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PA Was Sued For Attack Citing Pay To Slay Law Now Case Dismissed Citing Sokolow

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 21 – The PLO and Palestinian Authority have been sued for a previous terrorist attack, with the "Pay to Slay" provision of a 2019 statute cited.

 On April 29, 2021 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil held a proceeding. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here and below.

In March 2022, the case was dismissed: "I join my colleagues in concluding that the PSJVTA is unconstitutional, as applied to Defendants, because I am bound by Second Circuit precedent holding that the PLO and PA are entitled to constitutional due process. See Waldman I, 835 F.3d at 329. For purposes of Defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, this case is essentially identical to Fuld and Sokolow, the decisions in those cases lay out all of the parties’ arguments, and I will not belabor the discussion. The PLO and PA admit that they made payments to the family of the 2002 suicide bomber that the PSJVTA deems consent to personal jurisdiction. Def. Mem. at 3. The parties argue about whether the PLO and PA also meet the PSJVTA’s test for consent to jurisdiction based on non-exempt (that is, non-U.N.-related) offices and activities in the United States. See Def. Mem. at 16–17; Pl. Opp. at 8. Defendants argue that, in all events, the factual predicates under the PSJVTA are not sufficient to support the exercise of personal jurisdiction under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. I agree."

Back on July 6, the assigned Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman held a proceeding with the parties, and Inner City Press again covered it. The plaintiffs wanted guidance in advance of the July 8 deposition of the Palestinian Mission to the UN's Riyad Mansour. His lawyer quoted the "UN Legal Office" as broadly construing the PLO's functional immunity.

  Judge Freeman arranged to be available for telephone consultation about the depositions. Inner City Press will continue to cover this case.

From April 29: The plaintiffs, citing a terrorist bombing of pizzeria in Karnei Shomrom, are represented by Abbe Lowell. The PLO is repped by Squire Patton Boggs, a firm that also lobbies.  

There is a discovery dispute. The defendants (PLO) are opposing the plaintiffs getting five depositions.   

Judge Vyskocil: The flurry of letter writing must come to an end.Most of the letters are from Squire Patton Boggs. So my comments are directed at them. That said, discovery under Rule 56 is premature and is denied without prejudice. And 200 requests for admission are too much. 

Plaintiffs' lawyer: Our understanding is that the defendants' payments for terrorist acts continue long after the act. So we've asked for information about the payments.  Plaintiffs' lawyer: We've focused on what we call the "Pay for Slay" provision of the statute.

Judge: Let me hear from defendants, Squire Patton Boggs. 

Defense: How about a 30b6 deposition, so we can know if we are going to run into issues of immunity. Immunity?

The case is Shatsky et al v. The Palestine Liberation Organization et al., 18-cv-12355 (Vyskocil)


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