Court Rules Federal Reserve is Privately Owned
Case Reveals Fed's Status as a Private Institution
Below are excerpts from a court case proving the Federal Reserve system's status. As you will see, the court ruled that the Federal Reserve Banks are "independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations", and there is not sufficient "federal government control over 'detailed physical performance' and 'day to day operation'" of the Federal Reserve Bank for it to be considered a federal agency:
Lewis v. United States, 680 F.2d 1239 (1982)
John L. Lewis, Plaintiff/Appellant,
United States of America, Defendant/Appellee.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted March 2, 1982.
Decided April 19, 1982.
As Amended June 24, 1982.
Plaintiff, who was injured by vehicle owned and operated by a federal reserve bank, brought action alleging jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The United States District Court for the Central District of California, David W. Williams, J., dismissed holding that federal reserve bank was not a federal agency within meaning of Act and that the court therefore lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. Appeal was taken. The Court of Appeals, Poole, Circuit Judge, held that federal reserve banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the Act, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.
1. United States
There are no sharp criteria for determining whether an entity is a federal agency within meaning of the Federal Tort Claims Act, but critical factor is existence of federal government control over "detailed physical performance" and "day to day operation" of an entity. . . .
2. United States
Federal reserve banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of a Federal Tort Claims Act, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations in light of fact that direct supervision and control of each bank is exercised by board of directors, federal reserve banks, though heavily regulated, are locally controlled by their member banks, banks are listed neither as "wholly owned" government corporations nor as "mixed ownership" corporations; federal reserve banks receive no appropriated funds from Congress and the banks are empowered to sue and be sued in their own names...Cont'd...LINK
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