CITES BY TOPIC:  foreign state

28 U.S.C. 1603: Definitions

TITLE 28 > PART IV > CHAPTER 97 > Sec. 1603.

Sec. 1603. - Definitions

For purposes of this chapter -

(a)  A ''foreign state'', except as used in section 1608 of this title, includes a political subdivision of a foreign state or an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state as defined in subsection (b).

(b)  An ''agency or instrumentality of a foreign state'' means any entity -

(1)  which is a separate legal person, corporate or otherwise, and

(2)  which is an organ of a foreign state or political subdivision thereof, or a majority of whose shares or other ownership interest is owned by a foreign state or political subdivision thereof, and

(3)  which is neither a citizen of a State of the United States as defined in section 1332 (c) and (d) of this title, nor created under the laws of any third country.

8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(14): "Foreign State"


1101. Definitions

(a) As used in this chapter—

(14) The term “foreign state” includes outlying possessions of a foreign state, but self-governing dominions or territories under mandate or trusteeship shall be regarded as separate foreign states.

Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 648:

"Foreign states.  Nations which are outside the United States.  Term may also refer to another state; i.e. a sister state.

"The term "foreign nations," as used in the statement of the rule that the laws of foreign nations should be proved in a certain manner, should be construed to mean all nations and states other than that in which the action is brought; and hence one state of the Union is foreign to another, in the sense of that rule.

"A "foreign state" within statute providing for expatriation of American citizen who is naturalized under laws of foreign state is a country which is not the United States, or its possession or colony, an alien country, other than our own.  Kletter v. Dulles, D.C.D.C., 111 F.Supp. 593, 598."

[Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 648]

81A Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.), United States,  29:

"Generally, the states of the Union sustain toward each other the relationship of independent sovereigns or independent foreign states, except in so far as the United States is paramount as the dominating government, and in so far as the states are bound to recognize the fraternity among sovereignties established by the federal Constitution, as by the provision requiring each state to give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of the other states..."

[81A Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.), United States, 29 (2003):]

19 Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.), Corporations, 884:

“The United States Government is a foreign corporation with respect to a state.” [N.Y. v. re Merriam 36 N.E. 505; 141 N.Y. 479; affirmed 16 S.Ct. 1073; 41 L. Ed. 287] [underlines added]

Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 498

Dual citizenship. Citizenship in two different countries. Status of citizens of United States who reside within a state; i.e., person who are born or naturalized in the U.S. are citizens of the U.S. and the state wherein they reside.

[Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 498]

28 U.S.C. §97

TITLE 28> PART I > CHAPTER 13 > Sec. 297.

Sec. 297. - Assignment of judges to courts of the freely associated compact states

(a) The Chief Justice or the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit may assign any circuit or district judge of the Ninth Circuit, with the consent of the judge so assigned, to serve temporarily as a judge of any duly constituted court of the freely associated compact states whenever an official duly authorized by the laws of the respective compact state requests such assignment and such assignment is necessary for the proper dispatch of the business of the respective court.

(b)The Congress consents to the acceptance and retention by any judge so authorized of reimbursement from the countries referred to in subsection (a) of all necessary travel expenses, including transportation, and of subsistence, or of a reasonable per diem allowance in lieu of subsistence. The judge shall report to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts any amount received pursuant to this subsection

The Law of Nations, Book I, 10, MONSIEUR DE VATTEL

10. Of states forming a federal republic.

Finally, several sovereign and independent states may unite themselves together by a perpetual confederacy, without ceasing to be, each individually, a perfect state. They will together constitute a federal republic: their joint deliberations will not impair the sovereignty of each member, though they may, in certain respects, put some restraint on the exercise of it, in virtue of voluntary engagements. A person does not cease to be free and independent, when he is obliged to fulfil engagements which he has voluntarily contracted.

Such were formerly the cities of Greece; such are at present the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands, (13) and such the members of the Helvetic body.

[The Law of Nations, Book I, 10, MONSIEUR DE VATTEL]

Annotated Constitution, Article III, Congressional Research Service

Suits by Foreign States.—The privilege of a recognized foreign state to sue in the courts of another state upon the principle of comity is recognized by both international law and American constitutional law.1029 To deny a sovereign this privilege “would manifest a want of comity and friendly feeling.”1030 Although national sovereignty is continuous, a suit in behalf of a national sovereign can be maintained in the courts of the United States only by a government which has been recognized by the political branches of our own government as the authorized government of[p.775]the foreign state.1031 As the responsible agency for the conduct of foreign affairs, the State Department is the normal means of suggesting to the courts that a sovereign be granted immunity from a particular suit.1032 Once a foreign government avails itself of the privilege of suing in the courts of the United States, it subjects itself to the procedure and rules of decision governing those courts and accepts whatever liabilities the court may decide to be a reasonable incident of bringing the suit.1033 The rule that a foreign nation instituting a suit in a federal district court cannot invoke sovereign immunity as a defense to a counterclaim growing out of the same transaction has been extended to deny a claim of immunity as a defense to a counterclaim extrinsic to the subject matter of the suit but limited to the amount of the sovereign’s claim.1034 Moreover, certain of the benefits extending to a domestic sovereign do not extend to a foreign sovereign suing in the courts of the United States. A foreign state does not receive the benefit of the rule which exempts the United States and its member States from the operation of the statute of limitations, because those considerations of public policy back of the rule are regarded as absent in the case of the foreign sovereign.1035

[Annotated Constitution, Article III, Congressional Research Service]

State of Minnesota v. Brundage, 180 U.S. 499 (1901)-NOTE how the Supreme Court refers to STATES OF THE UNION as "foreign states"

We have held, upon full consideration, that although under existing statutes a circuit court of the United States has jurisdiction upon habeas corpus to discharge from the custody of state officers or tribunals one restrained of his liberty in violation of the Constitution of the United States, it is not required in every case to exercise its power to that end immediately upon application being made for the writ. 'We cannot suppose,' this court has said, 'that Congress intended to compel those courts, by such means, to draw to themselves, in the first instance, the control of all criminal prosecutions commenced in state courts exercising authority within the same territorial limits, where the accused claims that he is held in custody in violation of the Constitution of the United States. The injunction to hear the case summarily, and thereupon 'to dispose of the party as law and justice require' [R. S. 761], does not deprive the court of discretion as to the time and mode in which it will exert the powers conferred upon it. That discretion should be exercised in the light of the relations existing, under our system of government, between the judicial tribunals of the Union and of the states, and in recognition of the fact that the public good requires that those relations be not disturbed by unnecessary conflict between courts equally bound to guard and protect rights secured by the Constitution. When the petitioner is in custody by state authority for an act done or omitted to be done in pursuance of a law of the United States, or of an order, process, or decree of a court or judge thereof; or where, being a subject or citizen of a foreign state, and domiciled therein, he is in custody, under like authority, for an act done or omitted under any alleged right, title, authority, privilege, protection, or exemption claimed under the commission, or order, or sanction of any foreign state, or under color thereof, the validity and effect whereof depend upon the law of nations; in such and like cases of urgency, involving the authority and operations of the general government, or the obligations of this country to, or its relations with, foreign nations, [180 U.S. 499, 502]   the courts of the United States have frequently interposed by writs of habeas corpus and discharged prisoners who were held in custody under state authority. So, also, when they are in the custody of a state officer, it may be necessary, by use of the writ, to bring them into a court of the United States to testify as witnesses.' Ex parte Royall, 117 U.S. 241, 250 , 29 S. L. ed. 868, 871, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 734; Ex parte Fonda, 117 U.S. 516, 518 , 29 S. L. ed. 994, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 848; Re Duncan, 139 U.S. 449 , 454, sub nom. Duncan v. McCall, 35 L. ed. 219, 222, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 573; Re Wood, 140 U.S. 278 , 289, Sub nom. Wood v. Bursh, 35 L. ed. 505, 509, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 738; McElvaine v. Brush, 142 U.S. 155, 160 , 35 S. L. ed. 971, 973, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 156; Cook v. Hart, 146 U.S. 183, 194 , 36 S. L. ed. 934, 939, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 40; Re Frederich, 149 U.S. 70, 75 , 37 S. L. ed. 653, 656, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 793; New York v. Eno, 155 U.S. 89, 96 , 39 S. L. ed. 80, 83, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 30; Pepke v. Cronan, 155 U.S. 100 , 39 L. ed. 84, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 34; Re Chapman, 156 U.S. 211, 216 , 39 S. L. ed. 401, 402, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 331; Whitten v. Tomlinson, 160 U.S. 231, 242 , 40 S. L. ed. 406, 412, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 297; Iasigi v. Van De Carr, 166 U.S. 391, 395 , 41 S. L. ed. 1045, 1049, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 595; Baker v. Grice, 169 U.S. 284, 290 , 42 S. L. ed. 748, 750, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 323; Tinsley v. Anderson, 171 U.S. 101, 105 , 43 S. L. ed. 91, 96, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 805; Fitts v. McGhee, 172 U.S. 516, 533 , 43 S. L. ed. 535, 543, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 269; Markuson v. Boucher, 175 U.S. 184 , 44 L. ed. 124, 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 76.

There are cases that come within the exceptions to the general rule. In Loncy's Case, 134 U.S. 372 , 375, sub nom. Thomas v. Loney, 33 L. ed. 949, 951, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 584, 585, it appeared that Loney was held in custody by the state authorities under a charge of perjury committed in giving his deposition as a witness before a notary public in Richmond. Virginia, in the case of a contested election of a member of the House of Representatives of the United States. He was discharged upon a writ of habeas corpus sued out from the circuit court of the United States, this court saying: 'The power of punishing a witness for testifying falsely in a judicial proceeding belongs peculiarly to the government in whose tribunals that proceeding is had. It is essential to the impartial and efficient administration of justice in the tribunals of the nation, that witnesses should be able to testify freely before them, unrestrained by legislation of the state, or by fear of punishment in the state courts. The administration of justice in the national tribunals would be greatly embarrassed and impeded if a witness testifying before a court of the United States, or upon a contested election of a member of Congress, were liable to prosecution and punishment in the courts of the state upon a charge of perjury, preferred by a disappointed suitor or contestant, or instigated by local passion or prejudice.' So, in Ohio v. Thomas, 173 U.S. 276, 284 , 285 S., 43 L. ed. 699, 702, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 453, 456, which was the case of the arrest of the acting governor [180 U.S. 499, 503]   of the Central Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, at Dayton, Ohio, upon a charge of violating a law of that state, the action of the circuit court of the United States discharging him upon habeas corpus, while in custody of the state authorities, was upheld upon the ground that the state court had no jurisdiction in the premises, and because the accused, being a Federal officer, 'may, upon conviction, be imprisoned as a means of enforcing the sentence of a fine, and thus the operations of the Federal government might in the meantime be obstructed.' The exception to the general rule was further illustrated in Boske v. Comingore, 177 U.S. 459, 466 , 467 S., 44 L. ed. 846, 849, 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 701, 704, in which the applicant for the writ of habeas corpus was discharged by the circuit court of the United States, while held by state officers, this court saying: 'The present case was one of urgency, in that the appellee was an officer in the revenue service of the United States whose presence at his post of duty was important to the public interests, and whose detention in prison by the state authorities might have interfered with the regular and orderly course of the business of the department to which he belonged.'

[State of Minnesota v. Brundage, 180 U.S. 499 (1901)]

[NOTE:  The federal Courts of the United States as used above do not have the authority to interpose in foreign countries, but only in states of the Union for violations of the Constitution, and since they did interpose above, and since they did so in a "foreign state" and described that foreign state as a state of the Union, they are admitting of no federal jurisdiction within any state of the Union]

Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884):

The Indian tribes, being within the territorial limits of the United States, were not, strictly speaking, foreign states; but they were alien nations, distinct political communities, with whom the United States might and habitually did deal, as they thought fit, either through treaties made by the president and senate, or through acts of congress in the ordinary forms of legislation. The members of those tribes owed immediate allegiance to their several tribes, and were not part of the people of the United States. They were in a dependent condition, a state of pupilage, resembling that of a ward to his guardian. Indians and their property, exempt from taxation by treaty or statute of the United States, could not be taxed [112 U.S. 94, 100]   by any state. General acts of congress did not apply to Indians, unless so expressed as to clearly manifest an intention to include them. Const. art. 1, 2, 8; art. 2, 2; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. 1; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. 515; U. S. v. Rogers, 4 How. 567; U. S. v. Holliday, 3 Wall. 407; Case of the Kansas Indians, 5 Wall. 737; Case of the New York Indians, Id. 761; Case of the Cherokee Tobacco, 11 Wall. 616; U. S. v. Whisky, 93 U.S. 188 ; Pennock v. Commissioners, 103 U.S. 44 ; Crow Dog's Case, 109 U.S. 556 ; S. C. 3 SUP. CT. REP. 396; Goodell v. Jackson, 20 Johns. 693; Hastings v. Farmer, 4 N. Y. 293.

[Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)]