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Siderman De Blake v. Republic of Argentina

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
965 F.2d 699 (9th Cir. 1992)


Facts

Siderman De Blake (Siderman) (plaintiff) brought suit against Argentina (defendant) to recover for torture and the wrongful seizure of his property by Argentine authorities. Argentina previously requested the assistance of California state courts in proceedings against Siderman regarding the same transaction upon which Siderman’s action was based. After Siderman and his family fled Argentina, Argentine authorities allegedly modified his deed to property in the State by changing his ownership from 127,000 acres to 127 acres. Argentina listed the remainder of the property as belonging to the State. When Siderman sold property to raise money to flee, Argentina brought a criminal action against him alleging that he fraudulently sold property that was not his. Argentina sought help from the California courts by sending a letter rogatory requesting assistance from the courts in serving process on Siderman, who was then living in Los Angeles, California. Siderman’s own suit against Argentina was based on this conduct, and he alleged that Argentinian authorities wished to compel his return to Argentina to further torture and possibly kill him. In its defense, Argentina argued that Siderman’s suit against it was improper due to its sovereign immunity.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, J.)

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