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Ford Motor Co. v. Department of Treasury, 323 U.S. 459 (1945)

Ford Motor Co. v. Department of Treasury of Indiana

No. 75

Argued December 7, 1944

Decided January 8, 1945

323 U.S. 459


1. A suit against the Department of Treasury of the Indiana and individuals constituting the "Board of the Department of Treasury," brought pursuant to § 64-2614 of Burns' Indiana Statutes Annotated (1943 Replacement) for a refund of taxes alleged to have been illegally collected, held a suit against the State, in respect of which the State had not consented to the jurisdiction of the federal district court. P. 323 U. S. 463.

2. Where a suit is, in essence, one for the recovery of money from the State, the State is the real party in interest, and is entitled to invoke its sovereign immunity from suit even though individual officials are nominal defendants. P. 323 U. S. 464.

3. The Eleventh Amendment denies to the federal courts authority to entertain a suit brought by private parties against a State without the State's consent. P. 323 U. S. 464.

4. Interpretation of § 64-2614 as authorizing suits for refunds of taxes only in state court accords with the legislative policy of the State. P. 323 U. S. 466.

Page 323 U. S. 460

5. The contention that the suit is against the State and in contravention of the Eleventh Amendment is considered by this Court though urged here for the first time in this proceeding. P. 323 U. S. 467.

6. Neither the attorney general nor any other administrative or executive officer of the State was authorized by state law to waive the State's immunity in this proceeding. P. 323 U. S. 468.

141 F.2d 24, vacated.

Certiorari 322 U.S. 721, to review the affirmance of a judgment denying recovery in a suit for a refund of state taxes alleged to have been illegally collected.

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