Justia Military Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
Petty v. Metro. Gov’t of Nashvlle & Davidson Cty.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act guarantees returning veterans reemployment with their former employers and prohibits employers from discriminating against veterans based on their military service, 38 U.S.C. 4301–4335. Petty claimed that Metropolitan Government of Nashville-Davidson County violated USERRA in its treatment of him after he returned to Metro’s police department from active duty in the U.S. Army: Metro failed to restore him to his former position of patrol sergeant and discriminated against him on the basis of his military service. Metro had declined to reinstate him because of his alleged dishonesty concerning his military discipline history. Following remand, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of Petty on his reemployment claims and ordered Metro to reinstate him to his former position as a patrol sergeant; the court awarded Petty back pay and partial liquidated damages on his reemployment claims and ruled in his favor on his discrimination claim. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, noting that Metro was on notice of its obligation to reinstate Petty, but never did so. View "Petty v. Metro. Gov't of Nashvlle & Davidson Cty." on Justia Law
Bartholomew v. Blevins
Wife serves in the U.S. Air Force and executed a military power of attorney designating husband as her attorney-in-fact during her deployment overseas. Husband presented a photocopy of this instrument to the Fayette County Clerk to recording an original deed and mortgage in the real property index records. The clerk’s office rejected the copy as inauthentic and refused to record the documents. The district court dismissed their suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, which claimed that rejection of the power of attorney violated 10 U.S.C. 1044b. That statute sets the minimal requirements for executing a military power of attorney and prohibits states from imposing additional requirements. During the pendency of appeal, the couple submitted an original military power of attorney and the documents were recorded. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The unnotarized copy of the power of attorney lacked an essential element of a military power of attorney and did not qualify for 1044b(a) protections. View "Bartholomew v. Blevins" on Justia Law
Bobo v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.
Plaintiff, an African American, began working for defendant in 1987 and was a member of the Army Reserve. In 2004, after rehabilitation for an injury sustained in Iraq, he returned to his job as a supervisor. When he presented orders for training, a manager told plaintiff that he needed to choose between the company and the Army. Plaintiff claimed that managers assigned him more work than others, otherwise treated him differently, and terminated his employment for falsifying a safety form, which, he claimed, was a widespread practice. Plaintiff also claims that he was told to disqualify an African American female trainee, no matter how well she performed, and refused to do so. The district court ruled in favor of the employer on discrimination and retaliation claims under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. 4311(c)(1), and race discrimination and retaliation claims under 42 U.S.C. 1981, Title VII, and the Tennessee Human Rights Act. The Sixth Circuit affirmed with respect to retaliation claims under Title VII, but otherwise reversed. The district court improperly denied discovery with respect to treatment of other supervisors. There were material issues of fact as to whether military service was a factor in the company's actions.View "Bobo v. United Parcel Serv., Inc." on Justia Law
United States v. Green
Defendant was discharged from the U.S. Army due to a personality disorder. He was later charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, 18 U.S.C. 3261(a), and sentenced, by a federal district court, to life in prison for participating in a sexual assault and multiple murders while stationed in Iraq. Co-conspirators, still on active duty and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 802(a)(1), were tried by courts-martial and each sentenced to between 90 and 110 years imprisonment; they are eligible for parole in ten years. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, first noting that Iraq could not prosecute the defendant and that prosecution in the U.S. did not violate international law. The Army completed a valid discharge of defendant, so that he was no longer subject to courts-martial. His trial under MEJA did not violate the separation-of-powers principle or his due process or equal protection rights. Defendant was no longer similarly situated with his co-conspirators when charges were filed. View "United States v. Green" on Justia Law