Intelsat Global Sales v. Community of Yugoslav, Civil Action No. 06-897 (RWR).

CourtUnited States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
Writing for the CourtRichard W. Roberts
Citation534 F.Supp.2d 32
PartiesINTELSAT GLOBAL. SALES AND MARKETING, LTD., Plaintiff, v. COMMUNITY OF YUGOSLAV POSTS TELEGRAPHS AND TELEPHONES, Defendant.
Decision Date28 January 2008
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 06-897 (RWR).
534 F.Supp.2d 32
INTELSAT GLOBAL. SALES AND MARKETING, LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMUNITY OF YUGOSLAV POSTS TELEGRAPHS AND TELEPHONES, Defendant.
Civil Action No. 06-897 (RWR).
United States District Court, District of Columbia.
January 28, 2008.

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David I. Bledsoe, Alexandria, VA, for Plaintiff.

Joseph Gerard Davis, Kevin' Brian Clark, Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, LLP, Washington, DC, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

RICHARD W. ROBERTS, District Judge.


Plaintiff Intelsat Global Sales and Marketing, Ltd. ("Intelsat Global") seeks damages for breach of contract and unjust enrichment against defendant Community of Yugoslav Posts Telegraphs and Telephones ("CYPTT"), asserting jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1330, 1602 et seq. Denying that it is an organ of a foreign sovereign, CYPTT has moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subjectmatter jurisdiction, among other reasons. Intelsat Global opposes the motion and seeks jurisdictional discovery. Because Intelsat Global has set forth sufficiently concrete and nonconclusory allegations of CYPTT's governmental status for purposes of jurisdiction under the FSIA, but additional evidence may confirm or disprove the presence of such subject-matter jurisdiction, Intelsat Global's request for jurisdictional discovery will be granted and CYPTT's motion to dismiss will be denied without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Intelsat Global is a United Kingdom corporation. CYPTT is a Serbia and Montenegro corporation that entered into a contract with the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization ("INTELSAT"), for INTELSAT to provide telecommunication services to CYPTT m exchange for payment. In 2001, CYPTT entered into a novation agreement with Intelsat Global in which Intelsat Global assumed all of the rights and obligations of INTELSAT under the original contract. Intelsat Global is now seeking payment from CYPTT, claiming that Intelsat Global provided the services mandated under the contract.

CYPTT moved to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, arguing that because it is not an instrumentality of Serbia and Montenegro, but a private business association, there is no subject-matter jurisdiction over Intelsat Global's claims against it. In its opposition, Intelsat Global alleges that there is subject-matter jurisdiction over its claims against CYPTT under 28 U.S.C. § 1330 because CYPTT is an instrumentality of Serbia and Montenegro and has waived its immunity from suit under the FSIA. Accordingly, Intelsat Global requests jurisdictional discovery to supplement the factual grounds for this court's exercise of jurisdiction over the case. (See Pl.'s P. & A. in Opp'n to Mot. to Dismiss ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 13-14.)

DISCUSSION

On a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of

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subject-matter jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction is proper. See Larsen v. U.S. Navy, 486 F.Supp.2d 11, 18 (D.D.C.2007) (citing Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 119 L.Ed.2d 351 (1992)). Because subject-matter jurisdiction focuses on a court's power to hear a claim, a court must view the plaintiffs factual allegations with scrutiny and is not limited to the allegations contained in the complaint. Larsen, 486 F.Supp.2d at 18. Instead, when considering the, Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss, the court may consider materials beyond the pleadings to resolve disputed jurisdictional facts. Tootle v. Sec'y of the Navy, 446 F.3d 167, 174 (D.C.Cir.2006).

"The district court retains considerable latitude in devising the procedures it will follow to ferret out the facts pertinent to jurisdiction, but it must give the plaintiff ample opportunity to secure and present evidence relevant to the existence of jurisdiction." Phoenix Consulting, Inc. v. Republic of Angola, 216 F.3d 36, 40 (D.C.Cir.2000) (internal quotations and citation omitted). Accordingly, a court should allow for limited jurisdictional discovery if a plaintiff shows a nonconclusory basis for asserting jurisdiction and a likelihood that additional supplemental facts will make jurisdiction proper.1 See, e.g., Millicom Int'l Cellular, SA v. Republic of Costa Rica, Civil Action No. 96-315(RMU), 1997 WL 527340, at *1 (D.D.C. Aug.18, 1997). At minimum, a plaintiff must "allege some facts upon which jurisdiction could be found after discovery is completed." Doe I. v. State of Israel, 400 F.Supp.2d 86, 122 (D.D.C.2005).

The FSIA provides the, exclusive basis for a court's jurisdiction over a foreign state. Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Civil Action No. 98-3096(TFH), 2007 WL 1876392, at *3 (D.D.C. June 28, 2007) (citing Argentine Republic v. Amerada Hess Shipping Corp., 488 U.S. 428, 434, 109 S.Ct. 683, 102 L.Ed.2d 818 (1989)). Section 1330 establishes jurisdiction in civil actions against foreign states that have waived their immunity to suit under the FSIA. See 28 U.S.C. § 1330.2

For the purposes of the FSIA, a foreign state "includes a political subdivision of a foreign state or an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state...." 28 U.S.C. § 1603(a), "An`agency or instrumentality

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of a foreign state' means any entity — (1) which is a separate legal person, corporate or otherwise, and (2) which is an organ of a foreign state or political subdivision...

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5 practice notes
  • Doe v. Bin Laden, Civil Action No. 01-2516 (RWR).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 30, 2008
    ...facts will make jurisdiction proper." Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg., Ltd. v. Comm'ty of Yugoslav Posts Tels. & Tels., 534 F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.D.C.2008). "At minimum, a plaintiff must `allege some facts upon which jurisdiction could be found after discovery is completed.'&q......
  • Ing Bank N.V. v. Portland, Case No. 3:15-cv-00805-JWD-RLB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Middle District of Louisiana
    • June 16, 2016
    ...to the nature of the motion to dismiss"); cf. Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg. Ltd. v. Cmty. of Yugoslav Posts Tels. & Tels., 534 F. Supp. 2d 32, 34 (D.D.C. 2008) ("[A] court should allow for limited jurisdictional discovery if a plaintiff shows a non-conclusory basis for ass......
  • Inversora Murten, S.A. v. Energoprojekt Holding, Misc. Action No. 03-73 (RWR)(JMF).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • December 3, 2009
    ...jurisdiction over a foreign state." Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg. v. Cmty. of Yugoslav Posts Telegraphs & Telephones, 534 F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.D.C. 2008). "Under the FSIA, a court may entertain jurisdiction over a civil complaint directed against a foreign sovereign `only i......
  • De Csepel v. Republic of Hungary, Civil Action No. 10–1261 ESH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • December 12, 2014
    ...supplemental facts will make jurisdiction proper.”Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg., Ltd. v. Cmty. of Yugoslav Posts Tels. & Tels., 534 F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.D.C.2008).Under the FSIA, “a foreign state shall be immune from the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States” unless one of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Doe v. Bin Laden, Civil Action No. 01-2516 (RWR).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 30, 2008
    ...facts will make jurisdiction proper." Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg., Ltd. v. Comm'ty of Yugoslav Posts Tels. & Tels., 534 F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.D.C.2008). "At minimum, a plaintiff must `allege some facts upon which jurisdiction could be found after discovery is completed.'&q......
  • Ing Bank N.V. v. Portland, Case No. 3:15-cv-00805-JWD-RLB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Middle District of Louisiana
    • June 16, 2016
    ...to the nature of the motion to dismiss"); cf. Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg. Ltd. v. Cmty. of Yugoslav Posts Tels. & Tels., 534 F. Supp. 2d 32, 34 (D.D.C. 2008) ("[A] court should allow for limited jurisdictional discovery if a plaintiff shows a non-conclusory basis for ass......
  • Inversora Murten, S.A. v. Energoprojekt Holding, Misc. Action No. 03-73 (RWR)(JMF).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • December 3, 2009
    ...jurisdiction over a foreign state." Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg. v. Cmty. of Yugoslav Posts Telegraphs & Telephones, 534 F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.D.C. 2008). "Under the FSIA, a court may entertain jurisdiction over a civil complaint directed against a foreign sovereign `only i......
  • De Csepel v. Republic of Hungary, Civil Action No. 10–1261 ESH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • December 12, 2014
    ...supplemental facts will make jurisdiction proper.”Intelsat Global Sales & Mktg., Ltd. v. Cmty. of Yugoslav Posts Tels. & Tels., 534 F.Supp.2d 32, 34 (D.D.C.2008).Under the FSIA, “a foreign state shall be immune from the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States” unless one of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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