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LOVITT v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

June 28, 1995

SANDRA D. LOVITT, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Third-Party Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SULLIVAN

 This matter is before the court upon third-party defendant United States' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment; the motion was supported and joined by defendant District of Columbia. Upon consideration of the motions, the points and authorities of the United States and the District of Columbia in support of and in opposition thereto, and the arguments of counsel, the motions of the United States and the District of Columbia for Summary Judgment shall be GRANTED for the reasons set forth herein. Under the circumstances, all claims are DISMISSED with prejudice. *fn1"

 Summary judgment is appropriate only where there are no genuine issues as to any material fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, drawing any justifiable inferences in favor of the nonmovant. Bayer v. United States Department 0f Treasury, 294 U.S. App. D.C. 44, 956 F.2d 330, 333 (D.C. Cir. 1992). Although the court assumes the truth of the nonmovant's evidence, see id., the nonmoving party can not simply rest upon the allegations stated in its pleadings and must come forward with the specific facts that demonstrate that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986).

 Here the Court's analysis is guided by an express statutory provision that provides for the transfer of jurisdiction between the United States and the District of Columbia. D.C. Code § 8-111, previously codified at § 8-115 of the D.C. Code, see D.C. Code § 8-115 (1973), provides:

 
Federal and District authorities administering properties within the District of Columbia owned by the United States or by the said District are authorized to transfer jurisdiction over parts or all of such properties among or between themselves for purposes of administration and maintenance under such conditions as may be mutually agreed upon: Provided, that prior to the consummation of any transfer hereunder such proposed transfer shall be recommended by the National Planning Commission: Provided further, that the Mayor shall submit to the Council for approval by resolution any proposed transfer of jurisdiction of property pursuant to this section: Provided further, that all such transfers and agreements shall be reported to Congress by the District authorities concerned.

 D.C. Code Annotated § 8-111 (1981) (emphasis added). As reflected in exhibits submitted by the parties and as discussed during the motions hearing on June 19, 1995, the property on which plaintiff fell was ceded to the United States for park purposes pursuant to a transfer of jurisdiction effected in December 1982 in accordance with the previously enacted D.C. Code § 8-115 and Resolution 4-638 enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia on October 19, 1982. *fn2" See Plaintiff's Opposition to the United States' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment, Exhibit 5; United States' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment, Exhibit E ("Deposition of Charles F. Williams, Exhibit 1"). Resolution 4-638 provides:

 
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Transfers of Jurisdiction at Union Station Plaza of 1982."
 
Sec. 2. Pursuant to section 1 of An Act To authorize the transfer of jurisdiction over public land in the District of Columbia, approved May 20, 1932 (47 Stat, 161; D.C. Code, Sec. 8-115), the District of Columbia government accepts the transfer of jurisdiction from the National Park Service to the District of Columbia for highway purposes, and approves the transfer of jurisdiction from the District of Columbia to the National Park Service for park purposes, of areas shown in the records of the District of Columbia as part of Reservation 334, at Union Station Plaza, Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., and 1st Street, N.E., as shown on the plat (S.O. 79-429) on file in the Office of the Surveyor of the District of Columbia.
 
Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

 49 D.C. Reg. 47 (1982).

 It is clear from the language of the D.C. Code § 8-115, now codified at D.C. Code § 8-111, and Resolution 4-638 that no concurrent jurisdiction and maintenance responsibilities were intended to result from the transfer of U.S. Reservation 334. Further, as indicated by the shadings marked by single hatch lines and cross-hatch lines on the plat, plat 79-429, copies of which appear in the record, unambiguously distinguishes between the land that was transferred to the United States for park purposes and the land that was transferred to the District of Columbia for highway purposes. The aforementioned shaded areas correspond exactly to the legend provided in the description of the transfer provided on the face of the plat.

 Additionally, the description of the transfer provided on the plat states that "the District of Columbia shall retain the right to enter upon the area of proposed transfer for the operation, maintenance and replacement, if necessary of the sewer and watermains." As the District of Columbia argues, and the Court agrees, had a broader retention of rights and jurisdiction been intended so as to encompass the maintenance and repair of sidewalks, this retention of jurisdiction would have been accomplished expressly and not by silence, particularly in light of the specifically stated retention of rights. Here, the applicable statutory provision, the Council's governing resolution, and the surveyor's office ...


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