Pike v. Schumm et al
Memorandum Opinion and Order granting without opposition, United States Social Security Administration's motion to vacate garnishment order (Related Doc # 3 ) for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 7/27/2017(C,KA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
RICHARD SCHUMM, et al.,
CASE NO. 4:17CV1131
JUDGE BENITA Y. PEARSON
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
[Resolving ECF No. 3]
Pending is the United States Social Security Administration’s Motion to Vacate
Garnishment Order (ECF No. 3), filed on June 23, 2017. The Court has been advised, having
reviewed the record, the motion, and the applicable law. The Court has also considered the
statements of counsel and the parties offered on the record during the Telephonic Case
Management Conference held on July 24, 2017. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is
On April 7, 2017, the Girard Municipal Court entered a “Court Order and Notice of
Garnishment” against the “Social Security Office” to access the social security benefits of
Defendants-Judgment Debtors Richard Schumm and Patty Pepper. ECF No. 3-4. The Social
Security Office of General Counsel received the Affidavit, Order and Notice of Garnishment on
May 2, 2017. On May 31, 2017, the United States Social Security Administration filed a Notice
of Removal to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1442(a).
The Social Security Administration argues that as an agency of the United States
government, it is entitled to the protections of sovereign immunity. See, e.g., Whittle v. United
States, 7 F.3d 1259, 1262 (6th Cir. 1993). The immunity bar is jurisdictional in nature, such that
a court lacks jurisdiction to consider a lawsuit against the United States unless it has consented
to suit. See United States v. Mitchell, 463 U.S. 206, 212 (1983). Unless the United States
expressly waives this immunity, a court will lack subject-matter jurisdiction over the claim. See
Dep’t of the Army v. Blue Fox, Inc., 525 U.S. 255, 260 (1999); United States v. Mitchell, 445
U.S. 535, 538 (1980). The Social Security Administration has not enacted a waiver of sovereign
immunity that would allow a municipal court to enter a garnishment order against the agency in
order to execute on a civil judgment in a landlord-tenant dispute.
The United States Social Security Administration’s Motion to Vacate Garnishment Order
(ECF No. 3) is granted without opposition. The Girard Municipal Court’s “Court Order and
Notice of Garnishment” against the “Social Security Office” (ECF No. 3-4) is vacated for lack of
IT IS SO ORDERED.
July 27, 2017
/s/ Benita Y. Pearson
Benita Y. Pearson
United States District Judge
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