Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied November 21, 1978.
C. S. Lenoir appeals from a final judgment dismissing his civil action for flood damages to his lands located in Hardeman County, Tennessee.
Porters Creek is a small tributary of the Hatchie River which in turn joins the Mississippi River just north of Memphis, Tennessee. In 1959 the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with certain local agencies, promulgated a watershed plan pursuant to the federal Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, ch. 656, 68 Stat. 666 (1954), as amended, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1001-1009 (1976). The plan affected the Porters Creek watershed in Hardeman County, Tennessee and Benton and Tippah Counties in Mississippi.
One goal of the Watershed Plan was to improve 126,200 linear feet of the stream channel of Porters Creek. Plaintiff alleged that he owned 3,000 acres of land in Hardeman County through which the entire length of Porters Creek flows. On February 24, 1971, Lenoir granted an easement to the Porters Creek Watershed District over approximately 27 acres of that land:
The easement so granted included the right of ingress and egress at any time over the property and reserved to the Grantor "the right and privilege to use the first above-described land . . . at any time, in any manner, and for any purpose not inconsistent with the full use and enjoyment by the Grantee . . . ." Finally, it provided that "the Grantee is responsible for operating and maintaining the above-described works of improvement."
Lenoir's complaint further alleged that following modifications in the stream channel, which accelerated the drainage process, Porters Creek flooded his land and deposited sand and "other infertile sediment on plaintiff's one time rich pasture lands causing them to be unproductive and seriously and greviously (sic) impairing their ability to support plaintiff's livestock." He sought damages in the sum of $750,000.
On December 26, 1973, Lenoir filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Named as defendants were the United States Department of Agriculture, the Porters Creek Watershed District of Hardeman County, Tennessee (Hardeman), the Porters Creek Drainage District of Tippah County, Mississippi (Tippah), the Hardeman Soil Conservation District and the Northeast Mississippi Conservation Service.
In his complaint, as amended, Lenoir claimed that the defendants: (a) had negligently designed and constructed the Porters Creek Channel project so as to cause the flooding; (b) had breached their express or implied contracts to maintain the channel projects with the result that the creek was filled with sediment that had reduced its water-carrying ability and drainage capacity; (c) had created a public nuisance; (d) and had "permanently" deprived him of the use of his property, constituting an unconstitutional taking thereof without just compensation in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and of similar provisions in the Tennessee and Mississippi Constitutions.
In a series of orders entered by three separate judges of the District, all of Lenoir's
On April 15, 1975, the district court dismissed all state law claims for damages against Hardeman and Tippah on the ground that those agencies were engaged in governmental functions with regard to the Porters Creek project and thus were protected by governmental immunity. However, the district judge expressly held that principles of governmental immunity had no application to the inverse condemnation claims. By order of August 7, 1975, another judge of the district court denied Lenoir's motion to amend his complaint to add a trespass cause of action, finding that such a claim sounded in tort and would likewise be barred by governmental immunity. At the same time, the United States' motion to dismiss was granted on the ground that the contract and inverse condemnation claims against it could only be presented to the United States Court of Claims, and the tort claims were barred by the absolute immunity provided by Section 3 of the Flood Control Act of 1928, ch. 569, 45 Stat. 534, 535 (codified at 33 U.S.C. § 702c (1976)). The court also granted summary judgment to Hardeman and Tippah as to the state constitutional claims, on the grounds that the state provisions did not require compensation for negligent conduct and that the plaintiff had waived any rights he might have had by failing to process his complaints under certain statutory procedures provided by Tennessee and Mississippi law. Summary judgment was also granted in favor of Tippah on the Fourteenth Amendment claim, for the reason that defendant did not possess eminent domain powers over Lenoir's property, which admittedly lay solely within the boundaries of Tennessee.
Finally, a third order entered by a third district judge on February 26, 1976, dismissed the Fourteenth Amendment claim against Hardeman, on the ground that the watershed district had no statutory authority for the assessment of taxes for the payment of any judgment in inverse condemnation cases and thus Lenoir could maintain no civil action against Hardeman for such purpose. The third order clearly indicated that the court had finally disposed of all claims as to all parties.
Rule 8(a)(1), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, requires that a complaint shall contain "a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends . . . ." An insistance upon this straightforward requirement of the Federal Rules would, we believe, have simplified the issues both before the trial court and on appeal. Instead we and the district court have been faced with an analytical miasma in which it has been particularly difficult to ascertain whether the court's diversity, federal question, or even pendent jurisdiction was invoked.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Lenoir sought recovery under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671-680 (1976), on his claims of negligence and nuisance by Department of Agriculture employees. The district court ruled, however, that his claim against the Department was barred by 33 U.S.C. § 702c (1976), which provides that the United States shall not be liable for "any damage from or by floods or flood waters."
Lenoir argues that even if the United States cannot be held liable for negligent design or construction of the project, Section 702c is inapplicable to damages caused by the government's failure properly to maintain and operate the water project. Other circuits have indicated that Section 702c applies equally to negligence in the construction and maintenance of flood water structures. E. g., Graci v. United States, 456 F.2d 20, 25 (5th Cir. 1971); Stover v. United States, 332 F.2d 204, 206 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 379 U.S. 922, 85 S.Ct. 276, 13 L.Ed.2d 335 (1964). In this respect, however, plaintiff relies primarily upon Parada v. United States, 420 F.2d 493 (5th Cir. 1970), and Valley Cattle Co. v. United States, 259 F.Supp. 12 (D.Hawaii 1966). We find these cases inapposite.
Parada involved flood damage from a canal used to divert water from the Rio Grande for irrigation use by farmers. It was clearly not a flood control structure and Section 702c was never even discussed by the court. Likewise, Valley Cattle involved a project altogether unconnected with flood control. However, the court upheld the government's liability on the ground that the flood resulted solely from the United States' negligent acts and not from any unusual climatic conditions. Our examination of relevant case law satisfies us that the exception to Section 702c in Valley Cattle is limited to those circumstances in which the sole cause of the injury was governmental negligence. See Guy F. Atkinson Co. v. Merritt, Chapman & Scott Corp., 126 F.Supp. 406 (N.D.Cal.1954); Stover v. United States, 204 F.Supp. 477 (N.D.Cal.1962), aff'd 332 F.2d 204 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 379 U.S. 922, 85 S.Ct. 276, 13 L.Ed.2d 335 (1964). Here the facts before us, framed both by plaintiff's complaint and by undisputed affidavits, establish that the injury to Lenoir's land occurred only after unusually heavy rains. Furthermore, we note that this narrowing construction of Section 702 has been rejected by some courts. E. g., Lunsford v. United States, 570 F.2d 221 (8th Cir. 1977).
In a final effort to sustain his tort claim against the United States, Lenoir relies upon the McCarran Amendment, ch. 651, § 208, 66 Stat. 560 (1952) (codified at 43 U.S.C. § 666 (1970)),
In dismissing the United States Department of Agriculture as a defendant, the district court held that the contractual and constitutional claims could be adjudicated only in the United States Court of Claims, implicitly ruling that it was without subject matter jurisdiction over those causes of action.
The Tucker Act, ch. 359, 24 Stat. 505 (1887), as amended, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(a)(2), 1491 (1976), grants to the Court of Claims jurisdiction to render judgment against the United States on claims founded "either upon the Constitution or any Act of Congress, or any regulation of an executive department, or upon any express or implied contract with the United States . . .", limiting district courts to concurrent jurisdiction over those claims which do not exceed $10,000 in amount. Here it is uncontested that Lenoir's claim vastly exceeds that amount.
Though not disputing the unavailability of the Tucker Act as a jurisdictional basis for his contract and constitutional claims, Lenoir urges that the district court possessed power to adjudicate these claims under a pendent jurisdiction theory, relying on United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 86 S.Ct. 1130, 16 L.Ed.2d 218 (1966). He states that the Federal Tort Claims Act provided the independent jurisdictional ground. Even assuming that Lenoir's cause of action under the Tort Claims Act was substantial enough to confer subject matter jurisdiction, we find that pendent jurisdiction has no application to a claim against the United States.
The United States cannot be sued without its consent. United States v. Sherwood, 312 U.S. 584, 61 S.Ct. 767, 85 L.Ed.2d 1058 (1941). The absence of such consent is considered a fundamental, jurisdictional defect. Sherwood, supra, 312 U.S. at 586, 61 S.Ct. 767; Roberts v. United States, 498 F.2d 520 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 1070, 95 S.Ct. 656, 42 L.Ed.2d 665 (1974); Gnotta v. United States, 415 F.2d 1271 (8th Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 397 U.S. 934, 90 S.Ct. 941, 25 L.Ed.2d 115 (1970). When Congress consents to a suit, it may define the conditions under which it will permit such actions, Honda v. Clark, 386 U.S. 484, 87 S.Ct. 1188, 18 L.Ed.2d 244 (1967); Melo v. United States, 505 F.2d 1026 (8th Cir. 1974), including the courts in which the suit may be brought. Minnesota v. United States, 305 U.S. 382, 388, 59 S.Ct. 292, 83 L.Ed. 235 (1939).
Though not considered by Lenoir, we also conclude that 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (1976), the general federal question provision, does not provide a jurisdictional basis on these facts. The Fifth Amendment "taking" claim "arises under the Constitution," and a remedy for a violation of this provision arguably does not require a waiver of sovereign immunity. However, a number of cases indicate that Congress has made the Court of Claims the exclusive and an adequate forum for the Fifth Amendment claims, at least those over $10,000. Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, ___ n.15, 98 S.Ct. 2620, 2629 n.15, 57 L.Ed.2d 595 (1978); Regional Rail Reorganization Act Cases, 419 U.S. 102, 127, 95 S.Ct. 335, 42 L.Ed.2d 320 (1974); Yearsley v. Ross Construction Co., 309 U.S. 18, 21, 60 S.Ct. 413, 84 L.Ed. 554 (1940); Hurley v. Kincaid, 285 U.S. 95, 103-104, 52 S.Ct. 127, 76 L.Ed. 521 (1932). We conclude that 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2) expressly limits the district court's jurisdiction over these types of claims against the government to those not exceeding $10,000 in amount and that to utilize the court's federal question or pendent jurisdiction as to the Fifth Amendment claim would override the express policy of Congress embodied in the Tucker Act.
THE STATE TORT CLAIMS
At the outset it is clear that the Eleventh Amendment does not bar the claims for monetary relief against Hardeman and Tippah, and no such contention was made either in the district court or here, since that amendment does not extend to counties, municipal corporations, and similar local entities that are not arms of the state. Mt. Healthy City Board of Education v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 280, 97 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed.2d 471 (1977). This determination turns in part on the nature of the governmental body under state law. Id. We conclude that however else they might be characterized, the Porters Creek Watershed District of Hardeman County and the Porters Creek Drainage District of Tippah County are sufficiently independent political units not to to be considered as a part of the state or within the immunity provisions of the Eleventh Amendment.
Based on either diversity or pendent jurisdiction state law governs consideration of the several state claims raised in the complaint and dismissed by the district court.
Plaintiff's amended complaint charged that Hardeman and Tippah had been guilty of negligence in the design and maintenance of the watershed project and of maintaining a nuisance, claims sounding in tort and thus governed by the respective laws of Mississippi and Tennessee.
In 1973 the Tennessee Governmental Tort Immunity Act, Tenn.Code Ann. §§ 23-3301 et seq. (Supp.1977), removed governmental immunity as a defense to a large class of tort suits with regard to local, but not state, units of government. Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation v. Hughes, 531 S.W.2d 299 (Tenn.1975). However, that Act applied to claims arising after January 1,
While neither the parties nor the district court discussed at length the general principles of governmental immunity in Tennessee, that state has recognized that municipal corporations are immune from tort liability if the damage occurs in the performance of governmental functions, but that there is no immunity if the municipality was engaging in a proprietary or private function. City of Memphis v. Bettis, 512 S.W.2d 270 (Tenn.1974). The distinction is difficult and is based upon the facts of each case. 512 S.W.2d at 272. The Tennessee Supreme Court has stated:
512 S.W.2d at 272.
On appeal Lenoir urges that the Hardeman Watershed District is not a government entity, but that if it is such a body, it was nonetheless performing a purely proprietary function here to which no immunity would attach in a suit for damages arising out of that activity. Lenoir cites no Tennessee authority for these contentions, although he does cite a number of cases from other jurisdictions holding that drainage or irrigation districts are not entitled to governmental immunity. The district court held that Hardeman was a governmental agency, relying upon In re Forked Deer Drainage District, 133 Tenn. 684, 182 S.W. 237 (1916), and that the district was in fact fulfilling a governmental function in undertaking the channelization project, citing Gulf Refining Co. v. Mark C. Walker & Son Co., 124 F.2d 420 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 316 U.S. 682, 62 S.Ct. 1268, 86 L.Ed. 1755 (1942). Neither the parties nor the court found any Tennessee judicial interpretation of the character of watershed districts in the state as contrasted with those of drainage districts. Nonetheless if a drainage district in Tennessee has been judicially construed as a governmental agency, it would seem even more likely that a watershed district would enjoy similar status. We think it is clear that Hardeman is a governmental, rather than a private, corporate body.
Somewhat more difficult is the question of whether in rechanneling the Porters Creek, the district was exercising a "governmental function." The Hardeman Watershed District was formed pursuant to the Tennessee Watershed District Act of 1955, Tenn.Code Ann. §§ 70-1801 et seq. (Repl.Vol.1976). Such a district is given numerous powers but the more relevant include:
Tenn.Code Ann. § 70-1818 (Repl.Vol.1976).
We believe it is apparent that since a watershed district under Tennessee law is permitted not only to exercise the powers conferred upon drainage districts but also to have the additional authority above cited, its functions are generally of a broader governmental nature and that, therefore, there is even less reason to believe that in Tennessee a watershed district would be formed for solely a proprietary as contrasted to a governmental purpose.
In Gulf Refining Co., supra, several defendants, including Shelby County, Tennessee, were sued for negligence in building a levee on Gulf's land. The project was funded under one of the federal flood control acts with United States funds being provided for the construction of levees. The county secured easements and rights of way along the river. However, in working on the levee, a subcontractor damaged a gasoline pipe owned by Gulf. Our circuit upheld a district court dismissal of the suit against the county on the ground that "it was engaged in the work of a public improvement in pursuance of its governmental functions, and so not liable in tort for negligence of its agents, employees, or an independent contractor . . . ." 124 F.2d at 423. While Gulf Refining involved a county and not a watershed or drainage district and while conceivably there could be, in fact, a higher likelihood of immunity for county government, see Metropolitan Government v. Allen, 220 Tenn. 222, 415 S.W.2d 632 (1967), other Tennessee cases concerning drainage districts emphasize the public purpose of those bodies. Also the close similarity of drainage districts to watershed districts supports a conclusion that Hardeman was engaging in a strictly governmental function. Thus in Pritchard v. Johnson-Tobey Construction Co., 155 Tenn. 571, 296 S.W. 17 (1927), the Tennessee Supreme Court expressly found that drainage districts were instrumentalities of the county and of the state, observing that the Board of Directors of a drainage district is a "quasi public corporation, charged with the duty of executing a governmental purpose as a governmental agency." 296 S.W. at 19.
Lenoir's second challenge to the dismissal of the damage claims against Hardeman is its claim that the district court erred in concluding that there had not in fact been a waiver of any immunity by the watershed district. In this respect he points to the statute giving Hardeman the power "to sue and be sued by its corporate name." Tenn.Code Ann. § 70-1818(B) (Repl.Vol.1976). The district court held that the language was insufficient to allow tort claims against Hardeman, relying primarily upon Phillips v. Marion County, 166 Tenn. 83, 59 S.W.2d 507 (1933). In Phillips, the Tennessee Supreme Court indicated that a waiver of immunity must be clearly and precisely stated, relying upon the proscription of Article I, Section 17 of the Tennessee Constitution providing that "[s]uits may be brought against the State in such manner and in such courts as the Legislature may by law direct." The court in Phillips held that this "provision carries the positive implication that suits shall not be brought otherwise, or at all, unless the authority be affirmatively given by statute." 59 S.W.2d at 508. See also Brewington v. Brewington, 215 Tenn. 475, 387 S.W.2d 777 (1965), observing that the legislation authorizing suit must be "so plain, clear, and unmistakable in its provisions as to the manner and form in which such suit may be brought as to leave nothing to surmise and conjecture." 387 S.W.2d at 779.
Thus we find that the simple employment of the language "sue and be sued" in a corporate charter is not, without more, sufficient in Tennessee to create a waiver of
Concerning the tort claims against Tippah, Lenoir presents the identical arguments except that he does not contend that if immunity exists, it has been waived. In contrast to Tennessee law, there appears to be a fairly clear judicial determination in Mississippi that drainage districts, such as Tippah, are in fact immune from tort liability. Drainage districts in Mississippi are governmental agencies. In Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So.2d 301 (1944), the Mississippi Supreme Court stated, "These districts are, therefore, political subdivisions of the state — they are governmental agencies, as well as private enterprises." 18 So.2d at 303. And we find controlling on the question the precise holding of the Mississippi Supreme Court that drainage districts are performing governmental functions in connection with flood control measures. Stephens v. Beaver Dam Drainage Dist., 123 Miss. 884, 86 So. 641 (1921). See also Stewart v. State Highway Commission, 166 Miss. 43, 148 So. 218 (1933). Accordingly, we hold that as to the tort claims alleged against Hardeman and Tippah, they enjoy immunity from suit under their respective state laws.
THE STATE CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS
Lenoir claims that Hardeman and Tippah each violated his rights under their respective state constitutions by taking his property through inverse condemnation without just compensation. Because it is quickly disposed of, the claim against Tippah is first discussed.
The district court granted summary judgment to Tippah upon this reasoning:
Section 17 of the Mississippi Constitution provides that:
In Stephens, the Mississippi Supreme Court construed Section 17 not to apply to:
Subsequent cases appear to have upheld Stephens' interpretation of Section 17. State Highway Commissioner v. Knight, 170 Miss. 60, 154 So. 263 (1934); State Highway Commission v. McClendon, 212 Miss. 18, 53 So.2d 35 (1951); Belzoni Drainage Dist. v. Cobb, 137 Miss. 393, 102 So. 259 (1924). We, therefore, conclude that upon the facts pleaded by Lenoir, he would possess no cause of action under Mississippi law for violation of his rights under Section 17 of the Mississippi Constitution.
Lenoir alleged a taking by Hardeman under the Tennessee Constitution. Article I, Section 21 of the Tennessee Constitution provides:
The district judge concluded that in some way Lenoir's rights under the Tennessee Constitution are no different from those under Mississippi's Constitution. Lenoir does not indicate that any case law in Tennessee requires a different result. Thus, in the absence of any precise decisional law on the issue, we accord considerable weight in this case to the interpretation of the law of Tennessee by a federal district judge located in that state who, therefore, would be possessed of a greater sensitivity to that state's interpretation of its own laws. Martin v. University of Louisville, supra, 541 F.2d at 1176 n.7, and cases cited therein.
THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL CLAIMS
Lenoir's amended complaint alleges that the action of the Hardeman and Tippah districts amounted to a taking without payment of just compensation by those agencies of government, contrary to the provisions of the Fifth Amendment as embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Construed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, Lenoir's complaint alleged that although he had on February 24, 1971, granted to Hardeman a limited easement over 27 acres of his land, the defendants and the United States effectively took by inverse condemnation an easement which vastly exceeded the limited scope of that grant. In its second order, the district court, in dismissing other claims, left these claims undisturbed and it was not until February 26, 1976, that another judge of the same district undertook to dismiss these remaining claims. As his sole basis for dismissal, the district court concluded that even if a "taking" had occurred violative of the Federal Constitution, it nevertheless was not actionable because there was no means by which to satisfy the judgment and that, therefore, no right could exist without the presence of a remedy. In essence, the court held that because no statutory provision existed in the state laws of Tennessee or Mississippi for the payment of any judgment which might be rendered against them for a violation of the plaintiff's federally guaranteed constitutional rights, no right of recovery existed. We cannot agree.
If such a constitutional right existed and if Lenoir had standing to assert it in a court of the United States, that right could not be defeated by a state governmental agency which was not clothed with an immunity under the Eleventh Amendment.
Neither the district court nor the parties here have seriously contended that "a taking of property" under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution must invariably amount to an actual physical appropriation. "[I]t is plain today that nonacquisitive governmental action may amount to a taking in a constitutional sense." Nowak, Rotunda & Young, Constitutional Law 440 (1978). In United States v. Causby, 328 U.S. 256, 66 S.Ct. 1062, 90 L.Ed. 1206 (1946), the Supreme Court held that frequent low altitude flights of government planes over a chicken farm resulted
As earlier noted, most cases of federal taking of private property by inverse condemnation are heard in the United States Court of Claims, necessarily. It, therefore, follows that the law of inverse condemnation has primarily developed in that court. Thus in the Court of Claims well-defined definitions of the rule have developed, definitions which are, we believe, consistent with the guidelines of Causby and Griggs. In Barnes v. United States, 538 F.2d 865 (Ct.Cl.1976), that court summarized the law of "taking" where it was effected by flooding.
538 F.2d at 870-71.
Construed most favorably to the plaintiff, Lenoir has charged that the defendants' conduct has resulted in injury and in a flowage easement which vastly exceeded the scope of the proposed improvement to which he consented. If this conduct under the cases cited amounts to inverse condemnation under the Fifth Amendment, we see no reason whatever why such conduct should not likewise amount to an unlawful violative taking under the Fourteenth Amendment. In Gordon v. City of Warren, 579 F.2d 386 (6th Cir. 1978), Judge Lively,
Likewise, Judge Lively went on to observe that our circuit has consistently upheld claims of a direct right of action against municipal corporations for damages arising when those corporations deprived the plaintiff of his property without due process and just compensation in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Wiley v. Memphis Police Department, 548 F.2d 1247, 1254 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 822, 98 S.Ct. 65, 54 L.Ed.2d 78 (1977); Amen v. City of Dearborn, 532 F.2d 554, 559 (6th Cir. 1976); Foster v. City of Detroit, 405 F.2d 138 (6th Cir. 1968).
As Judge Lively observed in Gordon v. City of Warren:
579 F.2d at 391.
If the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment is effectively to be guaranteed to citizens of the United States, the basis for denial of that relief employed by the district court here would appear to have little or no validity. While Tennessee and Mississippi might well be empowered to limit the application of their own state constitutional protections to those instances in which state law provides specifically a means of recompense, surely plaintiff's federal right cannot be so easily circumscribed. We need not here concern ourselves with the precise manner in which any judgment in damages is to be recovered from the governmental units here involved. It is enough for our purposes at this time to hold that a cause of action exists under the Fourteenth Amendment and that the jurisdiction of the United States District Court over that cause of action existed under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
In summarily disposing of the several claims embodied in plaintiff's complaint, the district court did not address several other grounds for dismissal raised by the appellees as alternative bases for relief. The parties have not addressed those issues here by cross-appeal or otherwise, and we do not, therefore, reach them.
Accordingly the judgment of the district court is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent herewith.
While we observe that the plaintiff has not sought to enjoin the general application of Section 702c, see Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144, 152-55, 83 S.Ct. 554, 9 L.Ed.2d 644 (1963), we conclude that the question is more properly one for decision by the United States Court of Claims and thus do not find it necessary to rule upon the question. In considering the "taking" claim for damages, the Court of Claims may consider the validity of Section 702c. Gentry v. United States, 546 F.2d 343 (Ct.Cl.1976). Moreover, we note that Lenoir's complaint is framed primarily as a request for damages, not for a declaratory judgment. See also Duke Power Co., supra, ___ U.S. at ___ n.15, 98 S.Ct. 2629.
Alternatively, jurisdiction over Hardeman and Tippah exists under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Lenoir alleged that Hardeman and Tippah took his property without just compensation, in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. This claim was sufficiently substantial to support jurisdiction under the federal question provision. Thus the district court had pendent jurisdiction over the state causes of action against Hardeman and Tippah.