United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division
MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION
S. Cayer Jr. United States Magistrate Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on “Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss [for Lack of Subject Matter
Jurisdiction]” (document #6), as well as the
parties' briefs and exhibits.
January 31, 2018, this Motion was referred to the undersigned
Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
fully considered the arguments, the record, and the
applicable authority, the undersigned respectfully recommends
that “Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [for Lack of
Subject Matter Jurisdiction]” (document #6) be
granted, as discussed below.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
seeks an injunction pursuant to the Administrative Procedure
Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq.,
awarding him a disability retirement pension. On October 24,
2005, Plaintiff was medically separated from the United
States Air Force for an anxiety disorder. At the time, he was
a staff sergeant on active duty. Plaintiff's
medical condition arose from his deployment to Iraq in 2004,
where he witnessed another service member being severely
injured during a mortar attack.
result, Plaintiff was entered into the Disability Evaluation
System process. His claim was forwarded to an Informal
Physical Evaluation Board (IPEB) to determine whether his
diagnosis for anxiety disorder made him unfit for military
duty. On September 9, 2005, the IPEB concluded that Plaintiff
was unfit for military duty and assigned him a disability
rating of ten percent.
2008, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act
which mandated retroactive consideration of earlier claims
under new regulations related to post-traumatic stress
disorder. These determinations were made by the Physical
Disability Board of Review (PDBR).
April 16, 2011, Plaintiff requested a hearing before the
PDBR, stating “I should have been medically retired. I
was a career airman planning on making the Air Force my
career. I feel 10% is unfair considering I'm still
suffering from symptoms.” On May 17, 2012, the PDBR
affirmed the ten percent rating and denied Plaintiff's
filed this action on June 8, 2017.
August 11, 2017, Defendant moved to dismiss arguing that this
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Defendant asserts
that Plaintiff is bringing a monetary claim and thus the
Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1491; 5 U.S.C. § 702
(limiting APA relief to something “other than money
damages”) provides an adequate remedy. The Court of
Federal Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over such monetary
claims against the United States where it is apparent on its
face that the amount demanded exceeds $10, 000.
Motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for determination.
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
United States ex rel. Vuyyuru v. Jadhav, 555 F.3d
337, 347 (4th Cir. 2009). “They possess only that power
authorized by Constitution and statute.” Randall v.
United States, 95 F.3d 339, 344 (4th Cir. 1996).
“Thus, when a district court lacks subject ...