Under 28 U.S.C. § 2409a, an individual can file a quiet title action against the United States in cases where there is a dispute over the title of real property. This statute waives the sovereign immunity of the United States, allowing it to be sued. The action must be filed in the U.S. district court for the district where the property is located. The statute of limitations for such actions is 12 years from the date upon which it accrued, but it does not apply to any lands held in trust by the United States for Native American tribes. The statute also does not apply to disputes over water rights.
28 U.S.C. § 1331 grants federal district courts jurisdiction over 'all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.' This means that if a quiet title action involves a substantial federal issue, such as a claim based on federal law or the U.S. Constitution, the case could potentially be heard in federal court. However, most quiet title actions are based on state law and would not fall under this jurisdiction unless there is a specific federal question involved.
28 U.S.C. § 1346(f) provides that the district courts shall have jurisdiction over civil actions under 28 U.S.C. § 2409a to adjudicate the validity of any assertion of a claim by the United States to an interest in real property. This statute is essentially a jurisdictional companion to 28 U.S.C. § 2409a, ensuring that the federal courts have the authority to hear these cases when the United States is a party to a quiet title action.
28 U.S.C. § 1367 gives federal courts the authority to hear additional state law claims that form part of the same case or controversy as the federal issue before the court. In the context of quiet title actions, if a federal court has original jurisdiction over a federal question in a case that also includes a quiet title claim based on state law, the court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction to hear the entire matter, including the quiet title claim.