RESPONDENT:LaSalle National Bank
LOCATION:The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
DOCKET NO.: 79-1157
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
CITATION: 450 US 503 (1981)
ARGUED: Nov 10, 1980
DECIDED: Mar 24, 1981
Henry A. Hauser – on behalf of the Petitioners
James L. Fox – on behalf of the Respondent
Media for Rosewell v. LaSalle National Bank
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – March 24, 1981 in Rosewell v. LaSalle National Bank
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in Rosewell against Lasalle National Bank will be announced by Justice Brennan.
William J. Brennan, Jr.:
This case is here on certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The Federal Tax Injunction Act of 1937 provides that the district courts shall not enjoin, suspend or restrain the assessment, levy or collection that any tax under state law where a plain, speedy and efficient remedy may be had in the courts of such State.
Under an Illinois statute, real property owners who contest their property taxes are required first to exhaust their available administrative remedies and if unsuccessful, then afforded a legal remedy requiring the payment of the tax under protest and a subsequent state court challenge.
The customary delay from time of payment until receipt of refund upon successful protest is two years and the refund is not accompanied by a payment of interest.
The appellee in this case brought an action in Federal District Court to challenge the constitutionality of a tax assessment against her property and to seek injunctive relief.
The District Court dismissed the suit on the ground that federal court jurisdiction was barred by the Federal Tax Injunction Act.
The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the dismissal holding that Illinois procedure of no interest refunds after two years was not a plain, speedy and efficient remedy.
For reason stated in the opinion filed with the clerk today, we disagree with the Court of Appeals.
We hold that the Illinois refund procedure is a plain, speedy and efficient remedy within the meaning of those terms as used in the Tax Injunction Act.
The District Court therefore correctly held that federal court jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief was barred by that Act.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is accordingly reversed.
Justice Blackmun joining the Court’s opinion has also filed a concurring opinion.
Justice Stevens dissents and joined by Justices Stewart, Marshall and Powell has filed a dissenting opinion.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Brennan.