28 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2009 Edition
Title 28 - JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
PART VI - PARTICULAR PROCEEDINGS
CHAPTER 161 - UNITED STATES AS PARTY GENERALLY
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 161—UNITED STATES AS PARTY GENERALLY

Sec.
2401.
Time for commencing action against United States.
2402.
Jury trial in actions against United States.
2403.
Intervention by United States or a State; constitutional question.
2404.
Death of defendant in damage action.
2405.
Garnishment.
2406.
Credits in actions by United States; prior disallowance.
2407.
Delinquents for public money; judgment at return term; continuance.
2408.
Security not required of United States.
2409.
Partition actions involving United States.
2409a.
Real property quiet title actions.
2410.
Actions affecting property on which United States has lien.
2411.
Interest.
2412.
Costs and fees.
2413.
Executions in favor of United States.
2414.
Payment of judgments and compromise settlements.
2415.
Time for commencing actions brought by the United States.
2416.
Time for commencing actions brought by the United States—Exclusions.

        

Historical and Revision Notes

1949 Act

This section amends the analysis of chapter 161 of title 28, U.S.C., to conform item 2411 therein with the catch line of section 2411 of such title as amended by another section of this bill.

Amendments

1980—Pub. L. 96–481, title II, §204(b), Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2329, substituted “Costs and fees” for “Costs” in item 2412.

1976—Pub. L. 94–381, §6, Aug. 12, 1976, 90 Stat. 1120, inserted “or a State” after “United States” in item 2403.

1972—Pub. L. 92–562, §3(b), Oct. 25, 1972, 86 Stat. 1177, added item 2409a.

1966—Pub. L. 89–505, §2, July 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 305, added items 2415 and 2416.

1961—Pub. L. 87–187, §2, Aug. 30, 1961, 75 Stat. 416, substituted “and compromise settlements” for “against the United States” in item 2414.

1954—Act July 30, 1954, ch. 648, §2(b), 68 Stat. 589, struck out “denied” in item 2402.

1949—Act May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §118, 63 Stat. 105, substituted “Interest” for “Interest on judgments against United States” in item 2411.

§2401. Time for commencing action against United States

(a) Except as provided by the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, every civil action commenced against the United States shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within six years after the right of action first accrues. The action of any person under legal disability or beyond the seas at the time the claim accrues may be commenced within three years after the disability ceases.

(b) A tort claim against the United States shall be forever barred unless it is presented in writing to the appropriate Federal agency within two years after such claim accrues or unless action is begun within six months after the date of mailing, by certified or registered mail, of notice of final denial of the claim by the agency to which it was presented.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 971; Apr. 25, 1949, ch. 92, §1, 63 Stat. 62; Pub. L. 86–238, §1(3), Sept. 8, 1959, 73 Stat. 472; Pub. L. 89–506, §7, July 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 307; Pub. L. 95–563, §14(b), Nov. 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 2389.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§41(20), 942 (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §24, part 20, 36 Stat. 1093; Nov. 23, 1921, ch. 136, §1310(c), 42 Stat. 311; June 2, 1924, 4:01 p.m., ch. 234, §1025(c), 43 Stat. 348; Feb. 24, 1925, ch. 309, 43 Stat. 972; Feb. 26, 1926, ch. 27, §§1122(c), 1200, 44 Stat. 121, 125; Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 753, §420, 60 Stat. 845).

Section consolidates provision in section 41(20) of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., as to time limitation for bringing actions against the United States under section 1346(a) of this title, with section 942 of said title 28.

Words “or within one year after the date of enactment of this Act whichever is later”, in section 942 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., were omitted as executed.

Provisions of section 41(20) of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., relating to jurisdiction of district courts and trial by the court of actions against the United States are the basis of sections 1346(a) and 2402 of this title.

Words in subsec. (a) of this revised section, “person under legal disability or beyond the seas at the time the claim accrues” were substituted for “claims of married women, first accrued during marriage, of persons under the age of twenty-one years, first accrued during minority, and of idiots, lunatics, insane persons, and persons beyond the seas at the time the claim accrued, entitled to the claim.” (See reviser's note under section 2501 of this title.)

Words in section 41(20) of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., “nor shall any of the said disabilities operate cumulatively” were omitted. (See reviser's note under section 2501 of this title.)

A provision in section 41(20) of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., that disabilities other than those specifically mentioned should not prevent any action from being barred was omitted as superfluous.

Subsection (b) of the revised section simplifies and restates said section 942 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., without change of substance.

Changes were made in phraseology.

Senate Revision Amendment

Subsection (b) amended in the Senate to insert the 1 year limitation on the bringing of tort actions and to include the limitation upon the time in which tort claims not exceeding $1000 must be presented to the appropriate Federal agencies for administrative disposition. 80th Congress Senate Report No. 1559, Amendment No. 48.

References in Text

The Contract Disputes Act of 1978, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 95–563, Nov. 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 2383, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 9 (§601 et seq.) of Title 41, Public Contracts. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 601 of Title 41 and Tables.

Amendments

1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–563 inserted Contract Disputes Act of 1978 exception.

1966—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–506 struck out provisions dealing with a tort claim of $2,500 or under as a special category of tort claim requiring preliminary administrative action and substituted provisions requiring presentation of all tort claims to the appropriate Federal agency in writing within two years after the claim accrues and commencement of an action within six months of the date of mailing of notice of final denial of the claim by the agency to which it was presented for provisions requiring commencement of an action within two years after the claim accrues.

1959—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 86–238 substituted “$2,500” for “$1,000” in two places.

1949—Subsec. (b). Act Apr. 25, 1949, the time limitation on bringing tort actions from 1 year to 2 years.

Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–563 effective with respect to contracts entered into 120 days after Nov. 1, 1978, and, at the election of the contractor, with respect to any claim pending at such time before the contracting officer or initiated thereafter, see section 16 of Pub. L. 95–563, set out as an Effective Date note under section 601 of Title 41, Public Contracts.

Effective Date of 1966 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–506 applicable to claims accruing six months or more after July 18, 1966, see section 10 of Pub. L. 89–506, set out as a note under section 2672 of this title.

§2402. Jury trial in actions against United States

Subject to chapter 179 of this title, any action against the United States under section 1346 shall be tried by the court without a jury, except that any action against the United States under section 1346(a)(1) shall, at the request of either party to such action, be tried by the court with a jury.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 971; July 30, 1954, ch. 648, §2(a), 68 Stat. 589; Pub. L. 104–331, §3(b)(3), Oct. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 4069.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§41(20), 931(a) (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §24, par. 20, 36 Stat. 1093; Nov. 23, 1921, ch. 136, §1310(c), 42 Stat. 311; June 2, 1924, 4:01 p.m., ch. 234, §1025(c), 43 Stat. 348; Feb. 24, 1925, ch. 309, 43 Stat. 972; Feb. 26, 1926, ch. 27, §§1122(c), 1200, 44 Stat. 121, 125; Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 753, §410(a), 60 Stat. 843).

Section consolidates non-jury provisions of sections 41(20) and 931(a) of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed. For other provisions of said section 931(a) relating to tort claims, see Distribution Table.

Word “actions” was substituted for “suits”, in view of Rule 2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Provisions of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §41(20) relating to jurisdiction of district courts and time for bringing actions against the United States are the basis of sections 1346 and 2401 of this title.

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–331 substituted “Subject to chapter 179 of this title, any action” for “Any action”.

1954—Act July 30, 1954, permitted a jury trial at the request of either party in actions under section 1346(a)(1) of this title.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–331 effective Oct. 1, 1997, see section 3(d) of Pub. L. 104–331, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1296 of this title.

§2403. Intervention by United States or a State; constitutional question

(a) In any action, suit or proceeding in a court of the United States to which the United States or any agency, officer or employee thereof is not a party, wherein the constitutionality of any Act of Congress affecting the public interest is drawn in question, the court shall certify such fact to the Attorney General, and shall permit the United States to intervene for presentation of evidence, if evidence is otherwise admissible in the case, and for argument on the question of constitutionality. The United States shall, subject to the applicable provisions of law, have all the rights of a party and be subject to all liabilities of a party as to court costs to the extent necessary for a proper presentation of the facts and law relating to the question of constitutionality.

(b) In any action, suit, or proceeding in a court of the United States to which a State or any agency, officer, or employee thereof is not a party, wherein the constitutionality of any statute of that State affecting the public interest is drawn in question, the court shall certify such fact to the attorney general of the State, and shall permit the State to intervene for presentation of evidence, if evidence is otherwise admissible in the case, and for argument on the question of constitutionality. The State shall, subject to the applicable provisions of law, have all the rights of a party and be subject to all liabilities of a party as to court costs to the extent necessary for a proper presentation of the facts and law relating to the question of constitutionality.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 971; Pub. L. 94–381, §5, Aug. 12, 1976, 90 Stat. 1120.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §401 (Aug. 24, 1937, ch. 754, §1, 50 Stat. 751).

Word “action” was added before “suit or proceeding”, in view of Rule 2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Since this section applies to all Federal courts, the word “suit” was not required to be deleted by such rule.

“Court of the United States” is defined in section 451 of this title. Direct appeal from decisions invalidating Acts of Congress is provided by section 1252 of this title.

Changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1976—Pub. L. 94–381, §5(b), inserted “or a State” after “United States” in section catchline.

Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 94–381, §5(a), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–381 not applicable to any action commenced on or before Aug. 12, 1976, see section 7 of Pub. L. 94–381, set out as a note under section 2284 of this title.

§2404. Death of defendant in damage action

A civil action for damages commenced by or on behalf of the United States or in which it is interested shall not abate on the death of a defendant but shall survive and be enforceable against his estate as well as against surviving defendants.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 971.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §780a (June 16, 1933, ch. 103, 48 Stat. 311).

Substitution of parties, see rule 25(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Changes in phraseology were made.

§2405. Garnishment

In any action or suit commenced by the United States against a corporation for the recovery of money upon a bill, note, or other security, the debtors of the corporation may be summoned as garnishees. Any person so summoned shall appear in open court and depose in writing to the amount of his indebtedness to the corporation at the time of the service of the summons and at the time of making the deposition, and judgment may be entered in favor of the United States for the sum admitted by the garnishee to be due the corporation as if it had been due the United States. A judgment shall not be entered against any garnishee until after judgment has been rendered against the corporation, nor until the sum in which the garnishee is indebted is actually due.

When any garnishee deposes in open court that he is not and was not at the time of the service of the summons indebted to the corporation, an issue may be tendered by the United States upon such deposition. If, upon the trial of that issue, a verdict is rendered against the garnishee, judgment shall be entered in favor of the United States, pursuant to such verdict, with costs.

Any garnishee who fails to appear at the term to which he is summoned shall be subject to attachment for contempt.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 971.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§748, 749, and 750 (R.S. §§935, 936, 937).

Changes were made in phraseology.

§2406. Credits in actions by United States; prior disallowance

In an action by the United States against an individual, evidence supporting the defendant's claim for a credit shall not be admitted unless he first proves that such claim has been disallowed, in whole or in part, by the Government Accountability Office, or that he has, at the time of the trial, obtained possession of vouchers not previously procurable and has been prevented from presenting such claim to the Government Accountability Office by absence from the United States or unavoidable accident.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 972; Pub. L. 108–271, §8(b), July 7, 2004, 118 Stat. 814.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §774 (R.S., §§236, 951; June 10, 1921, ch. 18, §§304, 305, 42 Stat. 24).

Word “action” was substituted for “suits”, in view of Rule 2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Section 774 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., provided that “no claim for a credit shall be admitted, upon trial”, etc. This was changed to “evidence supporting the defendant's claim for a credit shall not be admitted”, to clarify the meaning of the section. The case of U.S. v. Heard, D.C.Va. 1940, 32 F.Supp. 39, reviews the conflicting decisions on the question whether compliance with the section must be pleaded, and offers persuasive argument that it need not be, and that the section was designed as a rule of evidence. The wording of the remainder of the section also supports this conclusion, as pointed out by Judge Learned Hand in U.S. v. Standard Aircraft Corp., D.C.N.Y. 1926, 16 F.2d 307, followed in the Heard case.

Changes in phraseology were made.

Amendments

2004—Pub. L. 108–271 substituted “Government Accountability Office” for “General Accounting Office” in two places.

§2407. Delinquents for public money; judgment at return term; continuance

In an action by the United States against any person accountable for public money who fails to pay into the Treasury the sum reported due the United States, upon the adjustment of his account the court shall grant judgment upon motion unless a continuance is granted as specified in this section.

A continuance may be granted if the defendant, in open court and in the presence of the United States attorney, states under oath that he is equitably entitled to credits which have been disallowed by the Government Accountability Office prior to the commencement of the action, specifying each particular claim so rejected, and stating that he cannot safely come to trial.

A continuance may also be granted if such an action is commenced on a bond or other sealed instrument and the court requires the original instrument to be produced.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 972; Pub. L. 108–271, §8(b), July 7, 2004, 118 Stat. 814.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §781 (R.S. §957; June 10, 1921, ch. 18, §304, 42 Stat. 24).

Word “action” was substituted for “suit”, in view of Rule 2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Words “court requires the original instrument to be produced” were substituted for “defendant pleads non est factum, verifying such plea or motion by his oath, and the court thereupon requires the production of the original bond, contract, or other paper certified in the affidavit”. The plea of non est factum is obsolete under Rule 7(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Furthermore, the words deleted are superfluous, since a court would not require the production of an original instrument unless the proper procedure were taken to require such production.

Changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

2004—Pub. L. 108–271 substituted “Government Accountability Office” for “General Accounting Office” in second par.

§2408. Security not required of United States

Security for damages or costs shall not be required of the United States, any department or agency thereof or any party acting under the direction of any such department or agency on the issuance of process or the institution or prosecution of any proceeding.

Costs taxable, under other Acts of Congress, against the United States or any such department, agency or party shall be paid out of the contingent fund of the department or agency which directed the proceedings to be instituted.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 972.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §870 (R.S. §1001; Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §§117, 289, 36 Stat. 1131, 1167; Jan. 31, 1928, ch. 14, §1, 45 Stat. 54; June 19, 1934, ch. 653, §7, 48 Stat. 1109).

Section 870 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., applied only to the Supreme Court and district courts. The revised section applies to all courts.

Words “process or the institution or prosecution of any proceeding” were substituted for “appeal, or other process in law, admiralty, or equity.”

Word “agency” was substituted for “any corporation all the stock of which is beneficially owned by the United States, either directly or indirectly”, in view of the creation of many independent governmental agencies since the enactment of the original law on which this section is based.

Changes were made in phraseology.

§2409. Partition actions involving United States

Any civil action by any tenant in common or joint tenant owning an undivided interest in lands, where the United States is one of such tenants in common or joint tenants, against the United States alone or against the United States and any other of such owners, shall proceed, and be determined, in the same manner as would a similar action between private persons.

Whenever in such action the court orders a sale of the property or any part thereof the Attorney General may bid for the same in behalf of the United States. If the United States is the purchaser, the amount of the purchase money shall be paid from the Treasury upon a warrant drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury on the requisition of the Attorney General.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 972.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §766 (May 17, 1898, ch. 339, §§1, 2, 30 Stat. 416).

Provisions relating to service or commencement of the action and duty of United States attorneys to appear, defend, and file answer were omitted as surplusage and covered by Rules 2, 3, and 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and section 507 of this title.

Words “shall proceed, and be determined, in the same manner as would a similar action between private persons” were substituted for “shall proceed as other cases for partition by courts of equity, and in making such partition the court shall be governed by the same principles of equity that control courts of equity, in partition proceedings between private persons,” in view of Rule 2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Changes were made in phraseology.

§2409a. Real property quiet title actions

(a) The United States may be named as a party defendant in a civil action under this section to adjudicate a disputed title to real property in which the United States claims an interest, other than a security interest or water rights. This section does not apply to trust or restricted Indian lands, nor does it apply to or affect actions which may be or could have been brought under sections 1346, 1347, 1491, or 2410 of this title, sections 7424, 7425, or 7426 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (26 U.S.C. 7424, 7425, and 7426), or section 208 of the Act of July 10, 1952 (43 U.S.C. 666).

(b) The United States shall not be disturbed in possession or control of any real property involved in any action under this section pending a final judgment or decree, the conclusion of any appeal therefrom, and sixty days; and if the final determination shall be adverse to the United States, the United States nevertheless may retain such possession or control of the real property or of any part thereof as it may elect, upon payment to the person determined to be entitled thereto of an amount which upon such election the district court in the same action shall determine to be just compensation for such possession or control.

(c) No preliminary injunction shall issue in any action brought under this section.

(d) The complaint shall set forth with particularity the nature of the right, title, or interest which the plaintiff claims in the real property, the circumstances under which it was acquired, and the right, title, or interest claimed by the United States.

(e) If the United States disclaims all interest in the real property or interest therein adverse to the plaintiff at any time prior to the actual commencement of the trial, which disclaimer is confirmed by order of the court, the jurisdiction of the district court shall cease unless it has jurisdiction of the civil action or suit on ground other than and independent of the authority conferred by section 1346(f) of this title.

(f) A civil action against the United States under this section shall be tried by the court without a jury.

(g) Any civil action under this section, except for an action brought by a State, shall be barred unless it is commenced within twelve years of the date upon which it accrued. Such action shall be deemed to have accrued on the date the plaintiff or his predecessor in interest knew or should have known of the claim of the United States.

(h) No civil action may be maintained under this section by a State with respect to defense facilities (including land) of the United States so long as the lands at issue are being used or required by the United States for national defense purposes as determined by the head of the Federal agency with jurisdiction over the lands involved, if it is determined that the State action was brought more than twelve years after the State knew or should have known of the claims of the United States. Upon cessation of such use or requirement, the State may dispute title to such lands pursuant to the provisions of this section. The decision of the head of the Federal agency is not subject to judicial review.

(i) Any civil action brought by a State under this section with respect to lands, other than tide or submerged lands, on which the United States or its lessee or right-of-way or easement grantee has made substantial improvements or substantial investments or on which the United States has conducted substantial activities pursuant to a management plan such as range improvement, timber harvest, tree planting, mineral activities, farming, wildlife habitat improvement, or other similar activities, shall be barred unless the action is commenced within twelve years after the date the State received notice of the Federal claims to the lands.

(j) If a final determination in an action brought by a State under this section involving submerged or tide lands on which the United States or its lessee or right-of-way or easement grantee has made substantial improvements or substantial investments is adverse to the United States and it is determined that the State's action was brought more than twelve years after the State received notice of the Federal claim to the lands, the State shall take title to the lands subject to any existing lease, easement, or right-of-way. Any compensation due with respect to such lease, easement, or right-of-way shall be determined under existing law.

(k) Notice for the purposes of the accrual of an action brought by a State under this section shall be—

(1) by public communications with respect to the claimed lands which are sufficiently specific as to be reasonably calculated to put the claimant on notice of the Federal claim to the lands, or

(2) by the use, occupancy, or improvement of the claimed lands which, in the circumstances, is open and notorious.


(l) For purposes of this section, the term “tide or submerged lands” means “lands beneath navigable waters” as defined in section 2 of the Submerged Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1301).

(m) Not less than one hundred and eighty days before bringing any action under this section, a State shall notify the head of the Federal agency with jurisdiction over the lands in question of the State's intention to file suit, the basis therefor, and a description of the lands included in the suit.

(n) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit suits against the United States based upon adverse possession.

(Added Pub. L. 92–562, §3(a), Oct. 25, 1972, 86 Stat. 1176; amended Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 99–598, Nov. 4, 1986, 100 Stat. 3351.)

References in Text

Section 208 of the Act of July 10, 1952, referred to in subsec. (a), is section 208(a) to (d) of act July 10, 1952, ch. 651, 66 Stat. 560. Section 208(a) to (c) is classified to section 666 of Title 43, Public Lands. Section 208(d) is not classified to the Code.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.

Subsecs. (c) to (n). Pub. L. 99–598 added subsecs. (c) and (h) to (m), redesignated former subsecs. (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) as (d), (e), (f), (g), and (n), respectively, and inserted “, except for an action brought by a State,” in subsec. (g).

Short Title

This section is popularly known as the “Quiet Title Act”.

§2410. Actions affecting property on which United States has lien

(a) Under the conditions prescribed in this section and section 1444 of this title for the protection of the United States, the United States may be named a party in any civil action or suit in any district court, or in any State court having jurisdiction of the subject matter—

(1) to quiet title to,

(2) to foreclose a mortgage or other lien upon,

(3) to partition,

(4) to condemn, or

(5) of interpleader or in the nature of interpleader with respect to,


real or personal property on which the United States has or claims a mortgage or other lien.

(b) The complaint or pleading shall set forth with particularity the nature of the interest or lien of the United States. In actions or suits involving liens arising under the internal revenue laws, the complaint or pleading shall include the name and address of the taxpayer whose liability created the lien and, if a notice of the tax lien was filed, the identity of the internal revenue office which filed the notice, and the date and place such notice of lien was filed. In actions in the State courts service upon the United States shall be made by serving the process of the court with a copy of the complaint upon the United States attorney for the district in which the action is brought or upon an assistant United States attorney or clerical employee designated by the United States attorney in writing filed with the clerk of the court in which the action is brought and by sending copies of the process and complaint, by registered mail, or by certified mail, to the Attorney General of the United States at Washington, District of Columbia. In such actions the United States may appear and answer, plead or demur within sixty days after such service or such further time as the court may allow.

(c) A judgment or decree in such action or suit shall have the same effect respecting the discharge of the property from the mortgage or other lien held by the United States as may be provided with respect to such matters by the local law of the place where the court is situated. However, an action to foreclose a mortgage or other lien, naming the United States as a party under this section, must seek judicial sale. A sale to satisfy a lien inferior to one of the United States shall be made subject to and without disturbing the lien of the United States, unless the United States consents that the property may be sold free of its lien and the proceeds divided as the parties may be entitled. Where a sale of real estate is made to satisfy a lien prior to that of the United States, the United States shall have one year from the date of sale within which to redeem, except that with respect to a lien arising under the internal revenue laws the period shall be 120 days or the period allowable for redemption under State law, whichever is longer, and in any case in which, under the provisions of section 505 of the Housing Act of 1950, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1701k), and subsection (d) of section 3720 of title 38 of the United States Code, the right to redeem does not arise, there shall be no right of redemption. In any case where the debt owing the United States is due, the United States may ask, by way of affirmative relief, for the foreclosure of its own lien and where property is sold to satisfy a first lien held by the United States, the United States may bid at the sale such sum, not exceeding the amount of its claim with expenses of sale, as may be directed by the head (or his delegate) of the department or agency of the United States which has charge of the administration of the laws in respect to which the claim of the United States arises. In any case where the United States is a bidder at the judicial sale, it may credit the amount determined to be due it against the amount it bids at such sales.

(d) In any case in which the United States redeems real property under this section or section 7425 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the amount to be paid for such property shall be the sum of—

(1) the actual amount paid by the purchaser at such sale (which, in the case of a purchaser who is the holder of the lien being foreclosed, shall include the amount of the obligation secured by such lien to the extent satisfied by reason of such sale),

(2) interest on the amount paid (as determined under paragraph (1)) at 6 percent per annum from the date of such sale, and

(3) the amount (if any) equal to the excess of (A) the expenses necessarily incurred in connection with such property, over (B) the income from such property plus (to the extent such property is used by the purchaser) a reasonable rental value of such property.


(e) Whenever any person has a lien upon any real or personal property, duly recorded in the jurisdiction in which the property is located, and a junior lien, other than a tax lien, in favor of the United States attaches to such property, such person may make a written request to the officer charged with the administration of the laws in respect of which the lien of the United States arises, to have the same extinguished. If after appropriate investigation, it appears to such officer that the proceeds from the sale of the property would be insufficient to wholly or partly satisfy the lien of the United States, or that the claim of the United States has been satisfied or by lapse of time or otherwise has become unenforceable, such officer may issue a certificate releasing the property from such lien.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 972; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §119, 63 Stat. 105; Pub. L. 85–508, §12(h), July 7, 1958, 72 Stat. 348; Pub. L. 86–507, §1(20), June 11, 1960, 74 Stat. 201; Pub. L. 89–719, title II, §201, Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1147; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXVI, §3630, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4966; Pub. L. 102–83, §5(c)(2), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 406; Pub. L. 104–316, title I, §114, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3834.)

Historical and Revision Notes

1948 Act

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§901, 902, 904, 905 (Mar. 4, 1931, ch. 515, §§1, 2, 4, 5, 46 Stat. 1528, 1529; May 17, 1932, ch. 190, 47 Stat. 158; June 25, 1936, ch. 804, 49 Stat. 1921; June 6, 1940, ch. 242, 54 Stat. 234; Dec. 2, 1942, ch. 656, §§1–3, 56 Stat. 1026).

Provisions including the districts of Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia, in section 901 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., were omitted as covered by “any district court.” See section 451 of this title.

Provisions in section 902 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., relating to process, were omitted as covered by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Changes were made in phraseology.

1949 Act

This amendment conforms the language of section 2410(b) of title 28, U.S.C., with that of the prior law with respect to service of process and complaint upon the United States in suits brought in State courts. This is provided for by rule 4(d)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with respect to such suits in United States district courts.

References in Text

The internal revenue laws, referred to in subsec. (b), are classified generally to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Section 7425 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (d), is classified to section 7425 of Title 26.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–316 struck out “shall so report to the Comptroller General who” after “unenforceable, such officer” in second sentence.

1991—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–83 substituted “section 3720 of title 38” for “section 1820 of title 38”.

1990—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–647 inserted at end “In any case where the United States is a bidder at the judicial sale, it may credit the amount determined to be due it against the amount it bids at such sales.”

1986—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.

1966—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–719 substituted “subject matter—

“(1) to quiet title to,

“(2) to foreclose a mortgage or other lien upon,

“(3) to partition,

“(4) to condemn, or

“(5) of interpleader or in the nature of interpleader with respect to,”

for “subject matter, to quiet title to or for the foreclosure of a mortgage or other lien upon”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–719 substituted “complaint or pleading shall set forth” for “complaint shall set forth”, and inserted sentence requiring the complaint or pleading, in actions or suits involving liens arising under the internal revenue laws, to include the name and address of the taxpayer whose liability created the lien and, if a notice of the tax lien was filed, the identity of the internal revenue office which filed the notice, and the date and place such notice of lien was filed.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–719 substituted “judgment or decree in such action” for “judicial sale in such action”, “discharge of the property from the mortgage or other lien” for “discharge of the property from liens and encumbrances”, and “place where the court is situated” for “place where the property is situated”, and inserted provisions requiring an action to foreclose a mortgage or other lien, in which the United States is named as a party under this section, to seek a judicial sale, providing that the period of redemption where a sale is made with respect to a lien arising under the internal revenue laws is 120 days or the period allowable for redemption under State law, whichever is longer, and prohibiting the right of redemption in any case which, under the provisions of section 1701k of Title 12 and section 1820(d) of Title 38, the right to redeem does not arise.

Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 89–719 added subsec. (d) and redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e).

1960—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 86–507 inserted “or by certified mail,” after “registered mail,”.

1958—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 85–508 struck out provisions which extended section to District Court for Territory of Alaska. See section 81A of this title which establishes a United States District Court for the State of Alaska.

1949—Subsec. (b). Act May 24, 1949, conformed section with that of prior law with respect to service of process and complaint upon the United States in suits brought in State courts.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–647 effective 180 days after Nov. 29, 1990, see section 3631 of Pub. L. 101–647, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3001 of this title.

Effective Date of 1966 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–719 applicable after Nov. 2, 1966, see section 203 of Pub. L. 89–719, set out as a note under section 1346 of this title.

Effective Date of 1958 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 85–508 effective Jan. 3, 1959, on admission of Alaska into the Union pursuant to Proc. No. 3269, Jan. 3, 1959, 24 F.R. 81, 73 Stat. c16, as required by sections 1 and 8(c) of Pub. L. 85–508, see notes set out under section 81A of this title and preceding section 21 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

§2411. Interest

In any judgment of any court rendered (whether against the United States, a collector or deputy collector of internal revenue, a former collector or deputy collector, or the personal representative in case of death) for any overpayment in respect of any internal-revenue tax, interest shall be allowed at the overpayment rate established under section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 upon the amount of the overpayment, from the date of the payment or collection thereof to a date preceding the date of the refund check by not more than thirty days, such date to be determined by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Commissioner is authorized to tender by check payment of any such judgment, with interest as herein provided, at any time after such judgment becomes final, whether or not a claim for such payment has been duly filed, and such tender shall stop the running of interest, whether or not such refund check is accepted by the judgment creditor.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 973; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §120, 63 Stat. 106; Pub. L. 93–625, §7(a)(2), Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 2115; Pub. L. 97–164, title III, §302(b), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 56; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, title XV, §1511(c)(18), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, 2746.)

Historical and Revision Notes

1948 Act

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§765, 931(a), 932, Mar. 3, 1877, ch. 359, §10, 24 Stat. 507; Feb. 13, 1925, ch. 229, §8, 43 Stat. 940; Jan. 31, 1928, ch. 14, §1, 45 Stat. 54; Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 753, §§410(a), 411, 60 Stat. 843, 844).

Section consolidates section 765 with provisions of sections 931(a) and 932, all of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., relating to interest on judgments, the latter two sections being applicable to judgments in tort claims cases. For other provisions of said sections 931(a) and 932, see Distribution Table. Said section 932 made the provisions of said section 765 applicable to such judgments, therefore the provisions of said section 931(a) that “the United States shall not be liable for interest prior to judgment” was omitted as covered by the language of said section 765 providing that interest shall be computed from the date of the judgment.

Provisions of section 765 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., that when the findings of fact and the law applicable thereto have been filed in any case as provided in “section 763” [764] of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., and the judgment or decree is adverse to the Government, it shall be the duty of the district attorney to transmit to the Attorney General of the United States certified copies of all the papers filed in the cause, with a transcript of the testimony taken, the written findings of the court, and his written opinion as to the same, that, whereupon, the Attorney General shall determine and direct whether an appeal shall be taken or not, and that, when so directed, the district attorney shall cause an appeal to be perfected in accordance with the terms of the statutes and rules of practice governing the same were omitted as unnecessary and covered by section 507 of this title which provides for supervision of United States attorneys by the Attorney General.

Words of section 765 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., “Until the time when an appropriation is made for the payment of the judgment or decree” were omitted and words “up to, but not exceeding, thirty days after the date of approval of any appropriation act providing for payment of the judgment” were substituted. Substituted words clarify meaning and are in accord with congressional procedure in annual deficiency appropriation acts for payment of judgments against the United States. The substituted words will obviate necessity of repeating such provisions in appropriation acts.

Changes were made in phraseology.

1949 Act

This section amends section 2411 of title 28, U.S.C., by restoring the provisions of section 177 of the former Judicial Code for the payment of interest on tax refunds.

References in Text

Section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in text, is classified to section 6621 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Amendments

1986—Pub. L. 99–514, §1511(c)(18), substituted “the overpayment rate established under section 6621” for “an annual rate established under section 6621”.

Pub. L. 99–514, §2, substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164 struck out “(a)” before “In any judgment” and struck out subsec. (b) which provided that, except as otherwise provided in subsection (a) of this section, on all final judgments rendered against the United States in actions instituted under section 1346 of this title, interest was to be computed at the rate of 4 per centum per annum from the date of the judgment up to, but not exceeding, thirty days after the date of approval of any appropriation Act providing for payment of the judgment.

1975—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 93–625 substituted “an annual rate established under section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954” for “the rate of 6 per centum per annum”.

1949—Act May 24, 1949, restored provisions relating to payment of interest on tax refunds.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–514 applicable for purposes of determining interest for periods after Dec. 31, 1986, see section 1511(d) of Pub. L. 99–514, set out as a note under section 6621 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of this title.

§2412. Costs and fees

(a)(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, a judgment for costs, as enumerated in section 1920 of this title, but not including the fees and expenses of attorneys, may be awarded to the prevailing party in any civil action brought by or against the United States or any agency or any official of the United States acting in his or her official capacity in any court having jurisdiction of such action. A judgment for costs when taxed against the United States shall, in an amount established by statute, court rule, or order, be limited to reimbursing in whole or in part the prevailing party for the costs incurred by such party in the litigation.

(2) A judgment for costs, when awarded in favor of the United States in an action brought by the United States, may include an amount equal to the filing fee prescribed under section 1914(a) of this title. The preceding sentence shall not be construed as requiring the United States to pay any filing fee.

(b) Unless expressly prohibited by statute, a court may award reasonable fees and expenses of attorneys, in addition to the costs which may be awarded pursuant to subsection (a), to the prevailing party in any civil action brought by or against the United States or any agency or any official of the United States acting in his or her official capacity in any court having jurisdiction of such action. The United States shall be liable for such fees and expenses to the same extent that any other party would be liable under the common law or under the terms of any statute which specifically provides for such an award.

(c)(1) Any judgment against the United States or any agency and any official of the United States acting in his or her official capacity for costs pursuant to subsection (a) shall be paid as provided in sections 2414 and 2517 of this title and shall be in addition to any relief provided in the judgment.

(2) Any judgment against the United States or any agency and any official of the United States acting in his or her official capacity for fees and expenses of attorneys pursuant to subsection (b) shall be paid as provided in sections 2414 and 2517 of this title, except that if the basis for the award is a finding that the United States acted in bad faith, then the award shall be paid by any agency found to have acted in bad faith and shall be in addition to any relief provided in the judgment.

(d)(1)(A) Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, a court shall award to a prevailing party other than the United States fees and other expenses, in addition to any costs awarded pursuant to subsection (a), incurred by that party in any civil action (other than cases sounding in tort), including proceedings for judicial review of agency action, brought by or against the United States in any court having jurisdiction of that action, unless the court finds that the position of the United States was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust.

(B) A party seeking an award of fees and other expenses shall, within thirty days of final judgment in the action, submit to the court an application for fees and other expenses which shows that the party is a prevailing party and is eligible to receive an award under this subsection, and the amount sought, including an itemized statement from any attorney or expert witness representing or appearing in behalf of the party stating the actual time expended and the rate at which fees and other expenses were computed. The party shall also allege that the position of the United States was not substantially justified. Whether or not the position of the United States was substantially justified shall be determined on the basis of the record (including the record with respect to the action or failure to act by the agency upon which the civil action is based) which is made in the civil action for which fees and other expenses are sought.

(C) The court, in its discretion, may reduce the amount to be awarded pursuant to this subsection, or deny an award, to the extent that the prevailing party during the course of the proceedings engaged in conduct which unduly and unreasonably protracted the final resolution of the matter in controversy.

(D) If, in a civil action brought by the United States or a proceeding for judicial review of an adversary adjudication described in section 504(a)(4) of title 5, the demand by the United States is substantially in excess of the judgment finally obtained by the United States and is unreasonable when compared with such judgment, under the facts and circumstances of the case, the court shall award to the party the fees and other expenses related to defending against the excessive demand, unless the party has committed a willful violation of law or otherwise acted in bad faith, or special circumstances make an award unjust. Fees and expenses awarded under this subparagraph shall be paid only as a consequence of appropriations provided in advance.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection—

(A) “fees and other expenses” includes the reasonable expenses of expert witnesses, the reasonable cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test, or project which is found by the court to be necessary for the preparation of the party's case, and reasonable attorney fees (The amount of fees awarded under this subsection shall be based upon prevailing market rates for the kind and quality of the services furnished, except that (i) no expert witness shall be compensated at a rate in excess of the highest rate of compensation for expert witnesses paid by the United States; and (ii) attorney fees shall not be awarded in excess of $125 per hour unless the court determines that an increase in the cost of living or a special factor, such as the limited availability of qualified attorneys for the proceedings involved, justifies a higher fee.);

(B) “party” means (i) an individual whose net worth did not exceed $2,000,000 at the time the civil action was filed, or (ii) any owner of an unincorporated business, or any partnership, corporation, association, unit of local government, or organization, the net worth of which did not exceed $7,000,000 at the time the civil action was filed, and which had not more than 500 employees at the time the civil action was filed; except that an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code, or a cooperative association as defined in section 15(a) of the Agricultural Marketing Act (12 U.S.C. 1141j(a)), may be a party regardless of the net worth of such organization or cooperative association or for purposes of subsection (d)(1)(D), a small entity as defined in section 601 of title 5;

(C) “United States” includes any agency and any official of the United States acting in his or her official capacity;

(D) “position of the United States” means, in addition to the position taken by the United States in the civil action, the action or failure to act by the agency upon which the civil action is based; except that fees and expenses may not be awarded to a party for any portion of the litigation in which the party has unreasonably protracted the proceedings;

(E) “civil action brought by or against the United States” includes an appeal by a party, other than the United States, from a decision of a contracting officer rendered pursuant to a disputes clause in a contract with the Government or pursuant to the Contract Disputes Act of 1978;

(F) “court” includes the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims;

(G) “final judgment” means a judgment that is final and not appealable, and includes an order of settlement;

(H) “prevailing party”, in the case of eminent domain proceedings, means a party who obtains a final judgment (other than by settlement), exclusive of interest, the amount of which is at least as close to the highest valuation of the property involved that is attested to at trial on behalf of the property owner as it is to the highest valuation of the property involved that is attested to at trial on behalf of the Government; and

(I) “demand” means the express demand of the United States which led to the adversary adjudication, but shall not include a recitation of the maximum statutory penalty (i) in the complaint, or (ii) elsewhere when accompanied by an express demand for a lesser amount.


(3) In awarding fees and other expenses under this subsection to a prevailing party in any action for judicial review of an adversary adjudication, as defined in subsection (b)(1)(C) of section 504 of title 5, United States Code, or an adversary adjudication subject to the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, the court shall include in that award fees and other expenses to the same extent authorized in subsection (a) of such section, unless the court finds that during such adversary adjudication the position of the United States was substantially justified, or that special circumstances make an award unjust.

(4) Fees and other expenses awarded under this subsection to a party shall be paid by any agency over which the party prevails from any funds made available to the agency by appropriation or otherwise.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any costs, fees, and other expenses in connection with any proceeding to which section 7430 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 applies (determined without regard to subsections (b) and (f) of such section). Nothing in the preceding sentence shall prevent the awarding under subsection (a) of section 2412 of title 28, United States Code, of costs enumerated in section 1920 of such title (as in effect on October 1, 1981).

(f) If the United States appeals an award of costs or fees and other expenses made against the United States under this section and the award is affirmed in whole or in part, interest shall be paid on the amount of the award as affirmed. Such interest shall be computed at the rate determined under section 1961(a) of this title, and shall run from the date of the award through the day before the date of the mandate of affirmance.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 973; Pub. L. 89–507, §1, July 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 308; Pub. L. 96–481, title II, §204(a), (c), Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2327, 2329; Pub. L. 97–248, title II, §292(c), Sept. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 574; Pub. L. 99–80, §§2, 6, Aug. 5, 1985, 99 Stat. 184, 186; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 102–572, title III, §301(a), title V, §§502(b), 506(a), title IX, §902(b)(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4511–4513, 4516; Pub. L. 104–66, title I, §1091(b), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 722; Pub. L. 104–121, title II, §232, Mar. 29, 1996, 110 Stat. 863; Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §512(b)(1)(B), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3342.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§258, 931(a) (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §152, 36 Stat. 1138; Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 753, §410(a), 60 Stat. 843).

Section consolidates the last sentence of section 931(a) of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with section 258 of said title 28. For other provisions of said section 931(a), see Distribution Table.

Subsection (a) is new. It follows the well-known common-law rule that a sovereign is not liable for costs unless specific provision for such liability is made by law. This is a corollary to the rule that a sovereign cannot be sued without its consent.

Many enactments of Congress relating to fees and costs contain specific exceptions as to the liability of the United States. (See, for example, section 548 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed.) A uniform rule, embodied in this section, will make such specific exceptions unnecessary.

Subsection (b) incorporates section 258 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed.

Subsection (c) incorporates the costs provisions of section 931(a) of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed.

Words “and for summoning the same,” after “witnesses,” were omitted from subsection (b) as covered by “those actually incurred for witnesses.”

Changes were made in phraseology.

References in Text

The Contract Disputes Act of 1978, referred to in subsec. (d)(2)(E), (3), is Pub. L. 95–563, Nov. 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 2383, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 9 (§601 et seq.) of Title 41, Public Contracts. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 601 of Title 41 and Tables.

Section 7430 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (e), is classified to section 7430 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Amendments

1998—Subsec. (d)(2)(F). Pub. L. 105–368 substituted “Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims” for “Court of Veterans Appeals”.

1996—Subsec. (d)(1)(D). Pub. L. 104–121, §232(a), added subpar. (D).

Subsec. (d)(2)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 104–121, §232(b)(1), substituted “$125” for “$75”.

Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 104–121, §232(b)(2), inserted before semicolon at end “or for purposes of subsection (d)(1)(D), a small entity as defined in section 601 of title 5”.

Subsec. (d)(2)(I). Pub. L. 104–121, §232(b)(3)–(5), added subpar. (I).

1995—Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 104–66 struck out par. (5) which read as follows: “The Attorney General shall report annually to the Congress on the amount of fees and other expenses awarded during the preceding fiscal year pursuant to this subsection. The report shall describe the number, nature, and amount of the awards, the claims involved in the controversy, and any other relevant information which may aid the Congress in evaluating the scope and impact of such awards.”

1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–572, §301(a), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (d)(2)(F). Pub. L. 102–572, §902(b)(1), substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court”.

Pub. L. 102–573, §506(a), inserted before semicolon at end “and the United States Court of Veterans Appeals”.

Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 102–572, §502(b), substituted “The Attorney General shall report annually to the Congress on” for “The Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall include in the annual report prepared pursuant to section 604 of this title,”.

1986—Subsecs. (d)(2)(B), (e). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.

1985—Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 99–80, §2(a)(1), substituted “or any agency or any official of the United States” for “or any agency and any official of the United States”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–80, §6, repealed amendment made by Pub. L. 96–481, §204(c), and provided that subsec. (d) was effective on or after Aug. 5, 1985, as if it had not been repealed by section 204(c). See 1980 Amendment note and Revival of Previously Repealed Provisions note below.

Subsec. (d)(1)(A). Pub. L. 99–80, §2(a)(2), inserted “, including proceedings for judicial review of agency actions,” after “in tort)”.

Subsec. (d)(1)(B). Pub. L. 99–80, §2(b), inserted provisions directing that whether or not the position of the United States was substantially justified must be determined on the basis of the record (including the record with respect to the action or failure to act by the agency upon which the civil action was based) which is made in the civil action for which fees and other expenses are sought.

Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 99–80, §2(c)(1), substituted “$2,000,000” for “$1,000,000” in cl. (i), and substituted “or (ii) any owner of an unincorporated business, or any partnership, corporation, association, unit of local government, or organization, the net worth of which did not exceed $7,000,000 at the time the civil action was filed, and which had not more than 500 employees at the time the civil action was filed; except that an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code, or a cooperative association as defined in section 15(a) of the Agricultural Marketing Act (12 U.S.C. 1141j(a)), may be a party regardless of the net worth of such organization or cooperative association;” for “(ii) a sole owner of an unincorporated business, or a partnership, corporation, association, or organization whose net worth did not exceed $5,000,000 at the time the civil action was filed, except that an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Code and a cooperative association as defined in section 15(a) of the Agricultural Marketing Act (12 U.S.C. 1141j(a)), may be a party regardless of the net worth of such organization or cooperative association, or (iii) a sole owner of an unincorporated business, or a partnership, corporation, association, or organization, having not more than 500 employees at the time the civil action was filed; and”.

Subsec. (d)(2)(D) to (H). Pub. L. 99–80, §2(c)(2), added subpars. (D) to (H).

Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 99–80, §2(d), amended par. (4) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (4) read as follows:

“(A) Fees and other expenses awarded under this subsection may be paid by any agency over which the party prevails from any funds made available to the agency, by appropriation or otherwise, for such purpose. If not paid by any agency, the fees and other expenses shall be paid in the same manner as the payment of final judgments is made in accordance with sections 2414 and 2517 of this title.

“(B) There is authorized to be appropriated to each agency for each of the fiscal years 1982, 1983, and 1984, such sums as may be necessary to pay fees and other expenses awarded pursuant to this subsection in such fiscal years.”

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 99–80, §2(e), added subsec. (f).

1982—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–248 added subsec. (e).

1980—Pub. L. 96–481, §204(a), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), struck out provision that payment of a judgment for costs shall be as provided in section 2414 and section 2517 of this title for the payment of judgments against the United States, and added subsecs. (b) to (d). Pub. L. 96–481, §204(c), repealed subsec. (d) eff. Oct. 1, 1984. See Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note below.

1966—Pub. L. 89–507 empowered a court having jurisdiction to award judgment for costs, except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, to the prevailing party in any action brought by or against the United States or any agency or official of the United States acting in his official capacity, limited the judgment for costs when taxed against the Government to reimbursing in whole or in part the prevailing party for costs incurred by him in the litigation, required the payment of a judgment for costs to be as provided in section 2414 and section 2517 of this title for the payment of judgments against the United States and eliminated provisions which limited the liability of the United States for fees and costs to those cases in which liability was expressed provided for by Act of Congress, permitted the district court or the Court of Claims, in an action under section 1346(a) or 1491 of this title if the United States put in issue plaintiff's right to recover, to allow costs to the prevailing party from the time of joining such issue, and which authorized the allowance of costs to the successful claimant in an action under section 1346(b) of this title.

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–368 effective on first day of first month beginning more than 90 days after Nov. 11, 1998, see section 513 of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as a note under section 7251 of Title 38, Veterans’ Benefits.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–121 applicable to civil actions and adversary adjudications commenced on or after Mar. 29, 1996, see section 233 of Pub. L. 104–121, set out as a note under section 504 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Section 506(b) of Pub. L. 102–572 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to any case pending before the United States Court of Veterans Appeals [now United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims] on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 29, 1992], to any appeal filed in that court on or after such date, and to any appeal from that court that is pending on such date in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

Section 506(d) of Pub. L. 102–572 provided that: “This section [amending this section and enacting provisions set out under this section], and the amendment made by this section, shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 29, 1992].”

Amendment by section 902(b)(1) of Pub. L. 102–572 effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 of Pub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of this title.

Amendment by sections 301(a) and 502(b) of Pub. L. 102–572 effective Jan. 1, 1993, see section 1101(a) of Pub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 905 of Title 2, The Congress.

Effective Date of 1985 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–80 applicable to cases pending on or commenced on or after Aug. 5, 1985, but with provision for additional applicability to certain prior cases and to prior board of contracts appeals cases, see section 7 of Pub. L. 99–80, set out as a note under section 504 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–248 applicable to civil actions or proceedings commenced after Feb. 28, 1983, see section 292(e)(1) of Pub. L. 97–248, set out as an Effective Date note under section 7430 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by section 204(a) of Pub. L. 96–481 effective Oct. 1, 1981, and applicable to any adversary adjudication, as defined in section 504(b)(1)(C) of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, and any civil action or adversary adjudication described in this section which is pending on, or commenced on or after, such date, see section 208 of Pub. L. 96–481, set out as an Effective Date note under section 504 of Title 5.

Section 204(c) of Pub. L. 96–481 which provided in part that effective Oct. 1, 1984, subsec. (d) of this section is repealed, except that the provisions of subsec. (d) shall continue to apply through final disposition of any adversary adjudication initiated before the date of repeal, was repealed by Pub. L. 99–80, §6(b)(2), Aug. 5, 1985, 99 Stat. 186.

Effective Date of 1966 Amendment

Section 3 of Pub. L. 89–507 provided that: “These amendments [amending this section and section 2520 of this title] shall apply only to judgments entered in actions filed subsequent to the date of enactment of this Act [July 18, 1966]. These amendments shall not authorize the reopening or modification of judgments entered prior to the enactment of this Act.”

Revival of Previously Repealed Provisions

For revival of subsec. (d) of this section effective on or after Aug. 5, 1985, as if it had not been repealed by section 204(c) of Pub. L. 96–481, and repeal of section 204(c) of Pub. L. 96–481, see section 6 of Pub. L. 99–80, set out as a note under section 504 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Savings Provision

Section 206 of Pub. L. 96–481, as amended by Pub. L. 99–80, §3, Aug. 5, 1985, 99 Stat. 186, provided that:

“(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), nothing in section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code, as added by section 204(a) of this title, alters, modifies, repeals, invalidates, or supersedes any other provision of Federal law which authorizes an award of such fees and other expenses to any party other than the United States that prevails in any civil action brought by or against the United States.

“(b) Section 206(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 406(b)(1)) shall not prevent an award of fees and other expenses under section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code. Section 206(b)(2) of the Social Security Act shall not apply with respect to any such award but only if, where the claimant's attorney receives fees for the same work under both section 206(b) of that Act and section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code, the claimant's attorney refunds to the claimant the amount of the smaller fee.”

Authority of Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to Award Fees Under Equal Access to Justice Act for Non-attorney Practitioners.

Pub. L. 107–330, title IV, §403, Dec. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 2833, provided that: “The authority of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to award reasonable fees and expenses of attorneys under section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code, shall include authority to award fees and expenses, in an amount determined appropriate by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, of individuals admitted to practice before the Court as non-attorney practitioners under subsection (b) or (c) of Rule 46 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.”

Nonliability of Judicial Officers for Costs

Pub. L. 104–317, title III, §309(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3853, provided that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no judicial officer shall be held liable for any costs, including attorney's fees, in any action brought against such officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, unless such action was clearly in excess of such officer's jurisdiction.”

Fee Agreements

Section 506(c) of Pub. L. 102–572 provided that: “Section 5904(d) of title 38, United States Code, shall not prevent an award of fees and other expenses under section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code. Section 5904(d) of title 38, United States Code, shall not apply with respect to any such award but only if, where the claimant's attorney receives fees for the same work under both section 5904 of title 38, United States Code, and section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code, the claimant's attorney refunds to the claimant the amount of the smaller fee.”

§2413. Executions in favor of United States

A writ of execution on a judgment obtained for the use of the United States in any court thereof shall be issued from and made returnable to the court which rendered the judgment, but may be executed in any other State, in any Territory, or in the District of Columbia.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 974.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §839 (R.S. §986).

Words “or in the District of Columbia” were added on the authority of 14 Op. Atty. Gen. 384, declaring that, under this section, a writ of execution in favor of the United States, obtained from a Federal court in any State, could be executed in the District of Columbia. (See, also, section 1963 of this title.)

Changes in phraseology were made.

§2414. Payment of judgments and compromise settlements

Except as provided by the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, payment of final judgments rendered by a district court or the Court of International Trade against the United States shall be made on settlements by the Secretary of the Treasury. Payment of final judgments rendered by a State or foreign court or tribunal against the United States, or against its agencies or officials upon obligations or liabilities of the United States, shall be made on settlements by the Secretary of the Treasury after certification by the Attorney General that it is in the interest of the United States to pay the same.

Whenever the Attorney General determines that no appeal shall be taken from a judgment or that no further review will be sought from a decision affirming the same, he shall so certify and the judgment shall be deemed final.

Except as otherwise provided by law, compromise settlements of claims referred to the Attorney General for defense of imminent litigation or suits against the United States, or against its agencies or officials upon obligations or liabilities of the United States, made by the Attorney General or any person authorized by him, shall be settled and paid in a manner similar to judgments in like causes and appropriations or funds available for the payment of such judgments are hereby made available for the payment of such compromise settlements.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 974; Pub. L. 87–187, §1, Aug. 30, 1961, 75 Stat. 415; Pub. L. 95–563, §14(d), Nov. 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 2390; Pub. L. 96–417, title V, §512, Oct. 10, 1980, 94 Stat. 1744; Pub. L. 104–316, title II, §202(k), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3843.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 228 of title 31, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Money and Finance (Feb. 18, 1904, ch. 160, §1, 33 Stat. 41; June 10, 1921, ch. 18, §304, 42 Stat. 24).

Similar provisions of section 228 of title 31, U.S.C., 1940 ed., relating to judgments of the court of claims are incorporated in section 2517 of this title.

The second paragraph was added to make clear that the payment of judgments not appealed may be expedited by certificate to that effect.

Changes were made in phraseology.

References in Text

The Contract Disputes Act of 1978, referred to in first paragraph, is Pub. L. 95–563, Nov. 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 2383, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 9 (§601 et seq.) of Title 41, Public Contracts. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 601 of Title 41 and Tables.

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–316 in first par. substituted “Secretary of the Treasury” for “General Accounting Office” in two places.

1980—Pub. L. 96–417 provided for payment of final judgments rendered by the Court of International Trade against the United States on settlements by the General Accounting Office.

1978—Pub. L. 95–563 inserted Contract Disputes Act of 1978 exception.

1961—Pub. L. 87–187 provided for payment of final judgments rendered by a State or foreign court against the United States, its agencies or officials and compromise settlements and substituted “and compromise settlements” for “against the United States” in section catchline.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–417 effective Nov. 1, 1980, and applicable with respect to civil actions pending on or commenced on or after such date, see section 701(a) of Pub. L. 96–417, set out as a note under section 251 of this title.

Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–563 effective with respect to contracts entered into 120 days after Nov. 1, 1978, and, at the election of the contractor, with respect to any claim pending at such time before the contracting officer or initiated thereafter, see section 16 of Pub. L. 95–563, set out as an Effective Date note under section 601 of Title 41, Public Contracts.

§2415. Time for commencing actions brought by the United States

(a) Subject to the provisions of section 2416 of this title, and except as otherwise provided by Congress, every action for money damages brought by the United States or an officer or agency thereof which is founded upon any contract express or implied in law or fact, shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within six years after the right of action accrues or within one year after final decisions have been rendered in applicable administrative proceedings required by contract or by law, whichever is later: Provided, That in the event of later partial payment or written acknowledgment of debt, the right of action shall be deemed to accrue again at the time of each such payment or acknowledgment: Provided further, That an action for money damages brought by the United States for or on behalf of a recognized tribe, band or group of American Indians shall not be barred unless the complaint is filed more than six years and ninety days after the right of action accrued: Provided further, That an action for money damages which accrued on the date of enactment of this Act in accordance with subsection (g) brought by the United States for or on behalf of a recognized tribe, band, or group of American Indians, or on behalf of an individual Indian whose land is held in trust or restricted status, shall not be barred unless the complaint is filed sixty days after the date of publication of the list required by section 4(c) of the Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982: Provided, That, for those claims that are on either of the two lists published pursuant to the Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982, any right of action shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within (1) one year after the Secretary of the Interior has published in the Federal Register a notice rejecting such claim or (2) three years after the date the Secretary of the Interior has submitted legislation or legislative report to Congress to resolve such claim or more than two years after a final decision has been rendered in applicable administrative proceedings required by contract or by law, whichever is later.

(b) Subject to the provisions of section 2416 of this title, and except as otherwise provided by Congress, every action for money damages brought by the United States or an officer or agency thereof which is founded upon a tort shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within three years after the right of action first accrues: Provided, That an action to recover damages resulting from a trespass on lands of the United States; an action to recover damages resulting from fire to such lands; an action to recover for diversion of money paid under a grant program; and an action for conversion of property of the United States may be brought within six years after the right of action accrues, except that such actions for or on behalf of a recognized tribe, band or group of American Indians, including actions relating to allotted trust or restricted Indian lands, may be brought within six years and ninety days after the right of action accrues, except that such actions for or on behalf of a recognized tribe, band, or group of American Indians, including actions relating to allotted trust or restricted Indian lands, or on behalf of an individual Indian whose land is held in trust or restricted status which accrued on the date of enactment of this Act in accordance with subsection (g) may be brought on or before sixty days after the date of the publication of the list required by section 4(c) of the Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982: Provided, That, for those claims that are on either of the two lists published pursuant to the Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982, any right of action shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within (1) one year after the Secretary of the Interior has published in the Federal Register a notice rejecting such claim or (2) three years after the Secretary of the Interior has submitted legislation or legislative report to Congress to resolve such claim.

(c) Nothing herein shall be deemed to limit the time for bringing an action to establish the title to, or right of possession of, real or personal property.

(d) Subject to the provisions of section 2416 of this title and except as otherwise provided by Congress, every action for the recovery of money erroneously paid to or on behalf of any civilian employee of any agency of the United States or to or on behalf of any member or dependent of any member of the uniformed services of the United States, incident to the employment or services of such employee or member, shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within six years after the right of action accrues: Provided, That in the event of later partial payment or written acknowledgment of debt, the right of action shall be deemed to accrue again at the time of each such payment or acknowledgment.

(e) In the event that any action to which this section applies is timely brought and is thereafter dismissed without prejudice, the action may be recommenced within one year after such dismissal, regardless of whether the action would otherwise then be barred by this section. In any action so recommenced the defendant shall not be barred from interposing any claim which would not have been barred in the original action.

(f) The provisions of this section shall not prevent the assertion, in an action against the United States or an officer or agency thereof, of any claim of the United States or an officer or agency thereof against an opposing party, a co-party, or a third party that arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim. A claim of the United States or an officer or agency thereof that does not arise out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim may, if time-barred, be asserted only by way of offset and may be allowed in an amount not to exceed the amount of the opposing party's recovery.

(g) Any right of action subject to the provisions of this section which accrued prior to the date of enactment of this Act shall, for purposes of this section, be deemed to have accrued on the date of enactment of this Act.

(h) Nothing in this Act shall apply to actions brought under the Internal Revenue Code or incidental to the collection of taxes imposed by the United States.

(i) The provisions of this section shall not prevent the United States or an officer or agency thereof from collecting any claim of the United States by means of administrative offset, in accordance with section 3716 of title 31.

(Added Pub. L. 89–505, §1, July 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 304; amended Pub. L. 92–353, July 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 499; Pub. L. 92–485, Oct. 13, 1972, 86 Stat. 803; Pub. L. 95–64, July 11, 1977, 91 Stat. 268; Pub. L. 95–103, Aug. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 842; Pub. L. 96–217, §1, Mar. 27, 1980, 94 Stat. 126; Pub. L. 97–365, §9, Oct. 25, 1982, 96 Stat. 1754; Pub. L. 97–394, title I, §2, Dec. 30, 1982, 96 Stat. 1976; Pub. L. 97–452, §2(d)(2), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2478; Pub. L. 98–250, §4(a), Apr. 3, 1984, 98 Stat. 118.)

References in Text

The date of enactment of this Act, referred to in subsecs. (a), (b), and (g), means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 89–505, which was approved July 18, 1966.

The Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (b), is Pub. L. 97–394, title I, §§2–6, Dec. 30, 1982, 96 Stat. 1976–1978, which amended this section and enacted provisions set out as notes below. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note set out below and Tables.

This Act, referred to in subsec. (h), probably means Pub. L. 89–505, July 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 304, which enacted this section and section 2416 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Amendments

1984—Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 98–250 substituted “Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982” for “Indian Claims Act of 1982” wherever appearing.

1983—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 97–452 substituted “section 3716 of title 31” for “section 5 of the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966”.

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–394, §2(a), substituted “sixty days after the date of publication of the list required by section 4(c) of the Indian Claims Act of 1982: Provided, That, for those claims that are on either of the two lists published pursuant to the Indian Claims Act of 1982, any right of action shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within (1) one year after the Secretary of the Interior has published in the Federal Register a notice rejecting such claim or (2) three years after the date the Secretary of the Interior has submitted legislation or legislative report to Congress to resolve such claim” for “after December 31, 1982” in third proviso.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–394, §2(b), substituted “sixty days after the date of the publication of the list required by section 4(c) of the Indian Claims Act of 1982: Provided, That, for those claims that are on either of the two lists published pursuant to the Indian Claims Act of 1982, any right of action shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within (1) one year after the Secretary of the Interior has published in the Federal Register a notice rejecting such claim or (2) three years after the Secretary of the Interior has submitted legislation or legislative report to Congress to resolve such claim” for “December 31, 1982” at end of proviso.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 97–365 added subsec. (i).

1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–217, §1(a), substituted “December 31, 1982” for “April 30, 1980”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–217, §1(b), substituted “December 31, 1982” for “April 1, 1980”.

1977—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–103, §1(a), substituted “after April 1, 1980” for “after August 18, 1977”.

Pub. L. 95–64, §1(a), substituted “unless the complaint is filed after August 18, 1977” for “unless the complaint is filed more than eleven years after the right of action accrued” in proviso covering actions for money damages brought by the United States for or on behalf of a recognized tribe, band, or group of American Indians, or on behalf of an individual Indian whose land is held in trust or restricted status based upon rights of action which accrued on July 18, 1966, in accordance with subsec. (g).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–103, §1(b), substituted “on or before April 1, 1980” for “on or before August 18, 1977”.

Pub. L. 95–64, §1(b), substituted “may be brought on or before August 18, 1977” for “may be brought within eleven years after the right of action accrues” in proviso covering actions for or on behalf of recognized tribes, bands, or groups of American Indians, including actions related to allotted trust or restricted Indian lands, or on behalf of an individual Indian whose land is held in trust or restricted status based upon rights of action which accrued on July 18, 1966, in accordance with subsec. (g).

1972—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–485, §1(a), inserted proviso relating to actions for money damages brought by the United States for or on behalf of a recognized tribe, band, or group of American Indians, or on behalf of an individual Indian whose land is held in trust or restricted status.

Pub. L. 92–353, §1(a), inserted proviso that an action for money damages brought by the United States on behalf of American Indians shall not be barred unless the complaint is filed more than six years and ninety days after the right of action accrued.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–485, §1(b), inserted exception relating to actions for or on behalf of a recognized tribe, band, or group of American Indians, including actions relating to allotted trust or restricted Indian lands, or on behalf of an individual Indian whose land is held in trust or restricted status.

Pub. L. 92–353, §1(b), increased the period of limitation to six years and ninety days for actions brought by the United States under the subsection for or on behalf of American Indians.

Short Title of 1982 Amendment

Section 1 of Pub. L. 97–394, as amended by Pub. L. 98–250, §4(b), Apr. 3, 1984, 98 Stat. 119, provided that: “Sections 2 through 6 of this Act [amending this section and enacting provisions set out below] may be cited as the ‘Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982’.”

Publication of List of Indian Claims; Additional Claims; Time To Commence Action; Rejection of Claims; Claims Resolved By Legislation

Sections 3 to 6 of Pub. L. 97–394 provided that:

Sec. 3. (a) Within ninety days after the enactment of this Act [Dec. 30, 1982], the Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Secretary’) shall publish in the Federal Register a list of all claims accruing to any tribe, band or group of Indians or individual Indian on or before July 18, 1966, which have at any time been identified by or submitted to the Secretary under the ‘Statute of Limitation Project’ undertaken by the Department of the Interior and which, but for the provisions of this Act [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note above], would be barred by the provisions of section 2415 of title 28, United States Code: Provided, That the Secretary shall have the discretion to exclude from such list any matter which was erroneously identified as a claim and which has no legal merit whatsoever.

“(b) Such list shall group the claims on a reservation-by-reservation, tribe-by-tribe, or State-by-State basis, as appropriate, and shall state the nature and geographic location of each claim and only such other additional information as may be needed to identify specifically such claims.

“(c) Within thirty days after the publication of this list, the Secretary shall provide a copy of the Indian Claims Limitation Act of 1982 [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note above] and a copy of the Federal Register containing this list, or such parts as may be pertinent, to each Indian tribe, band or group whose rights or the rights of whose members could be affected by the provisions of section 2415 of title 28, United States Code.

Sec. 4. (a) Any tribe, band or group of Indians or any individual Indian shall have one hundred and eighty days after the date of the publication in the Federal Register of the list provided for in section 3 of this Act to submit to the Secretary any additional specific claim or claims which such tribe, band or group of Indians or individual Indian believes may be affected by section 2415 of title 28, United States Code, and desires to have considered for litigation or legislation by the United States.

“(b) Any such claim submitted to the Secretary shall be accompanied by a statement identifying the nature of the claim, the date when the right of action allegedly accrued, the names of the potential plaintiffs and defendants, if known, and such other information needed to identify and evaluate such claim.

“(c) Not more than thirty days after the expiration of the one hundred and eighty day period provided for in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a list containing the additional claims submitted during such period: Provided, That the Secretary shall have the discretion to exclude from such list any matter which has not been sufficiently identified as a claim.

Sec. 5. (a) Any right of action shall be barred sixty days after the date of the publication of the list required by section 4(c) of this Act for those pre-1966 claims which, but for the provisions of this Act [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note above], would have been barred by section 2415 of title 28, United States Code, unless such claims are included on either of the lists required by section 3 or 4(c) of this Act.

“(b) If the Secretary decides to reject for litigation any of the claims or groups or categories of claims contained on either of the lists required by section 3 or 4(c) of this Act, he shall send a report to the appropriate tribe, band, or group of Indians, whose rights or the rights of whose members could be affected by such rejection, advising them of his decision. The report shall identify the nature and geographic location of each rejected claim and the name of the potential plaintiffs and defendants if they are known or can be reasonably ascertained and shall, briefly, state the reasons why such claim or claims were rejected for litigation. Where the Secretary knows or can reasonably ascertain the identity of any of the potential individual Indian plaintiffs and their present addresses, he shall provide them with written notice of such rejection. Upon the request of any Indian claimant, the Secretary shall, without undue delay, provide to such claimant any nonprivileged research materials or evidence gathered by the United States in the documentation of such claim.

“(c) The Secretary, as soon as possible after providing the report required by subsection (b) of this section, shall publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying the claims covered in such report. With respect to any claim covered by such report, any right of action shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within one year after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Sec. 6. (a) If the Secretary determines that any claim or claims contained in either of the lists as provided in sections 3 or 4(c) of this Act is not appropriate for litigation, but determines that such claims may be appropriately resolved by legislation, he shall submit to the Congress legislation to resolve such claims or shall submit to Congress a report setting out options for legislative resolution of such claims.

“(b) Any right of action on claims covered by such legislation or report shall be barred unless the complaint is filed within 3 years after the date of submission of such legislation or legislative report to Congress.”

Legislative Proposals Respecting Appropriateness of Resolution by Litigation of Unresolved Indian Claims

Section 2 of Pub. L. 96–217 provided that: “Not later than June 30, 1981, the Secretary of the Interior, after consultation with the Attorney General, shall submit to the Congress legislative proposals to resolve those Indian claims subject to the amendments made by the first section of this Act [amending this section] that the Secretary of the Interior or the Attorney General believes are not appropriate to resolve by litigation.”

§2416. Time for commencing actions brought by the United States—Exclusions

For the purpose of computing the limitations periods established in section 2415, there shall be excluded all periods during which—

(a) the defendant or the res is outside the United States, its territories and possessions, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; or

(b) the defendant is exempt from legal process because of infancy, mental incompetence, diplomatic immunity, or for any other reason; or

(c) facts material to the right of action are not known and reasonably could not be known by an official of the United States charged with the responsibility to act in the circumstances; or

(d) the United States is in a state of war declared pursuant to article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States.

(Added Pub. L. 89–505, §1, July 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 305.)