Case: Fraternal Order of Police v. District of Columbia

1:20-cv-02130 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Aug. 5, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In this case, the union representing the Distict of Columbia's Metropolitian Police Department sued the Mayor of the District Columbia and the city itself, challenging a local law that prohibited the union from negotiating police disciplinary rules during its collective bargaining process. D.C. police brought this suit under 42 U.S.C § 1983 on August 5, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The union alleged that the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Emerg…

In this case, the union representing the Distict of Columbia's Metropolitian Police Department sued the Mayor of the District Columbia and the city itself, challenging a local law that prohibited the union from negotiating police disciplinary rules during its collective bargaining process. D.C. police brought this suit under 42 U.S.C § 1983 on August 5, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The union alleged that the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Emergency Act, passed by the D.C. Council in the wake of the George Floyd protests in July of 2020, violated the Equal Protection clause, Due Process Clause, and the Contracts clause. The plaintiffs also alleged that the Act was a bill of attainder and violated the D.C. Home Rule Act. The plaintiffs were represented by a private law firm, and the case was assigned to the Honorable Judge James E. Boasberg.

The Union moved for summary judgment on all claims, while the District cross-moved for dismissal or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. On November 4, 2020, the Judge Boasberg ruled on the motions, holding for the District and dismissing the case without prejudice. 502 F.Supp.3d 45. The court dismissed the equal protection claims because it found that the Act's legislative history provided a rational basis for its treatment of the Union: the District sought to increase accountability for its officers. Next, the court explained why the bill of attainder claims were equally unfounded. Whether a legislative act amounts to a bill of attainder is determined by a two-part test: (1) does the law apply with specificity, and (2) does the law amount to punishment? The court dismissed the bill of attainder under the second prong because under the history, functional, and motivational sub-tests, it held the Act did not amount to punishment. As for the contract clause claim, even though the Act might affect future contracts between the Union and the District, the Constitution's Contract Clause is retrospective. The court held that the Union had not adequately shown that Act would impair a pre-existing contract. Finally, the court dismissed the Union's substantive due process claim because its stated interest—the right to collectively bargain for disciplinary procedures—was not constitutionally recognized.

The Union moved to amend its complaint following the dismissal, but it faced a high burden because the court had dismissed the case—not just the complaint. Under these circumstances, the Union must first win on either Rule 60(a) motion to correct a clerical mistake or a Rule 59(e) motion to amend the judgment. However, the court rejected the Union's Rules 60(a) and 59(e) motions on May 14, 2021. The court rejected the Rule 60(a) motion in short-shrift by affirming its decision to dismiss the case, and not just the complaint.

Next, the court addressed the Unions claim that the court had made a clear error or that its judgment resulted in a manifest injustice. The Union claimed that the court committed clear error by applying the wrong legal standard. Specifically, it claimed that the court misapplied the rational basis test and did not accept the complaint's factual assertions as true. The court disagreed with each argument, explaining its application of rational basis was proper and that the facts that the Union claimed the court did not honor were in fact legal conclusions. As for manifest injustice, the court rejected the Union's claim that denying it leave to appeal was unjust. The court reasoned that the general leeway given to plaintiffs to amend their complaint was absent under Rule 59(e). Finally, the court denied the Union's motion for leave to amend as moot, since neither 59(e) nor 60(a) were satisfied.

The Union appealed the District Court's order to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 27, 2021.

As of February 2022, this case was ongoing.

Summary Authors

Jordan Katz (2/6/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17415484/parties/fraternal-order-of-police-metropolitan-police-department-labor-committee/

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

1:20-cv-02130

Complaint

Fraternal Order of Police v. The District of Columbia

Aug. 5, 2020

Aug. 5, 2020

Complaint
15

1:20-cv-02130

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Nov. 4, 2020

Nov. 4, 2020

Order/Opinion
16

1:20-cv-02130

Memorandum Opinion

502 F.Supp.3d 45

Nov. 4, 2020

Nov. 4, 2020

Order/Opinion
25

1:20-cv-02130

Memorandum Opinion

May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17415484/fraternal-order-of-police-metropolitan-police-department-labor-committee/

Last updated June 6, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants with Jury Demand ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number ADCDC-7425036) filed by FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT LABOR COMMITTEE, D.C. POLICE UNION. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(Conti, Anthony) (Entered: 08/05/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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2 Summons

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3 Summons

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Aug. 5, 2020

Aug. 5, 2020

Clearinghouse

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Aug. 5, 2020

Aug. 5, 2020

PACER

Case Assigned to Judge James E. Boasberg. (adh, )

Aug. 5, 2020

Aug. 5, 2020

PACER
2

SUMMONS (2) Issued Electronically as to MURIEL BOWSER, District of Columbia Attorney General, (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(adh, ) (Entered: 08/05/2020)

Aug. 5, 2020

Aug. 5, 2020

PACER
3

MOTION for Summary Judgment by FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT LABOR COMMITTEE, D.C. POLICE UNION (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit 1, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit 2)(McCartin, Daniel) (Entered: 08/14/2020)

1 Memorandum in Support

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2 Statement of Facts

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3 Text of Proposed Order

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4 Exhibit Exhibit 1

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5 Exhibit Exhibit 2

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Aug. 14, 2020

Aug. 14, 2020

RECAP
4

NOTICE of Appearance by Pamela A. Disney on behalf of All Defendants (Disney, Pamela) (Entered: 08/18/2020)

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

PACER
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Gavin Noyes Palmer on behalf of MURIEL BOWSER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (Palmer, Gavin) (Entered: 08/18/2020)

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

PACER
6

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Plaintiff's Complaint and Motion for Summary Judgment by MURIEL BOWSER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Disney, Pamela) (Entered: 08/20/2020)

Aug. 20, 2020

Aug. 20, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Aug. 20, 2020

Aug. 20, 2020

PACER
7

Memorandum in opposition to re 6 MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Plaintiff's Complaint and Motion for Summary Judgment filed by FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT LABOR COMMITTEE, D.C. POLICE UNION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Exhibit Exhibit 1)(McCartin, Daniel) (Entered: 08/20/2020)

1 Text of Proposed Order

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2 Exhibit Exhibit 1

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Aug. 20, 2020

Aug. 20, 2020

RECAP

Set/Reset Deadlines

Aug. 20, 2020

Aug. 20, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER GRANTING IN PART and DENYING IN PART 6 Motion for Extension of Time. The Court ORDERS that: 1) Defendants shall file their Answer or otherwise respond to Plaintiff's Complaint by September 4, 2020; and 2) Defendants shall file their response to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment by September 4, 2020. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 08/20/2020. (lcjeb3)

Aug. 20, 2020

Aug. 20, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 9/4/2020. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 9/4/2020. (znbn)

Aug. 20, 2020

Aug. 20, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Aug. 21, 2020

Aug. 21, 2020

PACER
8

Memorandum in opposition to re 3 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by MURIEL BOWSER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Response to Plaintiff's Statement of Facts, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Disney, Pamela) (Entered: 09/04/2020)

1 Statement of Facts Response to Plaintiff's Statement of Facts

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2 Statement of Facts

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3 Text of Proposed Order

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Sept. 4, 2020

Sept. 4, 2020

RECAP
9

Cross MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint by MURIEL BOWSER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Disney, Pamela) (Entered: 09/04/2020)

Sept. 4, 2020

Sept. 4, 2020

PACER
10

Memorandum in opposition to re 9 Cross MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint filed by FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT LABOR COMMITTEE, D.C. POLICE UNION. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit, # 6 Exhibit, # 7 Exhibit, # 8 Exhibit)(McCartin, Daniel) (Attachment 6 replaced on 9/14/2020) (ztnr). (Entered: 09/11/2020)

1 Statement of Facts

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2 Text of Proposed Order

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3 Exhibit

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4 Exhibit

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5 Exhibit

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6 Exhibit

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7 Exhibit

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8 Exhibit

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Sept. 11, 2020

Sept. 11, 2020

RECAP
11

REPLY to opposition to motion re 9 Cross MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint filed by FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT LABOR COMMITTEE, D.C. POLICE UNION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit, # 6 Exhibit)(McCartin, Daniel) (Attachment 4 replaced on 9/14/2020) (ztnr). (Entered: 09/11/2020)

Sept. 11, 2020

Sept. 11, 2020

PACER
12

MOTION for Extension of Time to Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Cross-Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint by MURIEL BOWSER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Disney, Pamela) (Entered: 09/14/2020)

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

PACER
13

Memorandum in opposition to re 12 MOTION for Extension of Time to Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Cross-Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint filed by FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT LABOR COMMITTEE, D.C. POLICE UNION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McCartin, Daniel) (Entered: 09/14/2020)

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER GRANTING Defendants' 12 Motion for Extension of Time. The Court ORDERS that Defendants shall file their reply by September 25, 2020. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 09/14/2020. (lcjeb2)

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Reply due by 9/25/2020. (znbn)

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

PACER

Notice of QC

Sept. 15, 2020

Sept. 15, 2020

PACER

NOTICE OF ERROR re 13 Memorandum in Opposition; emailed to dan@lawcfl.com, cc'd 7 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Invalid attorney signature, 2. FYI; DO NOT REFILE. Future filings attorney signature must match login/password. (zeg, )

Sept. 15, 2020

Sept. 15, 2020

PACER
14

REPLY to opposition to motion re 9 Cross MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint filed by MURIEL BOWSER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. (Disney, Pamela) (Entered: 09/25/2020)

Sept. 25, 2020

Sept. 25, 2020

RECAP
15

ORDER: The Court ORDERS that: (1) Defendants' 9 Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED; (2) Plaintiff's 3 Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED; and (3) The case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 11/04/2020. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 11/04/2020)

Nov. 4, 2020

Nov. 4, 2020

RECAP
16

MEMORANDUM OPINION re 15 Order. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 11/04/2020. (lcjeb3)

Nov. 4, 2020

Nov. 4, 2020

RECAP
17

Clarify AND Alter Judgment

Dec. 1, 2020

Dec. 1, 2020

PACER
18

Amend/Correct

1 Exhibit Exhibit A

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2 Exhibit Exhibit B

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3 Text of Proposed Order

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Dec. 1, 2020

Dec. 1, 2020

RECAP
19

Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Dec. 7, 2020

Dec. 7, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Dec. 7, 2020

Dec. 7, 2020

PACER
20

Memorandum in opposition to motion

Dec. 22, 2020

Dec. 22, 2020

PACER
21

Memorandum in opposition to motion

Dec. 22, 2020

Dec. 22, 2020

PACER
22

Reply to opposition to motion

Jan. 18, 2021

Jan. 18, 2021

PACER
23

Reply to opposition to motion

Jan. 19, 2021

Jan. 19, 2021

PACER
24

Order on Motion to Clarify AND Order on Motion to Amend/Correct AND Order on Motion to Alter Judgment

May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

PACER
25

.Order

May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

RECAP
26

Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

RECAP
27

Transmission of Notice of Appeal and Docket Sheet to USCA

June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021

PACER
28

Supplemental ROA Sent to USCA

June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021

PACER

USCA Case Number

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 5, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Union for D.C. police challenging a D.C. law that prohibited the union from negotiating police disciplinary rules during its collective bargaining process.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Mayor (District of Columbia), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Due Process

Ex Post Facto

Commerce Power

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None