(Id. Attach.) The statute of limitations for this request does not expire for ten years under § 13-206, or until 2006. However, because he is receiving the maximum amount under this fund, DM 5000 in a lump-sum payment and DM 500 per month, he does not have a cause of action against defendants. (Id. ; Claims Conference Mem. Supp. Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 9, Part II.) Therefore, though the statute of limitations has not run on an Article 2 claim, Sampson's failure to state a claim supports defendants' motions to dismiss.
IV. OTHER CLAIMS BY SAMPSON
Pro se Plaintiff Sampson makes four other claims in his complaints that the court will now address.
First, he claims that "universal jurisdiction" gives this court subject matter jurisdiction over Germany. (Compl. P VI; Mem. Supp. Am. Compl. at 5.) He cites United States v. James-Robinson, 515 F. Supp. 1340 (S.D. Fla. 1981) as authority. Universal jurisdiction applies, however, to a foreign national not to a foreign sovereign. Id. at 1344 n.6.
Universal jurisdiction can also be thought of as violations of jus cogens norms of international law. "A jus cogens norm is a principle of international law that is 'accepted by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted. . . .'" Princz, 26 F.3d at 1174 (quoting Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, May 23, 1969, art. 53, U.N. Doc. A/Conf. 39/27, 8 I.L.M. 679).
Sampson accuses Germany of the "brutal murder of 60 members of [his] family and for damages and injuries he sustained while prisoner in concentration camps." (Pl.'s Resp. to Mot. Dismiss Am. Compl. at 3.) The court agrees that Nazi Germany's behavior violated a jus cogens norm. Nevertheless, a violation of a jus cogens norm is not sufficient to abrogate sovereign immunity under the FSIA. Siderman, 965 F.2d at 718-19 (finding that the Supreme Court's holding in Amerada, 488 U.S. at 436, requires that Congress explicitly include violations of jus cogens norms if it is to abrogate sovereign immunity). Furthermore, violations of jus cogens norms do not infer a waiver of sovereign immunity. Frovlova, 761 F.2d at 377; Princz, 26 F.3d at 1174; Smith, 886 F. Supp. at 314-15. Consequently, even if we were to find that Germany violated a jus cogens norm in its treatment of Sampson, we would still not have subject matter jurisdiction under FSIA.
Second, Sampson claims that defendants violated the Statute of Frauds. (Plaintiff's Resp. to Claims Conference at 1; Mem. Supp. Am. Compl. at 5.) The Statute of Frauds requires certain types of agreements to be in writing. E. Allan Farnsworth, Contracts §§ 6.1-6.2 (2d ed. 1990); see also Black's Law Dictionary 457 (abr. 6th ed. 1991). Because a party who does not want an agreement enforced usually brings the Statute of Frauds, Farnsworth at § 6.10, determining Sampson's purpose in highlighting this statute in his complaint is difficult. Furthermore, all of the relevant agreements between defendants -- Protocols No. 1 and 2, the Hardship Fund, and the Article 2 Fund -- were all in writing and therefore, satisfy the Statute of Frauds.
Third, Sampson claims that the Declaratory Judgment Act confers subject matter jurisdiction over defendant Germany. (Pl.'s Resp. to Germany at 2; Mem. Supp. Am. Compl. at 6.) The Declaratory Judgment Act authorizes courts to hear cases that determine rights without seeking any relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2201(a) (1994).
Nevertheless, the Declaratory Judgment Act does not extend the court's jurisdiction; it simply enlarges the remedies available to the court. Skelly Oil Co. v. Phillips Petroleum Co., 339 U.S. 667, 671, 94 L. Ed. 1194, 70 S. Ct. 876 (1950); see also Allendale Mutual Ins. Co. v. Bull Data Systems, Inc., 10 F.3d 425, 431 (7th Cir. 1993). Congress restricted the jurisdiction of federal courts over foreign sovereigns with the FSIA; filing a declaratory judgment claim does not alter the court's lack of subject matter jurisdiction in this case.
Finally, Sampson claims that defendants embezzled funds intended for Jewish Holocaust survivors. (Pl.'s Resp. to Germany at 1, 3; Pl.'s Resp. to Claims Conference at 1-3; Am. Compl. PP III, V, IX; Mem. Supp. Am. Compl. at 8.) Embezzlement "in general may be defined as the fraudulent conversion of the property of another by one who is already in lawful possession of it." Wayne R. LaFave and Austin W. Scott, Jr., Criminal Law § 8.6 (2d ed. 1986). While embezzlement is a criminal offense, it is similar to the common law tort of conversion. Conversion is "an unauthorized assumption and exercise of the right of ownership over goods or personal chattels belonging to another, to the alteration of their condition or the exclusion of the owner's rights." Black's Law Dictionary 231 (abr. 6th ed. 1991).
The only facts Sampson offers to support his claim come from a newspaper article that states that the "Claims Conference has now become the owner of hundreds of properties in Germany and laid claim to tens of thousands more." (Am. Compl. Attach. 4.) Nevertheless, nowhere in the article or in Sampson's complaints is it alleged that the Claims Conference or Germany converted any of Sampson's property.
Therefore, the claim of embezzlement, or conversion, does not state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendants' Motions to Dismiss Plaintiff Sampson's Original Complaint and Amended Complaint are granted.
Ann Claire Williams,
Dated: SEP 10, 1997
JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE
Decision by Court. This action came to a hearing before the Court. The issues have been heard and a decision has been rendered.
IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that pursuant to this court's memorandum opinion and order granting defendants motions to dismiss plaintiff's original complaint and amended complaint judgment by dismissal is entered in favor of defendants, Federal Republic of Germany and The Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, Inc. and against plaintiff, Jacob Sampson; that plaintiff take nothing and this action is dismissed on the merits.
September 10, 1997