Clearing the Path to Justice: The Need to Reform 28 U.S.C. § 1500

76 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2013  

Emily S. Bremer

Notre Dame Law School

Jonathan R. Siegel

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Plaintiffs suing the United States face a little-known obstacle to justice: 28 U.S.C. § 1500. This statute prohibits the United States Court of Federal Claims from exercising jurisdiction over a claim if the plaintiff has the same claim pending in another court. This apparently sensible rule causes considerable trouble because a “claim” is understood to include all claims based on the same operative facts, and Congress has required that certain types of claims against the United States must go to different courts. Therefore, a plaintiff with multiple claims against the United States may neither be able to bring the claims together in one case nor split them into separate cases. Section 1500 may effectively compel such a plaintiff to pursue only one claim and abandon the others. This unjust result is contrary to fundamental principles of modern civil procedure, which allow a plaintiff to pursue multiple claims against a defendant. Worse, it serves no good purpose. This Article argues that Congress should repeal § 1500 to provide justice to plaintiffs with multiple claims against the United States.

Keywords: Civil Procedure, Jurisdiction, Court of Federal Claims, Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS)

Suggested Citation

Bremer, Emily S. and Siegel, Jonathan R., Clearing the Path to Justice: The Need to Reform 28 U.S.C. § 1500 (2013). Alabama Law Review, Vol. 65, No. 1, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344846

Emily S. Bremer (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

Eck Hall of Law
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States
5746311511 (Phone)

Jonathan R. Siegel

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-7453 (Phone)
202-994-5614 (Fax)

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