FSLIC v. Ticktin,
490 U.S. 82 (1989)

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U.S. Supreme Court

FSLIC v. Ticktin, 490 U.S. 82 (1989)

FSLIC v. Ticktin

No. 87-1865

Argued February 27, 1989

Decided April 3, 1989

490 U.S. 82


The Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. (FSLIC), in its capacity as receiver of a state-chartered savings and loan association, brought an action in the Federal District Court against former directors of the association for breach of their fiduciary duties under Illinois law. The District Court held that it had jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1345, which specifies that, except as "otherwise provided" by federal law, district courts have jurisdiction of all civil actions "commenced by" a federal agency "expressly authorized to sue" by Act of Congress. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that a proviso in 12 U.S.C. § 1730(k)(1) withdraws federal jurisdiction in cases in which the FSLIC "is a party in its capacity as . . . receiver . . . of an insured State-chartered institution" if the suit "involves only the rights or obligations of investors, creditors, stockholders, and such institution under State law."

Held: The District Court has jurisdiction over the FSLIC's action. Pp. 490 U. S. 84-87.

(a) In view of the fact that this case was "commenced by" a federal agency "expressly authorized to sue" under 12 U.S.C. § 1725(c), § 1345 supports the District Court's jurisdiction unless § 1730(k)(1) "otherwise provide[s]." Pp. 490 U. S. 84-85.

(b) A limitation on § 1345's jurisdictional grant is not "otherwise provided" by § 1730(k)(1), the proviso of which declares that FSLIC receivership cases involving specified parties and state law rights "shall not be deemed to arise under the laws of the United States." The proviso does not apply to clause (A) of § 1730(k)(1) -- which states that the FSLIC "shall be deemed to be an agency of the United States" and thereby confirms that § 1345's party-based jurisdiction is applicable in cases brought by the FSLIC -- since that clause does not rely on the presence of a federal question as a jurisdictional prerequisite. Rather, the proviso imposes a limit on the grant of federal question jurisdiction set forth in clauses (B) and (C) of § 1730(k)(1), which declare respectively that any civil suit in which the FSLIC is a party "shall be deemed to arise under

Page 490 U. S. 83

the laws of the United States," and that the FSLIC has the right to remove "any such action" from state to federal court. Pp. 490 U. S. 85-87.

832 F.2d 1438, reversed.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

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