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New Paper on SSRN: Gurung v. Malhotra Is Wrongly Decided

Posted on December 20, 2013

Long-time readers will know that Gurung v. Malhotra, 279 F.R.D. 215 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), the 2011 decision on service of process by email, is my white whale. I have watched with dismay as a handful of new cases have cited Gurung in support of the erroneous position that service by e-mail is permissible in cases where the Hague Service Convention applies. I’ve posted a paper on SSRN, modestly titled Gurung v. Malhotra is Wrongly Decided, to try to turn the tide. The basic argument is this: The Convention is exclusive. If it applies, you have to one of the methods of service it permits. The only method of service the Convention permits that even arguably extends to service by email is service by postal channels.…

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Case of the Day: Gurung v. Malhotra

Posted on December 5, 2011

The case of the day, Gurung v. Malhotra (S.D.N.Y. 2011), involves unsavory allegations of mistreatment of a domestic laborer by a foreign official. Shanti Gurung sued Neena Malhotra, the Counselor of Press, Culture, Information and Community Affairs at India’s consulate general in New York, and her husband, Joseph Malhotra. The claim was that the Malhotras “essentially kidnapped” Gurung in India when she was seventeen years old, trafficked her to the United States, and held her in peonage, paying her the equivalent of $120 for 40 months of work. Gurung brought various federal and New York constitutional and statutory claims, a claim under the Alien Tort Statute alleging violations of various provisions of international law, and common law claims of fraud, false imprisonment, assault, conversion,…

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Unfair Criticism of the Day: ABC News on the Hague Child Abduction Convention

Posted on October 26, 2020

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation published a story last week on the Hague Child Abduction Convention. The headline gives a sense of the gist of the story: “Mothers forced to stay in same country as abuser or risk persecution under the Hague Convention.” The Convention, according to one quoted expert, is a “good law gone bad.” What’s the problem? According to the story, Australian immigration law provides that foreign women who marry Australian men and then leave them “may not be entitled to government support in Australia.” So they may want to return to their own countries, where they may be entitled to support; but if they take their children with them, the husband may have the right, under the Convention, to require the mother…

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