Rush v. Department of Veteran Affairs et al
Memorandum Opinion and Order: This Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims and, therefore, dismisses this action in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). The Court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. (Related Doc. No. 1 ). Judge Sara Lioi on 1/11/2018. (P,J)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
THOMAS L. RUSH,
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS
AFFAIRS, et al.,
CASE NO. 5: 17 CV 1833
JUDGE SARA LIOI
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND
Pro se plaintiff Thomas Rush, a United States veteran, has filed a complaint against the
Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) and Disabled American Veterans (“DAV”). (Doc. No. 1.)
Although his precise legal claims are unclear, Mr. Rush contends that he was denied compensation
for an arrhythmia that he incurred during his military service, and that the DAV and VA failed to
properly represent him and/or provide him with appropriate information in connection with his
claim for compensation. He seeks damages and to have the VA comply with any Congressional
mandate to compensate veterans for arrhythmias.
Even liberally construed, however, Mr. Rush’s complaint does not contain a claim for relief
over which this Court may exercise jurisdiction. Under the Veterans Judicial Review Act of 1988,
federal district courts lack jurisdiction to review decisions relating to veterans’ benefits. Congress
has reserved authority to review of veterans’ benefits decisions with the United States Court of
Veterans Appeals or the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. See Beamon v. Brown, 125 F.3d
965, 970-71 (6th Cir. 1997); Newsom v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, 8 F. App’x 470, 471 (6th Cir.
2001) (“Congress has vested exclusive jurisdiction over claims regarding veterans benefits with
the Court of Veterans Appeals (“CVA”), and the CVA’s decisions are reviewed exclusively by the
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”) (citing Beamon, 125 F.3d at 970); Rankin v. Lull, No.
1:17-cv-485, 2017 WL 4763583, at *3 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 20, 2017) (“The ‘text of the [Veterans
Judicial Review Act] and this extensive legislative history express Congressional intent to
construct an exclusive source or review for veterans benefits claims.’”) (quoting Beamon, 125 F.3d
Because Mr. Rush’s allegations, in substance, challenge an underlying benefits decision
and seeks benefits, he must use the forum provided by Congress for resolving veterans’ benefits
determinations. This Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over his claims and, therefore,
dismisses this action in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at any
time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”).
The Court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this
decision could not be taken in good faith.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: January 11, 2018
HONORABLE SARA LIOI
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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