Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) June 18, 2018
FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW
JERSEY (D.C. Civ. Action No. 2-17-cv-01835) District Judge:
Honorable William J. Martini
Randall Bass Freeman & Bass, P.C. 24 Commerce Street,
Suite 726 Newark, NJ, 07102 Counsel for Appellant
Carpenito Kruti D. Dharia Office of United States Attorney
970 Broad Street Newark, N.J., 07102 Counsel for Appellee
Before: GREENAWAY, JR., RESTREPO, and BIBAS, Circuit Judges.
GREENAWAY, JR., Circuit Judge.
Sconiers asks us to reinstate her tort claim against the
United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act
("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671-80
(2012), because she presented her claim to the United States
Postal Service (USPS) within two years, as required by 28
U.S.C. § 2401(b). We decline to do so because we hold
that the FTCA additionally requires claimants to file their
claims within six months of an agency's written denial,
which Sconiers failed to do. We will affirm the District
case arises from a car accident that occurred on January 6,
2016, in Newark, New Jersey, between a car driven by Sconiers
and a vehicle owned by USPS. About two weeks after the
accident, Sconiers submitted an administrative tort claim
form to USPS seeking damages for injuries that she claimed
she suffered in the accident.
seven months later, by letter dated July 14, 2016, and
addressed to Sconiers's counsel, USPS denied her claim.
The letter, citing the FTCA-i.e., 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b)
and the relevant regulation-informed Sconiers that if she was
"dissatisfied with the Postal Service's final
denial," she "may file suit in a United States
District Court no later than six (6) months after the date
the Postal Service mails the notice of that final
action." App. 19. Sconiers, however, filed her complaint
before the District Court eight months later-or two
months after the limitations period that USPS alleges that
the FTCA requires-and named as defendants, inter
alia, USPS and Stephan D. Johnson, who was the driver of
the USPS truck.
United States moved before the District Court to be
substituted in place of USPS and Johnson, as well as for
summary judgment. It contended that Sconiers's failure to
file her lawsuit within six months of the mailing of the
denial of her administrative claim rendered her lawsuit
untimely. Sconiers did not contest the substitution of the
United States, but urged the District Court to equitably toll
the statute of limitations.
District Court found that Sconiers's complaint was filed
beyond the FTCA's six-month statute of limitations and
determined that she had not identified any extraordinary
circumstance that justified equitable tolling of the
deadline. Accordingly, it granted the Government's
motions. This appeal followed.
a sovereign, the United States is immune from suit unless it
consents to be sued." White-Squire v. U.S. Postal
Serv., 592 F.3d 453, 456 (3d Cir. 2010). The FTCA is
"a limited waiver of the sovereign immunity of the
United States," Miller v. Phila. Geriatric