In August 1996, after allowing the parties to brief the issue, the district court dismissed the Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court concluded that Hong Kong is not a "foreign state" under the diversity statute, and, consequently, Matimak is not a "citizen or subject" of a "foreign state."
Issue(s): (1) whether Hong Kong is a "foreign state," such that Matimak is a "citizen or subject" of a "foreign state"; (2) whether Matimak is a "citizen or subject" of the United Kingdom, by virtue of Hong Kong's relationship with the United Kingdom when it brought suit; and (3) whether any and all non- citizens of the United States may ipso facto invoke alienage jurisdiction against a United States citizen.
Reasoning: The fact that the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance may be "ultimately traceable" to the British Crown is too attenuated a connection. Matimak was incorporated under Hong Kong law, the Companies Ordinance 1984 of Hong Kong, and is entitled to the protections of Hong Kong law only. Cf. Cedec Trading Ltd. v. United Am. Coal Sales, Inc., 556 F.Supp. 722, 723-24 & n. 2 (S.D.N.Y.1983) (holding that corporations of the Channel Islands, a province which is part of the United Kingdom proper, governed by British law, and whose foreign affairs are entirely controlled by the United Kingdom, is a citizen or subject of the United Kingdom); Compare St. Germain v. West Bay Leasing, Ltd., No. 81-CV-3945, at 6 (E.D.N.Y. Sep. ...Show more