In a proceeding in which the United States declined to participate, an arbitration panel awarded over $93 million to Park Place Associates, Ltd. (“Park Place”) on a breach of contract claim against the United States, which subsequently filed a motion to vacate in district court, which denied the motion to vacate and granted Park Place’s motion to confirm the award. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit first affirmed the denial of the motion to vacate, finding jurisdiction sufficient, since the United States had commenced civil proceedings in the district court by filing a complaint and a motion to vacate, and rejecting United States’ manifest disregard of the law arguments. Next, the court vacated the grant of the motion to confirm, concluding that, in this case where the action is to confirm a contract-based claim against the United States, the Tucker Act, which conditions its waiver on jurisdiction to the Court of Federal Claims, is the only means by which the United States can be said to have waived sovereign immunity, and, thus, the district court lacked jurisdiction to confirm the award. The court then remanded the case to the district court with instructions to dismiss the confirmation action as barred by sovereign immunity. United States v. Park Place Assocs., Ltd., No. 05-56235, No. 05-56312 (9th Cir. Apr. 22, 2009).
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Ninth Circuit finds that the district court lacked jurisdiction to confirm arbitration award against the United States
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