Collin v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., No. 17-3733 (KETHLEDGE, Sutton, Larsen).
Plaintiff filed a petition for mandamus asking the district court to order the Commissioner of Social Security to pay a lump-sum payment to her for monies allegedly owed to her because the Commissioner had mistakenly stopped garnishing the pay of Plaintiff’s ex-husband. The district court granted the Commissioner’s motion to dismiss, finding that Plaintiff’s request was one for “money damages,” as to which the United States was immune from suit.
The Sixth Circuit affirmed, holding that the Plaintiff was seeking a substitute for moneys the government should have withheld between October 2015 and January 2017, and not enforcement of “the statutory mandate itself,” such that the relief would be considered equitable in nature. Because Congress had not waived immunity for demands for money damages, the Court held that the United States was immune from Plaintiff’s suit.