Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Iskandar v. Embassy of State of Kuwait

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 29, 2016

RANDA ISKANDAR, Plaintiff,
v.
EMBASSY OF THE STATE OF KUWAIT, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Plaintiff, who is represented by counsel, filed suit against her former employer, the Embassy of the State of Kuwait, on April 24, 2014, alleging breach of contract as well as gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. Presently before the Court is Plaintiff’s [18] Amended Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s ruling issued on May 28, 2015, dismissing without prejudice Plaintiff’s Complaint. Upon consideration of the pleadings, [1] the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court, in an exercise of its discretion, shall GRANT Plaintiff’s [18] Amended Motion for Reconsideration.

I. BACKGROUND

On April 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant, the Embassy of the State of Kuwait (“Defendant” or “the Embassy”), alleging breach of contract as well as gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. On July 17, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Affidavit of Proof of Service showing that Plaintiff served the First Secretary of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait with the Complaint and Summons on July 15, 2014. See Affidavit of Service, ECF No. [5]. As Defendant did not timely file an Answer, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Entry of Default on September 17, 2014. The following day, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff’s Complaint should be dismissed for failure to properly serve process, for lack of personal jurisdiction, and for failure to state sufficient facts to establish the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction over Defendant.

On May 28, 2015, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Default and granting Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. See Mem. Opinion and Order (May 28, 2015), ECF Nos. [10], [11]. In its Memorandum Opinion, the Court found that (1) Plaintiff failed to properly effect service on Defendant under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”), and (2) Plaintiff failed to allege in her Complaint a basis for the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction over this action. See Mem. Opinion (May 28, 2015), ECF No [11], at 5-6.

On June 23, 2015, Plaintiff filed her initial motion for reconsideration, requesting that the Court vacate its Order issued on May 28, 2015 and allow Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint and obtain proper service thereof. See Pl.’s Mot. to Reconsider, ECF No. [12], at 1. In her one-page Motion, Plaintiff’s counsel simply indicated that she had caused the Complaint to be transmitted for service on the Government of Kuwait pursuant to the Hague Convention. See Id. Plaintiff’s counsel also indicated that her claims may be time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations, and that Plaintiff will be unable to seek redress for her claims if her case is dismissed pursuant to the Court’s Order issued on May 28, 2015. See id.

On June 24, 2015, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, denying Plaintiff’s initial motion for reconsideration. See Mem. Opinion and Order (June 24, 2015), ECF Nos. [14], [15]. As the Court explained in that Opinion, the exhibits attached to Plaintiff’s initial motion for reconsideration suggested that Plaintiff made a renewed attempt to effect service, this time pursuant to the Hague Convention, in February 2015-several months after Defendant filed its Motion to Dismiss and several months prior to the Court ruling on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. See Mem. Opinion (June 24, 2015), ECF No. [15], at 1-2. That information was never brought to the Court’s attention by Plaintiff at any time prior to the Court ruling on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on May 28, 2015. Id. at 2. Most importantly, Plaintiff did not provide any detail in her initial motion as to how that alleged service complied with the Hague Convention requirements. Id. Nor did Plaintiff discuss the Court’s primary ground for dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint- the Court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction over the action. Id. Plaintiff’s initial motion also sought leave to file an Amended Complaint, but Plaintiff’s counsel did not attach any proposed amended complaint to her motion. Id. In light of the foregoing reasons, the Court denied without prejudice Plaintiff’s initial motion to reconsider. Id.

In denying the motion, the Court set out requirements for Plaintiff’s amended motion for reconsideration, if Plaintiff elected to file such a motion:

If Plaintiff does seek to reopen this final judgment, Plaintiff must file a motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b) with thorough briefing of the legal basis for reopening this matter pursuant to either rule. Plaintiff’s motion should also indicate why Plaintiff’s counsel did not notify the Court that she had made a renewed attempt to serve Defendant allegedly pursuant to the Hague Convention several months prior to the Court ruling on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for failure to properly serve Defendant as one of the grounds for dismissal. Plaintiff’s motion shall further indicate in detail how the service Plaintiff alleges to have effected on Defendant in February 2015 was in compliance with the specific service requirements of the Hague Convention. Plaintiff shall also address the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction over the action. Finally, Plaintiff’s present Motion simply indicates that “Plaintiff’s claims may be time-barred by the statute of limitations, ” id. ¶ 4. If Plaintiff chooses to file a motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b), Plaintiff shall indicate when the statute of limitations expires and the legal basis for Plaintiff’s calculation.

Id. at 2-3.

Rather than immediately filing a Rule 60(b) motion, Plaintiff’s counsel on June 27, 2015 filed a Notice of Appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. See Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit, ECF No. [16].

Four days later, on July 1, 2015, Plaintiff’s counsel filed the Amended Motion for Reconsideration presently before the Court. See Pl.’s Amended Mot., ECF No. [18]. Plaintiff’s Amended Motion for Reconsideration adheres to the requirements set forth in the Court’s Opinion issued on June 24, 2015. Namely, the amended motion (1) provides briefing as to why the Court should reopen this matter pursuant to Rule 60(b); (2) explains why Plaintiff’s counsel did not notify the Court that she had made a renewed attempt to serve Defendant; (3) indicates how the service alleged to have effected on Defendant was in compliance with the service requirements of the Hague Convention;[2] (4) requests that the Court grant Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint, attached to Plaintiff’s motion, which properly addresses the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction over this action; and (5) indicates when the applicable statute of limitations in this case expired.

However, because Plaintiff’s counsel had already filed a Notice of Appeal, this Court lacked jurisdiction to issue a decision on Plaintiff’s Amended Motion for Reconsideration. Accordingly, this Court issued a Minute Order on July 7, 2015, holding in abeyance Plaintiff’s Amended Motion for Reconsideration until the Court of Appeals acted on Plaintiff’s appeal. See Minute Order (July 7, 2015).

On July 28, 2015, Plaintiff retained new counsel to represent her in connection with the aforesaid appeal, as well as the motion for reconsideration pending in this Court. See Pl.’s Consent ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.