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Hapag-Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft v. United States Oil Trading LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

February 24, 2016

HAPAG-LLOYD AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
U.S. OIL TRADING LLC, Defendant-Appellant, O.W. BUNKER GERMANY GMBH, O.W. BUNKER & TRADING A/S, O.W. BUNKER USA, INC., ING BANK, N.V., Defendants.

Argued November 17, 2015.

As Amended April 11, 2016.

Page 147

Interlocutory appeal from an injunction entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Valerie E. Caproni, Judge). Plaintiff-Appellee Hapag-Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft filed an action in the District Court, interpleading a number of parties for obligations arising out of the purchase of fuel bunkers for its ships. On December 19, 2014, the District Court entered an interpleader injunction and, on December 30, denied Defendant-Appellant U.S. Oil Trading LLC's motion to vacate or modify the injunction. Defendant-Appellant now appeals on the grounds that, inter alia, the District Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the injunction is overbroad. We disagree as to jurisdiction but conclude that the District Court did not properly conduct the analysis with respect to the scope of the injunction. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the District Court's orders in part but REMAND the case, pursuant to United States v. Jacobson, for a determination of the proper scope of the injunction.

JOHN R. KEOUGH III (Casey D. Burlage, Corey R. Greenwald, George G. Cornell, on the brief), Clyde & Co U.S. LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellant.

GINA M. VENEZIA (Peter J. Gutowski, Michael Fernandez, on the brief), Freehill Hogan & Mahar LLP, New York, NY, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

James H. Hohenstein, James H. Power, Marie E. Larsen, Holland & Knight LLP, New York, NY, for Amici Curiae APL Co. Pte Ltd., American President Lines, Ltd., Baere Maritime LLC, Bonny Gas Transport Ltd., Clearlake Shipping Pte Ltd., Conti 149 Conti Guinea, MT Cape Bird Tankschiffahrts GmbH & Co KG, Sigma Tankers Inc, Star Tankers Inc, and UPT Pool Ltd.

William F. Dougherty, Keith W. Heard, Michael J. Walsh, Burke & Parsons, New York, NY, for Amici Curiae 1372 Tanker Corporation, OSG Ship Management, Inc., SK Shipping Co., Ltd., and SK B& T Pte. Ltd.

Andrea Pincus, Reed Smith LLP, New York, NY, for Amicus Curiae SHV Gas Supply & Risk Management SAS.

Kerri M. D'Ambrosio, George M. Chalos, Chalos & Co., P.C., Oyster Bay, NY, for Amicus Curiae Exmar Shipping BVBA.[1]

Before: KEARSE, STRAUB, and WESLEY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 148

Wesley, Circuit Judge :

This action presents, as the District Court aptly put it, " interesting and apparently novel questions regarding the interplay among the United States bankruptcy law, maritime law and the federal interpleader statutes." UPT Pool Ltd. v. Dynamic Oil Trading (Sing.) PTE. Ltd., Nos. 14-CV-9262 (VEC) et al., 2015 WL 4005527, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 1, 2015). It is just one of at least twenty-five other interpleader actions in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Valerie E. Caproni, Judge ), concerning similar issues among overlapping parties.

Plaintiff-Appellee Hapag-Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft (" Hapag-Lloyd" ), based in Hamburg, Germany, owns or charters a fleet of shipping vessels, three of which--the M/V Seaspan Hamburg, the M/V Santa Roberta, and the M/V Sofia Express --are involved in this case.[2] Hapag-Lloyd contracted with non-appealing Defendant O.W. Bunker Germany GmbH (" O.W. Germany" ) to purchase fuel bunkers for these three ships, among others, for the calendar year 2014.[3] Pursuant to this contract, Hapag-Lloyd ...


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