The Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Sovereign Immunity
  • Date Filed: January 10, 2014
  • Case #: 12-842
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 695 F.3d 201 (2012).
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether post-judgment discovery, when enforcing a judgment against a foreign state, can be ordered against assets held outside of the United State or is limited to assets that are executable under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

Respondent served subpoenas on two banks that held assets owned by Petitioner as part of post-judgment discovery. Respondent moved to quash the subpoenas, arguing in part that the discovery was aimed at property held outside the United States; consequently, the property could not be subject to execution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), and discovery of such property was not relevant. The district court denied the motion.

Petitioner appealed, arguing that the district court’s order of extraterritorial discovery violated the FSIA. The Second Circuit disagreed and held that the order permitted discovery and was directed to a third party and thus did not infringe on Petitioner’s sovereign immunity or violate the FSIA.

On review, Petitioner argues that the Second Circuit erred by concluding that FSIA does not place limits on post-judgment discovery and asks the Court to resolve a split among the circuits. In addition, Petitioner argues that the Second Circuit’s decision conflicts with the Court’s precedent regarding the extraterritorial application of acts of Congress. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether post-judgment discovery, when enforcing a judgment against a foreign state, can be ordered against assets held outside of the United State or is limited to assets that are executable under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

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