Death Of A Mariner During The Pendancy Of A Coast Guard-Filed Appeal – Another Case Of First Impression

APP. DEC. 2713 [January 5, 2016]

It has been established precedent that when  a mariner  dies during the pendency of his or her own appeal, the ALJ’s suspension or revocation order should be vacated and the Coast Guard’s complaint against the mariner dismissed.  App. Dec. 2684 (SCARBOUGH)(2009). This result mirrors federal practice which would abate a prosecution ab initio when a defendant dies. This case was however distinguishable from Coast Guard precedent because the mariner (in a sense)   prevailed below, by getting a one month suspension, and it was the Coast Guard that elected to appeal . The Commandant determined, again  citing on federal precedent,  that there is no reason why the rule should vary just because it was not the decedent who filed the appeal.