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Johnson v. Panetta

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 17, 2013

MICHAEL JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
LEON E. PANETTA, Defendant

Page 245

For MICHAEL JOHNSON, Plaintiff: Alan Mitchell, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, The O'Neal Firm, LLP, Temple Hills, MD; Ardra M. O'Neal, LEAD ATTORNEY, THE O'NEAL FIRM, LLO, Washington, DC.

For LEON PANETTA, Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense, Defendant: Peter Rolf Maier, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 246

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT; GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AN ENLARGMENT OF TIME; STRIKING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT, AND STRIKING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER

Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, U.S. District Court Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Michael Johnson, a former employee of the Department of Defense, seeks injunctive and declaratory relief against Defendant Leon E. Panetta in his official capacity as the Secretary of Defense, related to the Department's allegations that Plaintiff was overpaid by the Department for approximately six years. Presently pending before the Court are four motions: (1) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction and for Failure to State a Claim upon which Relief May Be Granted (Dkt. No. 12); (2) Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint (Dkt. No. 13); (3) Plaintiff's Motion for Enlargement of Time within which discovery in this case must be completed (Dkt. No. 19); and (4) Defendant's Motion for a Protective Order barring Plaintiff fro seeking discovery until this Court has resolved Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 26).

Upon consideration of the motions, the memoranda in support thereof, the entire record, and the applicable law, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint, GRANT Plaintiff's Motion for Enlargement of Time, STRIKE Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, and Strike Defendant's Motion for a Protective Order. The Court's reasoning is set forth below.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Michael Johnson is a retired civilian federal employee of the Department of Defense (the " Department" ). Dkt. No. 1 " Comp." at ¶ 4. Johnson began his career with the Department in 1998 when he was hired as a police officer. Id. at ¶ 6. In 2005, he was transferred to the Communications Office within the Department, where he continued to work as a police officer. Id. at ¶ 8. He claims that in October 2011, the Department informed him that he had been mistakenly overpaid since his transfer to the Communications Office. Id. at ¶ 9. Johnson claims that the Department told him that he was overpaid by " varying...amounts--some as high as $107,857.46." Id.

Johnson alleges that he was unaware that he had been overpaid. Id. at ¶ 10. He further alleges that the Department told him that he can seek a " waiver" of the

Page 247

overpayment from the Department's accounting office, but he must do so by June 1, 2012, and if he does submit a waiver request, " he must accept responsibility for the debt." Id. at ΒΆ 11. He claims that the Department told him that if the accounting office denied his waiver request, he would be required to repay the entire debt ...


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