United States District Court, District of Columbia
ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Richardson worked as a law enforcement officer for the Board
of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Board) for
approximately one year before he was terminated on June 7,
2010. This is the third in a series of lawsuits Mr.
Richardson has brought pro se against the Board or
its employees, alleging actions that he believes led to his
wrongful termination or have prevented him from securing
future employment. After the Board moved to dismiss Mr.
Richardson's claims in this action, the Court granted the
motion in part and dismissed several of Mr. Richardson's
claims, but denied the motion as to two claims brought under
the Privacy Act. The Board has now moved the Court to
reconsider the motion to dismiss as to those two remaining
claims. Because the Court finds, upon reconsideration, that
Mr. Richardson failed to establish pecuniary damages as
required to bring a Privacy Act claim, the Board's motion
will be granted and the remaining claims will be dismissed.
facts alleged in this case have already been recited in
detail, see Richardson v. Yellen, 167 F.Supp.3d 105,
108 (D.D.C. 2016) (Richardson I), and only those
facts that are pertinent to Mr. Richardson's remaining
claims need be reiterated here. Prior to his employment with
the Board, Mr. Richardson was a military police officer in
the United States Army. While deployed in Iraq in 2003, Mr.
Richardson was subjected to fumes and toxins that apparently
led to severe asthma and allergies. Mr. Richardson informed
the Board of this medical condition before he was hired. Mr.
Richardson began working for the Board's Law Enforcement
Unit (LEU) on June 8, 2009. In approximately October 2009 and
again in November 2009, Mr. Richardson requested
accommodations for his medical condition. Neither of these
requests was acknowledged or addressed by the Board.
Board terminated Mr. Richardson's employment on July 7,
2010; he was informed that his termination was based on a
lack of support for his absences. See Second Am.
Compl. ¶ 20 [Dkt. 20] (SAC). Mr. Richardson has alleged
that Board employees conspired to remove 22 medical documents
supporting instances when he had been absent from work for
medical reasons (“calloffs”) from his personnel
file. See Id. ¶¶ 26, 127. These claims
have since been dismissed by the Court. See
3/31/2017 Order [Dkt. 27]; Richardson v. Bd. of Governors
of the Fed. Reserve Sys., 248 F.Supp.3d 91 (D.D.C. 2017)
Richardson alleges that, following his termination, Board
employees Billy Sauls and Albert Pleasant illegally obtained
his cellphone records in 2010 and 2011 without his knowledge
and then released those records to other Board personnel in
violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a
et seq. (the Privacy Act or the Act). See
SAC ¶¶ 60-62. Mr. Richardson also alleges that
Board employee Kevin May conspired to remove medical
documents from Mr. Richardson's personnel file. See
Id. ¶ 65. On October 16, 2014, Mr. Richardson
initiated a complaint with the Attorney Grievance Commission
of Maryland (Maryland Commission) against Mr. May. On January
11, 2015, Mr. May sent certain documents from Mr.
Richardson's personnel file to the Maryland Commission in
response to that complaint. Id. ¶ 65. Mr.
Richardson alleges that this disclosure also violated the
Privacy Act. Id. ¶¶ 140-41.
Richardson has remained unemployed since his termination from
the Board. He attributes his unemployment to the Board's
continued actions against him and in particular, to the
alleged tampering with his personnel file. Specifically, Mr.
Richardson's personnel file contains a Notice of
Suspension Without Pay, dated May 20, 2010, issued by LEU
Deputy Chief Marvin Jones. Mr. Richardson alleges that the
Notice was falsified and that he was never suspended and did
not receive a copy of the Notice. Id. ¶ 78.
Defendants have acknowledged that Mr. Richardson never
received the Notice, explaining that this was “because
his provisional Board employment was terminated.”
Richardson v. Yellen, No. 14-cv-1673, Answer [Dkt.
28] ¶ 59. Nonetheless, the Notice was placed in Mr.
Richardson's personnel file and in a report from the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission following its
Richardson believes that the allegedly falsified Notice in
his file led to his being determined ineligible for future
employment, specifically by the D.C. Department of
Corrections. See SAC ¶¶ 78, 81, 84;
see also Id. at ¶ 85 (“[Mr. Richardson]
received notification by the D.C. Department of Corrections
that he was ineligible for employment due to falsified
information in his Board personnel file.”). Mr.
Richardson made these allegations in Count Four of his
Amended Complaint, which has been dismissed. See SAC
¶¶ 154-64; 3/31/2017 Order.
9, 2016, Mr. Richardson filed the current matter against the
Board, alleging various constitutional claims and federal
statutory violations. See Compl. [Dkt. 1]. He
subsequently amended the instant complaint to add several
claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) against the
United States. See First Am. Compl. [Dkt. 17];
see also SAC. After the Board moved to dismiss Mr.
Richardson's allegations, the Court dismissed a number of
Mr. Richardson's claims in this action. See
3/31/2017 Order; Richardson III, 248 F.Supp.3d 91.
remaining counts allege violations of the Privacy Act, for
the release of information from Mr. Richardson's
personnel file to the Maryland Commission (Count Two) and the
alleged illegal search and seizure of Mr. Richardson's
cellphone and dissemination of his cellphone records (Count
Six). Mr. Richardson claims under Count Two that
he “has suffered adverse and harmful effects” due
to Mr. May's alleged mishandling of his personal
information, “including, but not limited to, mental
distress, emotional trauma, embarrassment, humiliation, and
lost or jeopardized present and future financial
opportunities.” SAC ¶ 144. Similarly, regarding
Mr. Richardson's allegations of improper search and
dissemination of his cellphone records, Count Six alleges
that Mr. Richardson “has suffered adverse and harmful
effects, including, but not limited to, mental distress,
emotional trauma, embarrassment, humiliation, and lost or
jeopardized present and future financial
opportunities.” Id. ¶ 183. Mr. Richardson
also complains that, “[a]s a direct result of the
defendants' actions [he] has involuntarily remained
unemployed since his June 7, 2010 termination.”
Id. ¶ 84.
the Court declined to dismiss Counts Two and Six, the Board
moved for reconsideration. Mot. for Recons. [Dkt. 29] (Mot.).
Mr. Richardson opposed. Mem. Opp'n Mot. for Recons. [Dkt.
32] (Opp'n). The Board replied. Reply Opp'n Mot. for
Recons. [Dkt. 33] (Reply). The motion is ripe for review.
a motion for reconsideration is governed by the “law of
the case” doctrine: “the same issue presented a
second time in the same case in the same court should lead to
the same result.” LaShawn A. v. Barry, 87 F.3d
1389, 1393 (D.C. Cir. 1996). However, interlocutory orders,
including a partial granting of a motion to dismiss,
“may be revised at any time before the entry of a
judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties'
rights and liabilities.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). Thus, the
Court is “free to reconsider” a non-final
judgment. Filebark v. Dep't of Transp., 555 F.3d
1009, 1013 (D.C. Cir. 2009). The Court should reconsider
interlocutory orders only “as justice requires.”
United States v. Slough, 61 F.Supp.3d 103, 107
(D.D.C. 2014) (quoting United States v. Coughlin,
821 F.Supp.2d 8, 18 (D.D.C. 2011)). To determine whether
“justice requires” reconsideration, “the
Court considers whether it ‘patently misunderstood a
party, has made a decision outside the adversarial issues
presented to the Court by the parties, has made an error not
of reasoning but of apprehension, or where a controlling or
significant change in the law or facts [has occurred] since
the submission of the issue to the Court.'”
Slough, 61 F.Supp.3d at 108 (quoting Singh v.
George Washington Univ., 383 F.Supp.2d 99, 101 (D.D.C.