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International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

April 1, 2013

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL & TECHNICAL ENGINEERS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants Related No. 12-cv-02297-AW

Page 817

For International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, Timothy Persons, Jonathan Medalia, Dennis Roth, Nina Serafino (8:12-cv-03448), Plaintiffs: Arthur B Spitzer, American Civil Liberties Union of the Nations Capital, Washington, DC; Daron Tate Carreiro, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Washington, DC.

For United States of America, Nancy Erickson, Secretary, United States Senate, Terrance W. Gainer, Sergeant at Arms, United States Senate (8:12-cv-03448), Defendants: Jacqueline Coleman Snead, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

For Karen L. Haas, Clerk, United States House of Representatives (8:12-cv-03448), Defendant: Kerry William Kircher, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC; William Bullock Pittard, IV, United States House of Representatives, Office of General Counsel, Washington, DC.

For Senior Executives Association, American Foreign Service Association, Assembly of Scientists, National Association of Immigration Judges, Joshua Zimmerberg, Evelyn Upchurch, Michael Ryschkewitsch, Janice Caramanica, Jane Doe I, Jane Doe II, Jane Doe III (8:12-cv-02297), Plaintiffs: Arthur B Spitzer, American Civil Liberties Union of the Nations Capital, Washington, DC; Daron Tate Carreiro, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Washington, DC.

For Kevin P. Logan (8:12-cv-02297), Plaintiff: Arthur B Spitzer, LEAD ATTORNEY, American Civil Liberties Union of the Nations Capital, Washington, DC; Daron Tate Carreiro, LEAD ATTORNEY, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Washington, DC.

For United States of America, Don W. Fox, Acting Director of Office of Government Ethics (8:12-cv-02297), Defendants: Allen F Loucks, Office of the United States Attorney, Baltimore, MD; Bradley Philip Humphreys, Jacqueline Coleman Snead, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 818

Alexander Williams, Jr., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Pending before the Court are two Motions to Dismiss. Defendants United States, Secretary of the United States Senate Nancy Erickson, and Sergeant at Arms of the Senate Terrance W. Gainer move to dismiss on the grounds that Plaintiffs' claims are barred by sovereign immunity and that venue is improper in this district. Doc. No. 32. Defendant Karen L. Haas, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, moves to dismiss on the same grounds, and also argues that Plaintiffs lack standing and have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Doc. No. 33. The Court has reviewed the motion papers and concludes that no hearing is necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons articulated below, Defendants' Motions are GRANTED-IN-PART. Plaintiffs' claims against Defendant United States are barred by sovereign immunity and are therefore dismissed with prejudice. Although Plaintiffs' claims against the remaining individual Defendants are not barred by sovereign immunity, venue is not proper in this district. Accordingly, the Court dismisses without prejudice Plaintiffs' claims against the individual Defendants. [1]

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs have brought suit to enjoin implementation of section 8(a)(1) of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. Section 8(a)(1), as amended, requires online posting of Financial Disclosure Forms submitted by covered employees of the legislative branch of the United States government:

Not later than [April 15, 2013], or 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, whichever is later, the Secretary of the Senate and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, and the Clerk of the ...

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