30 F.3d 1123 (9th Cir. 1994), 93-35165, Kesselring v. F/T Arctic Hero

Docket Nº:93-35165.
Citation:30 F.3d 1123
Party Name:Michael KESSELRING, et al., Plaintiffs, and Aizawa Gyogyo, K.K., Intervenor-Appellant, v. F/T ARCTIC HERO, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:July 22, 1994
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 1123

30 F.3d 1123 (9th Cir. 1994)

Michael KESSELRING, et al., Plaintiffs,


Aizawa Gyogyo, K.K., Intervenor-Appellant,


F/T ARCTIC HERO, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 93-35165.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 22, 1994

Submitted May 2, 1994 *

Page 1124

Kneeland Taylor, Taylor & Hanlon, Anchorage, AK, for appellant.

Page 1125

Dexter A. Washburn and Jeffrey L. Jernegan, Mikkelborg, Broz, Wells & Fryer, Seattle, WA.

William M. Wuestenfeld, Sandberg, Smith, Wuestenfeld & Corey, Anchorage, AK, for appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.

Before: WRIGHT, SCHROEDER, and BRUNETTI, Circuit Judges.

SCHROEDER, Circuit Judge:

This is an admiralty action brought by crewmen seeking unpaid wages for work they performed on three fishing vessels. The vessels have been arrested and sold, and this litigation concerns the disposition of the proceeds.

The intervenor-appellant, Aizawa K. Gyogyo (Aizawa), is a Japanese corporation that has been assigned the ownership interest in equipment that was on board the vessels when they were sold. This equipment was leased by the owners of the vessels and includes fishing nets, radar devices and other equipment necessary for the operation of the vessels as fishing vessels. Aizawa challenges an order by the district court granting partial summary judgment to a small group of representative plaintiffs on their unpaid wages claims. The court held that the plaintiffs held priority wage liens on the vessels and on the equipment owned by Aizawa. Aizawa appeals, contending that the district court applied the wrong test in determining that the crewmen's wage liens attached to the equipment.

As a preliminary matter, the parties have skirmished over a jurisdictional issue. One group of appellees, who are crewmen-plaintiffs, has moved to dismiss this appeal, maintaining that the district court order is not appealable as a final order under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1291 because the district court has yet to determine the rights of all claimants to the proceeds. The court delayed entry of final judgment until the rights of all of the claimants were adjudicated.

We have interlocutory jurisdiction, however, under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1292(a)(3). This statute creates an exception to the final judgment rule for orders determining the rights and...

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