You can see the impulse to try to sue directly in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania:
“Plaintiff entered into a lease agreement with defendants dated July 16, 2003 for a term of five years for a space located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Building 6, Suite 320, 4900 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 which was occupied by the United States Department of Agriculture. The lease ended on August 31, 2008 and plaintiff alleges that defendants [the Department of Agriculture] have failed to vacate the premises despite plaintiff’s demands that they do so. Paragraph 6(d) of the addendum to the lease requires defendants to vacate upon termination of the lease and to quit and deliver up to plaintiff the premises peacefully and quietly.
Plaintiff alleges that it requested that defendants vacate the premises and on September 8, 2008, defendants responded that they were ‘looking for space’ and could not vacate the premises until they found new space. Defendants also allege that they have continued to pay rent for the premises and that plaintiff has accepted it. Plaintiff alleges that he has a new tenant ready to occupy the premises when it becomes vacant and that the new tenant has stated that it needs possession of the premises as soon as possible or it will look for other space.”
4900 S. Broad St. Associates-Tenant, L.P. v. USDA, No. 8-4646, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4023, at *1–2 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 21, 2009, O’Neill, Jr., J.).
But you just can’t do it:
“The United States is immune from suit unless it has consented or has waived immunity in an act of Congress. United States v. Sherwood, 312 U.S. 584, 586, 61 S. Ct. 767, 85 L. Ed. 1058 (1941). To survive a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, plaintiff has the burden of showing that sovereign immunity has been waived to the satisfaction of the Court. In re Orthopedic Bone Screw Prod., Liab. Litig., 264 F.3d 344, 361 (3d Cir. 2001). The primary congressional acts waiving sovereign immunity for tort and contract suits against the government are the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346 (FTCA), and the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (CDA), 41 U.S.C. § 607(g)(1) and § 609(a)(1). Waiver of government immunity is narrowly construed. Id. at 362.
The Little Tucker Act, 1 which is simply a subsection of the FTCA, states that immunity is expressly waived for those claims not sounding in tort that are not subject to sections 8(g)(1) and 10(a)(1) of the CDA. 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2). These sections state that contract claims against the United States must either originate in the United States Court of Federal Claims or claimants must first exhaust their administrative remedies. U.S. v. Slaey, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55699, 2008 WL 2845351, at (E.D. Pa. 2008).”
Everyone who tries one of these suits against the United States in their local district court has a hook (the better ‘hook’ being equitable claims), and here’s where these guys get shot down:
“Plaintiff also alleges jurisdiction under the [Administrative Procedures Act] and the [Declaratory Judgment Act]. However, the APA does not provide an independent basis for jurisdiction. that ‘provision is not an independent grant of subject-matter jurisdiction.’ Fanning v. U.S., 346 F.3d 386, 402 (3d Cir. 2003), citing Your Home Visiting Nurse Services, Inc. v. Shalala, 525 U.S. 449, 457-58, 119 S. Ct. 930, 142 L. Ed. 2d 919 (1999), citing Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 97 S. Ct. 980, 51 L. Ed. 2d 192 (1977). Neither does the DJA provide an independent cause of action or confer subject matter jurisdiction where it does not already exist. Travelers Ins. Co. v. Obusek, 72 F.3d 1148, 1153 (3d Cir. 1995), citing Skelly Oil Co. v. Phillips Petroleum Co., 339 U.S. 667, 671, 70 S. Ct. 876, 94 L. Ed. 1194 (1950).”
Better luck next time!