04 August 2016

US Court of Appeals Decision re: ICANN & Iran, Syria, North Korea ccTLDs

28 U.S.C. § 1610 (g)(3): Exceptions to the immunity from attachment or execution"(3) Third-party joint property holders. - Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to supersede the authority of a court to prevent appropriately the impairment of an interest held by a person who is not liable in the action giving rise to a judgment in property subject to attachment in aid of execution, or execution, upon such judgment."
Embedded below is the full decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, August 2, 2016, which affirmed the judgment of the U.S. District Court that the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria, and North Korea are unattachable under District of Columbia (D.C.) law.

The Court of Appeals, while assuming arguendo that the ccTLDs were attachable property, nonetheless relied upon 28 USC §1610(g)(3)--quoted above--in its opinion at pages 28-29:
"We assume without deciding that the ccTLDs the plaintiffs seek constitute “property” under the FSIA and, further, that the defendant sovereigns have some attachable ownership interest in them. Nonetheless, pursuant to the terrorist activity exception, the court has the “authority” to “prevent appropriately the impairment of an interest held by a person who is not liable in the action giving rise to a judgment”—i.e., we are expressly authorized to protect the interests of ICANN and other entities. 28 U.S.C. § 1610(g)(3). Because of the enormous third-party interests at stake—and because there is no way to execute on the plaintiffs’ judgments without impairing those interests—we cannot permit attachment." (emphasis added)
While the Appellants have options to seek review en banc by the Court of Appeals, and even review by the U.S. Supreme Court, our analysis and opinion is that this is a well-reasoned decision that removes the "wild card" referenced in the Domain Mondo News Review and Litigation Report, July 31, 2016.

Embed below is the Court of Appeals decision Weinstein v. Iran et al (highlighting added):


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