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PNC Bank, Delaware v. F/V Miss Laura

February 14, 2003

PNC BANK, DELAWARE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
F/V MISS LAURA (O.N. 542762) IN REM, DEFENDANT. MAINE SHIPYARD & MARINE AILWAY, INC., INTERVENING PLAINTIFF.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas

OPINION

Presently before the court is Plaintiff PNC Bank's motion for summary judgment against Intervening Plaintiff Maine Shipyard & Marine Railway, Inc. Also before the court is Intervening Plaintiff Maine Shipyard & Railway, Inc.'s cross motion for summary judgment against Plaintiff PNC Bank, Delaware. This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1333. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is granted and Intervening Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is rendered moot.

I.

A.

The present dispute arises out of a mortgage foreclosure action between Plaintiff PNC Bank, Delaware ("PNC Bank") and Defendant F/V Miss Laura. That dispute involved a Loan Forebearance Agreement entered into by PNC Bank and David R. Greenly, the owner of the F/V Miss Laura. Alleging a default on the terms of that agreement, PNC Bank commenced the present action seeking the judicial sale of the F/V Miss Laura. Maine Shipyard & Maine Railway, Inc. ("Maine Shipyard") entered the action as an Intervening Plaintiff. Maine Shipyard claims it holds a maritime lien on the F/V Miss Laura, to the extent of her fishing permits and history, which has priority over PNC Bank's preferred mortgage lien. PNC Bank filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Maine Shipyard's failure to provide any necessaries to the F/V Miss Laura precludes it from asserting a maritime lien on that vessel. Therefore, PNC Bank asks this Court to dismiss Maine Shipyard from this action.

B.

In July 1997, Maine Shipyard provided parts and labor for repair of the engine of the F/V Miss Penelope. Maine Shipyard alleges that it has not been compensated for the repairs it made to the F/V Miss Penelope. The F/V Miss Penelope was a commercial fishing vessel owned at all times relevant hereto by Greenly. On January 28, 1998, the F/V Miss Penelope sank and could not be salvaged.

In order to obtain limited access fishing rights for a vessel that is intended to replace a sunken or destroyed vessel, the regulations initially require that the applicant's eligibility to apply for those rights be preserved. 50 C.F.R. Ch. VI § 648.4(a)(1)(i)(J). An applicant must submit an application for and receive a confirmation of the destroyed vessel's permit history ("CPH"). Id. Once the National Marine Fisheries Service has issued the CPH, the applicant is then eligible to apply for a limited access permit for a replacement vessel based on the qualifying vessel's permit history. Id.

After the F/V Miss Penelope sank, Greenly submitted an application for a CPH for the F/V Miss Penelope to the National Marine Fisheries Service. On March 26, 1998, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued to Greenly a CPH for the express purpose of replacing the F/V Miss Penelope.

On September 11, 1998, Greenly acquired the F/V Miss Laura, a commercial fishing vessel intended to replace the F/V Miss Penelope. Greenly then submitted an application to the National Marine Fisheries Service for limited access fishing permits for the F/V Miss Laura along with the above referenced CPH. On July 27, 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service approved the vessel replacement of the F/V Miss Penelope with the F/V Miss Laura. On July 29, 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued limited access fishing permits to the F/V Miss Laura.

II.

"[S]ummary judgment is proper `if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)).

In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the facts and inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Pollock v. American Tel. & Tel. Long Lines, 794 F.2d 860, 864 (3d Cir. 1986). The role of the court is not "to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there ...


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