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Daly v. United States

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


March 21, 2008

JAMES DALY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stiehl, District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Before the Court is defendant's motion to reconsider (Doc. 27), to which plaintiff did not respond. Defendant seeks reconsideration of the Court's Order (Doc. 22) denying the defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Defendant contends that the Supreme Court's ruling in Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 128 S.Ct. 831 (Jan. 22, 2008) strips this Court of subject matter jurisdiction.

Plaintiff's complaint alleges that defendant negligently lost plaintiff property at the Federal Correctional Facility in Marion, Illinois. Plaintiff alleges that he is entitled to relief pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b) (FTCA), which waives the United States' sovereign immunity to civil suits for money damages caused by the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of its employees. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2680(c), the so-called "detention of property" exception to the FTCA, the United States' waiver of sovereign immunity does not apply to claims arising from the detention of property by "any officer of customs or exercise or any other law enforcement officer."

Defendant filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint, alleging that the § 2680(c) exception applied to the United States in this case. This Court denied that motion, following the precedent set in Dahler v. United States, 473 F.3d 769, 771-772 (7th Cir. 2007). Shortly after that decision, however, the United States Supreme Court overturned Dahler. Ali, 128 S.Ct. at 841 ("Section 2680(c) forecloses lawsuits against the United States for the unlawful detention of property by "any," not just "some," law enforcement officers."). This Court must give retroactive effect to the Supreme Court's decision in Ali. Harper v. Virginia Dep't. of Taxation, 509 U.S. 86, 97 (1993).

Upon review of the record, the Court GRANTS defendant's motion for reconsideration and DISMISSES plaintiff's complaint in its entirety for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of the Court to enter judgment accordingly.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

WILLIAM D. STIEHL District Judge

20080321

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