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Bunce v. Computer Sciences Corporation

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 7, 2015

SIMON CHARLES BUNCE, Plaintiff,
v.
COMPUTER SCIENCES CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS; DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO CONFER AND MOTION FOR LEAVE FOR WITNESSES TO APPEAR IN PERSON

Re Document Nos. 2, 6, 18, 20.

RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Mr. Simon Bunce, proceeding pro se, brought this action against Defendants Computer Sciences Corporation ("CSC") and International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM") under the Whistleblower Protection Act. CSC and IBM have each moved to dismiss the claims against them, arguing that this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. Mr. Bunce has filed a motion to confer and a motion for leave for witnesses to appear in person.

Upon consideration of the parties' filings, and for the reasons explained below, the Court will grant both motions to dismiss without prejudice. Because the Court dismisses the complaint, it denies as moot Mr. Bunce's motion to confer and his motion for leave.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Mr. Bunce is a former civil employee of the British Ministry of Defense. Compl. at 3, 6, ECF No. 1. He claims that on November 24, 2012, he reported to his superior that British Army Colonel James Henry O'H Pollock ("Col. Pollock") had allegedly entered into, or facilitated, two contracts on behalf of the Ministry of Defense for "direct personal financial gain." Compl. at 1.[1] Mr. Bunce alleges that the first contract was executed with CSC in April 2003 and that the second contract was with IBM UK Limited, a subsidiary of IBM. Id. No date is given for the contract with IBM UK Limited. See id. at 1. Mr. Bunce further claims that, as a result of his "disclosure" of the "corrupt contracts, " Col. Pollock "illegally dismissed [Mr. Bunce] from [his] crown established military civil service position." See id. at 1.

On December 31, 2014, Mr. Bunce filed his complaint in this Court. See id. at 1.[2] The Civil Cover Sheet accompanying the complaint states the cause of action is being brought under "Section 1221 (e)(2) of title 5, USC." See Civil Cover Sheet at 2, ECF No. 1-1. The initial complaint sought unspecified "whistleblower relief, " Compl. at 2, but Mr. Bunce later clarified, in his response to Defendants' motions to dismiss, that he seeks damages of $4.5 billion dollars, see Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Dismiss at 2, ECF No. 16.

After receiving the complaint, CSC and IBM each moved to dismiss the case, arguing, inter alia, that this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction. See Def. CSC's Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 2; Def. IBM's Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 6. The Court advised Mr. Bunce of his obligation to respond to the motions by March 25, 2015, or risk conceding the issue. See Fox/Neal Order, February 23, 2015, ECF No. 7. Mr. Bunce responded on March 2, 2015. See Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Dismiss. He subsequently filed a motion to confer and a motion requesting leave for two witnesses to appear in person. See Pl.'s Mot. Confer, ECF No. 18; Pl's Mot. for Leave to Appear, ECF No. 20.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Rule 12(b)(1)

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and the law presumes that "a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction.... Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); see also Gen. Motors Corp. v. EPA, 363 F.3d 442, 448 (D.C. Cir. 2004) ("As a court of limited jurisdiction, we begin, and end, with an examination of our jurisdiction."). Thus, to survive a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, a plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that a court has jurisdiction over his claim. See Moms Against Mercury v. Food & Drug Admin., 483 F.3d 824, 828 (D.C. Cir. 2007). In determining whether jurisdiction exists, a court may "consider the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record, or the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the court's resolution of disputed facts." Coal. for Underground Expansion v. Mineta, 333 F.3d 193, 198 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).

A pro se complaint, moreover, is held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). But even pro se litigants "must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure." Jarrell v. Tisch, 656 F.Supp. 237, 239 (D.D.C. 1987). Moreover, "[a] pro se complaint, like any other, must present a claim upon which relief can be granted." Crisafi v. Holland, 655 F.2d 1305, 1308 (D.C. Cir. 1981). If there is no jurisdictional basis for the cause of ...


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