The res or vessel can be sold even before completion of its process of arrest or attachment. On a motion by the defendant or claimant, the court can either permit sale of attached or arrested property or delivered to the claimant upon giving security. Sale is permitted if the property is perishable or liable to decay in case it is kept in custody for long. Sale is permitted also when keeping of the property is expensive or if there is unreasonable delay in securing the release of the property.
In The Mendota, 14 F. 358, 364 (D.N.Y. 1882), the court held that an order for sale of vessel can be issued to save or preserve the vessel from destruction that threatens the claimant. The court will issue such an order only if the order will not cause injury to the rights of the other party.
According to Supplemental Admiralty Rule E (9)(c), all sale of property must be done by the marshal or a deputy marshal or by any other person or organization who has the warrant to conduct sale.[i] If the marshal, his deputy or other person or organization having warrant is a party in interest to the concerned sale, then the court will assign other person to conduct the sale. The income received from the sale must be paid into the registry of the court.[ii]
The marshal, his deputy or other persons having warrant to conduct sale cannot be held liable for refusing to sell the vessel, even if the judge gives an order for such a sale. To qualify for this exemption two conditions has to be satisfied:
- The marshal has never arrested the vessel; and
- The maritime lien holder fails to make the required refundable deposit for the fees of marshal prescribed under the Supplemental Admiralty Rules.
[i] USCS Admiralty and Maritime Claims R E