Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Anand v. United States National Security Agency

November 9, 2006

VIKRANT V. ANAND, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE; AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Senior Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff filed his complaint in this action on April 15, 2005, seeking a declaratory judgment and injunction to "prohibit agencies of the federal government from carrying out the threats of [D]efendants U.S. National Security Agency ("NSA") and U.S. Department of Defense ("DOD") to 'collect' a legally unenforceable claim." See Complaint at ¶ 1. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants' attempt to collect debts is legally unenforceable due to the six-year time bar of 28 U.S.C. § 2415 for court action and the ten-year time bar of 31 U.S.C. § 3716(e) for administrative offset.

Currently before the Court are Defendant Department of Justice's ("DOJ") and Defendant Department of Treasury's ("Treasury") motions to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND*fn1

In January 1990, Plaintiff, who was a high school student at the time, agreed to enter Defendant NSA's Undergraduate Training Program upon his matriculation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an electrical engineering major. Pursuant to a written agreement, the federal government paid certain educational expenses for Plaintiff. In return, Plaintiff agreed to a period of employment with Defendant NSA. The agreement required Plaintiff to reimburse the federal government if he either resigned from the Undergraduate Training Program before completing his educational requirements or voluntarily resigned from his employment with NSA prior to completing his period of service.

On January 24, 1994, Plaintiff resigned from the Undergraduate Training Program prior to completing his educational requirements. Immediately following his resignation, Defendant DOD's Finance and Accounting Office ("Office") sent Plaintiff eighteen invoices on March 28, 1994, seeking a total reimbursement of $61,757.96. The Office also contacted Plaintiff on March 5, 1996, setting a repayment deadline of April 5, 1996. Plaintiff contested the debt by letter.

Several years passed before the Office sent Plaintiff another letter on July 14, 2003, demanding repayment within thirty days and advising that, if Plaintiff did not pay, the Office might transfer the debt to Defendant Treasury, which could (1) offset tax refunds and salary; (2) refer the debt to a private collection agency; (3) refer the debt to DOJ for litigation; (4) report the debt to a credit bureau; and (5) report the debt to the IRS as potential income. In a letter dated October 4, 2004, the Office repeated its warnings and requested payment by November 3, 2004; this letter also advised Plaintiff of his right to request reconsideration of the debt within fifteen days and his right to request a hearing or a waiver. Plaintiff did not respond until November 3, 2004, when he denied the existence of any debt and, alternatively, argued the ten-year limitations period of 31 U.S.C. § 3716(d) discharged any indebtedness. In a letter dated December 1, 2004, the Office responded that the debt was valid because Plaintiff was notified before the end of the limitations period, repeated its warnings about offset and collection procedures, and again advised Plaintiff of his right to request a hearing or a waiver. In its final action before Plaintiff filed suit, the Office sent another letter dated April 1, 2005, requesting payment and repeating its warnings about offset and collection procedures.

III. DISCUSSION

As stated, currently before the Court are Defendants' motions to dismiss. In its motion, Defendant DOJ argues that the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims because the United States has not waived its sovereign immunity and that there is no independent statutory grant of jurisdiction for Plaintiff's claims. Defendant Treasury argues in its motion that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.*fn2

A. Subject-matter Jurisdiction

"'Absent a waiver, sovereign immunity shields the Federal Government and its agencies from suit.'" Dep't of the Army v. Blue Fox, Inc., 525 U.S. 255, 260 (1999) (quotation omitted). "Consequently, a person attempting to sue a federal agency or officer must demonstrate that the claim being asserted is covered by a specific statutory authorization to sue the United States, or that in effect the proceeding is not a suit against the United States." 14 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3655 (3d ed. 1998). "[A] waiver of sovereign immunity is to be construed strictly and limited to its express terms." Lunney v. United States, 319 F.3d 550, 554 (2d Cir. 2003) (citing Dep't of the Army v. Blue Fox, Inc., 525 U.S. 255, 261, 119 S.Ct. 687, 142 L.Ed. 2d 718 (1999)) (other citation omitted).

Plaintiff argues that Section 10(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. ยง 702, provides subject-matter jurisdiction. Alternatively, Plaintiff contends that his suit could be characterized as an action against individual officers of the defendant agencies, with the Mandamus ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.