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Permanent Mission of India to United Nations v. City of New York

Docket No.: 06-134
Certiorari Granted: Jan 19 2007
Argued: April 24, 2007
Decided: June 14, 2007

Topics:

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, sovereign immunity

PartyNames: The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, et al. v. City of New York, New York
Petitioner: The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, et al.
Respondent: City of New York, New York

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, et al.
v.
City of New York, New York
551 U.S. 193 (2007)
Question Presented:

1. Does the exception to sovereign immunity for cases "in which ... rights in immovable property situated in the United States are in issue," 28 U.S.C. ยง 1605(a) (4), provide jurisdiction for a municipality's lawsuit seeking to declare the validity of a tax lien on a foreign sovereign's real property when the municipality does not claim any right to own, use, enter, control or possess the real property at issue? 2. Is it appropriate for U.S. courts to interpret U.S. statutes by relying on international treaties that have not been signed by the U.S. Government and that do not accurately reflect international practice because they have only been signed by a limited number of other nations?

Question:

1) Does a suit to recover property taxes imposed on property owned by a foreign state fall within the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act's "immovable property" exception to sovereign immunity? 2) Did the court of appeals err in relying on two international agreements to which the United States is not a party in the course of interpreting the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act?

Holding: judgment is affirmed and reman
Vote: 7-2
Opinion By:
Read PERMANENT MISSION OF INDIA TO UNITED NATIONS V. CITY OF NEW YORK opinion (PDF)

Other Resources for Permanent Mission of India to United Nations v. City of New York:
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