Kadic v. Karadzic

70 F.3d 232, cert denied, 518 U.S. 1005, (1996)


Kadic (P) are Croat and Muslim citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ps allege that they are victims, and representatives of victims, of various atrocities, including brutal acts of rape, forced prostitution, forced impregnation, torture, and summary execution, carried out by Bosnian-Serb military forces as part of a genocidal campaign conducted in the course of the Bosnian civil war. Karadzic (D), formerly a citizen of Yugoslavia and now a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is the President of a three-man presidency of the self-proclaimed Bosnian-Serb republic within Bosnia-Herzegovina, sometimes referred to as 'Srpska,' which claims to exercise lawful authority, and does in fact exercise actual control, over large parts of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. D possesses ultimate command authority over the Bosnian-Serb military forces, and the injuries perpetrated upon Ps were committed as part of a pattern of systematic human rights violations that was directed by D and carried out by the military forces under his command. Ps allege that D acted in an official capacity either as the titular head of Srpska or in collaboration with the government of the recognized nation of the former Yugoslavia and its dominant constituent republic, Serbia. In 1993, D was admitted to the United States on three separate occasions as an invitee of the United Nations. D was personally served with the summons and complaint in each action during two of these visits while he was physically present in Manhattan. D moved for dismissal of both actions on the grounds of insufficient service of process, lack of personal jurisdiction, lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, and nonjusticiability of Ps' claims. The District Court dismissed both actions for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The Court thought it be deprived of jurisdiction if the Executive Branch were to recognize D as the head of state of a friendly nation and such recognition could render the Ps' pending claims requests for an advisory opinion. As for subject-matter jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Act, the Court concluded that 'acts committed by non-state actors do not violate the law of nations.' D's faction do not act under the color of any recognized state law.' The Court found that the apparent absence of state action barred Ps' claim under the Torture Victim Act.