Summary of Part V

AuthorErnesto Sanchez
(1) e FSIA prescribes the exclusive methods for eecting service of process on a foreign
state or political subdivision thereof, as well as an agency or instrumentality of a foreign
state or political subdivision thereof.
(2) A mere appearance by a defendant qualifying as a “foreign state” under the statute will
not confer personal jurisdiction with respect to any claim that does not fall under one of
the statute’s exceptions to immunity from subject matter jurisdiction.
(3) Copies of default judgments against foreign states and their political subdivisions must
be sent to the pertinent foreign states or their political subdivisions in the manner the
statute prescribes for service of process.
(4) In some circuits, a plainti ’s failure to properly serve a defendant in FSIA litigation may
not result in a suit’s dismissal if the plainti substantially complied with the statute’s
notice requirements and the defendant received actual notice of the suit.
(5) Courts have increasingly held that foreign states are not persons protected by the Fifth
Amendment and thus cannot invoke a lack of minimum contacts with a forum U.S.
state as a violation of due process rights and defense against courts’ exercises of personal
(A) Some courts have held that foreign states’ political subdivisions or agencies or
instrumentalities, presumably separate, can be treated as a state for due process and
personal jurisdiction purposes if the subdivision, agency, or instrumentality are so
extensively controlled by the parent state as to essentially be alter egos that recog-
nizing their separateness would facilitate fraud or injustice.
(B) One court has ruled that in light of the preexisting statutor y authority providing for
the criminal prosecution of those who carry out terrorist acts, individual defendants
who intentionally target foreign nationals at the risk of killing Americans among
them should anticipate the possibility of being “haled into court” in the United
States. Because they should anticipate as much, the court concluded, the exercise
of personal jurisdiction over these defendants in their personal capacities will not
oend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
ForSovImmunAct_book.indb 293 4/11/13 3:32 PM

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