Plaintiff, pro se, filed this action against the United States of Mexico to recover $472,123, the purported face value of certain "Receipts for Interest in Arrears" which he alleges were issued by the Mexican government pursuant to certain agreements made in 1922.
This action was originally filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.
On October 28, 1981, that court dismissed plaintiff's complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Plaintiff appealed and the Ninth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, 730 F.2d 769, affirmed the court's finding that it lacked personal jurisdiction, but it nevertheless vacated the lower court's order of dismissal with instructions to transfer the matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
In accordance with plaintiff's request, the District Court in Nevada transferred the action to this Court on April 30, 1984. Currently pending are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment.
In order to understand better the jurisdictional issues raised by Mexico, the background of the agreements under which plaintiff's receipts were issued and the amendments to those agreements will be summarized.
From 1886 to 1910, during the so-called "Diaz regime," Mexico was engaged in extensive construction projects. In order to finance such projects, the government of Mexico as well as certain municipalities and privately-owned railroads issued bonds and various other debt instruments totalling over $500 million. These bonds were sold world-wide by banking houses in the United States and Europe. The government of Mexico continued to make payments on these debts until 1914, when civil unrest broke out in that country.
After the Mexican government ceased making payments, a number of banking houses, many of which had sold bonds to the public, joined together and formed a committee -- i.e., the International Committee of Bankers (the Committee) -- to negotiate with the Mexican government for the resumption of payment on the bonds.
After several years of negotiation, an agreement was finally reached between the Finance Minister of Mexico and the Committee.
This agreement, the "Plan and Agreement of June 16, 1922," was intended to restore certain specified obligations, both private and public, and to provide for the discharge of such obligations on a limited and deferred basis by the Mexican government in accordance with its ability to pay.
Among other things, the Plan provided that,
1. ARREARS OF INTEREST