SCOTUS rules no statute of limitation to file suit against federal agencies


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that lawsuits against U.S. federal agencies can be filed within six years from when a plaintiff is injured by a regulatory agency action, rather than six years from the action becoming final. The 6-3 decision in Corner Post v. Federal Reserve involved whether a merchant that opened in 2018 could sue the Federal Reserve over its 2011 debit interchange final rule.

The court said that “Because injury, not just finality, is required to sue under the [Administrative Procedure Act], Corner Post’s cause of action was not complete and present until it was injured by Regulation II.”

The decision means there is now a significantly expanded statute of limitations for challenges to federal agency rules because the six years begins when a plaintiff is first injured by a final agency action.

It also means the merchant challenge to the Fed’s rule can proceed.

“Between the rulings in Chevron and Corner Post v. Fed, the Supreme Court has created a wild, wild west for regulations. Because of today’s ruling, we are going to see industries working to one up each other and a constant dash to the courthouse to file lawsuits based on changing business circumstances,” said America’s Credit Unions Chief Advocacy Officer Carrie Hunt. “Prior to this decision, there were limitations in place, but now most credit unions and financial institutions won’t have the certainty they rely on to run their operations. In regard to interchange, the merchants may come to regret this ruling because financial institutions have just as much, if not more ground to stand on to sue, due to the unstopped increase in fraud. Fraud merchants are not stopping.”

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