Working Overtime

July 11, 2014

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.

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Spoiler Alert: Go Fish

July 10, 2014

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.

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Court Kicks Outlaw Out of Court

July 9, 2014

On July 27, 2011, the U.S. Army entered into a settlement agreement with James F. Outlaw, settling an employment discrimination complaint he filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  In the settlement, Outlaw agreed to dismiss his EEOC complaint in exchange for the Army’s agreement to pay Outlaw a lump sum, reverse his removal from federal service, and purge his official personnel record showing an absence without leave.

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HUD Hits Home Run

July 3, 2014

Normandy Apartments, Ltd. owns and manages an apartment building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, under a Housing Assistance Payments contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) executed in 1992.  Under this agreement, Normandy received housing assistance payments from HUD in exchange for reserving a portion of its apartments for low-income housing. In 2004, Normandy signed a renewal agreement, which the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency signed but HUD did not.  Under the renewal agreement, the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency assumed HUD’s based oversight responsibilities under the original agreement–with HUD retaining the obligation to fund the assistance payments and general oversight.

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Note to Self: The CFC Is Not the Supreme Court

July 2, 2014

The high point of pro-se-Plaintiff Karey Coleman’s litigation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims was his two-page complaint, with its caption stating, “IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.”  The case went downhill from there.

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The Limits of the Tucker Act

June 26, 2014

In June 2008, Plaintiff, Lee Dawson, was employed by the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs as a full-time intern under the Student Educational Employment Program.  As a full-time employee, Dawson earned leave benefits (sick and annual leave) as well as health care and other federal insurance benefits.  On January 14, 2009, Dawson signed a form converting his employment status to that of a part-time, intermittent employee.  As a result of that change in employment status, Dawson lost his health and leave benefits.

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