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Stanton v. Yount

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 30, 2018

FREEMAN WILLIAM STANTON, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSEPH D. YOUNT. et al ., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          COLLEEN KOLLAR KOTELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 16. For the reasons discussed below, the motion is granted.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff entered the United States Air Force on July 6, 1971. Compl. at 2. His short career has been summarized as follows:

On 10 July 71, [plaintiff] went absent without leave (AWOL) and voluntarily surrendered himself to authorities on 17 Jul 71. He was punished under Article 15, Uniform Code of Military Justice.
On 19 Aug 71, [plaintiff] provided a statement indicating that he had a serious personal problem and that he was a homosexual. He further stated that he had engaged in numerous acts with other homosexuals prior to entering active duty and that he had been tempted to engage in homosexual acts while in the service.
On 20 Aug to 17 Oct 71, he was placed in an AWOL status, and on 18 Sep 71, he was declared a deserter. On 18 Oct 71, he was apprehended by civil authorities and turned over to military control on 28 Oct 71.
On 12 Nov 71, after consulting counsel, [plaintiff] requested discharge for the good of the service. He signed a statement indicating he understood an undesirable discharge may deprive him of veterans' benefits and he may encounter substantial prejudice in civilian life. He further stated that he had used Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) about five or six times prior to entering the Air Force and, if standards had been different, he would not have been accepted into the military. Lastly, he was told he could be discharged for a character and behavior disorder (emotionally unstable personality based on drug use) . . .
The staff judge advocate . . . recommended discharge with an undesirable discharge .... On 17 Nov 51 [sic], the discharge authority concurred and directed discharge.
[Plaintiffs] DD Form 214 reflects he was discharged on 2 Dec 71, with a UOTHC discharge ....

Mem. of Law in Support of Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss ("Defs.' Mem."), Ex. A at 1-2; see Compl. at 2. The Air Force Discharge Review Board reconsidered the matter, and on March 20, 1972, and the Secretary of the Air Force denied plaintiffs application for a change in the type or nature of his discharge. Defs.' Mem., Ex. B.

         On August 10, 2010, plaintiff applied for correction of his military record. Id., Ex. C. He was under the impression that his undesirable discharge would have been upgraded automatically after seven years to an honorable discharge under Air Force standards in effect in the 1970s. Id. Plaintiff sought an upgrade to a general discharge. Id. The Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records ("AFBCMR") denied the application on March 15, 2011, based on its determination that "the evidence [plaintiff] presented did not demonstrate the existence of material error or injustice." Id., Ex. D. It also denied plaintiffs request for reconsideration because plaintiff "provided no new relevant evidence." Id., Ex. E.

         On October 5, 2014, plaintiff applied for an upgrade to either an honorable or a general discharge, Compl. at 2, 4, and his application was treated as a request for reconsideration of his previous AFBCMR case, see id., Ex. C. Plaintiff requested that his discharge be upgraded to honorable or general because of a pre-existing condition he had at the time of his enlistment and discharge, namely birth defects of his spine. See generally id., Ex. F. On April 5, 2016, the AFBCMR denied ...


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