399 F.2d 672 (9th Cir. 1968), 21896, Mann v. United States

Docket Nº:21896.
Citation:399 F.2d 672
Party Name:Keith Yazzie MANN, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:August 29, 1968
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 672

399 F.2d 672 (9th Cir. 1968)

Keith Yazzie MANN, Appellant,


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 21896.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Aug. 29, 1968

Charles E. Cates (argued), Phoenix, Ariz., for appellant.

Wm. Kanter (argued), Atty., Dept. of Justice, Morton Hollander, Chief, Appellate Section, Washington, D.C., Edward E. Davis, U.S. Atty., E. L. Weisl, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Phoenix, Ariz., for appellee.

Before ELY and CARTER, Circuit Judges, and BELLONI, District Judge.

ELY, Circuit Judge.

Appellant Mann instituted this action in the District Court on December 22, 1966, under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b), to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been sustained on April 9, 1960. The District Court granted the Government's motion to dismiss upon the ground that the action was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b). Mann appeals. Our jurisdiction rests upon 28 U.S.C. § 1291.

Mann is an Indian of the Navajo tribe. He was born in Arizona and lived with his uneducated, nomadic parents until he was nine or ten years old. At about that time, he was enrolled at the Intermountain Indian School at Brigham City, Utah. The school is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. When Mann was approximately sixteen years of age, he was seriously injured as a result of the alleged negligence of the United States. No agent of the Government brought to Mann's attention the possible liability of the United States, and Mann insists that he did not become aware of the possible liability of the Government until some six years later, when he was approximately twenty-two years of age. He then filed this action in the District Court.

Page 673

The Federal Tort Claims Act provides, in part, as follows: 'A tort claim against the United States shall be forever barred unless action is begun within two years after such claim accrues * * *.' 28 U.S.C.§ 2401(b). Institution of suit within the two-year period is a jurisdictional requirement. Powers v. United States, 390 F.2d 602 (9th Cir. 1968); Humphreys v. United States, 272 F.2d 411, 412 (9th Cir. 1959). The time limitation is not tolled during a claimant's minority. Brown v. United States, 353 F.2d 578 (9th Cir. 1965); Pittman v. United States, 341 F.2d 739 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 382 U.S. 941, 86 S.Ct. 394, 15 L.Ed.2d 351 (1965).

Mann argues that the Government may be prevented...

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