Category Archives: Hague Service Convention

Case of the Day: Hardy Exploration v. Government of India

The case of the day is Hardy Exploration & Production (India), Inc. v. Government of India (D.D.C. 2016). Hardy was a participant, initially with other private firms and later on its own, then in the end with an Indian state-owned company, GAIL (India) Ltd., in a contract with the government of India for the development and production of hydrocarbons in an area off India’s southeastern coast. After Hardy and GAIL found hydrocarbons in 2006, a dispute arose as to whether the find was natural gas (as the government thought) or oil (as Hardy and GAIL thought). If the find was oil, then Hardy, for reasons unimportant here, would have forfeited its interest under the contract. Hardy demanded arbitration in Kuala Lumpur, as per the parties’ arbitration agreement. The tribunal found that Hardy’s position was correct, ordered a restoration of the status quo ante, and awarded damages of 5 billion rupees (about $74 million). India sought to vacate the award in the Indian courts (not the Malaysian courts), but its petition was dismissed. Hardy filed a petition to enforce the award in India, and then sought confirmation in Washington. India’s defense was that service of process (by FedEx) was defective under the FSIA. Hardy countered that the contract contained a special arrangement for service of process, and that service was therefore proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(1).
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Relist Watch: Water Splash v. Menon

I’m interrupting my travel just for a moment to report that the Supreme Court has relisted Water Splash v. Menon, the case we’ve been following on the interpretation of Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention, for its conference of December 2. I hope SCOTUSBlog will not frown on my use of the term “relist watch!” We can’t tell from the docket what the relist means, but here are some possibilities, courtesy of SCOTUSBlog’s FAQ:
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Case of the Day: Ahrens v. Pecknick

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth
Letters Blogatory wishes all its readers a happy Thanksgiving Day! Credit: Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal

A note to readers: Due to my travel schedule, there will likely be no new posts next week, and I may not respond to your comments or emails as quickly as I ordinarily do. Also, thank you for your feedback on political posts. I am going to continue writing them, but I am going to segregate them from the ordinary posts. My current thought is to put them at, but if anyone can come up with a good pun or similarly catchy name that uses “blogatory,” I’m all ears. Also, by separating the political posts, I think we can open up some new possibilities, such as regular contributing authors. So if you are interested in writing about US (or non-US) politics at the new blog, whatever it ends up being called, let’s talk!

The case of the day is Ahrens v. Pecknick (D. Nev. 2016). Edd H. Ahrens sued Windermere Holdings Group, Ltd. and others for copyright infringement and unjust enrichment. Windermere was a Seychelles company. Ahrens attempted service via the central authority, but the Article 6 certificate stated that Windermere was no longer registered, and the process server’s declaration said that Windermere was no present at the address where he attempted service. Ahrens sought leave to serve process by email, using an email address found doing a WHOIS search of the domain name Windermere used for its website.
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