Burrill v. Locomobile Co.,
258 U.S. 34 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Burrill v. Locomobile Co., 258 U.S. 34 (1922)

Burrill v. Locomobile Company

Nos. 98, 99

Argued January 25, 26, 1922

Decided February 27, 1922

258 U.S. 34


1. Massachusetts Statutes 1909, c. 490, Part III, §§ 70 and 71, provides, as the exclusive remedy for recovering a tax illegally exacted under the act, a petition to the Supreme Judicial Court and prompt repayment by the the sum there adjudged, and relieves the collector from liability to personal action. P. 258 U. S. 37.

2. The time fixed for filing the petition -- six months -- is reasonable. P. 258 U. S. 37.

Page 258 U. S. 35

3. In the absence of a controlling act of Congress, the right of a foreign corporation to recover taxes exacted under an unconstitutional state statute may be confined by the state law to the direct responsibility of the state and the collector of the taxes be thereby relieved of personal liability, even when sued in the federal court, at least where the remedy afforded is adequate. P. 258 U. S. 37.

4. Quaere whether the proceeding given by the Massachusetts statute, supra, could be instituted in the federal district court? P. 258 U. S. 39.

5. The Constitution, standing alone, does not create a paramount, unchangeable liability to an action of tort on the part of all persons who may take part in enforcing a state law that it invalidates, but leaves the remedies to Congress and the states. P. 258 U. S. 38.


Error to judgments for damages rendered by the district court in actions to recover corporation excise taxes collected by the defendant and alleged and found to have been exacted by duress under an unconstitutional statute.

Page 258 U. S. 36

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