Saturday, May 17, 2014

Grable & Sons v. Darue Engineering case brief summary

Grable & Sons v. Darue Engineering (US 2005) – IRS seizes property from Grable to satisfy a federal tax delinquency. USC 6335 required IRS to give notice of the seizure, and there is no dispute that Grable received notice via U.S. Certified Mail before the IRS sold the property to Darue.  5 years later, Grable brings state court title claiming Darue’s title is invalid because USC 6335 required that notice be given to the owner in person or left at his/her usual place of abode or business. Darue removes to federal court attempting to invoke federal question jurisdiction. (Exceptions: no SMJ for patent, bankruptcy, trademark)
a.      Holding: Federal question jurisdiction applies.
b.      Ruling: Substantial Federal Issue Approach – A plaintiff’s state law claim may be brought to federal court it if raises an issue that is actually disputed and substantial, and which a federal forum does not disturb any congressionally approved balance of federal state and judicial responsibilities.
                                                              i.      Note: in this case, it was deemed that the government has a strong interest in the prompt and certain collection of taxes and opening the door to this type of case would not create an overflow.
c.       GRABLE TEST Use Grable Analysis on Test!!!
1. Is federal issue a necessary part of this case or can it be proven in a different way?
2. Is it an important issue? (Does the court have an interest in it)
3. Would this be a rare case (would it open flood gates for litigation)?
5.      HYPOS:
a.      Federal Statute says (1) trucks are not allowed to drive greater than 60 mph on interstate highway (2) Federal Marshalls are immune from state tort liability when they are performing their job.  Scenario: Federal Marshall gets into accident while driving 70 mph on interstate highway on his way back from work.  Plaintiff thinks defendant is negligent for violating statute 1 and statute 2 does not apply.  Plaintiff sues for negligence and negligence per se.
                                                              i.      For State Court – cause of action is negligence/negligence per se which is state tort
                                                            ii.      For Federal Court – interpretation of the federal statute is essential to the case (e.g. does pick-up constitute a truck, etc…)

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