WASHINGTON -- The trustees of Harvard University are asking a federal judge to have the U.S. Marshals Service evict the Embassy of Cameroon from a Georgetown building they own at Wisconsin Avenue and R Street NW.
As Legal Times reports, the university is arguing that the African nation's mission in Washington had the option to extend its lease for the building but failed to do so. And now Harvard wants Cameroon out.
The embassy signed a lease with the university in April 2010 to use the entire Georgetown building as its chancery building on Massachusetts Avenue was being renovated.Per Legal Times:
Although foreign embassies have immunity against a wide range of civil claims in the United States under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the embassy agreed to waive any immunity as part of its lease agreement with the trustees.
Read the legal complaint here.
According to Fox News, the U.S. Marshal's Service said it would follow orders from the court.
Cameroon's embassy chateau-style chancery on Massachusetts Avenue at 24th Street NW has a storied history. Built by architect George Oakley Totten Jr. starting in 1906 for Norwegian diplomat Christian Hauge, it is one of the most distinctive embassy structures on Embassy Row. According to this history, "Hauge died during a snowshoeing accident in Norway in the winter of 1907, however, never witnessing his mansion's completion."
Harvard's trustees also own the historic Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown, located one block to the east of the Wisconsin Avenue property at the center of the dispute.