Georgia R. & Banking Co. v. Redwine
342 U.S. 299 (1952)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Georgia R. & Banking Co. v. Redwine, 342 U.S. 299 (1952)

Georgia Railroad & Banking Co. v. Redwine

No. 1

Argued February 13, 1950

Continued February 20, 1950

Reargued November 26, 1951

Decided January 28, 1952

342 U.S. 299

Syllabus

1. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1341, it cannot be said, in the circumstances of this case, that any of the remedies suggested by the Attorney General of Georgia affords appellant the "plain, speedy and efficient remedy" in the state courts necessary to deprive the United States District Court of jurisdiction to enjoin the State Revenue Commissioner from assessing or collecting ad valorem taxes from appellant corporation contrary to an exemption in its special state charter and in violation of the prohibition of the Federal Constitution against a state passing any law impairing the obligation of contracts. Pp. 342 U. S. 300-303.

(a) A suit for injunction in a state court cannot be said to be such a remedy, since it was tried by appellant without success in Musgrove v. Georgia R. Co., 204 Ga. 139, 49 S.E.2d 26, appeal dismissed, 335 U.S. 900. Pp. 342 U. S. 301, 342 U. S. 303.

(b) Nor can arresting tax executions by affidavits of illegality be said to be such a remedy when it would require the filing of over 300 separate claims in 14 different counties to protect the single federal claim asserted by appellant. P. 342 U. S. 303.

(c) Nor can a suit against the State for refund after payment of taxes be said to be such a remedy when it is applicable only to taxes amounting to less than 15% of the total taxes in controversy. P. 342 U. S. 303.

(d) Raising appellant's federal claim in defense of a suit by the State Revenue Commissioner to recover taxes is not a remedy that could have been invoked by appellant. P. 303, n 11.

2. This suit in a federal district court by a corporation to enjoin a State Revenue Commissioner from assessing or collecting ad valorem taxes from the corporation contrary to an exemption in its special state charter and in violation of the prohibition of the Federal Constitution against a state passing any law impairing the obligation of contracts, is not a suit against the State which cannot be brought without the State's consent. In re Ayers,123 U. S. 443, distinguished. Pp. 342 U. S. 303-306.

85 F.Supp. 749 reversed and remanded.

Page 342 U. S. 300

A three-judge federal district court dismissed appellant's suit to enjoin a State Revenue Commissioner from assessing or collecting ad valorem taxes contrary to an exemption in appellant's special state charter and the prohibition of the Federal Constitution against any state law impairing the obligation of contracts. 85 F.Supp. 749. On appeal to this Court, reversed and remanded, p. 342 U. S. 306.

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