The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. CURTIS JOYNER
We address today the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants in this case arising out of a disputed plea bargain agreement. The pro se plaintiff, Juan Rodriguez, has named as defendants the "F.B.I. of Phila." as well as several individual agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), including Special Agent in Charge Robert C. Reutter, and Special Agents Wilbert V. Marsh, Edward Sims, Jerome Peters, and Joaquin Garcia, as well as Supervisor Paul Allen, Squad No. 3 (collectively, "Defendants"). Defendants seek an order (1) dismissing them from the case and substituting them with United States as the sole defendant; (2) dismissing, or in the alternative, transferring to the United States Court of Federal Claims, Mr. Rodriguez's claim on the basis that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this dispute; and (3) dismissing Mr. Rodriguez's demand for a new identity, relocation and protection. For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion will be granted in part.
This dispute arises out of a plea agreement signed by Mr. Rodriguez. Pursuant to the agreement, Mr. Rodriguez agreed to plead guilty to a narcotics charge. Further, plaintiff agreed to provide "substantial assistance" with the investigation and prosecution of persons involved in drug trafficking. If he provided such "substantial assistance," according to the plea agreement, the Government would file a motion with the sentencing judge stating Mr. Rodriguez had cooperated. The plea agreement also provided that the FBI would sponsor the application of Mr. Rodriguez and his family into the Witness Security Plan.
In April of 1994, Mr. Rodriguez filed a complaint alleging that Defendants told him that he would receive up to 25% of the money and property seized as a result of his cooperation, and that he would be provided with a new identity, relocation, and protection.
The parties agree that the claim is one sounding in contract, in which Mr. Rodriguez seeks monetary and specific relief for the alleged failure to honor these promises. In support of their summary judgment motion, Defendants first argue that the United States should substitute the named defendants and become the sole defendant in this case. Defendants further contend that the United States Court of Federal Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over Mr. Rodriguez's claim, in that it is a contract claim against the United States in which at least $ 10,000 is at issue. Finally, Defendants contend that since they are standing by to enroll him in the Witness Protection Plan, Mr. Rodriguez's request for a new identity, relocation and protection should be dismissed as moot.
A. The Summary Judgment Standard
This Court is authorized to award summary judgment "if the pleadings, depositions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Thus, the Court's responsibility is not to resolve disputed issues of fact, but to determine whether there exist any factual issues to be tried. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-49, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986). The non-moving party must raise "more than a mere scintilla of evidence in its favor" in order to overcome a summary judgment motion. Williams v. Borough of W. Chester, 891 F.2d 458, 460 (3d Cir. 1989) (citing Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249). Further, the non-moving party cannot rely on unsupported assertions, conclusory allegations, or mere suspicions in attempting to survive a summary judgment motion. Id. (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986)). Boiled to its essence, the summary judgment standard requires the non-moving party to create a "sufficient disagreement to require submission [of the evidence] to a jury." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 251-52.
B. The United States as Sole Defendant
In general, a suit filed against a defendant in his official capacity will be deemed a claim against the United States as long as any judgment would operate against the government. Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Ass'n v. Gettysburg College, 799 F. Supp. 1571, 1582 (M.D. Pa. 1992)(citing Hawaii v. Gordon, 373 U.S. 57, 58, 83 S. Ct. 1052, 10 L. Ed. 2d 191 (1963)), aff'd without op., 989 F.2d 487 (3d Cir. 1993); Nassar v. United States, 792 F. Supp. 1040, 1043 (E.D. Mich. 1992)(citing Land v. Dollar, 330 U.S. 731, 67 S. Ct. 1009, 91 L. Ed. 1209 (1947)). A judgment will be construed as operating against the government "when it would affect the government's fiscal, proprietary, or programmatic interests or interfere with public administration." Gettysburg Battlefield, 799 F. Supp. at 1582.
C. Sovereign Immunity and the Tucker Act
In cases where the United States is the real party in interest, the doctrine of sovereign immunity applies unless Congress has waived immunity through the passage of a statute authorizing such actions. Id. The relevant statute for present purposes is the Tucker Act, codified at 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346 and 1491.
Pursuant to the Tucker Act, therefore, the Court of Federal Claims is empowered with jurisdiction over non-tort claims against the United States. The Court of Federal Claims's jurisdiction is concurrent with that of the district courts for claims under $ 10,000. For claims in which more than $ 10,000 is at issue,
however, courts have interpreted the Tucker Act to provide for the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims. Dia Navigation Co. v. ...