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Vitol, Sa v. Capri Marine, Ltd.

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

May 14, 2013

VITOL, S.A. Plaintiff,
v.
CAPRI MARINE, LTD et al. Defendants

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: POST-APPEAL MOTIONS

MARVIN J. GARBIS, District Judge.

The Court has before it the following pending post-appeal motions pertaining to Spartacus Navigation Corp. ("Spartacus") and Primerose Shipping Company Ltd. ("Primerose") (collectively referred to as "S & P"):

1. Defendants Spartacus Navigation Corp.'s and Primerose Shipping Company Ltd.'s Motion to Vacate "Emergency Stay" and/or Motion to Reconsider Order Granting "Emergency Stay" [Document 154];
2. Plaintiff Vitol, S.A.'s Motion for Relief from Judgment, or in the Alternative for Permission to Amend the Complaint [Document 159];
3. Defendants Spartacus Navigation Corp.'s and Primerose Shipping Company Ltd.'s Emergency Motion for Release of Funds Deposited in Court Registry [Document 161];

and the materials submitted relating thereto.

The Court has held a hearing and has had the benefit of the arguments of counsel.

I. SUMMARY BACKGROUND[1]

In April 2005, Plaintiff Vitol, S.A. ("Vitol") obtained a money judgment from the English High Court against Defendant Capri Marine Ltd. ("Capri"). In 2009, Vitol ascertained that the THOR, a ship owned by Spartacus and managed by Primerose, was docked in the Baltimore harbor. Vitol then filed in this Court the verified complaint against S & P and others and obtained a Supplemental Rule B attachment of the THOR. S & P thereafter deposited $9, 301, 591.55 in the Court's registry as substitute collateral (the "Substitute Collateral") and obtained the release of the THOR [Document 17].

S & P moved to vacate the attachment, pursuant to Supplemental Rule E and to dismiss the Verified Complaint against them pursuant Rule 12(b)(6).[2] After concluding it possessed competent jurisdiction in admiralty over Vitol's action, this Court dismissed the verified complaint because the factual allegations were insufficient to state a plausible claim of alter ego liability against S & P, but granted Vitol leave to amend [Document 73]. Vitol filed the Amended Verified Complaint [Document 80] and S & P again moved to vacate the attachment and dismiss the verified complaint. In the Memorandum & Order Re: Motion to Vacate Attachment & Dismiss Amended Complaint [Document 120] (the "Decision"), the Court found that Vitol had failed to allege with sufficient particularity or plausibility alter ego claims against S & P, vacated the attachment of the THOR, and dismissed the Amended Verified Complaint against S & P. In the Memorandum & Order Re: Motion To Stay [Document 139], the Court stayed release of the Substitute Collateral pending Vitol's appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On February 8, 2013, the Fourth Circuit issued its decision affirming this Court's vacatur of the attachment and dismissal of the Amended Verified Complaint against S & P[3] [Document 148]. The Court granted Vitol's request that release of the Substitute Collateral continue to be stayed [Document 152]. On March 8, 2013, the Fourth Circuit denied Vitol's petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc [Document 157], and on March 18, 2013, issued a Mandate making its judgment issued February 8, 2013, effective as of March 18, 2013. [Document 160].

By the instant motions:

1. S & P seek the release of the Substitute Collateral.
2. Vitol seeks to have the Court vacate the Decision, reinstate the attachment and Verified Amended Complaint against S & P, permit the case to proceed to discovery, and/or ...

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