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Auster v. Ghana Airways Ltd.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


April 4, 2007

GAIL I. AUSTER, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GHANA AIRWAYS LTD., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Upon consideration of plaintiffs' appeal in this case, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the record to this Court for: "(1) a finding as to whether defendant the Republic of Ghana was served with process in this case, and a conclusion as to whether the district court has personal jurisdiction over the Republic of Ghana; and (2) clarification as to whether the court intended to dispose of [Plaintiffs'] claims against Ghana in its order of dismissal." Order, U.S.Ct. of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Jan. 13, 2006 (per curiam). Pursuant to directions of this Court, the parties have filed supplemental memoranda concerning the issues raised in this order. Based on these memoranda, the applicable law, and the entire record, the Court hereby makes the following findings with regard to the D.C. Circuit's order:

1. Because defendants have conceded that plaintiffs' revised service was proper, Defs.' Supp. Mem., Nov. 3., 2006, at 2, the Court concludes that defendant Ghana was properly served under 28 U.S.C. § 1608(a)(3). Regarding personal jurisdiction, plaintiffs have conceded that the only basis for a waiver of sovereign immunity is if Ghana falls under the provisions of the Warsaw Convention. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1604, 1605(a)(1); Pls.' Supp. Mem., Nov. 3, 2006, at 3. As this Court has previously found that the air travel at issue does not qualify as "international transportation" under the Warsaw Convention, Mem. Op., Sept. 21, 2005, at 12, the Court concludes that Ghana is not covered by the Warsaw Convention in this case. Therefore, the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over defendant Ghana. See 28 U.S.C. § 1330.*fn1

2. The Court intended to dispose of plaintiffs' claims against defendant Ghana in its order of dismissal because Ghana is not covered by the Warsaw Convention in this case.

CONCLUSION

It is by the Court hereby ORDERED that the Clerk shall notify the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that this Court has concluded its proceedings pursuant to the D.C. Circuit's January 13, 2006 order in this case.


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