On May 8, 2014, Plaintiffs in Martin v. United States, a lawsuit seeking to recover pay for overtime hours worked in 2013, filed a second amended complaint seeking to add 900 additional plaintiffs who intended to opt in upon approval of a class certification. Martin’s motion to amend the complaint also sought to withdraw their Back Pay Act claim, which had been asserted in the First Amended Complaint, without prejudice.
The sheer heft of one of the longest written decisions issued by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in the past year (85 pages) implies a ruling that will have a little something for everyone. But the result of this ruling is essentially limited to the facts of the case, which is at bottom a title dispute over ownership of the Kingman Reef, a low-lying coral reef atoll located in the Pacific Ocean about 900 nautical miles south of Hawaii. In fact, much of the decision is devoted to recounting the lengthy history of ownership. The Government ultimately succeeds in proving that it owned the atoll all along, leaving the plaintiffs with what had been valuable fishing rights but no right to fish.