444 F.Supp.2d 61 (D.D.C. 2006), C. A. 04-2209, Hollingsworth v. Duff

Docket NºC. A. 04-2209
Citation444 F.Supp.2d 61
Party NameHollingsworth v. Duff
Case DateAugust 02, 2006
CourtUnited States District Courts, United States District Court (Columbia)

Page 61

444 F.Supp.2d 61 (D.D.C. 2006)

Sharon HOLLINGSWORTH, Plaintiff,

v.

James C. DUFF, 1 Director, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Defendant.

Civil Action No. 04-2209 (RMC).

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

Aug. 2, 2006

Page 62

Nicholas Woodfield, R. Scott Oswald, Employment Law Group, P.L.L.C., Washington, DC, for Plaintiff.

John C. Truong, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, Civil Division, Washington, DC, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLYER, District Judge.

Plaintiff Sharon Hollingsworth developed sick-building syndrome while working as a computer programmer in the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building. During a period of declining health surrounding this diagnosis, her employer, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts ("AOUSC"), permitted her to work from home, but ultimately eliminated her position and terminated her, claiming

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that any alternative positions would require her presence in the Marshall Building, which her health precluded. Ms. Hollingsworth filed an administrative complaint with the AOUSC, claiming that she was discriminated against on the basis of her disability. That complaint was resolved against her in a Final Agency Decision issued on December 21, 2004.

Ms. Hollingsworth does not appeal the adverse decision. Instead, she sues James C. Duff, Director of the AOUSC, under the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 791 et seq. The AOUSC now moves to dismiss, asserting that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because the AOUSC, as a judicial branch agency, is not within the purview of the Rehabilitation Act. The Court agrees and will grant the AOUSC's motion to dismiss.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Ms. Hollingsworth began working at the AOUSC as a Computer Programmer Analyst in January 1990. Compl. ¶ 7. In November 1992, shortly after the AOUSC moved to the Marshall Building, she began suffering from headaches and other environmental allergies, and was ultimately diagnosed with sick-building syndrome. Id. at pp 8-14, 17, 22. In mid-1994, after a period of deteriorating health, Ms. Hollingsworth stopped working in the Marshall Building, but continued to work from home under a Flexible Workplace Agreement. Id. at pp 18, 21. In early 1996, after the AOUSC claimed that it could not reassign her due to her health limitations, Ms. Hollingsworth filed her first administrative complaint; that charge was settled with an agreement that permitted Ms. Hollingsworth to work from home on a long-term basis. Id. at pp 25-26. In early 2000, in response to AOUSC management's repeated requests for further medical documentation, Ms. Hollingsworth filed a second administrative complaint, which was also settled. Id. at ¶ 34.

In November 2002, the AOUSC notified Ms. Hollingsworth that her position would be abolished. Id. at ¶ 35. Despite attempts to reassign Ms. Hollingsworth to another position in the AOUSC--efforts that Ms. Hollingsworth describes as inadequate--she was not accepted for employment in any other section, id. at ¶ 36-42, and, on April 10, 2003, she was terminated, Answer at ¶ 45. Ms. Hollingsworth then filed a third administrative complaint alleging disability discrimination. Def.'s Mot. Ex. A. In a Final Agency Decision issued on December 21, 2004, the AOUSC Director adopted the Administrative Judge's oral ruling that the AOUSC did not discriminate against Ms. Hollingsworth. Id.

That same day, Ms. Hollingsworth filed this action, which alleges a single count of discrimination and failure to accommodate under the Rehabilitation Act. The AOUSC's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, filed November 2, 2005, has been fully briefed and is now ripe for decision.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

The AOUSC moves to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), which governs motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Generally, under Rule 12(b)(1), the Plaintiff bears the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the Court possesses jurisdiction. See Shekoyan v. Sibley Int'l Corp., 217 F.Supp.2d 59, 63 (D.D.C.2002); Pitney Bowes, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Serv., 27 F.Supp.2d 15, 19 (D.D.C.1998). It is well established that, in deciding a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, a court is not limited to the allegations set forth in the complaint, "but may also consider material outside of the pleadings in its effort to determine whether the court has jurisdiction

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in the case." Alliance for Democracy v. Fed. Election Comm'n, 362 F.Supp.2d 138, 142 (D.D.C.2005); see Lockamy v. Truesdale, 182 F.Supp.2d 26, 30-31 (D.D.C.2001).

III. DISCUSSION

Ms. Hollingsworth's claim stands or falls on the assertion that AOUSC employees, like herself, fall within the scope of the Rehabilitation Act. The parties agree, as does the Court, that the Rehabilitation Act does not, on its face, extend to judicial branch employees. Pl.'s Opp'n at 6-7; Def.'s Reply at 2. Ms. Hollingsworth instead argues that the Administrative Office of the United States Courts Personnel Act of 1990, Pub.L. 101-474, 104 Stat. 1097 (1990) ("AOUSC Personnel Act"), impliedly repealed and modified the Rehabilitation Act, extending its coverage to AOUSC employees. Pl.'s Opp'n at 6-7. She contends that because the AOUSC Personnel Act was intended to provide disability discrimination protections to AOUSC employees, and the Rehabilitation Act is the sole mechanism by which federal employees can pursue such claims in federal court, the AOUSC Personnel Act must have extended the...

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41 practice notes
  • 41 F.Supp.3d 14 (D.D.C. 2014), C. A. 13-cv-2033 (RC), Organogenesis Inc. v. Sebelius
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 6 de maio de 2014
    ...United States ex rel. Digital Healthcare, Inc. v. Affiliated Computer, 778 F.Supp.2d 37, 43 (D.D.C. 2011) (citing Hollingsworth v. Duff, 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. 2006)). Jurisdiction must be established in each type of case brought before the Court, including challenges to an agency act......
  • 58 F.Supp.3d 109 (D.D.C. 2014), 1:13-cv-00952 (CRC), Calobrisi v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 23 de julho de 2014
    ...Boland v. Fortis Const. Co., 796 F.Supp.2d 80, 86 (D.D.C. 2011) (quotation marks and brackets omitted) (quoting Hollingsworth v. Duff, 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. III. Venue under Title VII Title VII includes a specific venue provision, which requires that any action under the statute be b......
  • 932 F.Supp.2d 30 (D.D.C. 2013), 11-1122 (RJL), Alaska v. United States Department of Agriculture
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 21 de março de 2013
    ...(1994). A plaintiff must establish that the Court possesses jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. See Hollingsworth v. Duff 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. 2006). The Court must grant plaintiffs all favorable inferences supported by the facts in the complaint. Mountain States Legal ......
  • Calobrisi v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., 072314 DCDC, 1:14-cv-00996-AJT-TRJ
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 23 de julho de 2014
    ...Boland v. Fortis Const. Co. , 796 F.Supp.2d 80, 86 (D.D.C. 2011) (quotation marks and brackets omitted) (quoting Hollingsworth v. Duff , 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. III. Venue under Title VII Title VII includes a specific venue provision, which requires that any action under the statute be......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • 41 F.Supp.3d 14 (D.D.C. 2014), C. A. 13-cv-2033 (RC), Organogenesis Inc. v. Sebelius
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts District of Columbia
    • 6 de maio de 2014
    ...United States ex rel. Digital Healthcare, Inc. v. Affiliated Computer, 778 F.Supp.2d 37, 43 (D.D.C. 2011) (citing Hollingsworth v. Duff, 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. 2006)). Jurisdiction must be established in each type of case brought before the Court, including challenges to an agency act......
  • 58 F.Supp.3d 109 (D.D.C. 2014), 1:13-cv-00952 (CRC), Calobrisi v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts District of Columbia
    • 23 de julho de 2014
    ...Boland v. Fortis Const. Co., 796 F.Supp.2d 80, 86 (D.D.C. 2011) (quotation marks and brackets omitted) (quoting Hollingsworth v. Duff, 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. III. Venue under Title VII Title VII includes a specific venue provision, which requires that any action under the statute be b......
  • 932 F.Supp.2d 30 (D.D.C. 2013), 11-1122 (RJL), Alaska v. United States Department of Agriculture
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts District of Columbia
    • 21 de março de 2013
    ...(1994). A plaintiff must establish that the Court possesses jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. See Hollingsworth v. Duff 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. 2006). The Court must grant plaintiffs all favorable inferences supported by the facts in the complaint. Mountain States Legal ......
  • Calobrisi v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., 072314 DCDC, 1:14-cv-00996-AJT-TRJ
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts District of Columbia
    • 23 de julho de 2014
    ...Boland v. Fortis Const. Co. , 796 F.Supp.2d 80, 86 (D.D.C. 2011) (quotation marks and brackets omitted) (quoting Hollingsworth v. Duff , 444 F.Supp.2d 61, 63 (D.D.C. III. Venue under Title VII Title VII includes a specific venue provision, which requires that any action under the statute be......
  • Request a trial to view additional results