United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
A. Gibney, Jr., United States District Judge
se plaintiff, Randyl Walter, brings this breach of contract
claim against General Services Administration
("GSA"), Fort McHenry National Monument/Historical
Shrine, and the Department of the Interior. The defendants
moved to dismiss on the grounds that Congress has only waived
sovereign immunity for this type of claim in the Court of
Federal Claims, and not in district court. The Court grants
the defendants' motion because the district courts lack
jurisdiction over the plaintiffs claim.
purchased a golf cart from an online GSA auction on March 20,
2017, for $500. The auction website described the golf cart
as having "Eight 6V Batteries" and an "On
Board Smart Charging System." (Second Am. Compl., Exh.
A.) Upon returning to his home in Richmond with the cart,
Walter discovered that it had neither batteries nor a
charging system. Walter contacted the GSA's Contracting
Officer, George Elefante, who told Walter he had two options:
(1) keep the cart and receive a price adjustment; or (2)
return the cart in its present condition and receive a full
refund of $500.
chose neither option and sued the GSA,  as well as Fort
McHenry National Monument/Historical Shrine and the
Department of the Interior. After amending his complaint
twice, once as of right and then with leave from the Court,
Walter currently alleges breach of contract and seeks the
following: $1, 444.56 for the cost of replacing the
batteries, $519.50 for the cost of replacing the charging
system, and $8, 555.44 in punitive damages. The defendants
moved to dismiss.
plaintiff bears the burden of showing that subject matter
jurisdiction exists. Evans v. B.F. Perkins Co., 166
F.3d 642, 647 (4th Cir. 1999).
sovereign, the United States is "immune from suit save
as it consents to be sued." United States v.
Sherwood, 312 U.S. 584, 586 (1941). "[T]he terms of
its consent to be sued in any court define that court's
jurisdiction to entertain the suit." Id. Waiver
of sovereign immunity will be "strictly construed...in
favor of the sovereign." Lane v. Pena, 518 U.S.
relies on 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2), known as the
"Little Tucker Act, " to argue that the United
States has waived sovereign immunity in this case. The Little
Tucker Act waives immunity in district courts for breach of
contract claims against the United States for amounts less
than $10, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2). The Little
Tucker Act also states that district courts shall
not have jurisdiction over such claims if they are
subject to sections 7104(b)(1) and 7107(a)(1) of Title 41.
7104(b)(1) and 7107(a)(1) set forth review procedures for
disputes subject to the Contract Disputes Act
("CDA"), which waives sovereign immunity for
certain disputes in the Court of Federal Claims but not in
district court. 41 U.S.C. § 7104(b)(1). The CDA governs
disputes arising from contracts made by executive agencies
for, among other things, the sale of government property. 41
U.S.C. § 7102(a). Under the CDA, "executive
agency" includes executive departments, military
departments, and independent establishments, meaning any
"establishment in the executive branch...which is not an
Executive department, military department, [etc.]." 41
U.S.C. § 7101 (8)(c); 5 U.S.C. § 104(1). The GSA is
"an agency in the executive branch of the Federal
Government, " which does not fall within any listed
exclusion. 40 U.S.C. §301.
claim falls within the scope of the CDA as it arises from a
contract with an executive agency, the GSA, for the sale of
government property, the golf cart. Disputes within the scope
of the CDA are subject to its review procedures and excluded
from the Little Tucker Act's grant of jurisdiction to
district courts. United States v. J&E Salvage
Co., 55 F.3d 985, 987 (4th Cir. 1995).
CDA's review procedures allow Walter to either (1) appeal
the decision of the contracting officer to the Civilian Board
of Contract Appeals, or (2) pursue direct relief from the
Court of Federal Claims. 41 U.S.C. §§ 7104(a)-(b),
7105(b). These procedures are "exclusive of jurisdiction
in any other forum" and do not allow Walter to bring his
claim in district court. J&E Salvage, 55 F.3d at
case falls within the scope of the Contract Disputes Act
because it arises from a contract with an executive agency
for the sale of government property. The CDA limits
jurisdiction over this case to the Court of Federal Claims.