United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant Norwegian
Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.'s (“Norwegian” or
“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 
(“Motion”). Plaintiff Havana Docks Corporation
(“Havana Docks” or “Plaintiff”) filed
a response, ECF No.  (“Response”), to which
Defendant filed a reply, ECF No.  (“Reply”).
The Court has carefully considered the Motion, the Response
and Reply, the record in this case and the applicable law,
and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons that follow,
the Motion is granted.
August 27, 2019, Havana Docks filed this action against
Defendant pursuant to Title III of the Cuban Liberty and
Democratic Solidarity Act (the “LIBERTAD Act” or
“Act”). ECF No.  (“Complaint”).
“One of the LIBERTAD Act's purposes is to
‘protect United States nationals against confiscatory
takings and the wrongful trafficking in property confiscated
by the Castro Regime.'” Id. ¶ 6
(citing 22 U.S.C. § 6022(6)).
is a United States national as defined by 22 U.S.C. §
6023(15). Id. ¶ 7. In the Complaint, Plaintiff
alleges that it is the rightful owner of an interest in, and
claim to, certain commercial waterfront real property in the
Port of Havana, Cuba, identified as the Havana Cruise Port
Terminal (“Subject Property”). Id.
Plaintiff claims that it owned the Subject Property until the
Cuban Government confiscated it in 1960. Id.
¶¶ 8. Plaintiff further alleges that since its
confiscation, the Subject Property has not been returned and
adequate and effective compensation has not been provided.
Id. ¶ 10. Plaintiff's ownership interest in
and claim to the Subject Property has been certified by the
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
(“Commission”) under the International Claim
Settlement Act of 1949. Id. ¶ 12.
to the Complaint, beginning on or about March 2017 and
continuing for at least two years thereafter, Norwegian
“knowingly and intentionally commenced, conducted, and
promoted its commercial cruise line business to Cuba using
the Subject Property by regularly embarking and disembarking
its passengers on the Subject Property without the
authorization of Plaintiff or any U.S. national who holds a
claim to the Subject Property.” Id. ¶ 13.
At that time, Defendant is alleged to have participated in,
and profited from, the Cuban Government's possession of
the Subject Property without Plaintiff's authorization.
Id. ¶ 14. Plaintiff claims that Norwegian's
knowing and intentional conduct relating to the Subject
Property is “trafficking” as defined in 22 U.S.C.
§ 6023(13)(A), and Defendant is liable to Plaintiff for
all money damages allowed by statute. Id.
has now moved to dismiss the Complaint under Rule 12(b)(6).
pleading in a civil action must contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although a
complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations,
” it must provide “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (explaining that Rule
8(a)(2)'s pleading standard “demands more than an
accusation”). Nor can a complaint rest on
“‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557 (alteration in original)). “[A]
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570).
reviewing a motion to dismiss, a court, as a general rule,
must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true and
evaluate all plausible inferences derived from those facts in
favor of the plaintiff. See Chaparro v. Carnival
Corp., 693 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2012);
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Fla. v. S. Everglades
Restoration Alliance, 304 F.3d 1076, 1084 (11th Cir.
2002); AXA Equitable Life Ins. Co. v. Infinity Fin. Grp.,
LLC, 608 F.Supp.2d 1349, 1353 (S.D. Fla. 2009)
(“On a motion to dismiss, the complaint is construed in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all
facts alleged by the non-moving party are accepted as
true.”); Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A court
considering a Rule 12(b) motion is generally limited to the
facts contained in the complaint and attached exhibits,
including documents referred to in the complaint that are
central to the claim. Wilchombe v. TeeVee Toons,
Inc., 555 F.3d 949, 959 (11th Cir. 2009); see
Maxcess, Inc. v. Lucent Techs., Inc., 433 F.3d 1337,
1340 (11th Cir. 2005) (“[A] document outside the four
corners of the complaint may still be considered if it is
central to the plaintiff's claims and is undisputed in
terms of authenticity.”) (citing Horsley v.
Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1135 (11th Cir. 2002)). Although
the court is required to accept as true all allegations
contained in the complaint, courts “are not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555;
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Motion, Norwegian argues that the Complaint should be
dismissed for four reasons: 1) Plaintiff fails to plead
sufficient facts to plausibly allege that Defendant knowingly
and intentionally trafficked or traveled unlawfully; 2)
applying Title III to Defendant would violate the Ex Post
Facto Clause; 3) applying Title III retroactively violates
the Due Process Clause; and 4) Plaintiff fails to allege that
Defendant trafficked in property to which Plaintiff owns a
claim. Because the Court finds the fourth issue to be
dispositive, the Court considers it first.
argues that Plaintiff's “property” as defined
in the LIBERTAD Act is not at issue in the Complaint because
Plaintiff's property interest in the Subject Property is
a leasehold that expired in 2004, thirteen years before
Norwegian ships sailed to Cuba. As such, Defendant reasons
that Plaintiff can only assert a valid cause of action under
Title III against an entity alleged to have trafficked in the
Subject Property, to which Plaintiff owns a claim, before the
time-limited concession expired in 2004. In response,
Plaintiff argues that the Court already considered and
rejected the same argument made previously by Carnival
Corporation in a related case. See Havana Docks Corp. v.
Carnival Corp., Case No. 19-cv-21724, ECF No. . The
Court in Carnival agreed with Plaintiff that the
interpretation suggested by Carnival (and Norwegian here)
conflates a claim to a property and a property interest.
Id. However, the Court has since found, upon further
review, consideration, and analysis in another related case
under similar facts, Plaintiff fails to state a claim as a