United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
TAOFEEK A. QUADRI PLAINTIFF
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; and ERIC K. FANNING, SECRETARY OF THE ARMY DEFENDANTS
O. Hickey United States District Judge
the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed June 16,
2016, by the Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States
Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. ECF
No. 17. Judge Bryant recommends that Defendants' Motion
to Dismiss (ECF No. 10) be granted. Plaintiff has responded
with timely objections. ECF No. 18. The Court finds this
matter ripe for consideration.
filed the present action pro se on January 5, 2016.
ECF No. 1. In the Complaint, Plaintiff named the United
States of America and Eric K. Fanning, Secretary of the Army,
as defendants. ECF No. 1, pp. 1, 3. Plaintiff was discharged
from the United States Army Reserve on September 16, 2015.
ECF No. 10-10. Defendants claim Plaintiff was discharged for
failing to “obtain or maintain a valid security
clearance.” ECF No. 10-12. Defendants contend that
discharge was compulsory pursuant to a mandate issued by the
Secretary of the Army which required “involuntary
separation processing of Reserve Component officers when the
officer's security clearance is denied, revoked or the
officer fails to apply for an initial clearance or
reinvestigation of a clearance.” ECF No. 10-12.
Plaintiff argues that the reason provided for discharge,
“failure to obtain or maintain a valid security
clearance, ” is merely pretextual and that his
discharge was racially motivated. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff
further argues that his discharge was retaliatory and meant
as a means of reprisal for his participation in a
“protected activity.” ECF No. 1. Plaintiff does
not disclose the nature of the “protected
activity” in which he took part. Plaintiff seeks relief
pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
18, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 12(b)(1)
for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and FRCP 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim by failing to meet basic pleading
requirements of FRCP 8. ECF No. 10. Plaintiff responded on
May 26, 2016. ECF No. 12. On June 16, 2016, Judge Bryant
filed a Report and Recommendation recommending that
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss be granted. ECF No. 17.
Plaintiff's objections where filed in a timely fashion
and specific so as to trigger de novo review of
Judge Bryant's Report and Recommendation.
Court now turns to whether Mr. Quadri's present claim is
justiciable under the Feres Doctrine.
Wetherill v. Geren, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found that “as a general
rule, the Feres doctrine precludes claims brought by
servicemembers under Title VII arising out of activities that
are incident to military service.” 616 F.3d 789, 794
Court further stated that:
[T]he standard to be applied . . . to determine whether a
particular claim is barred under the Feres doctrine
is, quite simply, the standard articulated in Feres
itself: Did the injury complained of arise out of or occur in
the course of activit y incident to military service?
Id. at 798.
present case, Mr. Quadri claims that he was wrongfully
discharged from the United States Army Reserve for
discriminatory reasons. Defendants argue that Mr. Quadri
failed to maintain his security clearance and, therefore,
discharge was compulsory under Army Directive 2013-13, which
requires “mandatory involuntary separation processing
when a Reserve Component officer's clearance is finally
denied or revoked.” ECF 10-9. It is undisputed that Mr.
Quadri's security clearance was revoked. Therefore,
pursuant to Army Directive 2013-13, Mr. Quadri's
discharge was mandatory. Thus, it is clear that Mr.
Quadri's injury, separation from the United States Army
Reserve, occurred in the course of activity incident to
military service, namely, failure to maintain the proper
security clearance. Accordingly, pursuant to the
Feres doctrine, Mr. Quadri's Title VII claims
are nonjusticiable in this court and the case should be
dismissed. The Court will not address Plaintiff's other
arguments because this finding is determinative and requires
dismissal of Plaintiff's claims.
reasons stated above, the Court overrules Plaintiff's
objections and adopts the Report and Recommendation (ECF No.
17) insofar as it recommends dismissal pursuant to the
Feres doctrine. Furthermore, the Court declines to
adopt the Report and Recommendation in any other respect
because the conclusion that Plaintiff's claims are barred
by Feres is determinative. Accordingly,
Defendants' Motion to ...