721 F.2d 657 (9th Cir. 1983), 82-4221, Nichols v. Hughes

Docket Nº:82-4221.
Citation:721 F.2d 657
Party Name:James Joseph NICHOLS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. E.T. HUGHES, Captain, U.S.N., Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Air Station, Midway Island, or his servants, agents, or employees, and The Secretary of the Navy, his servants, agents, or employees, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:December 06, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 657

721 F.2d 657 (9th Cir. 1983)

James Joseph NICHOLS, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

E.T. HUGHES, Captain, U.S.N., Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval

Air Station, Midway Island, or his servants, agents, or

employees, and The Secretary of the Navy, his servants,

agents, or employees, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 82-4221.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

December 6, 1983

Submitted Sept. 12, 1983.

Page 658

James Joseph Nichols, in pro. per.

Yoshinori Y.T. Himel, Sacramento, Cal., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Before CHOY and NORRIS, Circuit Judges, and CURTIS, [*] District Judge.

CHOY, Circuit Judge:

James Nichols brought this suit in 1979 seeking equitable relief for his allegedly wrongful discharge from the Navy in 1957. He did not seek damages. The district court granted summary judgment against him, and he now appeals. We hold that Nichols' claims are barred by the statute of limitation, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2401(a). We affirm the judgment of the district court.

I. STATEMENT OF FACTS

James Nichols was discharged from the Navy on August 13, 1957. His discharge status was listed as "undesirable by reason of unfitness" because Nichols had allegedly engaged in homosexual acts. Nichols, however, maintains that the statements he signed which formed a major part of the Navy's decision to discharge him were coerced, and that he was never able to find out what really happened to him until he obtained documents in 1977 pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

According to Nichols, he was awakened on June 24, 1957 and brought into the office of a Mr. Vickery from the Office of Naval Intelligence. Vickery told Nichols that he had received a written statement from a certain sailor naming Nichols as his partner in various homosexual acts. Vickery said that if Nichols were to sign a statement admitting involvement in those acts, he would receive an undesirable discharge which would be upgraded to a general discharge after one year. If he did not sign, he would be haled before a general court-martial and face a sentence of up to five years' imprisonment and a dishonorable discharge. Nichols signed the statement. Several days later, Nichols was called to the commander's office to sign more documents. Nichols at first refused to sign, since the people in that office made no mention of upgrading the discharge after one...

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