Obtaining Declaratory Relief Against Plaintiffs Seeking to Enforce Ill-Gotten Foreign Judgments
Notwithstanding 75 years of precedent to the contrary from this Court and the other courts of appeals, was the Second Circuit correct that the Declaratory Judgment Act does not permit a party to assert a defense to a suit anticipatorily where the underlying substantive statute does not authorize declaratory relief?
NCLC urged the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review of this case to clarify whether the federal Declaratory Judgment Act permits a party to obtain a declaratory judgment in federal court where the underlying state law statute does not authorize declaratory relief. In this case, Chevron sought declaratory judgment regarding an Ecuadorian court judgment that Chevron argues was obtained by fraud and corruption. NCLC's amicus brief explained that businesses in a variety of industries rely on the federal Declaratory Judgment Act to obtain clear guidance about their liabilities and obligations, even on pure state-law questions. The brief also describes the growing phenomenon of parties seeking to enforce ill-gotten foreign judgments against multinational companies in United States courts and elsewhere. As explained in this brief, the pattern presented by this case is becoming increasingly common and accentuates the importance of a declaratory judgment as an effective tool against ill-gotten foreign judgments.
Cert. denied on 10/09/2012.
NCLC amicus brief supporting cert. filed 6/28/12.