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Action To Enforce German Bearer Bonds

By FindLaw Staff on July 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Mortimer Off Shore Servs., Ltd. v. Fed. Repub. of Germany, No. 08-1783, involved an action to enforce bearer bonds valued at $400,000,000 against the Federal Republic of Germany.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the action on the grounds that 1) plaintiff could not seek to enforce certain bonds without first complying with the statutory validation procedures aimed to ensure that the bonds represented valid, legal obligations; and 2) plaintiff failed to allege an action based upon a commercial activity that, if proven, would give rise to jurisdiction over a foreign sovereign.

As the court wrote:  "Plaintiff-Appellant-Cross-Appellee Mortimer Off Shore Services, Ltd. appeals from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Lynch, Judge) dismissing Mortimer's action to enforce bearer bonds valued at $400,000,000 against Defendant-Appellee-Cross-Appellant the Federal Republic of Germany ("FRG") for failure to state a claim. Mortimer also appeals from the denial of its subsequent motions to amend the judgment and for leave to file an amended complaint. The FRG cross-appeals from the denial of its motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1602 et seq."

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