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Old 12-04-2017, 06:36 PM   #1
cptbutton
 
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Default Admirality court shenanigans.

Pirates take a ship, kill the entire crew, and put a prize crew aboard. The passengers retake the ship and get it back to an honest starport. The captain was sole owner, and information about any heirs is a sector away.

What kind of salvage fee are the passengers due?

What will an Admirality court do? Put the ship in an impound lot until heir information gets here? Sell the ship, pay the salvage fee and escrow the remaining money?

How big a starport do you need to have for such a court to be there?

I am looking for an excuse for the court to let the passengers run the ship till things get sorted out. How irregular would that be?

The local bigwigs will push this as an excuse to get regular subsidized cargo runs on the cheap. You have to check back every 6 months for the latest legal developments, right?
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Admirality court shenanigans.

The not-fun answer is that the owner probably had insurance. If so, the insurance company should pay off the passengers for the salvage operation, including a portion of the value of any freight or cargo that was saved. They may or may not pay a hazard bonus on top: after all, the passengers were saving themselves from the pirates rather than going out of their way to assist.

Don't forget any reward that might have been offered for the pirates themselves, in specific or in general.

The ship should probably be placed in ordinary, pending disposition instructions from the heirs. The insurance company would likely be the ones to advance the fees against the eventual settlement.

If you want an excuse to send the ship back out with the passengers, though, have it owe port fees, etc., from a previous visit -- enough to give the locals a lien. Then they would have a case for putting the ship to remunerative use (but also risk) rather than letting it sit and accumulate fees and interest. The Imperial Shipping Commissioner (who may wear that hat as one among several) would probably be the one to make the decision -- men, not laws, remember.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Admirality court shenanigans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
Pirates take a ship, kill the entire crew, and put a prize crew aboard. The passengers retake the ship and get it back to an honest starport. The captain was sole owner, and information about any heirs is a sector away.

What kind of salvage fee are the passengers due?

What will an Admirality court do? Put the ship in an impound lot until heir information gets here? Sell the ship, pay the salvage fee and escrow the remaining money?
Canon says independent Repossessors (aka Skip Tracers) get 2-5% from the admiralty. (JTAS-16 p26, "Giving the Bank a Fighting Chance"). I'd expect the passengers to be treated almost the same, save for reduced culpability for the deaths of the pirates.

The Admiralty is probably going to auction it off or directly accession it.
If there's a bank note, the bank gets it, or its value, after coughing up the recovery percentage.

As Chris notes, the pirates probably have bounties.

In non-GT flavors, insurance is not mentioned; if it exists, it's solely a part of the note, and not payable to the owner; it might, however, prevent owing if it's destroyed or stolen without owner/crew barratry¹ nor ineptitude.

The Admiralty isn't likely to hang on to ships long. They take a cut of the proceeds, too, as "court costs". So they have incentive to rapidly return ships to service.

If the PC's want to get their hands on it, I'd say they need to be part of the auction. How to handle that is a whole 'nother can of worms. And that auction's likely to be about 1-3 months down the road. How long is likely to be "as short as the law allows"...

Now, if the owner was intestate, and had no listed heirs on his identity docs (and there should be notation of that in the data slug) nor mentioned in ships papers, The admiralty would likely just seize it as intestate property, and then auction it off.

¹ Stealing a ship you have legal access_to/possession_of at the time of departure. If there's a note, even the owner can wind up committing barratry.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:55 AM   #4
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: Admirality court shenanigans.

If it helps, modern day earth salvage is usually covered by civil courts, not admiralty ones (as would be required for prize law) and the law indicates "generous" reward over and above the expense of salvage and based on the value of the vessel and its contents.

None of that may apply in other jurisdictions... the GM could have added fun varying the salvage law between places.
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:11 AM   #5
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Admirality court shenanigans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
Pirates take a ship, kill the entire crew, and put a prize crew aboard. The passengers retake the ship and get it back to an honest starport. The captain was sole owner, and information about any heirs is a sector away.

What kind of salvage fee are the passengers due?

What will an Admirality court do? Put the ship in an impound lot until heir information gets here? Sell the ship, pay the salvage fee and escrow the remaining money?

How big a starport do you need to have for such a court to be there?

I am looking for an excuse for the court to let the passengers run the ship till things get sorted out. How irregular would that be?

The local bigwigs will push this as an excuse to get regular subsidized cargo runs on the cheap. You have to check back every 6 months for the latest legal developments, right?
One complication could be that the ship was carrying contraband hot enough to ensure that it is condemned.
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