Argentina sued the United States at the International Court of Justice Thursday, but for the suit to proceed the U.S. must grant jurisdiction to the court it withdrew from in 1986.
The lawsuit concerns a U.S. judge blocking the Latin American country from making a scheduled payment to bondholders last month. Argentina says the ruling violated its "sovereign decision" to restructure its debt.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa blocked Argentina when it attempted to pay only bondholders who had accepted restructured bonds for 33 cents on the dollar.
The ICJ said it has asked the U.S. for jurisdiction in the matter.
This legal battle stems from several American hedge funds suing Argentina for repayment in full on bonds the country defaulted on in 2001.
Argentina says paying the hedge funds - which it calls "vulture funds" - the entire $1.3 billion it owes them could trigger legal claims for equal treatment by creditors who had agreed to a 70 percent write-down in deals reached in 2005 and 2010.