from the United States Court of Federal Claims in No.
l:15-cv-00229-LKG, Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby.
Ali Abbas, Hanover Park, IL, argued pro se.
Alexander Orlando Canizares, Commercial Litigation Branch,
Civil Division, United States Department of Justice,
Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee. Also
represented by JAMES R. Sweet, BENJAMIN C. MlZER, Robert E.
Kirschman, Jr., Martin F. Hockey, Jr.
NEWMAN, LOURIE, and CLEVENGER, Circuit Judges.
CLEVENGER, Circuit Judge.
Ali Abbas appeals the final decision of the United States
Court of Federal Claims dismissing his complaint for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim for
which relief can be granted pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6) of the Rules of the United States Court of Federal
Claims. Because we agree with the Court of Federal Claims
that Mr. Abbas's claims are time barred, we affirm.
case arises from Mr. Abbas's complaint against the United
States ("U.S." or "the Government") in
the Court of Federal Claims for an alleged taking of his
property rights in certain pre-World War II German bonds. Mr.
Abbas alleges that a series of post-World War II treaties
between the U.S. and Germany pertaining to the handling of
these bonds effected a regulatory taking without compensation
of his right to enforce the bonds against Germany in U.S.
courts, in violation of the United States Constitutional
requirement that "private property [shall not] be taken
for public use, without just compensation." U.S. Const,
amend. V. The Court of Federal Claims found that Mr.
Abbas's claim was time barred by the applicable statute
of limitations. We first provide a short recitation of the
relevant historical background.
World War I, a number of German banks and companies sold
bearer bonds that were underwritten and payable in the U.S.
Abrey v. Reusch, 153 F.Supp. 337, 339 (S.D.N.Y.
1957). Prior to the outbreak of World War II,
many of the bonds were repurchased by the issuers for
eventual retirement. Id. Those repurchased bonds no
longer represented obligations. Id. Nevertheless,
the outbreak of World War II prevented the issuing
authorities from presenting the bonds to the American
trustees or paying agents for cancelation, and thus a large
number of the repurchased (but not cancelled) bonds were
stored in Berlin during the war. Id. Following the
occupation of Berlin by the Soviet Union, a large number of
the stored bonds found their way into unauthorized hands.
Id. Still, a similarly large number of the
bonds remained in the hands of legitimate bona fide
purchasers. See id.
the war, Germany was justifiably hesitant to pay off bonds
that were possibly invalid, despite expressing a willingness
to adopt liability for the pre-war debts of the Weimar
Republic and the Third Reich. The situation also posed a
problem for holders of valid bonds, who would potentially be
forced to share in the limited pool of available German
assets with holders of invalid bonds. See id. Thus,
Germany and the U.S. (as well as other Allied powers)
executed a series of laws and treaties that sought to hold
Germany responsible for its pre-war bonds (and other debts),
while at the same time ensuring that only holders of valid
bonds would be paid. See id.
first relevant statute was the Validation Law for German
Foreign Currency Bonds of 1952. Gesetz zur Bereinigung von
deutschen Schuldverschreibungen, die auf auslandische Wahrung
lauten (Bereinigungsgesetz fur deutsche
Auslandsbonds-AuslWBG) [Validation Law for German Foreign
Currency Bonds], Aug. 25, 1952, BGB1. I at 553
("Validation Law"). The Validation Law estab-
lished procedures under which Germany would assume liability
for foreign currency bonds where bondholders could prove that
their bonds were held outside of Germany as of January 1,
1945 (i.e., prior to the Soviet invasion of Germany in late
January 1945). See Mortimer Off Shore Servs., Ltd. v.
Fed. Republic of Ger., 615 F.3d 97, 102 (2d Cir. 2010).
The law required that the bonds and supporting evidence be
submitted to an examining authority in Germany (or in the
country of bond issue), which would conduct an administrative
hearing to determine the bonds' validity. See
procedures of the Validation Law were incorporated into a
subsequent 1953 agreement between the U.S. and Germany.
Validation of German Dollar Bonds, Ger.-U.S., Feb. 25-Apr. 9,
1954, 5 U.S.T. 1 ("1953 Treaty"). The 1953 Treaty
consisted of two agreements. The first, Validation of Dollar
Bonds of German Issue, Ger.-U.S., Feb. 27, 1953, 4 U.S.T. 797
("Validation Procedures Treaty"), incorporated the
Validation Law (and thus incorporated the procedures for
validating German prewar bonds). The agreement also created
the Board for the Validation of German Bonds in the United
States (the "Validation Board"), which served the
same function as the examining authorities created by the
Validation Law and was empowered to conduct the bond
second, Certain Matters Arising from the Validation of German
Dollar Bonds, Ger.-U.S., Apr. 1, 1953, 4 U.S.T. 885
("Certain Matters Treaty"), the U.S. agreed that
the German bonds at issue would not be enforceable in U.S.
courts until they had been validated (i.e., shown to have
been outside of Germany on January 1, 1945) "either by
the Board for the Validation of German Bonds in the United
States established by the [Validation Procedures Treaty], or
by the authorities competent for that purpose in the Federal
Republic." Certain Matters Treaty art. II.
the Allied powers and Germany also entered into a separate
agreement, German External Debts, Feb. 27, 1953, 4 U.S.T.
443, 333 U.N.T.S. 3 ("London Debt Agreement"),
which aimed "to remove obstacles to normal economic
relations" between Germany and other nations and to
"facilitat[e] a resumption of payments on
[Germany's] external debts." Mortimer, 615
F.3d at 102 (quoting London Debt Agreement at Proclamation).
The London Debt Agreement constituted a settlement offer by
Germany for its pre-World War II debt obligations, but did
not repeal the validation requirements put into place by the
Validation Law, stating that "[o]nly such creditors
shall be entitled to benefit under [the Agreement], as . . .
accept the offer, or, in the case of other debts, assent to
the establishment in accordance with such provisions of terms
of payment and other conditions in respect of such
debts." Id. (quoting London Debt Agreement art.
15(1)). In the wake of the London Debt Agreement, Germany
adopted a policy of paying validated bondholders who agreed
to settle before paying validated bondholders who refused the
settlement offer. See World Holdings, LLC ...