CHOY, Circuit Judge:
Morris and his wife appeal from dismissal of their action for damages brought under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b) and 2674 against the United States and various public officials and employees. We affirm.
For purposes of this appeal, we assume that the following allegations contained in appellants' complaint are true. During the 1960's Morris was engaged in a plumbing and contracting business in Los Angeles. From 1960 to 1965 he acquired 18 substandard buildings in San
In 1970, after years of investigation, auditing and partially successful collection activity, the IRS determined that appellants owed no taxes and returned $6,500.00 which had been collected through various levies and seizures.
After filing an unsuccessful administrative claim for damages against the IRS, appellants filed the present action against the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Treasurer of the United States, and an Internal Revenue officer. The district court's dismissal was grounded upon a lack of subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b). We affirm.
It is well-settled, and appellants do not dispute, that the United States government may not be sued unless it has specifically waived its sovereign immunity. Thus, the exclusive jurisdiction over civil actions against the United States conferred on federal district courts, 28 U.S.C. § 1346, is limited to cases in which the government has consented to be sued.
In this case, appellants brought action under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671 et seq., which waives the sovereign immunity defense in tort claims against the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2674. The waiver, however, is severely limited by several exceptions spelled out in 28 U.S.C. § 2680. If a plaintiff's tort claim falls within one of the exceptions, the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Gibson v. United States, 457 F.2d 1391 (3rd Cir. 1972).
Appellees assert that the § 2680(c) exception, covering claims "arising in respect of the assessment or collection of any tax," applies in this case and bars appellants' action against the United States. We agree. Even assuming arguendo that the Internal Revenue agents' collection activity was beyond the normal scope of authority and amounted to tortious conduct, we find that the claim falls squarely within the exempted group of tort claims arising out of tax collection efforts. Krouse v. United States Government Treasury Department Internal Revenue Service, 380 F.Supp. 219, 222 (C.D.Cal.1974); see Broadway Open Air Theatre v. United States, 208 F.2d 257 (4th Cir. 1953).
The alleged conduct of the IRS agents, if true, would be deplorable; nevertheless, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claims against them. Although the Federal Tort Claims Act does not bar damage actions against individual federal employees, the Act merely permits certain types of actions against the United States. The Act does not create a general federal cause of action for tortious conduct against federal employees. For a claim against other parties to be joined with a claim against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, an independent ground for jurisdiction must exist. Williams v. United States, 405 F.2d 951, 954 (9th Cir. 1969).