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Hassan El Fadl v. Central Bank of Jordan,

75 F.3d 668 (D.C. Cir. 1996)

Facts: El Fadl is a Lebanese national who has lived in Jordan since 1982. He was employed by Petra
International Banking Corporation (PIBC), a subsidiary in the District of Columbia of Petra Bank. Later,
he was assigned in PIBC Jordan where he signed a contract under which he would be permanently
employed for life as senior manager of PIBC. Still, it was PIBC and NOT Petra Bank which employed El
Fadl. Later, the Central Bank of Jordan announced that it had uncovered widespread financial
improprieties at Petra Bank and placed Petra Bank in receivership. Since then, Petra Bank has been run
by a Liquidation Committee appointed by the Jordanian government. Thereafter, El Fadls employment
was terminated by Marto, Petra Banks Administrator. As part of the investigation of the Petra Bank
Scandal, El Fadl was arrested, tortured and declared innocent by the military courts. Thereafter, El-Fadl
filed suit in the District of Columbia. El Fadl assailed the decision of the district court granting Petra
Banks motion to dismiss for lack personal jurisdiction.
Issue: Whether or not District of Columbia has personal jurisdiction over Petra Bank.
Held: Columbia has no jurisdiction. The act of state doctrine applies. El Fadl has failed to present
evidence to support his position that the court could exercise jurisdiction over the Jordanian defendant
pursuant to D.C. Code. The defendants argued that conclusory statements alleging that the defendants
are doing businessi in the District are not sufficient to constitute prima facie showing necessary to
carry the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction.


Republic of the Philippines, et al v Pimentel et al

Supreme Court of the United

States No. 06-1204

Facts: The case arises from competing claims, the rewards of an investment former Philippine
President Ferdinand Marcos made with Merrill Lynch and subsequently misappropriated. A Philippine
agency charged with recovering the funds, several Marcos family creditors, had already secured a
judgment against Marcos' estate each laid claim to the money, prompting Merrill Lynch to file an
interpleader action to settle all of the claims in one case. The Philippine government claimed that it
had sovereign immunity from suit and, because it was an indispensable party to the suit under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 19(b), justice required that the case be stayed and brought before a special
Philippine court established to return such misappropriated funds to the public treasury. However, the
district court continued to adjudicate the case, eventually awarding the assets to the creditor. The
Ninth Circuit upheld the award, noting that the government's claim was barred by the applicable
Philippine statute of limitations.
Issue: Did the Court err in approving the award of assets to creditors of former Philippine President
Ferdinand Marcos based on sovereign immunity?
Ruling: Yes it did. The Supreme Court ruled that the lower courts did not recognize the importance of
sovereign immunity in this case and stated that the case should be thrown out due to the sovereign
immunity of the government of the Philippines. In addition, the Supreme Court judged that the
government should be considered an indispensable party to the case under Rule 19(b).
Thus, precedent describing how all governments who are absent from a court hearing because of their
sovereignty that grants them immunity from a joint case, should always be seen as indispensible
under Rule 19 (b) and the cases should be dismissed if the claims of the sovereign are not frivolous.


Islamic Republic of Iran v. Pahlavi

(62 N.Y.2d 474, 478 N.Y.S.2d 597, N.Y. 1984 - July 05, 1984)

Facts: Plaintiff, the Islamic Republic of Iran, brings this action against Iran's former ruler, Shah
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and his wife, Empress Farah Diba Pahlavi. It alleges in its complaint that
defendants accepted bribes and misappropriated, embezzled or converted 35 billion dollars in Iranian
funds in breach of their fiduciary duty to the Iranian people and it seeks to recover those funds and 20
billion dollars in exemplary damages. It asks the court to impress a constructive trust on defendants'
assets located throughout the world, for an accounting of all moneys and property received by the
defendants from the government of Iran, and for other incidental relief. The action was commenced in
November, 1979 by substituted service on the Shah made at New York Hospital where he was
undergoing cancer therapy. Thereafter, defendants moved to dismiss the complaint alleging that it
raised non justiciable political questions, that the court lacked personal jurisdiction due to defective
service of process on them and that the complaint should be dismissed on grounds of forum non
Issue: Whether or not forum non conveniens is a valid ground to dismiss the action.
Ruling: Yes. Special Term granted defendants' motion based on forum non conveniens, concluding
that the parties had no connection with New York other than a claim that the Shah had deposited funds
in New York banks, a claim which it found insufficient under the circumstances to justify the court in
retaining jurisdiction.The common-law doctrine of forum non conveniens, also articulated in CPLR
327(a), which permits a court to stay or dismiss [an action] where it is determined that the action,
although jurisdictionally sound, would be better adjudicated elsewhere. In a motion to dismiss on the
ground of forum non conveniens, the burden is on a defendant challenging the forum to demonstrate
relevant private or public interest factors which militate against accepting the litigation here. The order
appealed from is reversed and the motion to dismiss the action is granted.


Credit Suisse v. U.S.D.C,.

130 F.3d at 1342 (9th Cir. 1997)

The Swiss Federal Council issued an Executive Order freezing all assets of the Marcos family that were
held in Switzerland. This act of issuing an Executive Order paradigmatically sovereign in nature and
clearly an official act of a foreign sovereign performed within its own territory. The then Loretta Ann
Rosales filed an action seeking relief from district courts of Switzerland for an injunction restraining the
Banks from transferring or otherwise conveying any funds or assets held by the Banks on behalf of the
Marcos Estate. The herein petitioner banks filed a motion to dismiss the Rosales action on the ground
that the injunctive and declaratory relief sought in the action would violate the act of state doctrine.
The district court denied the Banks' motion to dismiss. The Banks then filed the present petition,
requesting this court to issue a writ of mandamus compelling the district court to vacate its denial of
the motion to dismiss, and directing the district court to dismiss the action.
Issue: Whether or not the relief sought would violate the act of state doctrine
Ruling: Yes. District court compelling the Banks to transfer or otherwise convey Estate assets would
be in direct contravention of the Swiss freeze orders. United States courts are "bound to respect the
independence of every other sovereign State," including Switzerland. If the claimants want to contest
the legality of the Swiss freeze orders, or seek an injunction compelling the Banks to turn over the
assets, they should do so via the Swiss judicial system. Every sovereign State is bound to respect the
independence of every other sovereign State, and the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on
the acts of the government of another done within its own territory.


Kirkpatrick Inc. v. Environmental Tectonics Corp., Int.,

493 U.S. 400, 107 L.Ed. 2d 816 (1990)

Facts. In 1981, Harry Carpenter, a U.S. citizen and chairman of the board and chief executive officer
of W. S. Kirkpatrick & Co., Inc. (Kirkpatrick), learned that the Republic of Nigeria was interested in
contracting for the construction of an aeromedical center at Kaduna Air Force Base in Nigeria. He made
arrangements with Benson "Tunde" Akindale, a Nigerian citizen, whereby Akindale would help secure
the contract for Kirkpatrick by paying bribes to Nigerian officials. In accordance with the plan, the
contract was awarded to a wholly owned subsidiary of Kirkpatrick; Kirkpatrick paid the agreed-upon
funds to Akindale, which were dispersed as bribes to Nigerian officials. Environmental Tectonics
Corporation, International (Environmental), an unsuccessful bidder for the Kaduna contract, learned of
the bribes and informed the U.S. embassy in Lagos, Nigeria. In a criminal action, Carpenter and
Kirkpatrick pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Environmental then
brought this civil action against Carpenter, Kirkpatrick, and Akindale seeking damages under federal
and state racketeering and antitrust laws. The district court held that the action was barred by the act
of state doctrine and dismissed the complaint. The court of appeals reversed. The defendants
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Does the act of state doctrine bar the plaintiff's civil suit against the defendants?
Ruling: The Supreme Court held that the act of state doctrine did not apply to the case and therefore
did not bar plaintiff Environmental's civil lawsuit against the defendants. In every case in which we
applicable, the relief sought or the defense interposed would have required a court in the United States
to declare invalid the official act of a foreign sovereign performed within its own territory. In the
present case, by contrast, neither the claim nor any asserted defense requires a determination that
Nigeria's contract with Kirkpatrick International was, or was not, effective. Act of state issues arise
only when a court must decide--that is, when that outcome of the case turns upon--the effect of official
action by a foreign sovereign. When that question is not in the case, neither is the act of state


In Re: Philippine National Bank v. United States District Court for the District of
No. 04-71843, D.C. No. MDL-00840-MLR
This mandamus petition represents one more chapter in a long-running dispute over the right to the
assets of the estate of former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Thereafter the Swiss
government released the funds frozen in Switzerland for transfer to the Philippine National Bank in
escrow. The district court then issued an order to show cause against the Philippine Bank, which was
not a party to the litigation in the district court, requiring the Bank to show why it should not be held in
contempt for violating the court's injunction against transfer of assets by the estate. A hearing on the

order to show cause was held, but not concluded because the district court ruled that a Bank officer's
declaration could not be considered unless the officer was deposed. The district court set a time and
place for the deposition. The Bank then filed the present petition for mandamus in this court, seeking
to restrain the district court from enforcing its order to show cause and from pursuing discovery
against the Bank officer. The Bank asserts that it has transferred nearly all of the funds in issue to the
Republic pursuant to the judgment of the Philippine court. The Bank contends that the entire
proceeding against the Bank for its transfer of funds violated the act of state doctrine.
Issue: Whether or not the district courts order violates the act of state doctrine.
Ruling: Yes. The district court's orders in issue violated the act of state doctrine. Every sovereign
state is bound to respect the independence of every other sovereign state, and the courts of one
country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another, done within its own territory.
In order to obtain assets from the Philippine Bank, or to hold the Bank in contempt for the transfer of
those assets to the Republic, the district court held invalid the forfeiture judgment of the Philippine
Supreme Court. This Court conclude that this action of the district court violated the act of state


Pennhurst State School and Hosp. vs. Halderman,

465, U.S. 89 (1984)

The case concerns the condition of care at Petitioners institution for the mentally retarded. The
Respondents amended complaint charged that the Petitioners violated class members rights under (i)
the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, (ii) Section:504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, (iii) the Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act and (iv) the Pennsylvania
Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided
that the Respondents had a right to rehabilitation in the least restrictive environment, based solely on
the bill of rights provision in the Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. The
Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals
abled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act did not create any substantive rights and remanded the case
back to the Court of Appeals to determine if the remedial order could be supported by any of the
Respondents other arguments. The Court of Appeals concluded that state law supported its prior
judgment and also rejected the Petitioners argument that the Eleventh Amendment barred the federal
court from considering the pendent state law claim. The case goes before the Supreme Court to
consider the Petitioners position.
Issue. Whether a federal court has jurisdiction to award injunctive relief against state officials on the
basis of state law?
Held. Federal Courts lack jurisdiction to enjoin Petitioners actions on the basis of state law. Reversed
and remanded.
The Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution prohibits a state from being sued in federal courts by her
own citizens, as well as by citizens of another state. The Eleventh Amendment bars a suit against state
officials when the state is a real, substantial party in interest. An exception to the rule against suing
state officials is when the suit is challenging the constitutionality of state officials actions. When
bringing suit in a federal court for a state officials actions based on violation of federal law, a court can
impose an injunction that governs the officials future conduct, but may not award retroactive
monetary relief. It is not the jurisdiction of federal courts to award relief against a state official based
on state law.


Lord Day & Lord v. Socialist Republic of Vietnam

134 F. Supp. 2d 549 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)

Facts: A cargo of rice owned by the Republic of Vietnam was lost during overseas transport The cargo
was insured under a policy issued by Societe Vietnamenne D'Assurances et de Reassurances
("SOVAR") and was indemnified by the Reinsurers for a portion of the total cargo loss. Plaintiff is a New
York law firm currently in liquidation. Plaintiff brought this interpleader action pursuant to Rule 22 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure naming the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and three foreign
corporations believed to be former shareholders of SOVAR. Plaintiff Lord Day sought that each of the
Defendants interplead and settle among themselves their respective rights to the funds at issue. The
Reinsurers answered the Complaint and appeared as parties of interest with respect to the
funds claiming ownership by their status as reinsurers. Vietnam filed the instant motion to dismiss the
Reinsurers' Cross-Complaint for lack of jurisdiction under the Federal Sovereign Immunities Act .
Issue: Whether or not the Cross complaint by the reinsurers may be dismissed on the ground of lack
of jurisdiction.
Ruling: Yes. In its answer to the Interpleader Complaint, Vietnam waived its immunity agreeing to
appear in response to Plaintiff's interpleader action for the sole purpose of asserting its claim to the
disputed funds. However, Vietnam explicitly reserved its rights as a foreign sovereign immune from
jurisdiction in connection with any other claims. Vietnam claims immunity from all other claims to the
funds because, it argues, any such claims require the court to consider alleged contractual relations
between Vietnam and the Reinsurers. Finally, as the Court lacks jurisdiction over the Reinsurers'
second and third claims, both under the FSIA and because they are time-barred it is unnecessary to
consider the Act of State doctrine issues such claims might trigger. Tthe Act of State doctrine requires
"that a court, after exercising jurisdiction, decline to review certain issues, in particular, the validity or

propriety of foreign acts of state."


Saratoga Country Chamber of Commerce, In. v. Pataki

798 N.E. 2d 1047 (N.Y. 2003)

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was enacted in 1988 providing a statutory basis for the operation of
gaming by Indian tribes as a means of promoting tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and
strong tribal governments. In 1993, Governor Mario Cuomo entered into a Tribal-State compact with
the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe which allowed the Tribe to operate gambling casinos and later amended the
compact to permit the operation of electronic gaming devices. Plaintiffs commenced an action seeking
to nullify the compact and amendment and to enjoin defendants from further implementing either
document, including the expansion of the gambling activity onto other sites. Defendants moved to
dismiss both actions upon the grounds that plaintiffs failed to join the tribe an indispensable party in
the complaint.
Issue: Whether or not the action can be dismissed for excluding the tribe in the complaint.
Ruling: No. We conclude that the Court abused its discretion in dismissing the actions based on
plaintiffs' inability to join the Tribe as a defendant. The general rule is that "persons who ought to be
parties if complete relief is to be accorded between the persons who are parties to the action or who
might be inequitably affected by a judgment in the action shall be made plaintiffs or defendants" A
different rule applies, however, in cases such as this one where jurisdiction cannot be obtained over
the nonjoined party without the consent of that party. In such a case, the court may allow the action to
proceed in the absence of a necessary party if justice so requires.


Helen Liu vs. The Republic of China, No. 87-2976, United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit
892 F.2d 1419 (1989)
On October 15, 1984, Henry Liu was shot to death at his home in Daly City, California. Plaintiff, Helen
Liu, suing in her individual capacity, filed this lawsuit alleging that the Republic of China ("ROC") and
the named defendants are responsible for the death of her husband. The complaint pleads six claims.
The individual defendants named in the complaint have been tried and convicted by tribunals in the
ROC of criminal conduct relating to the killing of Henry Liu. Currently before the Court is the ROC's
motion to dismiss the claims against it on act of state grounds.
Issue: Whether or not the claims can be dismissed on the ground of act of state doctrince
Ruling: No. The doctrine stems from recognition by the Judicial Branch that its engagement in the task
of passing on the validity of the foreign acts of state may hinder rather than further this country's
pursuit of goals both for itself and for the community of nations as a whole in the international sphere.
The act of state doctrine declares that a United States court will not adjudicate a politically sensitive
dispute which would require the court to judge the legality of the sovereign act of a foreign state.
Obviously, a "successful act of state defense must rest on a factual showing that an act of state
occurred. The ROC concedes, as it must, that the killing of an American citizen in the United States is
not the type of activity to which the act of state doctrine has generally applied. The Court denies
without prejudice the ROC's motion to dismiss on act of state grounds. The Court has concluded that
the claims against the ROC should not be dismissed at least until the plaintiff has had the opportunity
to argue respondeat superior liability based on the admissions of the ROC.



GRN 47517, June 27, 1941

July 5, 1938, respondent Eugene Perkins filed a complaint in the CFI- Manila against the Benguet
Consolidated Mining Company for the recovery of a sum consisting of dividends made payable on
shares of stock registered in his name. The company alleged, by way of defense that the withholding
of plaintiffs right to the disposal and control of the shares was due to certain demands made with
respect to said shares by the petitioner Idonah Perkins, and by one Engelhard.
Eugene Perkins included in his modified complaint as parties defendants petitioner, Idonah Perkins,
and Engelhard. Eugene Perkins prayed that petitioner Idonah Perkins and H. Engelhard be adjudged
without interest in the shares of stock in question and excluded from any claim they assert thereon.
Idonah Perkins filed a demurrer thereto on the ground that the court has no jurisdiction of the subject
of the action, because the alleged judgment of the SC of the State of New York is res judicata.
Petitioners demurrer was overruled, thus this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the local court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action.
RULING: Yes. By jurisdiction over the subject matter is meant the nature of the cause of action and of
the relief sought, and this is conferred by the sovereign authority which organizes the court, and is to
be sought for in general nature of its powers, or in authority specially conferred. In the present case,
the amended complaint filed by the respondentgranting of affirmative reliefs, fall within the general
jurisdiction of the CFI- Manila. Similarly CFI- Manila is empowered to adjudicate the several demands

contained in petitioners crosscomplaint.

Idonah Perkins crosscomplaint is a form of action recognized by section 309 of the Code of Civil
Procedure (now section 47, Rule 39, Rules of Court) and which falls within the general jurisdiction of
the CFI- Manila, to adjudicate, settle and determine. Whether or not the respondent judge in the course
of the proceedings will give validity and efficacy to the New York judgment set up by the petitioner in
her cross-complaint is a question that goes to the merits of the controversy and relates to the rights of
the parties as between each other, and not to the jurisdiction or power of the court.


Far East International Import and Export Corporation vs. Nankai Koygo Co., LTD., et

GR. No. L-13525 (November 30, 19962)
FACTS: On 1956, Far East entered into a Contract of Sale of Steel Scrap with Nankai, a foreign
corporation organized under Japanese Laws. The pertinent provisions of the agreement included In
case of disputes, Board of Arbitration may be formed in Japan. Decision by the board of Arbitration
shall be final and binding on both BUYER AND SELLER.
On 1957, the loading was stopped because Far East's license expired. Nankai then confirmed and
acknowleged delivery of the 1,058.6 metric tons of steel scrap, but asked for damages amounting to
$148,135.00 consisting of dead freight charges, damages, bank charges, phone and cable expenses.
Far East filed the present complaint for Specific Performance, damages, a writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction directed against Nankai to issue and deliver a complete set of negotiable of
Lading for the 1,058.6 metric tons of scrap. By Special Appearance, Nankai filed a Motion to Dismiss
the complaint and dissolve the preliminary mandatory injunction on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
over the person of the defendant and the subject matter.
ISSUE: WON the Philippine Courts has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the case as claimed by the
HELD: YES. Even though Nankai does not intend to confer jurisdiction upon the court, his appearance
for some other purpose than to object to the jurisdiction subjects him to jurisdiction of the court. Even
though he does not wish to submit to the jurisdiction of the court, he cannot ask the court to act upon
any question except the question of jurisdiction, without conferring jurisdiction upon the court. Not
only did appellant allege non-jurisdictional grounds in its pleadings to have the complaint dismissed,
but it also went into trial on the merits and presented evidence destined to resist appellee's claim.
Verily, there could not be a better situation of acquired jurisdiction based on consent. Consequently,
the provision of the contract wherein it was agreed that disputes should be submitted to a Board of
Arbitration which may be formed in Japan (in the supposition that it can apply to the matter in dispute payment of the scrap), seems to have been waived with appellant's voluntary submission.