Friday, January 27, 2012

Chevron v. Naranjo

Jan 26: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, Case Nos. 11-1150 - 11-1264. Defendants-appellants – residents of the Ecuadorian Amazon and their American attorney – challenge a preliminary injunction issued by the district court that prohibited them from enforcing or preparing to enforce a potential Ecuadorian judgment against plaintiff-appellee anywhere outside of the Republic of Ecuador. The Appeals Court ruled, "Because New York's Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgments Recognition Act, N.Y. C.P.L.R. §§ 5301-5309, does not authorize affirmative relief of this kind, but only recognizes a defense available when a would-be judgment-creditor first attempts enforcement in New York, we vacate the injunction and remand to the district court with instructions to dismiss the plaintiff-appellee's complaint."
    The Appeals Court provides the background saying, "This appeal represents the latest chapter in the ongoing litigation between plaintiff-appellee Chevron Corp. (Chevron) and the defendants-appellants, elsewhere known as the Lago Agrio Plaintiffs (LAPs or Ecuadorians) and their American attorney Steven Donziger. Chevron brought the present action in part under New York's Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgments Recognition Act (the Recognition Act), N.Y. C.P.L.R. §§ 5301-5309, which allows judgment-creditors to enforce foreign judgments in New York courts, subject to several exceptions. Chevron, a potential judgment-debtor, sought a global anti-enforcement injunction against the LAPs and Donziger prohibiting the latter from attempting to enforce an allegedly fraudulent judgment entered by an Ecuadorian court against Chevron."
    The Appeals Court explained its decision further in its conclusion saying, "We have considered all of the parties' remaining arguments on appeal and find them to be either rendered moot by our disposition of this appeal or to pertain to litigation that is not properly before us. Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons and consistent with our September 19, 2011 order, the judgment of the district court is reversed and the preliminary injunction vacated. We remand to the district court with the instruction to dismiss Chevron's claim for injunctive and declaratory relief under the Recognition Act in its entirety."
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Remed, #CA2]