Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wojcicki v. SCANA

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

January 14, 2020

JOSEPH EDWARD WOJCICKI, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SCANA/SCE&G, Defendants-Appellees. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Amicus Curiae.

          Argued: September 20, 2019

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Columbia. J. Michelle Childs, District Judge. (3:14-cv-00838-JMC)

         ARGUED:

          Lukas R. Gleissner, GLEISSNER LAW FIRM, LLC, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellant. Amy R. Upshaw, KING & SPALDING LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellees.

          Melissa N. Patterson, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae.

         ON BRIEF:

          Richard Robert Gleissner, GLEISSNER LAW FIRM, LLC, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellant. Ashley C. Parrish, Washington, D.C., David L. Balser, KING & SPALDING LLP, Atlanta, Georgia, for Appellees.

          Joseph H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General, Charles W. Scarborough, Civil Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C.; Sherri A. Lydon, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Columbia, South Carolina, for Amicus United States.

          Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, and THACKER and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.

          THACKER, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         Appellant Edward Joseph Wojcicki ("Appellant") seeks to maintain a qui tam action pursuant to the False Claims Act (the "FCA") without the benefit of counsel. Because a pro se plaintiff cannot represent the Government's interest in a qui tam suit, we affirm the district court's dismissal order.

         For this same reason, we also affirm the district court's denial of Appellant's motion for reconsideration of its dismissal order.

         I.

         In February 2012, Appellant sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission detailing his concerns as to a rate adjustment application submitted pursuant to the South Carolina Base Load Review Act (the "BLRA"), SC Code Ann. § 58-33-275, by SCANA Corporation and South Carolina Electric & Gas Corporation ("Appellees"). Appellant's letter expressed concerns about Appellees' proposed location of two nuclear energy facilities in Jenkinsville, South Carolina. On March 11, 2014, because his concerns remained unaddressed, Appellant filed the underlying pro se qui tam action against Appellees in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. There, Appellant -- "on behalf of the United States of America" -- alleged Appellees had violated the FCA, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, by filing false claims under the BLRA in order to receive permission to "increase electric energy [kWh] rates to cover costs of construction [of] two nuclear units (2 and 3) in Jenkinsville, SC" rather than seeking federal government funds for the project. J.A. 6.[1]

         After filing the complaint, Appellant filed a "Motion to Place Complaint Under Seal and Request to Withhold Issue of Summons" for 60 days, pursuant to the FCA. J.A. 104 (citing 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2)). The case was then referred to a United States magistrate judge. The magistrate judge granted the motion on April 1, 2014, but cautioned Appellant that, to bring a proper qui tam action, he must (1) retain counsel and (2) "provide summonses necessary for service of the complaint on the United States Attorney General and United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina." Id. at 105. If Appellant failed to do so within 21 days, the magistrate ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.