MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
THOMAS PENFIELD JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
This matter is before this Court on the motion of defendant Guy Morgan, a supervisory employee of the Federal Grain Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, to "find and certify" that he was acting within the scope of his employment on January 13, 1986, when the event giving rise to this lawsuit occurred. Plaintiff Phyllis Williams, a fellow employee of Morgan's at the Department of Agriculture, charges Morgan with an assault and battery upon her while both were at work at the Department in Washington, D.C. The Attorney General has twice refused Morgan's request that the Attorney General so certify, and the Attorney General now opposes Morgan's motion here, after having first removed the underlying case from state to federal court.
The consequence of the certification Morgan seeks, were it to be forthcoming from either the Attorney General or the Court, would be to cause the United States to be substituted for Morgan as the sole defendant, under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671 et seq., ("FTCA"), and render it alone liable (if at all), upon the claim asserted in Williams' common law tort case, filed in January, 1987, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Morgan's motion is made pursuant to the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-694, 102 Stat. 4563 ("FELRTCA"), which amended the FTCA in certain particulars, and as specifically relevant here, to preclude the independent personal liability of a federal employee for injury caused by his "negligent or wrongful act or omission . . . while acting within the scope of his office or employment." 28 U.S.C. § 2679(b)(1).
The FTCA provides that the liability of the United States in tort is to be determined by "the law of the place where the act or omission occurred." 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b). See Proietti v. Civiletti, 603 F.2d 88, 90 (9th Cir. 1979). The District of Columbia has adopted the test of the Restatement (Second) of Agency, § 228 (1957) as to when the doctrine of respondeat superior operates in the context of assaults committed by employees.
Moseley v. Second New St. Paul Baptist Church, 534 A.2d 346, 348 n.4 (D.C. 1987). The Restatement declares, in pertinent part, that a servant's conduct is within the scope of employment if, but only if, it is "of the kind he is employed to perform," is "actuated, at least in part, by a purpose to serve the master," and the use of force against another "is not unexpectable" by the master." Restatement (Second) of Agency, § 228(1) (1957). The Restatement continues to explain that conduct is not within the scope of employment if it is "different in kind from that authorized . . . or too little actuated by a purpose to serve the master." Id., § 228(2). See also International Distributing Corp. v. American District Telegraph Co., 186 U.S. App. D.C. 305, 569 F.2d 136, 139 (D.C. Cir. 1977).
In the instant case, it is conceded that, engaging in some early morning horseplay in the office where both worked, Morgan struck Williams on the back with some papers and/or file folders. In her instinctive recoil from the impact, Williams twisted and seriously injured her back. Neither party contends that the blow, however gently or forcefully delivered, was actually intended to inflict any injury to Williams. It is nevertheless clear, however, that Morgan did intend to make contact with Williams' person. Morgan's own description of the incident, in his deposition of July 2, 1987, pp. 4-5, belies any suggestion of accidental contact:
Q. What happened between you and Phyllis Williams in January of 1986?
A. In the incident, I was at work and Miss Williams came into work, entered the office and went behind her desk. She was putting her purse away and taking off her coat. I had previously got some papers out of the file. I was coming from my office, returning the papers to the file, and as I passed her I impulsively reached out and tapped her on her shoulder and let her forth [sic] with what I felt was a real exuberant good morning. Miss Williams at the time swung around and hit me on the shoulder and said: don't hit me. I went and put the papers back in the file and returned to my office.