Text: S.740 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

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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.

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