Sai v. DHS et al., No. 1:14-cv-01876 (D. D.C.) [Rehab Act]

Full case documents | Other TSA litigation

Filed 2014-11-05, this case asks the court to require the TSA to respond to my two formal administrative complaints under the Rehabilitation Act (re SFO and BOS), as well as for damages stemming from TSA's intentional obstruction of justice by its office of chief counsel telling its complaint processors to "not process" my case.

Outcome: I won, and TSA was ordered to pay my costs.

In January 2016, TSA responded to my March 2013 SFO complaint after ordered to do so by the judge in December 2015. I immediately filed an administrative appeal. On Feb. 16, TSA responded to my appeal by upholding its decision.

In March 2015, during litigation, TSA responded to my January 2013 BOS complaint, and then in August 2015, responded to my May 2015 administrative appeal thereof.

Their actual deadlines: 180 days for the complaint, 30 days for the appeal.

2018-08-18, after threatening further litigation, finally got a response to the non-Rehabilitation Act aspects of my BOS and SFO complaints.

Major filings: complaint, affidavit

Holdings:

  • Doc #56, 99 F. Supp. 3d 50, April 16, 2015
  • Doc #88 (opinion) & 89 (order), 149 F. Supp. 3d 99, Dec. 15, 2015
    1. I have standing under the APA, but not the Rehabilitation Act, to sue the TSA and require them to obey 6 CFR 15.70 (DHS' rules about processing Rehab Act complaints). p. 11-32.
    2. TSA "manifestly failed to comply with its obligation" to respond to my SFO grievance, constituting "agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed". p. 13. "Defendants’ 2.75-year delay in responding to [my] SFO complaint is “unreasonable”", and "[i]t is difficult to envision the “rule of reason” that would permit an agency routinely to delay the processing of administrative complaints by a factor of five times the timetable set out in the agency’s governing regulations". p. 30.
    3. My claims about TSA's handling of my BOS grievance and administrative appeal are moot because TSA responded to them during litigation (~4x late in both cases). p. 7-9.
    4. I can't raise FTCA claims in this lawsuit about TSA's obstruction of justice because I failed to exhaust administrative remedies first, so those claims are denied without prejudice. p. 35-37.
    5. I can't raise Bivens claims or sue individuals involved because of the Westfall Act (i.e. because they acted in the course of their job). p. 33-35 & 37-38.
    6. I can't file for IFP status with my affidavit under seal and ex parte, because I didn't show particularized reasons why my financial affidavit is more private than others'. p. 40-44.
  • Doc #93, April 15, 2016
    1. I am the prevailing party in this suit
    2. I am entitled to costs, since I won the main issue, even though I lost other aspects
    3. I am not entitled to attorney's fees (of $0) because that would be an advisory opinion

Case closed. I won prevailing party status, and DOJ sent me a check for $600 of EAJA costs.

BOS & SFO incidents, and TSA's obstruction of justice in ordering its people to "not investigate" my complaints, will be separately litigated.