Case of the Day: United States ex rel. UXB International v. 77 Insaat & Taahut A.S.

The case of the day is United States ex rel. UXB International, Inc. v. 77 Insaat & Taahut A.S. (W.D. Va. 2015). UXB brought a qui tam action on behalf of the United States against 77 Construction Co., an Afghan corporation, and 77 Group Co., an Iraqi corporation. UXB sought leave to serve process on both defendants by email via the Afghan company’s US lawyer.

The court granted the motion. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a party to the Hague Service Convention, so there was no issue about the permissibility of service by email under the Convention. The judge followed the majority of cases and authorized such service even though FRCP 4(f) applies only to service “at a place not within any judicial district of the United States.” There was no discussion of the point, but in light of the handful of cases raising the issue, I expect one day soon to begin to see courts on the other side of the issue feel the need to explain their reasoning.

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