Attachment in Terrorism Cases

The Seventh Circuit recently removed a significant obstacle to attachment or execution in terrorism cases. 

Section 1610(c) provides that “[n]o attachment or execution referred to in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be permitted until the court has ordered such attachment and execution after having determined that a reasonable period of time has elapsed following the entry of judgment and the giving of any notice required under section 1608(e) of this chapter.”  28 U.S.C. § 1610(c).  In Gates v. Syrian Arab Republic, 755 F.3d 568 (7th Cir. 2014), the Seventh Circuit held that the limitations set forth in section 1610(c) did not apply to attachments in terrorism cases.  In reaching that result, the Seventh Circuit focused on section 1610(c)’s express limitation to attachment or execution under subsections (a) and (b).  Since section 1610(g) – the provision addressing attachment and execution in terrorism cases – “is not mentioned in section 1610(c),” the latter section “simply does not apply to execution or attachment under section 1610(g).”  Gates, 755 F.3d at 575.

By recognizing that section 1610(c)’s limitations are inapplicable to attachment proceedings in terrorism cases, the Seventh Circuit properly adhered to the plain terms of the statute.  The ruling should also serve the goal of helping to streamline attachment proceedings in cases involving terrorism.

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