Case of the Day: St. Francis Assisi v. Kuwait Finance House
Posted on October 10, 2016
The case of the day is St. Francis Assisi v. Kuwait Finance House (N.D. Cal. 2016). St. Francis, a non-profit, sued Hajjaj al-Ajmi, alleging that he had financed ISIS, which was responsible for the murder of Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria. St. Francis moved for leave to serve process on al-Ajmi via Twitter.
The judge made a glaring mistake. She wrote that Kuwait is “not a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents,” when in fact it is. So the judge’s conclusion that service by Twitter was not barred by an international agreement—a necessary finding under FRCP 4(f)(3)—failed even to address the Convention. It’s my view that alternate means of service such as service by email, service by Facebook, service by Twitter, etc., are impermissible under the Convention particularly when, as in the case of Kuwait, the state of destination has objected to service by postal channels (since such methods are permissible, if at all, only by analogy to service by post). For a quick summary of my view, see Gurung v. Malotra is Wrongly Decided and FTC v. PCCare 247.