Rulings, remedies and court proceedings for customs and trade professionals

CIT Refuses Second Motion to Dismiss in Penalty Case for Violating Court Rules

The Court of International Trade on March 16 refused to accept a second motion to dismiss from Zhe "John" Liu, a defendant in a penalty case, since it "is not a motion provided for by the rules of the court." Judge Jane Restani ruled that Liu's "excuse" for filing the second motion -- that "something signficant" intervened -- "is not well-taken." The trade court instead accepted Liu's first motion to dismiss, and told Liu to make sure future filings align with court rules (United States v. Zhe "John" Liu, CIT # 22-00215).

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The case is based on allegations that Liu coordinated a multiyear fraud scheme involving several companies he operated or was an agent of, including co-defendant GL Paper Distribution. Liu allegedly created the companies for a transshipment scheme that involved sending wire hangers from China subject to antidumping and countervailing duties through Malaysia, India and Thailand in a bid to disguise their origin.

Liu originally filed a motion to dismiss in December 2022, arguing that the statute of limitations has run out and that, even if the action were timely filed, the complaint fails to point to specific action taken by the defendant (see 2302070047). Liu then filed a second motion to dismiss on March 15, pointing to new facts in the case, including that Liu's name does not appear on any importer security filings for the relevant entries, nor on any commercial invoices for the entries or on any other entry documentation. Liu said this establishes "beyond a doubt that the case was untimely filed."

Restani said both motions to dismiss violate CIT rule 81(j), which says that motions must have a table of contents, a table of statutes and cases cited and a brief description of the merchandise at issue, among other things.