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United States ex rel. Roach v. Obama

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 18, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel., STEVEN D. ROACH, Plaintiff,
v.
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, President of the United States, et al., Defendants

STEVEN D. ROACH, ex rel United States of America, Plaintiff, Pro se, Fredricksburg, VA.

For GROUPE CGI INC., also known as CGI GROUP INC., GEORGE SCHINDLER, CGI FEDERAL INC., DONNA RYAN, Richard W. Smith, LEAD ATTORNEY, WILEY REIN LLP, Washington, DC.

For GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, Through its wholly owned subsidiary Canadian Commercial Corporation, Defendant: Joseph P. Hornyak, LEAD ATTORNEY, HOLLAND & KNIGHT LLP, McLean, VA.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Interested Party: Alan R. Burch, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

MEMORANDUM

Royce C. Lamberth, United States District Judge.

Before the Court is the United States' Suggestion of Dismissal [ECF No. 11] pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A). For the reasons stated below, this case will be DISMISSED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Steven D. Roach brings this action pursuant to the False Claims Act (" FCA"), 31 U.S.C. § 3730, which allows a private person to file an action on behalf of the United States to recover its damages for violations of 31 U.S.C. § 3729. Plaintiffs complaint alleges that President Barack Obama is not eligible to hold the office of President, and as a result, the transactions engaged in by President Obama and his appointees and nominees violate the FCA. Compl. 12-13, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff also alleges that, because President Obama is not a natural bom citizen, the other named defendants " exercise authority in violation of the Appointments Clause." Compl. 6. The United States filed its Suggestion of Dismissal and plaintiff was granted a hearing to attempt to convince the United States to continue the action. The hearing was held on October 16, 2014.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Under the False Claims Act, the Government has " primary responsibility for prosecuting the action" and the " Government may dismiss the action notwithstanding the objections of the person initiating the action if . . . the court has provided the person with an opportunity for a hearing on the motion." 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c).

III. DISCUSSION

Because plaintiff was provided a hearing to attempt to convince the United States to pursue the action, the United States may now dismiss the action without regard for plaintiff's objections under section 3730(c)(2)(A). After such a hearing, the government has " virtually unfettered discretion to dismiss" this type of claim. Hoyte v. Am. Nat'l Red Cross, 518 F.3d 61, 65, 380 U.S.App.D.C. 185 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). This case presents no evidence of " fraud on the court . . . to warrant departure from the usual deference [courts] owe the Government's determination whether an action should proceed in the Government's name." Id.; see also Swift v. United States, 318 F.3d 250, 253, 355 U.S.App.D.C. 59 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (noting that " fraud on the court" may be an exception). Because the United States still chooses to dismiss and section 3730(c)(2)(A) provides the United States and not this Court that discretion, Hoyte, 518 F.3d at 65, this case will be DISMISSED in a separate order issued this date.

ORDER

Upon consideration of the United States' Suggestion of Dismissal, plaintiff's Opposition, the October 16, 2014 hearing, the record herein, the applicable law, and for the reasons stated in an accompanying memorandum, it is hereby ORDERED that this case be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE in its entirety. Relator's motion [ECF No. 12] for leave to file a First Amended Complaint is also DENIED. The motions [ECF Nos. 18, 20] to extend time are also DENIED as moot.

It is SO ORDERED.


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