Tuesday, February 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Mexican Consulate Shakes Liability in Property Deal

DALLAS (CN) - A federal judge dismissed a $3.125 million judgment awarded to a real estate broker who claimed the Mexican consul general squeezed him out of the property sale he engineered.

Blake Box dba Blake Box Co. sued the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, claiming that former Ambassador Enrique Hubbard Urrea and Hugo Juarez-Carrillo, who is now deputy consul of San Jose, cut him out of a deal to buy a new consulate building in the city.

Box said he had arranged to buy a three-building complex with some investors, subdivide the property, and sell one of the building to the consulate, but the consulate went behind his back and bought the building from a third party.

When the Mexican consulate general in Dallas did not respond to Box's complaint, Box won a default judgment in September 2009 for more than $3.125 million.

The consulate moved to set aside the judgment in March 23, arguing improper jurisdiction and that it is shielded under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor agreed with the consul general, finding that the consulate is considered a foreign state and that its agents, Hubbard and Juarez-Carrillo, never received the required authorization from Mexico before entering into agreements with Box.

O'Connor dismissed the case without prejudice and denied Box's request to prove jurisdiction through discovery.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.