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Monday, March 24, 2014

Penal Law Rule 

In an interpleader action brought by the United States, the District Court granted summary judgment to Brazil, one of the parties who claimed entitlement to certain funds, holding that Brazil was entitled to the funds under a Brazilian forfeiture law, which was grounded in Brazil criminal law.  The other parties seeking the money claimed that summary judgment was not appropriate in that enforcement of the forfeiture law violated the common law penal law rule under which a country will not enforce the penal laws of another country.  On appeal, the Second Circuit held that summary judgment had been improperly granted based on the penal law rule, however, it also held that because Brazil was seeking assistance from the United States Attorney General in enforcing its forfeiture judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2467, the District Court should allow Brazil and the Attorney General time to complete this process before taking further action in the case.

The decision in United States v. The Federative Republic of Brazil can be found here.

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