Sikhs for Justice v. Badal, No. 13-2316 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Sikhism is an Indian religion. Most Sikhs live in the Indian state of Punjab. The state’s highest official is Badal. SFJ, a U.S.‐based human rights group, accuses Badal of overseeing police and others implicated in killings and torture in Punjab, in violation of international law and the Torture Victim Protection Act, 28 U.S.C. 1350. SFJ filed a class action suit in Milwaukee, based on the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. 1350, which confers jurisdiction over “any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” The district court dismissed on the ground that the defendant had not been served. SFJ had learned that Badal was coming to Milwaukee to attend a wedding and anticipated that he would attend a commemorative gathering because six people had been killed in an attack on a Wisconsin Sikh temple two days earlier. At that event, a special process server served some individual of the same general description (who later testified to receiving the papers and not understanding their significance), but Badal claimed that it was mistaken identity and that he attended a different memorial service. Badal’s security detail agreed that he had not been served. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.