Soverign Immunity – Suit for Specific Relief Against Federal Officers – United States Not a Necessary Part

Plaintiff, claiming right to possession, brought an ejection action in a Georgia court against both the government officer in possession of the land and the United States. Defendants removed the case to a United States district court and moved for dismissal. The district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that the court had no jurisdiction over the claim because the suit in substance and effect was against the United States and the United States had neither consented to be sued nor waived its immunity from suit. On appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, held, reversed, one judge dissenting. An action in ejectment against one who holds land to which plaintiff claims a possessory interest is not foreclosed because defendant possesses the land as agent of the United States and the United States has not waived its sovereign immunity. Bowdoin v. Malone, 284 F.2d 95 (5th Cir. 1960).