KOLOVRAT V. OREGON, 366 U. S. 187 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kolovrat v. Oregon, 366 U.S. 187 (1961)

Kolovrat v. Oregon

No. 102

Argued March 30, 1961

Decided May 1, 1961

366 U.S. 187


Two residents of Oregon died intestate, leaving personal property there and no heirs or next of kin except certain residents and nationals of Yugoslavia. Claiming that the Yugoslavian relatives were ineligible to inherit such property under an Oregon statute, the State sued in a state court to have the property declared escheated to the State.

Held: an 1881 treaty between the United States and Serbia, which is now a part of Yugoslavia, entitles residents and citizens of Yugoslavia to inherit personal property located in Oregon on the same basis as American next of kin, and these rights have not been taken away or impaired by the monetary policies of Yugoslavia exercised in accordance with later agreements between that country and the United States. Pp. 366 U. S. 188-198.

(a) Under the 1881 Treaty, with its "most favored nation" clause, these Yugoslavian relatives have the same right to inherit their American relatives' personal property as they would have if they were American citizens living in Oregon. Pp. 366 U. S. 191-196.

(b) The International Monetary Fund Agreement of 1944, to which the United States and Yugoslavia are parties, and an Agreement of 1948 between the United States and Yugoslavia, coupled with the continued adherence of the United States to the 1881 Treaty, preclude any State from deciding that Yugoslavian foreign exchange laws meeting the standards of those Agreements can be the basis for defeating rights conferred by the 1881 Treaty. Pp. 366 U. S. 196-198.

220 Ore. 448, 349 P.2d 255, reversed.

Page 366 U. S. 188

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