768 F.2d 422 (D.C. Cir. 1985), 84-5679, Denton v. Merit Systems Protection Bd.

Docket Nº:84-5679.
Citation:768 F.2d 422
Case Date:July 26, 1985
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Page 422

768 F.2d 422 (D.C. Cir. 1985)

Estelle DENTON, Appellant



No. 84-5679.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

July 26, 1985

Argued May 15, 1985.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Civil Action No. 82-03261).

John D. Grad, Alexandria, Va., for appellant.

Robert C. Seldon, Asst. U.S. Atty., Washington, D.C., with whom Joseph E. diGenova, U.S. Atty., Royce C. Lamberth and R. Craig Lawrence, Asst. U.S. Attys., Washington, D.C., were on brief, for appellee.

Before MIKVA, BORK and STARR, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge STARR.

Page 423

STARR, Circuit Judge.

This appeal is taken by a former federal civil service employee from the District Court's denial of her motion to remand proceedings to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or Board) for reconsideration in light of new evidence. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that we lack jurisdiction over the appeal and that jurisdiction lies in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We therefore transfer the case to that court in the interest of justice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1631 (1982).

In 1972, Estelle Denton, an employee at the Small Business Administration (SBA), was diagnosed as suffering from a severe emotional disorder. Her ensuing application for disability retirement was granted and she thereupon left federal employment. In the mid-1970's, Ms. Denton came to believe that her 1972 retirement had not been voluntary but, to the contrary, had been coerced by certain fellow employees who were under federal criminal investigation and who, in her view, wished to get rid of her under circumstances that would undermine her credibility with law enforcement officials. However, Ms. Denton did nothing about her suspicions for some years. Then, beginning in March 1981, she engaged in correspondence with her then-United States Senator with respect to her retirement from SBA almost a decade before. In May 1982, as a result of her communications with the Senator's office, Ms. Denton initiated contact with the MSPB. Her administrative appeal and request for hearing were formally filed with the Board on June 3, 1982. The gravamen of her complaint was that her retirement in 1972 had been improperly coerced.

In October 1982, the MSPB's presiding official dismissed Ms. Denton's appeal as untimely. Ms. Denton thereupon filed a request to reopen with the MSPB in November 1982, which was denied. On November 15, 1982, she filed a petition for review in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She later filed another petition for review--"out of an abundance of caution"--in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by virtue of her uncertainty as to which court was the proper forum in light of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), Pub.L. No. 95-454, 92 Stat. 1111...

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