|Estate of Ungar v. Palestinian Authority
(D. R.I. 2000)
C.A. No. 00 - 105L
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' APPLICATION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT
Plaintiffs' suit is an action for wrongful death pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §2333 et seq. and related torts brought by the survivors and the administrator of the estates of U.S. citizen Yaron Ungar and his wife Efrat Ungar, who were killed in a shooting attack carried out by members of the Hamas terrorist organization on June 9, 1996, in Israel.
The provisions under which this action is brought, 18 U.S.C. §2333 et seq., were enacted by Congress in order to provide American citizens and their families with a new civil cause of action against international terrorist groups, and to arm U.S. federal courts with the wide-ranging jurisdictional and procedural powers necessary to hear suits against terrorists and terrorist groups based outside the United States.
Thus 18 U.S.C. §2333(a) and §2338 create a Federal cause of action for international terrorism and grant U.S. district courts exclusive jurisdiction over such claims, §2334(d) all but eliminates the ability of courts to dismiss such actions on the basis of forum non conveniens, §2334(a) and (c) provide plaintiffs with enhanced means of placing venue and serving process on and establishing personal jurisdiction over defendants in such actions and §2333(b) and (c) estop defendants who have been convicted in U.S. or foreign criminal proceedings from denying the essential allegations of their criminal conviction in civil actions brought under §2333(a).
I. SERVICE OF PROCESS ON DEFENDANT HAMAS AND DEFENDANT MEMBERS OF HAMAS HAS BEEN PERFECTED
Rules 4(f)(1) and 4(h)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for service of process outside of the United States on individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations by means of the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters of 1965 (hereinafter Hague Convention).
Accordingly, directly following the filing of this action plaintiffs submitted to the Director of Courts of the State of Israel, which is the "Central Authority" designated by Israel pursuant to Article 2 of the Hague Convention, requests for service of process in this action, pursuant to the Hague Convention, on defendants Hamas-Islamic Resistance Movement (hereinafter Hamas), Abdel Rahman Ismail Abdel Rahman Ghanimat, Jamal Abdel Fatah Tzabich Al Hor, Raed Fakhri Abu Hamdiya, Ibrahim Ghanimat and Iman Mahmud Hassan Fuad Kafishe.
Service of process on all the aforementioned defendants has now been completed by Israeli authorities, pursuant to the Hague Convention request:
i) On April 16, 2000, service of process on defendant Ibrahim Ghanimat was effected by Israeli authorities. A certificate of service on this defendant pursuant to the Hague Convention, issued by the Israeli Directorate of Courts, was sent to plaintiffs on June 11, 2000, and was filed with the Court on June 13, 2000.Plaintiffs have therefore perfected service of process on all the aforementioned defendants pursuant to Rules 4(f)(1) and 4(h)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the provisions of the Hague Convention, and have provided proof of that service in satisfaction of Rule 4(l) of those Rules.
II. ENTRY OF DEFAULT IS PROPER AS MORE THAN 20 DAYS HAVE ELAPSED SINCE SERVICE WAS EFFECTED
More than twenty days have now elapsed since the aforementioned defendants were served with summonses and complaints in this action, and none of these defendants has served a responsive pleading or entered an appearance. An entry of default against these defendants is therefore proper pursuant to Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
CERTIFICATIONI hereby certify that on the ______ day of September, 2000, I mailed a true copy of the within to:
Ramsey Clark, Esquire
Lawrence W. Schilling, Esquire
36 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003
Deming E. Sherman, Esquire
EDWARDS & ANGELL, LLP
2800 Bank Boston Plaza
Providence, RI 02903