Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rovillard v. United States Capitol Police Board

March 4, 2010

ANTHONY J. ROVILLARD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE BOARD, DEFENDANT.
CARLTON PERRY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE BOARD, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. United States District Court

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiffs in these separate but related cases, Anthony Rovillard and Carlton Perry (collectively "plaintiffs"), bring these actions against the United States Capitol Police Board ("Police Board" or "Board") alleging age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., and the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs' nearly identical complaints arise from the merger of the Library of Congress Police Force ("Library Police") and the United States Capitol Police ("Capitol Police"). Rovillard and Perry were both officers of the Library Police at the time Congress authorized this merger and both are ineligible to become members, rather than civilian employees, of the Capitol Police because of their ages.

Before the Court are the Police Board's motions for partial dismissal and for summary judgment in Rovillard's [#6] and Perry's [#6] cases. Upon consideration of the motions, the oppositions thereto, and the record of this case, the Court concludes that the motion in each action should be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

In January 2008, Congress enacted the "U.S. Capitol Police and Library of Congress Police Merger Implementation Act of 2007" ("Merger Act"). Pub. L. No. 110-178, 121 Stat. 2546 (2008). The Merger Act required transfer of all Library Police employees to the Capitol Police. Id. § 2(a), 121 Stat. at 2546. Officers of the Library Police "shall become either a member or civilian employee of the Capitol Police." Id. § 2(a)(1). To be eligible to become a Capitol Police officer rather than a civilian employee, a Library Police officer must be "entitled to an annuity for immediate retirement" before turning sixty years old, id. § 2(b)(1)(A)(i); in other words, the officer must be able to attain twenty years of service before reaching age sixty, see id.; 5 U.S.C. §§ 8336(b), 8412(b). In addition, an officer must successfully complete training and meet qualifications specified by the Chief of the Capitol Police. Merger Act § 2(b)(1)(A)(ii), (iii).

The Library Police do not have a mandatory retirement age, but a longstanding statutory provision mandates that all members of the Capitol Police "be separated from the service" upon reaching age fifty-seven with a possibility of extension to age sixty. 5 U.S.C. § 8335(c); see also Riggin v. Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices, 61 F.3d 1563 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (describing the history of mandatory retirement for federal law enforcement officers and noting that the current provision regarding Capitol Police officers was enacted in 1994 (citing Pub. L. No. 103-283, § 307, 108 Stat. 1423, 1441-42 (1994))). A Library Police officer who becomes a civilian employee, rather than an officer, of the Capitol Police may continue to serve past the mandatory retirement age if he is not eligible for a retirement annuity upon reaching it. Merger Act § 2(b)(2), 121 Stat. at 2547.

Rovillard and Perry filed their actions against the Police Board, which is the oversight entity for the Capitol Police, in April 2009. At that time, they were officers of the Library Police. Rovillard, age fifty-four at the time he filed his complaint, joined the Library Police in 2000; Perry, age fifty-nine, joined in 1992. Plaintiffs were not invited to the training required for all Library Police officers who were to become Capitol Police officers because they would both have reached age sixty before attaining twenty years of service. Plaintiffs allege that this decision constitutes age discrimination and harms them for a variety of reasons, including that they will lose the benefits associated with retiring as federal law enforcement officers, in violation of the ADEA and the U.S. Constitution.*fn1

II. ANALYSIS

The Police Board requests summary judgment as to plaintiffs' ADEA claims and constitutional claims.*fn2

A. Plaintiffs' ADEA Claims Fail Because Mandatory Retirement Ages for Federal Law Enforcement Officers Are Exempt from the ADEA.

The Police Board argues that the Merger Act's application of the mandatory retirement age of Capitol Police to Library Police is not subject to a challenge under the ADEA*fn3 because age limits for law enforcement officers "are exempted from the statute's coverage." Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss at 18 (quoting Kimel v Fl. Bd. of Regents, 528 U.S. 62, 69 (2000)).*fn4 Plaintiffs do not respond to this argument but instead reassert that the Merger Act "and the conduct of Defendant impose a mandatory retirement upon Plaintiff which constitutes unlawful discrimination based on age in violation of [the ADEA]" and describe evidence allegedly supporting that claim. Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 7-9, 16-24.

The Police Board is correct. By federal statute, "[t]he head of any agency may determine and fix the minimum and maximum limits of age within which an original appointment may be made to a position as a law enforcement officer . . . as defined by section 8331(20) . . . of this title." 5 U.S.C. § 3307(d).*fn5 The D.C. Circuit held, in considering a challenge to maximum entry ages for Bureau of Prisons employees, that "section 3307(d) is an exception to the ADEA." Stewart v. Smith, 673 F.2d 485, 490-94 (D.C. Cir. 1982) (considering at length the conflict between section 3307(d) and the ADEA and concluding that to apply the ADEA "would require us to adopt a strained reading of section 3307(d) and to ignore Congress' clear intent to employ maximum entry ages as a means towards securing a 'young and vigorous' work force of law enforcement officers"); see also Dunning v. Quander, 508 F.3d 8, 10 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (noting in dicta that "federal law authorizes the use of age limits for law enforcement positions" (citing 5 U.S.C. § 3307(d); Stewart, 673 F.2d at 493-94)). The Supreme Court evidently agrees. See Kimel, 528 U.S. at 68-69 (noting in dicta that "[u]nder the current ADEA, mandatory age limits for law enforcement officers and firefighters-at federal, state, and local levels-are exempted from the statute's coverage" (citing 5 U.S.C. § 3307(d), (e); 29 U.S.C. § 623(j))).

Although these cases have not addressed the Library or Capitol Police forces specifically, plaintiffs have not offered any reason why the Library or Capitol Police do not fall within section 3307(d)'s definition of "law enforcement officer."*fn6 This Court holds that they do. Because the mandatory retirement scheme to which plaintiffs object is exempted from the ADEA, the Court concludes that no material facts raise a genuine issue as to whether, as a matter of law, plaintiffs' ADEA claims can succeed. Because the ADEA claims must fail, the Court shall grant the Police Board's request for summary judgment as to those claims.

B. Plaintiff's Equal Protection Claim Fails Because the Merger Act's Application of Mandatory Retirement Ages to Former Library Police is Rationally ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.