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.

Harris v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

August 29, 2017

DANIEL CHASE HARRIS, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee

         Appeal from the United States Court of Federal Claims in No. l:16-cv-00560-EGB, Senior Judge Eric G. Bruggink.

          Daniel Chase Harris, Terre Haute, IN, pro se.

          Meen Geu Oh, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for defendant-appellee. Also represented by Chad A. Readler, Robert E. Kirschman, Jr., Douglas K. Mickle.

          Before Prost, Chief Judge, Bryson, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.

          Per Curiam.

         Lieutenant Daniel Harris appeals the decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims, dismissing his claim to recover back pay from the United States Navy for failure to state a claim under the Military Pay Act, 37U.S.C. § 204 (2012). See Harris v. United States, No. 16-560C, 2017 WL 532347 (Fed. CI. Feb. 9, 2017). Lt. Harris also appeals the trial court's dismissal of his due process claim for failure to state a claim and the trial court's dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of his challenge to a civilian court's jurisdiction to convict him as a military service member. Id. at *3-6. We affirm.

         Background

         Lt. Harris has been an officer in the Navy since 2005. He was arrested by civilian authorities on November 12, 2013, for sexual offenses involving minors. Lt. Harris was held in confinement by civilian authorities until his conviction and sentencing on July 13, 2015. Lt. Harris was convicted on thirty-one criminal counts by a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and sentenced to fifty years imprisonment.

         During the period between his arrest and conviction, the Navy withheld Lt. Harris's pay pending the outcome of his criminal proceedings. Based on his conviction, the Navy determined that, under the Military Pay Act and the applicable Department of Defense ("DoD") regulations, Lt. Harris's absence was unexcused and therefore he was not entitled to any pay for his absence during confinement.

         Lt. Harris filed a complaint in the trial court, seeking to recover back pay from the time he was arrested until the date of his conviction. Lt. Harris argued that the Navy's withholding of his pay prior to trial and conviction violated the Military Pay Act, as well as his constitutional due process rights. Lt. Harris also challenged the civilian court's jurisdiction to charge and convict him given his position as a military service member.

         On the Government's motions, the trial court stayed fact discovery and later dismissed Lt. Harris's complaint for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction. Specifically, the trial court concluded that fact discovery was unnecessary to determine whether he had stated a claim under the Military Pay Act or for due process violations. The trial court ultimately held that Lt. Harris failed to state a claim under the Military Pay Act because he was convicted of his crimes, and therefore, under the relevant DoD regulations, he was not entitled to pay during his unexcused absence. The trial court also concluded that Lt. Harris failed to state a due process claim because he was not statutorily eligible to receive pay during his detention and, as such, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments were not implicated. Finally, the trial court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction Lt. Harris's challenge to the civilian court's jurisdiction to convict him as a military service member.

         Lt. Harris appeals. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(3) (2012).

         Discussion

...


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.