The opinion of the court was delivered by: CORCORAN
In this action plaintiff seeks an award of compensatory and punitive damages, as well as mandatory injunctive relief, against a federal agency and seven federal officials who are, or have been, employed by that agency, for alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Thirteenth Amendment.
Defendant, United States International Development-Cooperation Agency, the parent organization of the Agency for International Development (hereinafter "AID"),
and the individual defendants Hugh L. Dwelley, Gordon Evans, James S. Hastings, Robert C. Payette, Robert S. Perkins, Walter Sherwin, and Michael H. Snyder, have moved, pursuant to Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss the complaint, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. As grounds for their motion, the defendants allege (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter; (2) lack of jurisdiction over the person of certain of the defendants; (3) improper venue as to certain of the defendants; (4) insufficiency of service of process as to the individual defendants; and (5) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff has opposed.
Plaintiff, Navy, Marshall & Gordon, P.C. ("NMG") is an architectural and engineering consulting firm. This dispute arises out of a contract entered into by NMG and AID, on behalf of the United States, to perform architectural and engineering services in connection with an agricultural facility, financed by AID in Guinea, West Africa, known as the Guinea Agricultural Production Capacity and Training Project. See Contract AID/afr-C-1406, attached as Exhibit A to Defendants' motion.
NMG, is a minority business, completely black-owned and operated. It secured the government contract through the minority set-aside program administered by the Small Business Administration pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. § 637(a)(2). Plaintiff's duties under the contract included designing the project's facilities, furnishing advisory services during construction, and supervising the construction itself. The contract was ultimately terminated "for the convenience of the government."
The complaint is styled in three counts. In Count I, plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, alleging that the federal defendants violated its rights guaranteed in 42 U.S.C. § 1981 by: (1) ordering plaintiff's representatives to the job site before completing construction of housing which defendants were allegedly required to furnish under the contract; (2) failing to supply plaintiff's representatives with adequate food while they were at the job site; (3) disallowing plaintiff's claimed costs under the contract; (4) "overly wide dissemination" of an audit report prepared by AID auditors; (5) refusing to pay plaintiff's invoices under the contract; (6) improperly terminating the contract for the convenience of the government; (7) referring charges that plaintiff violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 (conspiracy) and 1001 (false statements) to the Criminal and Civil Divisions of the Department of Justice; (8) sending an allegedly "libelous" cable to plaintiff concerning its contract performance; (9) imposing "severe financial hardship" on plaintiff; (10) breaching an alleged setoff agreement; (11) "blacklisting" plaintiff from participation in a State Department program to enhance security for American embassies; and (12) refusing to pay monies allegedly due plaintiff under the contract. Plaintiff charges that all such actions were undertaken as a result of racial animus toward its owners and employees.
Count III of the complaint merely repeats and realleges all of the items included in the previous two counts, declaring that the actions of the defendants were committed willfully, maliciously and with "utter disregard for the consequences to NMG." Thus, plaintiff asserts, it is entitled to an award of punitive damages against both AID and the individual defendants.
The complaint does not include in specific language any claim for equitable relief. Plaintiff first raised such a claim in its opposition to defendants' motion to dismiss. The relief requested is an order, "(1) reinstating the Plaintiff to the position (monetary or otherwise) it would have been in if there had been no discrimination; and (2) compelling the Agency and Individual Defendants to pay money they have improperly withheld on the Plaintiff's Guinea Project invoices."
Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint asserting, inter alia, that: (1) sovereign immunity bars an award of money damages against AID as an agency of the U.S.; (2) none of the individual defendants maintains contacts or ties to the District of Columbia sufficient to enable this Court to exercise personal jurisdiction over him; (3) the individual defendants have never been personally served with process as required by Rule 4(d)(1); and (4) plaintiff has failed to allege facts sufficient to state a cause of action under either 42 U.S.C. § 1981 or the Thirteenth Amendment, against any of the federal defendants.
We find merit in defendants' arguments, and accordingly grant their motion to dismiss as to both AID and the individual defendants.
A. Sovereign Immunity and Subject Matter ...