United States v. June
June 30, 2014
Case #: 13-1075
Court Below: 550 Fed. Appx. 505 (9th Cir. 2013)
Full Text Opinion: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/memoranda/2013/12/24/11-17776.pdf
Civil Procedure: Whether equitable tolling of the Federal Tort Claims Act’s two-year time limit for administration claims with the appropriate agency is permitted.
Respondents filed an administrative claim with Petitioner five years after a tort occurred under the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”). The agency denied the claim as untimely. 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) imposes a two-year time limit on FTCA administrative claims. Respondent then sued in district court, which dismissed the suit, agreeing with the agency that the claim as untimely. The district court also rejected Respondent’s request for equitable tolling, finding that 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) is jurisdictional and not subject to equitable tolling. An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) is not jurisdictional. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.
The district court relied on an earlier Ninth Circuit opinion, which an en banc panel reversed in Wong v. Beebe, 732 F.3d 1030 (9th Cir. 2013). Petitioner argues that the Ninth Circuit's decision here extended Wong to 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) entirely. This has expanded a circuit split on whether timing is jurisdictional. Additionally, the Supreme Court will determine where the FTCA stands in regard to Irwin v. Department of Veterans Affairs, which held that statutes of limitation are enacted with the “rebuttable presumption of equitable tolling.” 498 U.S. 89, 95-96 (1990).