From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...
Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations v. City of New York
United States Supreme Court
551 U.S. 193 (2007)
The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations (India Mission) (defendant) occupied six floors in an office building in the City of New York (plaintiff). Some of the office space was used for conducting official business of the India Mission, but other space was used for housing low-level staff members and their families, free of charge. The Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations (Mongolia Mission) (defendant) engaged in the same activity in New York. Under New York law, real property owned by a foreign government is exempt from taxation if it is “used exclusively” for diplomatic offices or for the quarters of a diplomat “with the rank of ambassador or minister plenipotentiary” to the United Nations. However, “if a portion only of any lot or building” is used exclusively for those purposes, then under New York law, only that portion would be exempt from taxes and “the remainder shall be subject to taxation.” For multiple years, New York levied taxes against the India Mission and Mongolia Mission for using parts of its office space for housing low-level staff members. However, the Missions refused to pay these taxes. Under New York law, these unpaid taxes eventually converted into tax liens held by New York against both Missions. On April 2, 2003, New York filed complaints in state court seeking declaratory judgments to establish the validity of the tax liens. The Missions removed their cases to federal district court. There, the Missions argued they were immune from the suits based on the general rule of sovereign immunity in the Foreign State Immunities Act (FSIA). The district court disagreed, holding that the FSIA’s “immovable property exception” applies to negate sovereign immunity for the Missions. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 203,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.