Argued: September 20, 2019
from the United States District Court for the District of
South Carolina, at Columbia. J. Michelle Childs, District
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.
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.
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.
GREGORY, Chief Judge, and THACKER and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.
THACKER, CIRCUIT JUDGE
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.
this same reason, we also affirm the district court's
denial of Appellant's motion for reconsideration of its
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.
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 ...