City of Riviera Beach v. Lozman, No. 10-10695 (11th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The city filed a complaint in admiralty against defendant, a vessel, claiming that defendant committed the maritime tort of trespass because it remained at the city marina after the city explicitly revoked its consent, and seeking to foreclose its maritime lien for necessaries (unpaid dockage provided to defendant by the city). Claimant, owner of the vessel, appealed from the district court's entry of an order of summary judgment and an order of final judgment for the city in an in rem proceeding against defendant. The court held that the district court did not err in concluding that it had federal admiralty jurisdiction over defendant where defendant was a "vessel" for purposes of admiralty jurisdiction; the district court's factual findings regarding the amount claimant owed under the city's maritime lien for necessaries were not clearly erroneous; the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to the city on claimant's affirmative defense of retaliation; the district court correctly concluded that the city was not estopped from bringing its action in admiralty against defendant; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply collateral estoppel because the issues at stake were significantly different from those in dispute in the state court proceeding. Accordingly, the district court's orders were affirmed.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 26, 2013.