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Rivera v. Lew

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

September 11, 2014

CHERYL RIVERA, APPELLANT,
v.
JACK LEW, et al., APPELLEES

Submitted March 13, 2014.

On Certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. (Case No. 13-5222).

Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, and R. Craig Lawrence and Alan Burch, Assistant United States Attorneys, filed a motion for summary affirmance on behalf of the federal appellees.

Lonie Anne Hassel and Julia E. Zuckerman filed a motion for summary affirmance on behalf of appellees District of Columbia Retirement Board and District of Columbia Police Officers' and Firefighters' Retirement Plan.

Raymond S. Dietrich filed an opposition to the motions for summary affirmance on behalf of appellant.[1]

Before WASHINGTON, Chief Judge, and FISHER and EASTERLY, Associate Judges.

OPINION

Page 270

Fisher, Associate Judge:

Pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-723 (2012 Repl.), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit certified the following question of law to this court:

When a District of Columbia employee dies while still employed, must the Mayor comply with a posthumously-issued nunc pro tunc court order that on its face relates back to a date before the employee's death and retroactively

Page 271

amends a divorce settlement agreement to provide the employee's former spouse with entitlement to benefits in a way that is inconsistent with the last benefits election executed by the employee prior to his death' See D.C. Code § § 1-529.02(c), 1-529.03(b), (c).

We answer that the Mayor need not comply with such an order, reserving an issue that is not presented by the facts of this case.

I. Legal Framework

A. The Retirement Plan


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