Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineering & Mfg.

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Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineering & Mfg.
Court U.S. Supreme Court
Citation 545 U.S. __, S. Ct. 2363 (2005)
Date decided 2005


Facts

The IRS seized land owned by Grable because of back taxes, and sold the land to Darue. Grable claimed that the IRS had failed to notify using personal service, but rather used certified mail. Federal statute provided that personal service was required. Darue removed to federal court because the claim of title depended on the interpretation of the statute in federal tax law. Grable wanted it back in state court.


Issues

Whether Merrell always requires a federal cause of action as a condition for exercising federal-question jurisdiction by the plaintiff.


Holding/Decision

Merrell should be read as treating the absence of a federal private right of action as evidence relevant to, but not dispositive of, the sensitive judgments about congressional intent.


Rules

There is clear interest in the government, its buyers, and its delinquents in having the availability of federal forum, and just because Congress was silent on federal private right, does not mean that it does not exist.