Articles Posted in International Trade

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Wife filed suit against husband under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, TIAS No. 11670, S Treaty Doc. No. 99-11, as implemented by the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA), 42 U.S.C. 11601 et seq., after husband removed their four children from Mexico to the United States. The district court concluded that the habitual residence of the children at the time of the abduction was in Mexico. Further, the children were wrongfully removed in violation of wife's right of custody under Mexican law. Wife enjoyed rights of custody under Mexican law and she was actively exercising those rights at the time of the children's abduction. Therefore, the district court ordered the children returned to the United States. Determining that it had jurisdiction, the court concluded that there was no clear error in the district court's factual findings and, after de novo review of the district court's conclusions of law resulting in the grant of wife's petition, the court found no error of law in that result. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "Seaman v. Peterson" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against Chiquita under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), 28 U.S.C. 1350, and the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 28 U.S.C. 1350, alleging that the company engaged in concert of action with paramilitary forces in Colombia, including acts that plaintiffs alleged to constitute torture and to have resulted in personal injury and death. The court held that, under Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority, the TVPA authorizes liability solely against natural persons. The court also held that, under Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., the ATS does not apply extraterritorially. In this case, there is no allegation that any torture occurred on U.S. territory, or that any other act constituting a tort in terms of the ATS touched or concerned the territory of the United States with any force. Accordingly, the court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction and reversed the orders denying the motions to dismiss, remanding for dismissal.View "Cardona, et al. v. Chiquita Brands Int'l, et al." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines, seeking recovery under Article 17 and 19 of the Montreal Convention, S. Treaty Doc. No. 106-45, 2242 U.N.T.S. 350, a multilateral treaty setting rules for international air travel. Article 17 addresses accidents that injure passengers on board a plane or during the course of embarkation or disembarkation, and Article 19 concerns damages due to delay. The district court dismissed the amended complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court concluded, however, that Article 33 granted the district court power to hear plaintiff's claims. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal on alternative grounds to the extent that plaintiff failed to state claims against defendants. The court vacated the dismissal of the Article 19 claim against Air Jamaica for damages from the $150 fee to change flights, and remanded only as to that issue. View "Campbell v. Air Jamaica Ltd., et al." on Justia Law

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In these three consolidated appeals, the court must decide issues about the enforceability of German bonds issued during the period between World War I and World War II. The court concluded that the district court had jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. 1330, 1302-1311, over the complaint against Germany filed by Sovereign Bonds regarding its Agra bonds issued in the territory that later became East Germany; all the bonds were subject to the 1953 Validation Treaty and must be validated before they could be enforced in American courts; the complaint filed by World Holdings to enforce its validated bonds was untimely; and the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied discovery to Sovereign Bonds on the issue of validation. View "World Holdings, LLC v. Federal Republic of Germany" on Justia Law

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This case arose from a foreign shipping contract billing dispute between Consorcio Ecuatoriano de Telecomunicaciones S.A. (CONECEL) and Jet Air Service Equador S.A. (JASE). CONECEL filed an application in the Southern District of Florida under 28 U.S.C. 1782 to obtain discovery for use in foreign proceedings in Ecuador. According to CONECEL, the foreign proceedings included both a pending arbitration brought by JASE against CONECEL for nonpayment under the contract, and contemplated civil and private criminal suits CONECEL might bring against two of its former employees who, CONECEL claims, may have violated Ecuador's collusion laws in connection with processing and approving JASE's allegedly inflated invoices. CONECEL's application sought discovery from JASE's United States counterpart, JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc. (JAS USA), which does business in Miami and was involved in the invoicing operations at issue in the dispute. The district court granted the application and authorized CONECEL to issue a subpoena. Thereafter, JASE intervened and moved to quash the subpoena and vacate the order granting the application. The district court denied the motion, as well as a subsequent motion for reconsideration. JASE appealed the denial of both. After thorough review and having had the benefit of oral argument, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the orders of the district court. the Court concluded that the panel before which which JASE and CONECEL's dispute was pending acts as a first-instance decisionmaker; it permits the gathering and submission of evidence; it resolves the dispute; it issues a binding order; and its order is subject to judicial review. The discovery statute requires nothing more. The Court also held that the district court did not abuse its considerable discretion in granting the section 1782 discovery application over JASE's objections that it would be forced to produce proprietary and confidential information. The application was narrowly tailored and primarily requested information concerning JASE's billing of CONECEL, which was undeniably at issue in the current dispute between the parties." Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying JASE's motion for reconsideration. View "In re: Application of Consorcio Ecuatoriano" on Justia Law