United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
John R. Griffin, Jr.
R. Griffin, Jr., pro se
J. Rabuck, Esq.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge
the court are:
• Plaintiff John R. Griffin, Jr.'s motion to amend
(Doc. No. 4) his complaint, to reduce the amount of damages
claimed to $74, 000.00 and to remand the case to state court;
• Griffin's Motion to Challenge the Territorial
Jurisdiction of the Federal Tort Claims Act
(“FTCA”) (Doc. No. 17);
• Defendant United States's motion to dismiss
Griffin's FTCA claims for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction (Doc. No. 2); and
• Griffin's motion for the return of his passport
(Doc. No. 7).
motions seeking a remand and relating to the coverage of the
FTCA (Doc. Nos. 4, 17) raise threshold questions. The court,
therefore, addresses those motions before turning to
Griffin's motion for return of his passport (Doc. No. 7)
and defendant's motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 2).
Motion to Amend Complaint and to Remand (Doc. No. 4)
seeks to reduce the amount of damages he claims to an amount
beneath the $75, 000 amount-in-controversy requirement for
this court to exercise its jurisdiction over this case under
28 U.S.C. § 1332, and to thereby effect a remand of this
case. The problem with Griffin's path to a remand,
however, is that removal jurisdiction here is not based on
diversity of citizenship. Rather, removal jurisdiction is
based on the identity of Griffin's state court defendant
(a federal agent), see 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1),
and the Attorney General's certification that the agent
was acting within the scope of his federal employment,
see 28 U.S.C. § 2679(d)(2).
the Attorney General issued the necessary certification
regarding the scope of employment and removed the case from
Superior Court on that basis, this court presently lacks
authority to remand this matter. See
generally Osborn v. Haley, 549 U.S. 225,
243 (2007) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2679(d)(2)). The district
judge should therefore deny Griffin's motion to amend
(Doc. No. 4).
Motion to Challenge Territorial Jurisdiction (Doc. No.
that statutes passed by Congress generally do not apply
outside of federal territories and the District of Columbia,
Griffin argues that the FTCA does not apply to govern his
state tort claims asserted against Federal Bureau of
Investigation (“FBI”) Agent Mark Hastbacka.
Griffin's contention about the territorial reach of
federal statutes in general, and the FTCA specifically, is
grounds for his argument, Griffin extracts a quote from
Caha v. United States,152 U.S. 211 (1894) out of
context. The Caha Court, after describing an act of
Congress outlawing perjury as a criminal law of
“universal application” within the United States,
then noted, in dicta cited by Griffin, that the states, and
not Congress, have police powers sufficient to enact laws to
preserve the peace and protect people and property. It is an
unremarkable observation, signifying nothing with respect to
the FTCA, that the states have police powers that ...