and Submitted June 14, 2018 Seattle, Washington
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Washington, No. 3:14-cv-06002-BHS Benjamin H.
Settle, District Judge, Presiding
P. Sparkman (argued) and George M. Chalos, Chalos & Co.
P.C., Houston, Texas, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.
Barbara L. Holland (argued) and Tyler W. Arnold, Garvey
Schubert Barer, Seattle, Washington, for Claimant-Appellee.
Before: Milan D. Smith, Jr. and Paul J. Watford, Circuit
Judges, and Douglas L. Rayes, [*] District Judge.
panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment
against a supplier of bunkers (marine fuel) in the
supplier's in rem action for a maritime lien against a
containership, and the panel reversed the district
court's award of costs to the vessel owner.
that United States law applies, the panel held that, under 46
U.S.C. § 31342(a), the bunker supplier would be entitled
to a maritime lien if it provided necessaries to a vessel on
the order of the owner or a person authorized by the owner.
Agreeing with other circuits, the panel held that the
supplier did not provide the bunkers on the order of the
owner or a person authorized by the owner because the owner
ordered the bunkers from a fuel broker, which purchased the
bunkers, pursuant to a separate contract, from the supplier
and did not act as the owner's agent or have authority to
bind the vessel.
panel reversed the district court's award of costs, under
a local rule, to the vessel owner for the cost of keeping in
place a letter of undertaking that enabled the owner to
secure the release of the ship, which had been arrested at
the outset of the action. The panel held that the local rule
lacked statutory authority because premiums paid on
undertakings or bonds are not authorized by 28 U.S.C. §
1920 or by any other statute. The panel wrote that this
result was undesirable, but a return to an earlier practice
awarding such costs would require action by Congress or by
the Supreme Court pursuant to its delegated rulemaking
authority under 28 U.S.C. § 1925.
P. Wise and Alisa Manasantivongs, Flynn Delich & Wise
LLP, Long Beach, California; Bruce G. Paulsen, Jeffrey M.
Dine, and Brian P. Maloney, Seward & Kissell LLP, New
York, New York; for Amicus Curiae ING Bank N.V.
WATFORD, CIRCUIT JUDGE:
an in rem action for a maritime lien brought by
Bunker Holdings Ltd. against the containership M/V YM
Success. Bunker Holdings supplied bunkers (marine fuel) to
the YM Success while the ship was docked in Nakhodka, Russia.
Under United States law, which we will assume applies here,
Bunker Holdings is entitled to a maritime lien if it
"provid[ed] necessaries to a vessel on the order of the
owner or a person authorized by the owner." 46 U.S.C.
Holdings provided "necessaries" to a
"vessel," as the statute requires, because bunkers
are considered necessaries and the YM Success qualifies as a
vessel. The only issue is whether Bunker Holdings provided
the bunkers "on the order of the owner or a person
authorized by the owner." On cross-motions for summary
judgment, the district court held that Bunker ...