S.740 - Antiterrorism Act of 1991102nd Congress (1991-1992)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA] (Introduced 03/21/1991)|
|Committees:||House - Judiciary|
|Latest Action:||House - 07/08/1992 Referred to the Subcommittee on International Law, Immigration, and Refugees. (All Actions)|
This bill has the status Passed Senate
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Text: S.740 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)
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Referred in House
S 740 RFH 102d CONGRESS 1st Session S. 740 IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 17, 1991 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary AN ACT To provide a new civil cause of action in Federal law for international terrorism that provides extraterritorial jurisdiction over terrorist acts abroad against United States nationals. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, (a) SHORT TITLE- This section may be cited as the `Antiterrorism Act of 1991'. (b) TERRORISM- Chapter 113A of Title 18, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in section 2331 by striking subsection (d) and redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (d); (2) by redesignating section 2331 as 2332 and striking the caption for section 2331 and inserting the following: `Sec. 2332. Criminal penalties'; (3) by inserting before section 2332 as redesignated the following: `Sec. 2331. Definitions `As used in this chapter-- `(1) the term `international terrorism' means activities that-- `(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State; `(B) appear to be intended-- `(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; `(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping; and `(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum; `(2) the term `national of the United States' has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act; `(3) term `person' means any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property; and `(4) the term `act of war' means any act occurring in the course of-- `(A) declared war; `(B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or `(C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin.'. (4) by adding immediately after section 2332 as redesignated the following new sections: `Sec. 2333. Civil remedies `(a) ACTION AND JURISDICTION- Any national of the United States injured in his person, property, or business by reason of an act of international terrorism, or his estate, survivors, or heirs, may sue therefor in any appropriate district court of the United States and shall recover threefold the damages he sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney's fees. `(b) ESTOPPED UNDER UNITED STATES LAW- A final judgment or decree rendered in favor of the United States in any criminal proceeding under section 1116, 1201, 1203, or 2332 of this title or section 1472 (i), (k), (l), (n), or (r) of title 49 App. shall estop the defendant from denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense in any subsequent civil proceeding under this section. `(c) ESTOPPED UNDER FOREIGN LAW- A final judgment or decree rendered in favor of any foreign state in any criminal proceeding shall, to the extent that such judgment or decree may be accorded full faith and credit under the law of the United States, estop the defendant from denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense in any subsequent civil proceeding under this section. `Sec. 2334. Jurisdiction and venue `(a) GENERAL VENUE- Any civil action under section 2333 of this title against any person may be instituted in the district court of the United States for any district where any plaintiff resides or where any defendant resides or is served, or has an agent. Process in such a civil action may be served in any district where the defendant resides, is found, or has an agent. `(b) SPECIAL MARITIME OR TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION- If the actions giving rise to the claim occurred within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, as defined in section 7 of this title, then any civil action under section 2333 of this title against any person may be instituted in the district court of the United States for any district in which any plaintiff resides or the defendant resides, is served, or has an agent. `(c) SERVICE ON WITNESSES- A witness in a civil action brought under section 2333 of this title may be served in any district where the witness resides, is found, or has an agent. `(d) CONVENIENCE OF THE FORUM- The district court shall not dismiss any action brought under section 2333 of this title on the grounds of the inconvenience or inappropriateness of the forum chosen, unless-- `(1) the action may be maintained in a foreign court that has jurisdiction over the subject matter and over all the defendants; `(2) that foreign court is significantly more convenient and appropriate; and `(3) that foreign court offers a remedy which is substantially the same as the one available in the courts of the United States. `Sec. 2335. Limitation of actions `(a) IN GENERAL- Subject to subsection (b), a suit for recovery of damages under section 2333 of this title shall not be maintained unless commenced within 3 years from the date the cause of action accrued. `(b) CALCULATION OF PERIOD- The time of the absence of the defendant from the United States or from any jurisdiction in which the same or a similar action arising from the same facts may be maintained by the plaintiff, or any concealment of his whereabouts, shall not be reckoned within this period of limitation. `Sec. 2336. Other limitations `No action shall be maintained under section 2333 of this title for injury or loss by reason of an act of war. `Sec. 2337. Suits against government officials `No action shall be maintained under section 2333 of this title against-- `(1) the United States, an agency of the United States, or an officer or employee of the United States or any agency thereof acting within his official capacity or under color of legal authority; or `(2) a foreign state, an agency of a foreign state, or an officer or employee of a foreign state or an agency thereof acting within his official capacity or under color of legal authority. `Sec. 2338. Exclusive Federal jurisdiction `The district courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction over an action brought under this chapter.'; and `(5) by amending the table of sections to read as follows: `Chapter 113A--Terrorism `Sec. `2331. Definitions. `2332. Criminal penalties. `2333. Civil remedies. `2334. Jurisdiction and venue. `2335. Limitation of actions. `2336. Other limitations. `2337. Suits against government officials. `2338. Exclusive Federal jurisdiction. (c) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents of part 1, title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking: `113A. Extraterritorial jurisdiction over terrorist acts abroad against United States nationals 2331' and inserting in lieu thereof: 2331'. (d) EFFECTIVE DATE- This section and the amendments made by this section shall apply to any pending case or any cause of action arising on or after 4 years before the date of enactment of this section. Passed the Senate April 16 (legislative day, April 9), 1991. Attest: WALTER J. STEWART, Secretary.