What happens when an arresting party changes the basis of its arrest after a vessel has been arrested?
In the Jeil Crystal, the plaintiff bank abandoned its original claim against the defendant shipowners and obtained leave from Court to amend its statement of claim to substitute a new claim. By this time, the vessel had been arrested and security provided for its release.
The shipowners applied to set aside the warrant of arrest on the basis that it was based on a non-existent cause of action (due to the abandonment of the original claim).
Overturning the prior High Court decision, the Singapore Court of Appeal ruled that the warrant of arrest (as an Order of Court), could only be amended for clerical mistakes or accidental slips/omissions. There would be no corresponding amendment of a warrant of arrest simply because the statement of claim was amended. Since the warrant of arrest now rested on an abandoned claim, it was set aside and security returned to the shipowners.
This case provides well-needed clarification on the effect of such amendments on a warrant of arrest though do note that the Court’s decision was based on its analysis on the old the Rules of Court (before 1 April 2022).
A link to the case can be found here:https://lnkd.in/gFRJtKgQ
For further information, please contact:
JTJB Singapore Office