Goldblatt v. National Credit Union Administration
A plaintiff who files a complaint against the U.S. pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act must commence suit "within six months after the date of mailing . . . of final denial of the claim by the agency to which it was presented," pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2401(b). On March 3, 2011, the plaintiffs, who are former members of the New London Security Federal Credit Union, filed a District Court complaint pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. The District Court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, because the complaint was not filed timely, within six months after the National Credit Union Administration dismissed the plaintiffs' claims. The plaintiffs appealed. The 2nd Circuit reviewed de novo. "Because Appellants did not file their complaint until March 3, 2011," wrote the 2nd Circuit, "the district court properly deemed it untimely and dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction." The plaintiffs also failed to establish they were entitled to equitable tolling. Generally, a litigant who requests equitable tolling must establish: 1.) that the litigant pursued its rights diligently; and 2.) extraordinary circumstances existed. The 2nd Circuit rejected the plaintiffs' claims that an unsuccessful effort to add the National Credit Union Administration as a party in another case tolled the limitations period. In McGregor v. U.S., a 1991 decision, the 2nd Circuit held that filing a Federal Tort Claims Act complaint that was dismissed, because service of process was defective, did not toll the limitations period. Here, the 2nd Circuit was not persuaded that the plaintiffs pursued their rights diligently. The plaintiffs did not argue that extraordinary circumstances prevent them from filing a complaint prior to Feb. 11, 2011, and the 2nd Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court, Eginton, J.