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Sothebys MTD

Sothebys MTD

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Published by Jason Felch

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Published by: Jason Felch on Aug 27, 2012
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09/17/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ----------------------------------------------------------------------- X UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, - v. - A 10th CENTURY CAMBODIAN SANDSTONE SCULPTURE, CURRENTLY LOCATED AT SOTHEBY’S IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, Defendant in rem. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )-----------------------------------------------------------------------X
12 Civ. 2600 (GBD)MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMANTS’ SOTHEBY’S, INC. AND MS. RUSPOLI DI POGGIO SUASA’S MOTION TO DISMISS
Case 1:12-cv-02600-GBD Document 17 Filed 06/05/12 Page 1 of 35
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................1 STATEMENT OF FACTS.............................................................................................................3A. The Statue’s History Prior To 1975....................................................................................3 B. The London Sale in 1975....................................................................................................5C. The Planned New York Auction in 2010............................................................................6 ARGUMENT..................................................................................................................................9 I. The Government’s High Pleading Burden.........................................................................9 II. The Government Fails To Adequately Allege That The Statue Was Stolen....................11 A. The Decrees Do Not Unambiguously Declare Cambodia The Owner Of The Statue................................................................................................................12 B. The Complaint Does Not Allege Facts Showing Cambodia Has Ever Enforced The Colonial Decrees As Vesting Title........................................................17 C. The Government Fails To Allege Particular Facts Showing That The Statue Was Taken Without Cambodia’s Permission....................................................18 D. The Government Has Not Met Its Burden To Plead Facts Showing The Statue Was In Cambodia When The Colonial Decrees Were Issued....................20 III. The Government Has Not Met Its Burden To Plead Facts Showing The Statue Remained Stolen When It Was Imported..............................................................22 IV. The Complaint Fails To Adequately Allege That Claimants Knew The Statue Was Stolen............................................................................................................25 A. The Complaint Alleges No Facts Showing Sotheby’s Knew The Statue Was Stolen At The Time Of Import.............................................................................25 B. The Complaint Fails To Allege The Required Particularized Facts Showing Sotheby’s Knew The Statue Was Stolen After Import.................................................27 CONCLUSION.............................................................................................................................29
Case 1:12-cv-02600-GBD Document 17 Filed 06/05/12 Page 2 of 35
 
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TABLE OF AUTHORITIESCASES PAGE(S)
 ATSI Commc’n, Inc. v. Shaar Fund, Ltd.
,493 F.3d 87 (2d Cir. 2007).............................................................................................3
 Ashcroft v. Iqbal 
,556 U.S. 662 (2009).....................................................................................................25
 Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly
,550 U.S. 544 (2007).......................................................................................................3
CIH Int’l. Holdings, LLC v. BT United States, LLC 
,821 F. Supp. 2d 604 (S.D.N.Y. 2011)..........................................................................24
 Figueiredo Ferraz Consultoria E Engenharia de Projeto Ltda. v. Republic of Peru
,655 F. Supp. 2d 361 (S.D.N.Y. 2009),
rev'd on other grounds
, 665 F.3d 384 (2d Cir. 2011)..................................................24
Gov’t of Peru v. Johnson
,720 F. Supp. 810 (C.D. Cal. 1989),
aff’d,
 933 F.2d 1013 (9th Cir. 1991)..........................................................16, 17, 20, 28
 Hotel Emps. & Rest. Emps. Union, Local 100 v. City of N.Y.  Dep’t of Parks and Rec.
,311 F.3d 534 (2d Cir. 2002)...........................................................................................4
Oneida Indian Nation v. New York 
,691 F.2d 1070 (2d Cir. 1982).........................................................................................4
Third Nat'l Bank v. Impac, Ltd.
,432 U.S. 312 (1977).......................................................................................................4
United States v. $22,173.00 in U.S. Currency
, No. 09 Civ. 7386(SAS), 2010 WL 1328953 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 5, 2010)..........................9
United States v. $49,000 Currency
,330 F.3d 371 (5th Cir. 2003).........................................................................................9
United States v. $200,255.00 in United States Currency
, No. 7:05-CV-27, 2006 WL 1687774 (M.D. Ga. June 16, 2006).................................11
Case 1:12-cv-02600-GBD Document 17 Filed 06/05/12 Page 3 of 35

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