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Philippines v. Pimentel
No. 06-1204


    Republic of the Philippines, et al. v. Jerry S. Pimentel, Temporary Administrator of the Estate of Mariano J. Pimentel, et al.


    Interpleader Actions, Necessary Parties, Indispensable Parties, Sovereign Immunity, Misappropriation, Civil Procedure, International Law, Government Law


    This interpleader action was brought to settle ownership of assets misappropriated by Ferdinand Marcos when he was President of the Republic of the Philippines. The assets are claimed both by the Republic, which under Philippine law is the owner of property acquired though the misuse of public office by Philippine officials, and by a class of private judgment creditors of the Marcos estate. The Republic was dismissed from the action on sovereign immunity grounds. In the Republic's absence, however, the district court held that the Republic is not an indispensable party to the action under Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(b), proceeded to resolve the interpleader action, and awarded the disputed assets to the class of private claimants. The Ninth Circuit affirmed. The case presents the following questions:

  • Whether a foreign government that is a "necessary" party to a lawsuit under Rule 19 (a) and has successfully asserted sovereign immunity is, under Rule 19(b), an "indispensable" party to an action brought in the courts of the United States to settle ownership of assets claimed by that government.
  • Whether the Republic of the Philippines and its Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), having been dismissed from the interpleader action based on their successful assertion of sovereign immunity, had the right to appeal the district court's determination that they were not indispensable parties under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(b); and whether the Republic and its PCGG have the right to seek this Court's review of the court of appeals's opinion affirming the district court.



  • Docket Sheet From the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Northwestern University - Medill School of Journalism: On the Docket


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Counsel of Record

For Petitioner:

Stephen V. Bomse
Heller Ehrman LLP
San Francisco, CA

For Respondent:

Daniel C. Cathcart
Magana, Cathcart & McCarthy
Los Angeles, CA

Robert A. Swift
Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C.
Philadelphia, PA


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