Case of the Day: Carmona v. Carmona

The case of the day is Carmona v. Carmona (In re Carmona) (Bankr. S.D. Texas. 2018)>. Maria Rosales was married to Hector Carmona. In 1991, the wife sold a parcel of land in Guanajuato, Mexico without her husband’s consent. (Mexico is a community property jurisdiction, as are Texas and several other southwestern states once ruled by Spain). In 2012, the wife sought a divorce in Webb County, Texas. In the divorce case, the husband asserted that the wife had transferred the Mexican land without his consent. The parties entered a settlement agreement that purported to resolve “all claims and controversies” in the action, but that did not mention the Mexican property specifically. The case ended with a divorce decree requiring the husband to pay the wife $1.85 million and that approved the settlement agreement.
(more…)

Continue ReadingCase of the Day: Carmona v. Carmona

Case of the Day: Ragbir v. Sessions

I don’t know much of anything about Ravidath Ragbir. His website says that he was a longtime lawful permanent resident from Trinidad who was convicted of fraud and then, in 2006, ordered removed from the country. For nine years, the government had not deported him, he had lived a law-abiding and fruitful life, and he regularly reported to immigration authorities. But a few weeks ago he was taken into custody. As the judge wrote in today’s case of the day, “He was informed that his time in this country was at an end; without further ado, without the freedom to say goodbye, he was taken away.”
(more…)

Continue ReadingCase of the Day: Ragbir v. Sessions

Case to Watch: Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co.

Readers, keep your eyes on Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co., a case that the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear. Here is SCOTUSBlog’s description of the case:

The case arose when U.S. companies that purchase Vitamin C from … Chinese companies filed lawsuits against a group of Chinese companies, alleging that the Chinese companies had violated U.S. antitrust laws by conspiring, through a group known as the China Chamber of Commerce, to fix the prices and quantities of Vitamin C. The Chinese companies asked the U.S. court to throw the cases out. They acknowledged that they had fixed prices and quantities of Vitamin C, but argued that they were required to do so under Chinese law—an assertion confirmed in a “friend of the court” brief filed by the Chinese government.
(more…)

Continue ReadingCase to Watch: Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co.
Read more about the article Case of the Day: Kumar v. Sudan (With a Circuit Split!)
USS Cole after the attack. Credit: Sgt. Don L. Maes, USMC

Case of the Day: Kumar v. Sudan (With a Circuit Split!)

Under the FSIA, if you are suing a foreign sovereign and there is no special arrangement for service, and if you can’t make service under an applicable treaty such as the Hague Service Convention, you have to serve process “by any form of mail requiring a signed receipt, to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the head of the ministry of foreign affairs of the foreign state concerned.” 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(3).

Perhaps the Sudanese postal service is not very good, or perhaps they didn’t want to wait for service through the diplomatic channel; for whatever reason, plaintiffs in the USS Cole litigation have tried to serve process on Sudan by sending the documents to the Sudanese foreign minister via Sudan’s American embassy. Is this permissible?

The natural reading of the statute, or at least the naive reading, is that you should serve the documents on the foreign minister at the foreign ministry. That’s where they keep the foreign minister. And surely the statute does more than require the plaintiff to put the Minister’s name on the envelope and send it to an arbitrary address. But in today’s case of the day, Kumar v. Sudan (4th Cir. 2018), the court held that there was an ambiguity in the statute about whether service on the Foreign Minister can be served by mail addressed to the embassy.
(more…)

Continue ReadingCase of the Day: Kumar v. Sudan (With a Circuit Split!)

Our Next Great Political Philosopher

An historical hypothesis, which may or may not be true and which no doubt is not original: the great political philosophies are reactions to the excesses of their times, not justifications for the status quo. Plato’s ideal Republic following the Peloponnesian War started by the radical Athenian democracy. Hobbes’s Leviathan after the disturbances of the English Civil War. Mill in the Victorian era. Marx after the Industrial Revolution and the creation of an industrial proletariat. Perhaps Rawls, who to my mind belongs on the short list even though his big idea is not wholly original, is an exception.
(more…)

Continue ReadingOur Next Great Political Philosopher

Case of the Day: International Designs v. Qingdao Seaforest Hair Products

The case of the day is International Designs Corp. v. Qingdao Seaforest Hair Products Co. (S.D. Fla. 2018). It’s an odd case. International Designs manufactured hair extensions. The hair extensions were patented by Hairtalk GmbH, which had licensed the patent to International Designs. International Designs and Hairtalk sued Qingdao, alleging that it was selling infringing products.

The plaintiffs moved for leave to serve process by alternate means, namely by email (apparently to the company in China, not to its US lawyers) and by “international courier with confirmed delivery.” Qingado then moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process.
(more…)

Continue ReadingCase of the Day: International Designs v. Qingdao Seaforest Hair Products
Read more about the article Case of the Day: In re Mutual Assistance to the Local Court of Wetzlar
Wetzlar. Credit: Andreas Praefcke (CC BY)

Case of the Day: In re Mutual Assistance to the Local Court of Wetzlar

The case of the day is In re Mutual Assistance to the Local Court of Wetzlar, Germany (E.D. Cal. 2018). The opinion doesn’t give the facts in any detail, but we know from the application that the case is a child custody dispute, in which the mother and child lived in Germany and the father lived in California. Via the Hague Evidence Convention, the Amtsgericht Wetzlar sent a letter of request to the US central authority, asking for the father to answer several questions in writing. The US Attorney’s Office sought the father’s voluntary cooperation, but when that was not forthcoming, an AUSA applied to the court for appointment as a commissioner for purposes of executing the letter of request.
(more…)

Continue ReadingCase of the Day: In re Mutual Assistance to the Local Court of Wetzlar

Case of the Day: Fu v. Fu

A hat tip to Sophia Tang for her pointer to today’s very interesting case of the day, Fu v. Fu (Ill. App. Ct. 2017). The United States grants so-called EB-5 visas to “qualified immigrants seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise … in which such alien has invested … capital” of at least $500,000. 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(5). In 2012, Pengbo Fu, a Chinese national who lived in China, entered into a “gift agreement,” drafted in Chinese and governed by Chinese law, in which he agreed to “make a free and unconditional gift” of nearly $600,000 to his son, Yongxiao Fu, so that the younger Fu could invest the money so as to qualify for a visa. The son first invested $500,000 in a hotel and conference center project in Chicago. In 2013, the SEC determined that the project had been a fraud, and Fu recovered his money. Fu then invested the $500,000 in Lake 1 LLC, which was to build a garment manufacturing and retain facility in Melrose Park, Illinois. But in 2016, the US government denied EB-5 approval for the project, but the funds remained in an escrow account for the project. Later in 2016, Fu agreed to invest $500,000 in a New York apartment complex. But by then his father had demanded his “gift” back, and so the escrow agent refused to release the funds.

The father then brought an action to revoke the “gift agreement” in a court in Shanghai, and a second action in Chicago. He argued that Chinese law governed the gift agreement and that a gift may be revocable under Chinese law. He suggested that the son had failed in his duty under Chinese law to support his father. The court dismissed the claim with prejudice, and the father appealed.
(more…)

Continue ReadingCase of the Day: Fu v. Fu

Water Splash: The Denouement

In Water Splash v. Menon, 137 S. Ct. 1504 (2017), the Supreme Court finally resolved the question of whether Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention permits service of process by postal channels (it does). That’s the end of the story for Letters Blogatory readers, but it wasn’t the end of the story for the litigants. As I had hoped, the Court was careful in its decision to note that Article 10 permits, but does not itself authorize, service of process by postal channels. The Court remanded the case to the Texas Supreme Court for a decision on whether the service by mail in the case was authorized by Texas law.
(more…)

Continue ReadingWater Splash: The Denouement