City of Detroit v. Murray Corporation of America

PETITIONER: City of Detroit
RESPONDENT: Murray Corporation of America
LOCATION: West Los Angeles Police Station

DOCKET NO.: 18
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 355 US 489 (1958)
ARGUED: Nov 13, 1957 / Nov 14, 1957
DECIDED: Mar 03, 1958

Facts of the case

Question

Media for City of Detroit v. Murray Corporation of America

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1957 in City of Detroit v. Murray Corporation of America

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 14, 1957 in City of Detroit v. Murray Corporation of America

Earl Warren:

Number 18 and Number 32 -- or 36.

Mr. Fisher, you may proceed.

Roger D. Fisher:

Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

Yesterday, I said that there were four main points raised by the appellants, petitioners in this case.

First, some question about whether this is the tax on property or on the person.

There is no doubt but that this is the common garden variety of ad valorem personal property tax.Their argument is not direct to the point.

This statute is different from any other statute.

There is -- the thrust of their argument is that it's the person who paid the tax, not the property and that the tax is not on the property.

But it is the common garden variety it's one of the oldest statutes on the books in Michigan and Detroit and this is the personal property ad valorem tax.

Felix Frankfurter:

Is the property distrainable for non-payment -- non-payment of tax?

Roger D. Fisher:

They stated the general property generally is under their tax.

Felix Frankfurter:

I mean in this --

Roger D. Fisher:

In this case, on the books in Detroit, they said subject to whatever the interests of the United States are or some statement of that kind on the register.

Felix Frankfurter:

I don't mean this property, but in this is the -- is the property for which this tax for getting the immunity problem distrainable or is it --

Roger D. Fisher:

I -- I believe it is, yes.

Yes, I've no -- there's no doubt about that.

Felix Frankfurter:

Does it was also suggest that this (Inaudible)

Roger D. Fisher:

That's correct.

Felix Frankfurter:

Now, it doesn't follow -- it doesn't follow, does it?

That because the property is subject to a tax, therefore, it's distrainable in relation to the United -- if the United States has some interest in the property?

Roger D. Fisher:

No, it wouldn't necessary follow.

I want to get the kind of tax --

Felix Frankfurter:

Is it not now --

Roger D. Fisher:

-- we're dealing with.

Felix Frankfurter:

I -- I just want to know, I had to follow you.

Roger D. Fisher:

The -- the --

Felix Frankfurter:

They're a different question, aren't they?

Roger D. Fisher:

They are -- they are different questions.

Felix Frankfurter:

All right.

Roger D. Fisher:

But what we're dealing with, the tax we're dealing is a plain old personal property ad valorem tax.