Mitsubishi Electronics America, Inc. v. U.S., No. 94-1292

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Writing for the CourtBefore MICHEL and RADER, Circuit Judges, and BENNETT; RADER
Citation44 F.3d 973
Decision Date29 December 1994
Docket NumberNo. 94-1292
PartiesMITSUBISHI ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. The UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee.

Page 973

44 F.3d 973
16 ITRD 2259
MITSUBISHI ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
The UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 94-1292.
United States Court of Appeals,
Federal Circuit.
Dec. 29, 1994.

Page 974

Kevin M. O'Brien, Baker & McKenzie, Washington, DC, argued, for plaintiff-appellant. With him on the brief were Thomas P. Ondeck and William D. Outman, II.

John S. Groat, Commercial Litigation Branch, Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC, argued, for defendant-appellee. Frank W. Hunger, Asst. Atty. Gen., David M. Cohen, Director, and Marc E. Montalbine, Atty., Commercial Litigation Branch, Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC, were on the brief, for defendant-appellee. Also on the brief were Stephen J. Powell, Chief Counsel for Import Admin., Berniece A. Browne, Sr. Counsel for Antidumping Litigation and Patrick V. Gallagher, Jr., Atty.-Advisors, Office of Chief Counsel for Import Admin., U.S. Dept. of Commerce, of counsel.

Terence P. Stewart and Wesley K. Caine, Stewart & Stewart, Washington, DC, were on the brief, for amicus curiae Torrington Co.

Before MICHEL and RADER, Circuit Judges, and BENNETT, Senior Circuit Judge.

RADER, Circuit Judge.

The United States Customs Service (Customs) denied Mitsubishi's protest of an antidumping duty rate. The United States Court of International Trade dismissed Mitsubishi's appeal. Mitsubishi Elecs. Am., Inc. v. United States, 848 F.Supp. 193, 203 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1994). Mitsubishi appeals the dismissal. Because Mitsubishi sued the Government under the wrong jurisdictional statute and the limitations period had expired under the proper statute, this court affirms.

BACKGROUND

Mitsubishi Electronics America, Inc. (MELA) imports 64K Dynamic Random Access Memory components (64K DRAMs) from Japan into the United States. The Department of Commerce (Commerce) investigated

Page 975

these products in response to a petition that alleged dumping margins as high as 94% of the foreign market value. On December 11, 1985, Commerce published a preliminary less-than-fair-value (LTFV) determination for MELA's parent company, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO). 64K Dynamic Random Access Memory Components (64K DRAMs) from Japan, 50 Fed.Reg. 50,649 (Dep't Comm.1985) (prelim. determ. of sales at LTFV). Because Commerce was unable to read computer tapes from MELA that contained price data, Commerce applied a "best information available" rate. This rate was the 94% margin that domestic manufacturers of 64K DRAMs alleged. Customs thus ordered MELA to post bonds at a rate of 94% on entries of MELCO's 64K DRAMs.

Before making a final LTFV determination, Commerce verified MELA's price data. On April 21, 1986, Commerce published a final 13.43% weighted-average dumping margin for MELCO. 64K Dynamic Random Access Memory Components (64K DRAMs) from Japan, 51 Fed.Reg. 15,943 (Dep't Comm.1986) (final determ. of sales at LTFV). This reduced MELA's bond rate from 94% to 13.43%.

The International Trade Commission issued its determination of material injury to United States industry on June 6, 1986. Commerce published an antidumping order ten days later. Antidumping Duty Order; 64K Dynamic Random Access Memory Components (64K DRAMs) from Japan, 51 Fed.Reg. 21,781 (Dep't Comm. June 16, 1986) (antidumping order). This order required MELA to post cash deposits of 13.43% on later entries of its 64K DRAMs.

Commerce then published the opportunity for interested parties to request administrative review of its antidumping determination. Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding or Suspended Investigation, 52 Fed.Reg. 21,338 (Dep't Comm.1987) (opport. to request admin. review). The first review period ran from December 11, 1985 to May 31, 1987. The notice stated that if no party sought review by June 30, 1987, Commerce would instruct Customs automatically to assess duties under 19 C.F.R. Sec. 353.53a(d)(1) (1987). Id.

Only one company, Motorola, requested review. It later withdrew that request. Without a review request, Commerce automatically assessed antidumping duties. For entries of 64K DRAMs between the preliminary and final LTFV determinations, Commerce assessed duties of 94% on MELA. For entries on or after the effective date of Commerce's final LTFV determination, April 29, 1986, Commerce assessed duties of 13.43% on MELA. Mitsubishi, 848 F.Supp. at 195.

Customs liquidated the entries made during the review period, on October 21, 1988. On January 5, 1989, MELA filed an administrative protest with Customs under 19 U.S.C. Sec. 1514 (1988 & Supp. V 1993). MELA challenged the preliminary assessment of duties at 94%, and the assessment of interest on entries during the review period. Following a memorandum from Commerce, Customs denied MELA's protest of the antidumping duty rate, but granted its protest of the interest assessment.

MELA challenged Customs' denial of its rate protest in the Court of International Trade. MELA sued under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1581(a) (1988). MELA predicated its suit on the initial section 1514 administrative protest, because section 1581(a) requires exhaustion of such protests prior to a lawsuit.

The Court of International Trade held that section 1514 did not apply to MELA's suit. Mitsubishi, 848 F.Supp. at 198. Accordingly, the trial court held that 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1581(i) (1988 & Supp. V 1993), not section 1581(a), provided jurisdiction for MELA's challenge. The court reasoned that section 1581(a) requires a valid section 1514 protest as a predicate, while a suit under section 1581(i) does not. Because a two-year statute of limitations governs section 1581(i) challenges, however, the Court of International Trade barred MELA's claim. Mitsubishi, 848 F.Supp. at 198-201. MELA appeals.

DISCUSSION

The issues on appeal are purely legal. This court reviews them de novo. Guess? Inc. v. United States, 944 F.2d 855, 857 (Fed.Cir.1991).

Page 976

I.

The first issue on appeal is whether the Court of International Trade had jurisdiction over Mitsubishi's protest under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1581(a). Section 1581(a) provides: "The Court of International Trade shall have exclusive jurisdiction of any civil action commenced to contest the denial of a protest, in whole or in part, under [19 U.S.C. Sec. 1515 (1988 & Supp. V 1993) ]." Section 1515 requires an aggrieved party to file a protest under section 1514, which Customs must either grant or deny, before the party may sue under section 1581(a). See Nichimen Am., Inc. v. United States, 938 F.2d 1286, 1291-92 (Fed.Cir.1991).

Section 1514(a) identifies the decisions that are subject to protest:

[D]ecisions of the Customs Service, including the legality of all orders and findings entering into the same, as to

(1) the appraised value of merchandise;

(2) the classification and rate and amount of duties chargeable;

(3) all charges or exactions of whatever character within the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury;

(4) the exclusion of merchandise from entry or delivery or a demand for redelivery to customs custody under any provision of the customs laws, except a determination appealable under section 1337 of this title;

(5) the liquidation or reliquidation of an entry, or reconciliation as...

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    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • 30 de março de 2018
    ...to Commerce and meant to be carried out by Customs, a "ministerial" collection action by Customs is not a "decision" under § 1514(a). 44 F.3d 973, 976–77 (Fed. Cir. 1994). The "ministerial" standard, 886 F.3d 1225in its ordinary meaning, excludes actions requiring genuine interpretive or co......
  • U.S. Shoe Corp. v. U.S., No. 96-1210
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    • 3 de junho de 1997
    ...it issues no directives or decisions; it imposes no liabilities. Page 1570 Similarly, in Mitsubishi Elec. Am., Inc. v. United States, 44 F.3d 973 (Fed.Cir.1994), this court held that the Court of International Trade lacked jurisdiction over Mitsubishi's complaint under section 1581(a) becau......
  • Parkdale Intern., Ltd. v. U.S., Slip Op. 07-122.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 8 de agosto de 2007
    ...of limitations under 28 U.S.C. § 2636(i) as a jurisdictional issue under § 1581(i). See Mitsubishi Elecs. Am., Inc. v. United States, 44 F.3d 973 (Fed.Cir.1994). In Mitsubishi, the plaintiff filed a suit under § 1581(a) and § 1581(i), challenging automatic liquidation of certain entries at ......
  • Ford Motor Co. v. United States, Slip Op. 14–65.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 17 de junho de 2014
    ...when ‘the aggrieved party reasonably should have known about the existence of the claim.’ ” Mitsubishi Elecs. Am., Inc. v. United States, 44 F.3d 973, 977–78 (Fed.Cir.1994) (quoting St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. United States, 959 F.2d 960, 964 (Fed.Cir.1992)) (internal citation and qu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
96 cases
  • Thyssenkrupp Steel N. Am., Inc. v. United States, 2017-1407
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • 30 de março de 2018
    ...to Commerce and meant to be carried out by Customs, a "ministerial" collection action by Customs is not a "decision" under § 1514(a). 44 F.3d 973, 976–77 (Fed. Cir. 1994). The "ministerial" standard, 886 F.3d 1225in its ordinary meaning, excludes actions requiring genuine interpretive or co......
  • U.S. Shoe Corp. v. U.S., No. 96-1210
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • 3 de junho de 1997
    ...it issues no directives or decisions; it imposes no liabilities. Page 1570 Similarly, in Mitsubishi Elec. Am., Inc. v. United States, 44 F.3d 973 (Fed.Cir.1994), this court held that the Court of International Trade lacked jurisdiction over Mitsubishi's complaint under section 1581(a) becau......
  • Parkdale Intern., Ltd. v. U.S., Slip Op. 07-122.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 8 de agosto de 2007
    ...of limitations under 28 U.S.C. § 2636(i) as a jurisdictional issue under § 1581(i). See Mitsubishi Elecs. Am., Inc. v. United States, 44 F.3d 973 (Fed.Cir.1994). In Mitsubishi, the plaintiff filed a suit under § 1581(a) and § 1581(i), challenging automatic liquidation of certain entries at ......
  • Ford Motor Co. v. United States, Slip Op. 14–65.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • 17 de junho de 2014
    ...when ‘the aggrieved party reasonably should have known about the existence of the claim.’ ” Mitsubishi Elecs. Am., Inc. v. United States, 44 F.3d 973, 977–78 (Fed.Cir.1994) (quoting St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. United States, 959 F.2d 960, 964 (Fed.Cir.1992)) (internal citation and qu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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