Ninth Circuit Acknowledges Split Re Availability of Alternatives to Tucker Act Jurisdiction

Per Marceau v. Blackfeet Housing Authority, 2006 WL 2035345 (9th Cir. Jul 21, 2006):

[Footnote 6] Contrary to Plaintiffs' assertions, where a case falls under Tucker Act jurisdiction, federal question jurisdiction cannot serve as an alternative basis for jurisdiction. Plaintiffs cite a Seventh Circuit case holding that federal question jurisdiction can be an alternative basis for jurisdiction, W. Sec. Co. v. Derwinski, 937 F.2d 1276, 1280-81 (7th Cir.1991), and indeed the circuits appear to be divided on this question. Compare C.H. Sanders Co. v. BHAP Hous. Dev. Fund Co., 903 F.2d 114, 118-20 (2d Cir.1990) (finding Tucker Act jurisdiction not exclusive, where there is federal question jurisdiction and a waiver of sovereign immunity), with A.E. Finley & Assoc. v. United States, 898 F.2d 1165, 1167 (6th Cir.1990) (“[I]f an action rests within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Claims Court under the Tucker Act ... the district court does not have jurisdiction regardless of other possible statutory bases.”). The Ninth Circuit has not squarely confronted the particular arguments raised in those two cases, but has generally held that Tucker Act jurisdiction is exclusive. See, e.g., Skokomish Indian Tribe v. United States, 410 F.3d 506, 511 (9th Cir.2005) (en banc); M-S-R Pub. Power Agency v. Bonneville Power Admin., 297 F.3d 833, 840 (9th Cir.2002); Wilkins v. United States, 279 F.3d 782, 785 (9th Cir.2002). We see no reason to disturb that conclusion here. Because Tucker Act jurisdiction is exclusive, except where the Little Tucker Act provides concurrent district court jurisdiction, such claims are properly reviewed in the court of claims, not in the federal district courts.


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