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YORK BANK & TRUST CO. v. FSLIC

July 10, 1987

The York Bank & Trust Company, Plaintiff
v.
Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation in its corporate capacity and as receiver for Empire Savings & Loan Assn., Federal Home Loan Bank Board, First United Fund Limited, Inc., and P. V. Anderson, Defendants


William W. Caldwell, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CALDWELL

WILLIAM W. CALDWELL, United States District Judge

 Introduction

 Plaintiff, The York Bank & Trust Company, brought this action against the federal defendants, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board ("FHLBB") and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Company ("FSLIC"), contesting a determination made by the FSLIC that certain certificates of deposit owned by plaintiff whose face value exceeds one million dollars were only insured to the extent of $ 100,000.00. *fn1" The federal defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. It is the position of defendants that plaintiff is limited to the exclusive remedies provided under the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, and that we lack jurisdiction to entertain plaintiff's claims against them. For the reasons set forth below, we will grant defendants' motion.

 Background

 On March 14, 1984, the FHLBB appointed the FSLIC as a receiver for Empire Savings and Loan Association. Prior to being placed in receivership, Empire had sold five certificates of deposit to plaintiff. The total face value of the certificates was in excess of one million dollars. Employing its receivership powers, the FSLIC determined that plaintiff's certificates were only insured to the statutory maximum of $ 100,000. Plaintiff requested a reconsideration of the FSLIC's determination and that request was formally denied on June 20, 1985. Thereafter, the plaintiff initiated this action against the FSLIC as a receiver for Empire, to recover monies that were deposited with Empire and insured by the FSLIC.

 Discussion

 The federal defendants argue that plaintiff's claims against them must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. They contend that jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims is exclusively vested in the FSLIC and FHLBB and that judicial interference with this administrative process is specifically prohibited by statute. *fn2" In support of this argument, defendants cite 12 U.S.C. § 1464(d)(6)(C) which provides:

 
(C) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no court may take any action for or toward the removal of any conservator or receiver, or, except at the instance of the Board, restrain or affect that exercise of powers or functions of a conservator or receiver.

 Defendants further rely on the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in North Mississippi Savings & Loan Association v. Hudspeth, 756 F.2d 1096 (5th Cir. 1985) to advance their position. In Hudspeth, the court held that jurisdiction over defendant's counterclaim against the FSLIC was exclusively with the FHLBB and upheld the dismissal of defendant's counterclaim. The court found that the adjudication of creditors' claims was the exclusive function of the FSLIC and that judicial review would restrain the FSLIC in the exercise of its receivership powers. It also found that the existence of such power was supported by the statutory scheme and consistent with the overriding purpose of Congress of facilitating the expeditious review of creditor's claims. As the court stated:

 
Our conclusion is fortified by the existence of FHLBB regulations setting forth procedures for FSLIC payment of creditor claims. Under these regulations, the FSLIC gives notice to creditors to present their claims, and then may disallow claims "not proven to its satisfaction." Any disallowed claims are submitted to the FHLBB for review. 12 C.F.R. §§ 569a.8, 549.4. This administrative process serves to hasten the resolution of the receivership proceedings, in keeping with the Congressional purpose. Furthermore, the regulations reflect the view of the FHLBB, the enforcing agency for the relevant banking statutes, that the FSLIC is empowered to decide claims as part of its receivership function. The FHLBB's opinion is entitled to our deference. Mattox v. FTC, 752 F.2d 116, 123-24 (5th Cir. 1985); Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837, 104 S. Ct. 2778, 2782-83, 81 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1984).

 Id. at 1102-03 (footnote omitted).

 Plaintiff, on the other hand, argues that Hudspeth should be rejected in favor of the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in Morrison-Knudsen Co., Inc. v. CHG International, 811 F.2d 1209 (9th Cir. 1987). *fn3" There, the court held that jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims against the FSLIC was not vested exclusively with the FHLBB and permitted plaintiff to pursue its claims in federal district court. In contrast to the Hudspeth court, it found that the FSLIC's receivership powers did not include the authority to adjudicate creditor's claims as there was no evidence in the relevant statutory language or legislative history that the FSLIC, as a receiver, was empowered to adjudicate creditor's claims. In addition to these considerations, the court relied on such factors as the failure of Congress to provide detailed measures delineating agency procedures and remedies and the broad grant of jurisdiction to the federal courts over any action in which the FSLIC is a party. See 12 U.S.C. § 1730(k)(1). The court also noted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which has similar receivership powers, has never asserted that it was authorized to adjudicate the claims of creditors. The court summarized its position in the following manner:

 
To sum up, we conclude that FSLIC's assertion of adjudicatory power in its receivership capacity is unsupported by the statutory language and inconsistent with congressional intent. The two-tiered framework Congress has established for FSLIC (as for the FDIC) is clear and coherent. As overseer of ongoing associations, the agency stands above the insured institutions and has important but well-defined adjudicatory powers to ensure compliance with federal law. As receiver for failed associations, however, FSLIC stands in the shoes of the insured institution. It takes over assets and liabilities, and it assumes full operational control in its own name. It is empowered and indeed obligated to pay all valid depositors' and creditors' claims up to certain limits in orderly fashion and without immediate judicial supervision. It may settle or release these claims with the consent of claimant ...

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