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QUILL CORPORATION, PETITIONER v. NORTH DAKOTA BY AND
THROUGH ITS TAX COMMISSIONER, HEIDI HEITKAMP
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
; 112 S. Ct. 1904; 119 L. Ed. 2d 91; 1992 U.S. LEXIS 3123; 60 U.S.L.W.
4423; 92 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4458; 92 Daily Journal DAR 7142; 6 Fla. L. Weekly
Fed. S 269
January 22, 1992, Argued
May 26, 1992, Decided
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF NORTH DAKOTA.
470 N. W. 2d 203, reversed and remanded.
Petitioner appealed order of the Supreme Court of North Dakota which failed to follow
precedent and held that petitioner was required to collect and pay use taxes on goods purchased for use within the state
pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code § 57-40.2-01(6), notwithstanding petitioner's alleged protected out-of-state,
Petitioner was a mail-order house with no outlets or representatives in respondent's state. Nevertheless,
respondent brought suit to collect use taxes from petitioner pursuant to N.D. Cent. Code § 57-40.2-01(6). The trial court
ruled in petitioner's favor, but the state supreme court reversed, overruling National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of
Revenue of Ill., 386 U.S. 753, 87 S.Ct. 1389 (1967). Petitioner appealed. The court found petitioner purposefully
directed sufficient activities at respondent's residents to satisfy due process minimum contacts, but nevertheless fell
within the safe harbor provisions of the Commerce Clause "substantial nexus" requirement proffered by Bellas Hess.
The court held that stare decisis and the differences between the controlling principles of the Due Process and
Commerce Clauses mandated that the Bellas Hess rule remain good law. Accordingly, the judgment of the court was
reversed, and the case remanded for further proceedings consistent with the court's opinion.
Order requiring petitioner to pay use taxes was reversed and the case remanded because while petitioner
had met the requisite minimum contacts required by the Due Process Clause, it lacked the "substantial nexus" required
by the Commerce Clause for the imposition of use taxes as apportioned by respondent.
nexus, use tax, interstate commerce, physical presence, taxing, mail-order, seller, bright-line,
collection, physical-presence, interstate, mail, out-of-state, customers, minimum contacts, state taxes, solicitation,
common carrier, taxation, stare decisis, indirect', vendor, state taxation, software, retailer, progeny, national economy,
formalistic, overruling, commerce