Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum, No. 12-55733 (9th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of her action claiming that she was the rightful owner to two works of art my Lucas Cranach, "Adam" and "Eve." Plaintiff claimed that she is the rightful owner of the works, which the Nazis forcibly purchased from her deceased husband's family during World War II. The court reversed and concluded that plaintiff's claims for replevin and conversion, as well as the remedies she seeks, do not conflict with federal policy because the Cranachs were never subject to postwar internal restitution proceedings in the Netherlands. Allowing plaintiff's claim to go forward would not disturb the finality of any internal restitution proceedings - appropriate or not - in the Netherlands. Nor is this dispute of the sort found to involve the international problems evident in American Insurance Association v. Garamendi. The court was mindful that the litigation of this case may implicate the act of state doctrine, though the court could not decide that issue definitively on the record. The court remanded for further development of this issue.