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Bank of America Corp. v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

June 30, 2019

BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Defendant.

          ORDER

          Robert J. Conrad, Jr. United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue to the Court of Federal Claims, or in the Alternative, to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (“Defendant's Motion”), (Doc. No. 32), and the parties' associated briefs and exhibits; the Magistrate Judge's Memorandum and Recommendation (“M&R”), (Doc. No. 47), denying Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue and recommending that this Court deny Defendant's alternative Motion to Dismiss; Defendant's Objections thereto, (Doc. No. 49); and Plaintiff's responsive briefing, (Doc. No. 50).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Neither party has objected to the Magistrate Judge's statement of the factual and procedural background of this case. Therefore, the Court adopts the facts as set forth in the M&R.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A district court may assign dispositive pretrial matters, including motions to dismiss, to a magistrate judge for “proposed findings of fact and recommendations.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B). The Federal Magistrate Act provides that “a district court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specific proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” Id. at § 636(b)(1)(C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir. 1983).

         The district court has authority to assign non-dispositive pretrial matters pending before the Court to a magistrate judge to “hear and determine.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). When reviewing an objection to a magistrate judge's order on a non-dispositive matter, the district court must set aside or modify any portion of that order which is clearly erroneous or contrary to law. Id.; Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). An order transferring a case to another district court is generally viewed as a non-dispositive matter, and thus is reviewed under Rule 72(a). See Cadence Bank, N.A. v. Horry Props., LLC, No. 2:09-cv-44, 2010 WL 4026392, at *2 n.4 (W.D. N.C. Oct. 13, 2010). A magistrate judge's order is contrary to law if the judge failed to apply or misapplied statutes, case law, or procedural rules. See Catskill Dev. LLC v. Park Place Entm't Corp., 206 F.R.D. 78, 86 (S.D.N.Y. 2002).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Defendant filed an objection to the M&R's recommendation to deny Defendant's alternative Motion to Dismiss. In support of its objection, Defendant essentially makes two arguments: (1) the Sixth Circuit's analysis in E.W. Scripps Co. v. United States, 420 F.3d 589 (6th Cir. 2005), and related cases erroneously interpreted 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(1); and (2) 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(1) only applies to refund-not overpayment-suits. The Court finds both objections meritless and concludes that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claim.

         A. The M&R correctly concluded that the weight of authority provides that district courts have subject matter jurisdiction over overpayment interest claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(1).

         28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(1) grants concurrent jurisdiction to district courts and the Court of Federal Claims:

The district courts shall have original jurisdiction, concurrent with the United States Court of Federal Claims, of:
(1) Any civil action against the United States for the recovery of any internal-revenue tax alleged to have been erroneously or illegally assessed or collected, or any penalty claimed to have been collected without authority or any sum alleged to have been excessive or in ...

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