Pappas v Francisci

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New York)
Date06 February 1953
United States, Supreme Court of New York, Special Term, Kings County, Part V.

Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities — Member of Staff of Observer at the United Nations of a Non-Member of the United Nations — The Law of the United States of America.

The Facts.—The defendant in this action moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction, on the ground that he was “a vice-consul of the Republic of Italy” and “a member of the Italian delegation to the United Nations” and that, as such, he was not subject to the jurisdiction of any State court. Both the plaintiff and the defendant submitted to the Court certain documents (referred to in the Held below) concerning the claimed immunity.

Held: that the motion to dismiss the complaint must be denied. The Department of State had denied the consular capacity of the defendant. Although, as a member of the staff of the Italian Observer at the United Nations, he might be entitled to immunity under the International Organizations Immunities Act, the defendant had made no claim under that Act. He was not recognized by the United Nations as having diplomatic immunity.

The Court said: “The papers submitted hereon contain no proof to support defendant's claim of vice-consular status beyond affidavits by himself and his attorney. His attorney's affidavit refers to a letter in the possession of the plaintiff's attorneys wherein, it is alleged, the United States Department of State acknowledges its recognition of the said defendant as a consular officer and as a member of the Italian delegation. Defendant's attorney served a notice to produce the said letter on the argument of these motions.

“Plaintiff has submitted copies of letters from the chief of protocol of the said department dated, respectively, September 12 and 18, 1952. In addition he has submitted a copy of a letter dated September 4, 1952, from the United...

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