Carmina R. Comparelli v. Republica Bolivariana De Venezuela

Case: 16-16748 Date Filed: 06/08/2018 Page: 1 of 33 [PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 16-16748 ________________________ D.C. Docket No. 1:14-cv-24414-KMW CARMINA R. COMPARELLI, JULIO C. DELGADO COMPARELLI, Plaintiffs - Appellants, FREDDY E. LOPEZ COMPARELLI, et al., Plaintiffs, versus REPUBLICA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA, a sovereign nation, PETROQUIMICA DE VENEZUELA, S.A., an agency or instrumentality of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, INTERNATIONAL PETROCHEMICAL SALES, LTD., Defendants - Appellees. Case: 16-16748 Date Filed: 06/08/2018 Page: 2 of 33 ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ________________________ (June 8, 2018) Before JORDAN, HULL, and BOGGS, * Circuit Judges. JORDAN, Circuit Judge: Carmina Comparelli and Julio Delgado Comparelli sued the República Bolivariana de Venezuela and Petroquimica de Venezuela, S.A., alleging unlawful expropriation of their property in violation of international law. The district court dismissed their complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and denied their motion for leave nunc pro tunc to file an amended complaint. The Comparellis appealed. While the case was pending here, the Supreme Court issued an opinion detailing the showing that plaintiffs such as the Comparellis must make in order to have jurisdiction over a foreign state in United States courts under the expropriation (i.e., takings) exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(3). See Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, et al. v. Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co., 137 S. Ct. 1312 (2017). This new standard leaves us with several questions that the district court did not (and likely did not think it had to) * The Honorable Danny J. Boggs, United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, sitting by designation. 2 Case: 16-16748 Date Filed: 06/08/2018 Page: 3 of 33 answer. Under the circumstances, we believe that the district court is best suited to resolve those questions in the first instance. And so, after careful review of the parties’ briefs and the entire record, and with the benefit of oral argument, we reverse and remand for further proceedings. I. BACKGROUND The Comparellis alleged the following facts in their complaint. Because they share a last name, we refer to them by their first names. A. THE SEIZURE OF MARIVELCA IN VENEZUELA Carmina was born in Italy and moved to Venezuela at a young age. She has resided in Venezuela most of her life and is the sole shareholder of a Venezuelan company, Marivelca, C.A. 1 Marivelca sold chemical products and raw materials in the alimentary, petroleum, and petrochemical industries. Carmina’s son, Julio, born in Venezuela, wholly owns Inversiones Trans Benz, C.A., the “trucking arm” of Marivelca. Both Marivelca and Trans Benz worked closely with Venezuela’s public sector and its 1 The original complaint states that Carmina, Julio, Freddy Comparelli, and Loryelena Comparelli each owned a 25% stake of Marivelca. The Comparellis’ attorney acknowledged that this was an error and attempted to correct it by filing an amended complaint alleging that Carmina owned 100% of Marivelca. Although the district court struck the amended ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals