Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Griffin v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

November 27, 2018

John R. Griffin, Jr.
v.
United States

          John R. Griffin, Jr., pro se

          Robert J. Rabuck, Esq.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Andrea K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge

         Before 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).

         Griffin's 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).

         Discussion

         I. Motion to Amend Complaint and to Remand (Doc. No. 4)

         Griffin 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).

         Because 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).

         II. Motion to Challenge Territorial Jurisdiction (Doc. No. 17)

         Contending 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 incorrect.

         As 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.