A Jordanian bank objected to turning over records that it claimed it couldn't produce without risking criminal prosecution by the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Monetary Authority.
The plaintiffs accused the institution, Arab Bank, of aiding terrorist groups that had killed and hurt them and family members in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. They sued under the Anti-Terrorist Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act.
A magistrate judge ordered Arab Bank to comply with the plaintiffs' requests for documents. When it failed to do so after many years of litigation, the judge concluded that Arab Bank violated Rule 37(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and recommended that the court, at trial, instruct the jury that it could infer that the records would have shown that Arab Bank did do business with and helped terrorist organizations. The district court adopted the report and recommendation.
Today, the Second Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of the order. It also ruled that Arab Bank had not made the extraordinary showing necessary to warrant relief by way of writ of mandamus. Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 11-4519-cv(L) (2d Cir. Jan. 18, 2013).