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Powerex Corp. v. Reliant Energy Services, Inc.

Docket No.: 05-85
Certiorari Granted: 1/19/2007
Argued: April 16, 2007
Decided: June 18, 2007

Topics:

immunity from suit, patent, preemption, sovereign immunity

PartyNames: Powerex Corp. v. Reliant Energy Services, Inc., et al.
Petitioner: Powerex Corp.
Respondent: Reliant Energy Services, Inc., et al.

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

Powerex Corp.
v.
Reliant Energy Services, Inc., et al.
551 U.S. 224 (2007)
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO QUESTION 1 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION. IN ADDITION, THE PARTIES ARE DIRECTED TO BRIEF AND ARGUE THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS HAD JURISDICTION TO REVIEW THE DISTRICT COURT'S REMAND ORDER, NOTWITHSTANDING 28 U.S.C. §1447(d).

Question Presented:

1. Whether an entity that is wholly and beneficially owned by a foreign state's instrumentality, and whose sole purpose is to perform international treaty and trade agreement obligations for the benefit of the foreign state's citizens, may nonetheless be denied status as an "organ of a foreign state" under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 ("FSIA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1603(b)(2), based on an analysis of sovereignty that ignores the circumstances surrounding the entity's creation, conduct, and operations on behalf of its government.2. Whether an entity is an "organ of a foreign state" under the FSIA when its shares are completely owned by a governmental corporation that, by statute, performs all of its acts as the agent of the foreign sovereign.

Question:

1) Does an entity whose shares are wholly owned by a governmental corporation that acts on behalf of a foreign state qualify as an "organ of a foreign state" for purposes of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 and therefore have sovereign immunity? 2) Did the Court of Appeals have jurisdiction to review the District Court's order sending the case back to state court?

Holding: vacated in part, and remanded
Vote: 7-2
Opinion By:
Read POWEREX CORP. V. RELIANT ENERGY SERVICES, INC. opinion (PDF)

Other Resources for Powerex Corp. v. Reliant Energy Services, Inc.:
resource.org
justia.com
wikipedia.org