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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With All Due Deference

June 25, 2014

On July 1, 2008, B&H Medical, LLC contracted with the Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide diabetic supplies in nine different metropolitan areas. On July 15, 2008, Congress passed legislation terminating all contracts made under HHS’s contract plan including B&H’s contract.  HHS then promulgated a regulation in which it established an administrative process through which it would pay specified damages to terminated suppliers. In that regulation, HHS interpreted the judicial review provision in the implementing statute to mean that the agency’s determination on damages would be final and not subject to judicial review.

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Can Lightening Strike the Same Place Twice?

June 11, 2014

Having been once to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and twice to federal district court in the Eastern District of California, twice to the Ninth Circuit, and once to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Hornes have now announced their plans to again petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court following the Ninth Circuit’s rejection of their takings claims.  The Hornes takings claims are based on a fine levied against them by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failing to turn over some of their raisin crop to the Government under a Depression-era law regulating raisin production.

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Court Keeps Takings Claim Afloat

June 10, 2014

In 1989 Bailey purchased for development some land on the shoreline of Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. Local authorities approved his subdivision plat but subsequently disapproved his state Clean Water Act Section 401 certification because his proposed septic systems were inadequate.

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Out of Court but still on the hook

May 23, 2014

William H. Seals-Bey who is currently incarcerated in federal prison—appearing pro se—recently brought suit against the United States in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.  His lawsuit raised a whole host of claims, including wrongful criminal conviction and incarceration, that the prosecutor fabricated evidence and engaged in prosecutorial misconduct.  He further alleged that the Government had targeted him for prosecution with the intent to inflict emotional distress, and that the Government had illegally transferred the indictment against him from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to the U.S. District Court.

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