*fn6,The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reggie B. Walton United States District Judge,JONATHAN BOURDON AND JEFFREY G. WALLS, PLAINTIFFS, v. CHUCK CANTERBURY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS." />

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Jonathan Bourdon and v. Chuck Canterbury

September 26, 2011 *fn6

JONATHAN BOURDON AND JEFFREY G. WALLS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CHUCK CANTERBURY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reggie B. Walton United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

The plaintiffs, Jonathan Bourdon and Jeffrey G. Walls, bring this civil action against the defendants in their official capacities as labor union representatives for the Fraternal Order of Police based upon the defendants' alleged violations of a Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA"). See Amended Complaint ("Am. Compl.") ¶¶ 64-80. Currently before the Court is the motion to dismiss of defendants Marcello Muzzatti, Anthony Meely, Norris Mitchell, Gerald Lee, John Beach, and John Bradcomb (collectively, the "defendants"), asserting, among other things, that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. After carefully considering the plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, the defendants' motion to dismiss, and all memoranda of law relating to that motion,*fn1 the Court concludes for the following reasons that the defendants' motion must be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Both plaintiffs were formerly employed as federal police officers with the Naval District of Washington ("Naval District"). Am. Compl. ¶¶ 2-3. Bourdon was employed with the Naval District from June 17, 1996, until the Naval District terminated his employment on May 26, 2007. Id. ¶¶ 2, 42. During his nearly eleven-year tenure with the Naval District, Bourdon filed various grievances with the Naval Equal Employment Opportunity Office, the Department of Defense's Office of Complaint Investigation, and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") concerning alleged discriminatory and retaliatory practices at the Naval District. See id. ¶¶ 18-37. Although he was a dues-paying member of the Fraternal Order of Police of the Naval District of Washington Labor Committee (the "Union"), id. ¶ 15, Bourdon alleges that the Union "failed to properly represent [him] to contest the intentional violation of laws, discrimination and retaliation against [him]" and consequently "failed in its duty to properly defend and represent Bourdon as an active member of the [Union]" as required by the CBA, id. ¶ 38.

Walls was employed by the Naval District as a police officer at the United States Naval Observatory from April 2001, to May 8, 2009, at which point his employment was terminated. Id. ¶¶ 45, 59. He too was a dues-paying member of the Union. Id. ¶ 45. Similar to Bourdon, Walls alleges that, during his employment with the Naval District, he submitted "two formal EEOC complaints and countless other grievances" concerning alleged discriminatory and retaliatory practices at the Naval District, id. ¶¶ 46-58, but that the Union "failed in its duty [under the CBA] to properly defend and represent Walls as an active member of the [Union]," id. ¶ 43.

The plaintiffs instituted this action on August 11, 2009, and thereafter filed their Amended Complaint on September 30, 2010. The various defendants are Union employees and representatives whom the plaintiffs are suing in their official capacities. Id. ¶¶ 4-13. The Amended Complaint sets forth two counts: Count I for breach of contract, id. ¶¶ 64-73, and Count II for breach of fiduciary duty, id. ¶¶ 74-80. Both counts are predicated on the defendants' alleged violations of the CBA. See id. ¶¶ 64-80. The plaintiffs request compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees and costs. Id. at 16.

On October 18, 2010, the defendants moved for dismissal pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), contending that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and that the Amended Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.*fn2 Specifically, the defendants assert that this Court lacks diversity jurisdiction, Defs.' Mem. at 8, and that the plaintiffs' claims are preempted by federal labor law, id. at 11, 16. In opposition to the defendants' motion, the plaintiffs argue that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction based upon the defendants' alleged violations of the CBA, Pls.' Opp'n at 4, and on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, id. at 10. The plaintiffs further maintain that their claims are not federally preempted. Id. at 11.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Rule 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss

When a party moves to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1), "the plaintiff[ ] bear[s] the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the Court has subject matter jurisdiction." Biton v. Palestinian Interim Self-Gov't Auth., 310 F. Supp. 2d 172, 176 (D.D.C. 2004). A court considering a Rule 12(b)(1) motion must accept "'all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true.'" Jerome Stevens Pharms., Inc. v. FDA, 402 F.3d 1249, 1250 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (quoting Sloan v. U.S. Dep't of Hous. & Urban Dev., 236 F.3d 756, 759 (D.C. Cir. 2001)) (alteration omitted). In addition to considering the undisputed facts in the record in resolving a Rule 12(b)(1) motion, Herbert v. Nat'l Acad. of Sciences, 974 F.2d 192, 197 (D.C. Cir. 1992), the Court may also consider "materials outside the pleadings," Jerome Stevens, 402 F.3d at 1253.

III. ANALYSIS

The defendants argue that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' claims arising out of the defendants' alleged violations of the CBA as a consequence of Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 ("CSRA"), 5 U.S.C. § 7101. Defs.' Mem. at 11. The Court agrees.

Title VII of the CSRA "governs labor relations between federal agencies and their employees." AFGE v. Loy, 367 F.3d 932, 935 (D.C. Cir. 2004). Section 7118 authorizes the Federal Labor Relations Authority ("FLRA"), an administrative body, to adjudicate "unfair labor practice complaints" and "order remedial action appropriate to carry out the purposes of Title VII." Karahalios v. National Fed'n of Fed. Employees, 489 U.S. 527, 532 (1989); see 5 U.S.C. § 7118. District courts do not have concurrent jurisdiction over matters within the FLRA's purview. Loy, 367 F.3d at 935 (citing Karahalios, 489 U.S. at 533).

Section 7114(a)(1) of the CSRA imposes on unions a duty of fair representation, under which "a labor organization that has been accorded the exclusive right of representing employees in a designated unit 'is responsible for representing the interests of all employees in the unit it represents ...


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