SCOTUS Grants Cert. In Permanent Mission of India to United Nations v. New York City
BNA's Supreme Court Today (1/19/07) is reporting on the Supreme Court's grant of review in Permanent Mission of India to United Nations v. New York City, 06-134. It summarizes the ruling below as follows:
"Summary of Ruling Below: Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act exception to general rule that foreign country is immune from suit in U.S. courts, under which foreign state is not immune in any case in which "rights in immovable property situated in the United States are in issue," 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(4), authorizes federal court jurisdiction over New York City's suit to get two foreign countries--India and Mongolia--to pay taxes on property they use to house some of their United Nations diplomatic employees."
Here are the questions presented in this case:
(1) Does exception to sovereign immunity for cases "in which . . . rights in immovable property situated in the United States are in issue," 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(4), provide jurisdiction for municipality's lawsuit seeking to declare validity of tax lien on foreign sovereign's real property when municipality does not claim any right to own, use, enter, control, or possess 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 U.S. Government and that do not accurately reflect international practice because they have been signed only by limited number of other nations?