46 U.S. Code § 31343 - Recording and discharging notices of claim of maritime lien

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(a) Except as provided under subsection (d) of this section, a person claiming a lien on a vessel documented, or for which an application for documentation has been filed, under chapter 121 may record with the Secretary a notice of that person’s lien claim on the vessel. To be recordable, the notice must—
(1) state the nature of the lien;
(2) state the date the lien was established;
(3) state the amount of the lien;
(4) state the name and address of the person; and
(5) be signed and acknowledged.
(b)
(1) The Secretary shall record a notice complying with subsection (a) of this section if, when the notice is presented to the Secretary for recording, the person having the claim files with the notice a declaration stating the following:
(A) The information in the notice is true and correct to the best of the knowledge, information, and belief of the individual who signed it.
(B) A copy of the notice, as presented for recordation, has been sent to each of the following:
(i) The owner of the vessel.
(ii) Each person that recorded under subsection (a) of this section an unexpired notice of a claim of an undischarged lien on the vessel.
(iii) The mortgagee of each mortgage filed or recorded under section 31321 of this title that is an undischarged mortgage on the vessel.
(2) A declaration under this subsection filed by a person that is not an individual must be signed by the president, member, partner, trustee, or other individual authorized to execute the declaration on behalf of the person.
(c)
(1) On full and final discharge of the indebtedness that is the basis for a notice of claim of lien recorded under subsection (b) of this section, the person having the claim shall provide the Secretary with an acknowledged certificate of discharge of the indebtedness. The Secretary shall record the certificate.
(2) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction over a civil action in Admiralty to declare that a vessel is not subject to a lien claimed under subsection (b) of this section, or that the vessel is not subject to the notice of claim of lien, or both, regardless of the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties. Venue in such an action shall be in the district where the vessel is found or where the claimant resides or where the notice of claim of lien is recorded. The court may award costs and attorneys fees to the prevailing party, unless the court finds that the position of the other party was substantially justified or other circumstances make an award of costs and attorneys fees unjust. The Secretary shall record any such declaratory order.
(d) A person claiming a lien on a vessel covered by a preferred mortgage under section 31322 (d) of this title must record and discharge the lien as provided by the law of the State in which the vessel is titled.
(e) A notice of claim of lien recorded under subsection (b) of this section shall expire 3 years after the date the lien was established, as such date is stated in the notice under subsection (a) of this section.
(f) This section does not alter in any respect the law pertaining to the establishment of a maritime lien, the remedy provided by such a lien, or the defenses thereto, including any defense under the doctrine of laches.

Source

(Pub. L. 100–710, title I, § 102(c),Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4748; Pub. L. 107–295, title II, § 205(a)(1),Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 111–281, title IX, § 913(a)(1),Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 3017.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised section Source section (U.S. Code)
31343 46:925

Section 31343 provides that any person claiming a lien on a vessel covered by a preferred mortgage may record a notice of lien. This notice must state the nature of the lien, date it was established; the amount; and the name and address of the person claiming a lien, and it must be acknowledged. The Secretary must record a notice of lien if it complies with these requirements. When any part of the indebtedness is discharged, the claimant shall provide the Secretary with a written, acknowledged certificate of discharge of the indebtedness, and the Secretary shall record the certificate. This section makes no substantive change to law.
Section 31343 (c) provides that, on the full and final discharge of an indebtedness that is the basis for a claim, the person having the claim shall provide the Secretary with an acknowledged certificate of discharge on the request of the Secretary or owner of the vessel. This subsection makes a substantive change to law by not requiring partial discharges to be filed, as well as making the filing of discharge certificates only at the request of the Secretary or owner of the vessel.
house floor statement

Subsection (d) of this section requires a person claiming a lien on a vessel covered by a preferred mortgage under section 31322 (d) to record and discharge the lien as provided by the law of the State in which the vessel is titled.
Amendments

2010—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 111–281struck out “of Transportation” after “Secretary” in introductory provisions.
2002—Pub. L. 107–295, § 205(a)(1)(A), substituted “notices of claim of maritime lien” for “liens on preferred mortgage vessels” in section catchline.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–295, § 205(a)(1)(B), substituted “documented, or for which an application for documentation has been filed, under chapter 121” for “covered by a preferred mortgage filed or recorded under this chapter” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–295, § 205(a)(1)(C), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “The Secretary shall record a notice complying with subsection (a) of this section.”
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–295, § 205(a)(1)(D), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “On full and final discharge of the indebtedness that is the basis for a claim recorded under subsection (b) of this section, on request of the Secretary or owner, the person having the claim shall provide the Secretary with an acknowledged certificate of discharge of the indebtedness. The Secretary shall record the certificate.”
Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 107–295, § 205(a)(1)(E), added subsecs. (e) and (f).
Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–295effective Jan. 1, 2003, see section 205(e) ofPub. L. 107–295, set out as a note under section 31325 of this title.

 

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