Availability of State Attachment Process

The Federal Supplemental Admiralty Rules state that in an in personam action the plaintiff may invoke state-law remedies available for seizure of person or property.[i] In Winter Storm Shipping v. Tpi, 310 F.3d 263 (2d Cir. N.Y. 2002), the court held that state courts may not provide a remedy in rem for any cause of action within the admiralty jurisdiction.  However, in exercising in personam jurisdiction a state may adopt remedies as it sees fit so long as it does not attempt to make changes in the substantive maritime law.[ii]

In Cordoba Shipping Co. v. Maro Shipping, Ltd., 494 F. Supp. 183 (D. Conn. 1980), the court held that admiralty plaintiffs are able to acquire personal jurisdiction over a defendant merely by attaching the defendant’s property in the jurisdiction.  However, attachment under state law is not limited to actions to acquire personal jurisdiction over the defendant.  Under state law, a plaintiff has right to pursue an attachment even when in personam jurisdiction is otherwise established over the defendant for the sole purpose of securing a potential judgment.[iii]

In Amoco Overseas Oil Co. v. Compagnie Nationale Algerienne de Navigation (Co. N. A. N.”), 605 F.2d 648, 650 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1979), the court held that if an attachment is effected under state law, the plaintiffs may not utilize the federal procedure but should comply with state statutory requirements regarding attachment.

[i] USCS Admiralty and Maritime Claims R B

[ii] Winter Storm Shipping v. Tpi, 310 F.3d 263 (2d Cir. N.Y. 2002)

[iii] Cordoba Shipping Co. v. Maro Shipping, Ltd., 494 F. Supp. 183 (D. Conn. 1980)


Inside Availability of State Attachment Process