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Osborn v. Haley

Docket No.: 05-593
Certiorari Granted: 5/15/2006
Argued: October 30, 2006
Decided: January 22, 2007

Topics:

Seventh Amendment, absolute immunity, Article I, Federal Tort Claims, immunity from suit, judicial review, patent

PartyNames: Pat Osborn v. Barry Haley, et al.
Petitioner: Pat Osborn
Respondent: Barry Haley, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Pat Osborn
v.
Barry Haley, et al.
549 U.S. 225 (2007)
Background:

When a federal employee is sued in a civil action in a state court, the Westfall Act, 28 U.S.C. ยง 2679(d)(2), authorizes the Attorney General to remove the action to federal district court-and seek to substitute the United States as the party defendant in place of the employee-by certifying that "the defendant employee was acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident out of which the claim arose." As the court of appeals expressly acknowledged, this case presents two questions "that have split the circuits" for more than a decade, namely:

Question Presented:

1. Whether the Westfall Act authorizes the Attorney General to certify that the employee was acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident solely by denying that such incident occurred at all.2. Whether the Westfall Act forbids a district court to remand an action to state court upon concluding that the Attorney General's purported certification was not authorized by the Act.

Question:

1) Does the Westfall Act authorize the Attorney General to certify that an employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of an incident by denying that the incident occurred at all? 2) Does the Westfall Act forbid a district court to send a case back to state court after finding that the Attorney General's certification was not authorized by the Act? 3) Do courts of appeals have jurisdiction to review a court's order sending a case back to a state court?

Note:

IN ADDITION TO THE

Holding: affirmed
Vote: 5-4
Opinion By:
Read OSBORN V. HALEY opinion (PDF)

Read opinion

Other Resources for Osborn v. Haley:
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