rule
F, the requirements of which are examined below.
Sufficiency of Complaint
limitation complaint must contain the following information:
1. [T]he voyage if any, on which the demands sought to be
limited arose, with the date and place of its termination;
2. the amount of all demands including all unsatisfied liens
or claims of lien, in contract or in tort or otherwise,
arising on that voyage, so far as known to the plaintiff, and