Guardian Fiduciary Trust v. Stopanska Bank Ad-Skopje
Stopanska Bank (SB) moved for dismissal of the complaint in this breach of contract suit based on an alleged lack of jurisdiction and res judicata. Guardian Fiduciary Trust provided fee-based private trust banking and wire services. Guardian and SB entered into an agreement in which Guardian would collect fees and make payments from two SB accounts, while SB would pay interest on the funds deposited, and collect commissions based on payments and disbursements from the accounts. Due to suspicious activity, JP Morgan notified SB it would not process transactions for Guardian, and SB terminated relations with Guardian. Guardian sued SB in Macedonia seeking damages allegedly suffered from SB’s closing of the accounts. A Macedonian court found the complaint unfounded, dismissing the suit. Before an appeal was decided, Guardian commenced this action based on identical allegations. The court ruled there was nothing to show the use of SB’s bank accounts was essential to its business or that it did “substantially all” of its business through them, warranting dismissal for lack of jurisdiction. Also, as Guardian brought an identical suit to the one dismissed in Macedonia, despite corruption claims, dismissal under the doctrine of res judicata was also warranted.
Guardian Fiduciary Trust Ltd v. Stopanska Bank Ad-Skopje, 650799/2012, NYLJ 1202609859492, at *1 (Sup., NY, Decided June 17, 2013)