The case of the day is Jerez v. Republic of Cuba (D.C. Cir. 2014). This is the appeal from the case of the day from September 13, 2013. Nilo Jerez claimed he had been tortured by the Cuban government in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2005, he sued Cuba in a Florida state court under the Torture Victim Protection Act, and he obtained a default judgment. Jerez then sued on the judgment in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida which recognized the Florida judgment after Cuba again defaulted. Then Jerez registered the new federal judgment in the District of Columbia and sought to attach patents and trademarks said to be owned by instrumentalities of Cuba. The US District Court in Washington refused to attach the intellectual property on the grounds that the Florida state court and the federal court in Florida had lacked jurisdiction under the FSIA. Jerez appealed.
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The case of the day is Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Banco de Seguros del Estado (7th Cir. 2014). Pine Top Insurance Company claimed it was owed more than $2 million by Banco de Seguros del Estado, an instrumentality of the Uruguayan government, under reinsurance contracts. When Pine Top failed, its claims against the bank ultimately ended up in the hands of Pine Top Receivables, which sued to collect. Under Illinois law, because the bank was not authorized to carry out an insurance business in the state, it had to post security when it served its answer to the complaint. It failed to do so, and Pine Top sought to strike the answer. The bank opposed the motion to strike on the ground that the security requirement was an attachment forbidden by the FSIA.
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The case of the day is McEachern v. Inter-Country Adoption Board of the Philippines (D. Mass. 2014). In 2012, Geraldine McEachern traveled to the Philippines to adopt two half-sisters, one ten years old and the other sixteen. The older girl was reluctant to travel to the US to be adopted, but the younger was eager. Nevertheless, McEachern brought both back to the US with her. Six months later, the older girl began having behavioral problems and, according to McEachern, was abusive toward her half-sister. McEachern informed Pearl S. Buck International, the agency that facilitated the placement, that she was uncomfortable going forward with the adoption of the older girl. So the older girl was placed in foster care. According to McEachern, the younger girl then began to do very well, and also according to McEachern, experts determined that removing the younger girl from her home would not be in the girl’s best interest. Nevertheless, the Inter-Country Adoption Board of the Philippines determined that it was in the girls’ best interest to be adopted by the same family, and the ICAB denied McEachern permission to adopt only the younger girl and told her that it had found another placement for the two girls with a family in New York. McEachern sued in the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court, seeking an injunction forbidding the ICAB to remove the younger girl from her home.
McEachern first attempted to serve the ICAB by delivering the summons and complaint to the Philippine Consulate General in New York. Service was refused. McEachern then served the documents on the Consulate General via Fedex, and someone in the consulate signed for the papers. The court issued a temporary restraining order. Ultimately McEachern sought a default judgment against the ICAB, at which point the ICAB removed the case to the District Court. McEachern moved to remand the case to the Probate and Family Court.
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