Almy et al v. United States Department of Defense et al

Filing 30

MOTION for Leave to File First Amended Complaint filed by Michael D. Almy, Jason D. Knight, Anthony J. Loverde. Motion Hearing set for 5/5/2011 01:30 PM in Courtroom 3, 17th Floor, San Francisco before Hon. Richard Seeborg. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Woodmansee, # 2 Exhibit 1 to Declaration of Woodmansee - Proposed First Amended Complaint, # 3 Exhibit 2 to Declaration of Woodmansee - Redline, # 4 Proposed Order Granting Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint)(Woodmansee, Mark) (Filed on 3/16/2011)

Download PDF
Almy et al v. United States Department of Defense et al Doc. 30 Att. 3 Dockets.Justia.com 1 M. ANDREW WOODMANSEE (CA SBN 201780) MAWoodmansee@mofo.com STEPHANIE L. FONG (CA SBN 240836) SFong@mofo.com KIMBERLY R. GOSLING (CA SBN 247803) KGosling@mofo.com JESSICA A. ROBERTS (CA SBN 265570) JRoberts@mofo.com MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP 12531 High Bluff Drive San Diego, California 92130-2040 Telephone: 858.720.5100 Facsimile: 858.720.5125 AARON D. TAX (DC SBN 501597) adt@sldn.org JOHN M. GOODMAN (DC SBN 383147) jgoodman@sldn.org SERVICEMEMBERS LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK P. O. Box 65301 Washington, DC 20035-5301 Telephone: 202.328.3244 Facsimile: 202.797.1635 Attorneys for Plaintiffs MICHAEL D. ALMY, ANOTHNY J. LOVERDE, AND JASON D. KNIGHT UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 MICHAEL D. ALMY, ANTHONY J. LOVERDE, and JASON D. KNIGHT, Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; ROBERT M. GATES, Secretary of Defense; DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE; MICHAEL B. DONLEY, Secretary, Department of the Air Force; DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY; and RAY MABUS, Secretary, Department of the Navy, Defendants. Case No. 3:10-cv-5627 (RS) FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 1 NATURE OF THE ACTION This is a civil action to reinstate plaintiffs Michael D. Almy and Anthony J. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1. Loverde into active duty in the United States Air Force, and to reinstate plaintiff Jason D. Knight into active duty in the United States Navy, following the plaintiffs' unlawful discharges from their respective branches of the military by defendants on account of the federal law colloquially known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," concerning gay, lesbian, and bisexual armed forces service members ("DADT"). 2. This action is also brought to declare unconstitutional the discharges of plaintiffs Almy, Loverde, and Knight under DADT, and to declare the DADT statute, 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, unconstitutional on their face. THE PARTIES Plaintiff Michael D. Almy is a citizen of the United States and resident in the 3. District of Columbia. He served for thirteen years in the United States Air Force ("Air Force"), including four deployments to the Middle East. He is a highly trained communications officer. During his thirteen-year Air Force career, former Major Almy received numerous military awards and decorations. In 2006, he was discharged from the Air Force under DADT. 4. Plaintiff Anthony J. Loverde is a citizen of the United States and resident in the State of California. He served for seven years in the Air Force. He is a trained C-130 Loadmaster and Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory Technician. During his seven-year Air Force career, former Staff Sergeant Loverde received numerous military awards and decorations. In 2008, he was discharged from the Air Force under DADT. 5. Plaintiff Jason D. Knight is a citizen of the United States and resident in the State of California. He served for a total of five years in the United States Navy ("Navy"). He is a trained Cryptological Technician Interpretive Linguist. During his five-year Navy career, former Petty Officer Second Class Knight received numerous military awards and decorations. In 2005, he was discharged from the Navy under DADT. Mr. Knight was recalled to active duty in 2006 but was discharged again in 2007 under DADT. COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 1 1 6. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 15. JURISDICTION AND VENUE This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. United States. 7. Defendant Robert M. Gates is the Secretary of the United States Department of Defendant United States Department of Defense is an executive department of the Defense, sued here in his official capacity. 8. Defendant Department of the Air Force is a military department of the United States within which Mr. Almy and Mr. Loverde were formerly employed. 9. Defendant Michael B. Donley is the Secretary of the Department of the Air Force, sued here in his official capacity. 10. Defendants United States Department of Defense, Secretary Gates, Department of the Air Force, and Secretary Donley are hereinafter referred to collectively as the "Air Force Defendants." 11. Defendant Department of the Navy is a military department of the United States within which Mr. Knight was formerly employed. 12. Defendant Ray Mabus is the Secretary of the Department of the Navy, sued here in his official capacity. 13. Defendants United States Department of Defense, Secretary Gates, Department of the Navy, and Secretary Mabus are hereinafter referred to collectively as the "Navy Defendants." 14. Judgment is sought against each defendant as well as his agents, assistants, successors, employees, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert or cooperation with any of them or at the direction or under the control of any of them. 1331 because the defendants are acting on behalf of the United States and this action arises under the United States Constitution ("Constitution"), including at least its First and Fifth Amendments; and federal laws, regulations, and policies, including the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 702; the federal statute governing DADT, 10 U.S.C. 654; and federal regulations, policies, and guidance issued under 10 U.S.C. 654, including but not limited to Air Force Instruction ("AFI") 36-3206, entitled Administrative Discharge Procedures for Commissioned Officers, AFI COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 2 1 36-3208, entitled Administrative Separation of Airmen, and Navy MILPERSMAN 1910-148, 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 17. FACTS PLAINTIFF ALMY Mr. Almy comes from a family with a long history of military service. His father entitled Separation by Reason of Homosexual Conduct. 16. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to at least 28 U.S.C. 1391(e) because Mr. Knight resides in this judicial district, Mr. Loverde maintains his permanent residence and is registered to vote in this judicial district, and no real property is involved in the action. is a West Point graduate who taught chemistry at the Air Force Academy, flew helicopters in Vietnam, and ultimately retired from the Air Force as a senior officer. One of Mr. Almy's uncles retired as a Master Gunnery Sergeant from the Marine Corps, with service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Another uncle served in the Army in Korea. 18. Mr. Almy joined Air Force ROTC in 1988 and was awarded a scholarship. He earned his jump wings following Army Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1991. In 1992, he graduated from ROTC in the top ten percent of all graduates nationwide. 19. In 1993, Mr. Almy went on active duty in the Air Force. When Mr. Almy first entered active duty, he attended Basic Communications-Electronics Officer Training at Keesler Air Force Base ("AFB") in Mississippi. Following completion of this course, he was stationed at the Air Intelligence Agency at Kelly AFB in Texas. After nine months of service at Kelly AFB, Mr. Almy was accepted for and attended navigator training at Randolph AFB in 1994. 20. In July 1995, he was assigned to Scott AFB in Illinois. He initially worked in systems support for the J2 Directorate of United States Transportation Command. Following this, he worked at the help desk for all Air Mobility Command and Control Systems. 21. In 1998, Mr. Almy was stationed at the Third Combat Communications Group at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. While stationed in Oklahoma, he was named officer of the year for his unit of nearly 1,000 people. In September 1998, he deployed to Eskan Village, Saudi Arabia, as the senior communicator from his unit, with approximately 60 personnel in his squadron. There COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 3 1 the squadron supported all the base-level communications requirements during Operation Desert 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Fox. 22. In September 1999, Mr. Almy again deployed to Saudi Arabia. He served as the executive officer for the 363rd Expeditionary Operations Group at Prince Sultan Air Base, where the group was deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch. 23. In July 2001, Mr. Almy was one of six officers selected from the entire Air Force to attend Professional Military Education at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia. 24. In June 2002, Mr. Almy was stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in the Communications Directorate of Headquarters for the U.S. Air Force Europe. There he worked on tactical communications and airborne communications projects. In December 2002, he again deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base in support of the invasion of Iraq at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was directly responsible for setting up new communications bases throughout the theaters in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. 25. After returning from Saudi Arabia, Mr. Almy was promoted to the rank of Major and accepted a position as the Chief of Maintenance at the 606th Air Control Squadron ("ACS") at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. He reported to SpagdahlemSpangdahlem Air Base in September 2003, where he was in charge of a directorate of 180 troops. 26. In September 2004, Mr. Almy's unit deployed to three locations in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This marked his fourth deployment to the Middle East during his Air Force career. During this deployment, his unit controlled the airspace over two-thirds of Iraq, and his troops maintained the equipment necessary for that mission. This included air support for the liberation of Fallujah, Iraq. Mr. Almy's base came under daily mortar attacks, one of which struck one of his Airmen and also caused significant damage to their equipment. Towards the end of this deployment to Iraq, Mr. Almy received the Leo Marquez Field Grade Officer of the Year Award, which recognized Mr. Almy as one of the top officers in his career field for the entire Air Force. 27. During his service in the Air Force, Mr. Almy received numerous other military awards and decorations. These accolades include, but are not limited to, the Joint Service COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 4 1 Commendation Medal, three Air Force Commendation Medals, the Air Force Achievement 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, the Combat Readiness Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, the Air Force Longevity Service Award, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, the Air Force Training Ribbon, the Company Grade Officer of the Year award, the Senior Communications and Information Badge, and a recognition as Distinguished Air Force ROTC Graduate. 28. During Mr. Almy's service in the Air Force, his military superiors and evaluators provided uniformly high assessments of him in his annual performance evaluations and promotion recommendations. For example, when Mr. Almy served as Maintenance Operations Officer in the 606th ACS at Spangdahlem Air Base, a supervisor commented about Mr. Almy: "Outstanding leader of my largest directorate; immediate impact on morale/mission--maintenance never stronger . . . Complete leader . . . Superb leader ready for command; simply incredible results in every endeavor." Similarly, another supervisor commented: "Deployed superstar; engineered unprecedented mission results during local deployments in Germany/Holland[.] Top-shelf comm[unications] officer and outstanding leader; impact player ready for command." 29. During Mr. Almy's deployment in Iraq that began in 2004, the Air Force prohibited Airmen from using private email accounts. Airmen in Iraq were forced to use government-provided computers and email accounts for personal correspondence. Specifically, AFI 33-119 authorized service members to use their government email accounts for personal correspondence for "morale, health, and welfare purposes." Mr. Almy therefore used his Air Force email account for personal emails. Shortly after Mr. Almy left Iraq in January 2005, during a purportedly "routine" search of his computer files, another member of the Air Force found personal emails in a separate folder labeled "Friends," including at least one email from Mr. Almy to another man discussing same-sex conduct. These emails were brought to the attention of COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 5 1 Mr. Almy's commander, who confronted him with the emails, read him the DADT law, and 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 pressured him to acknowledge he is gay. 30. Mr. Almy subsequently was relieved of his duties, his security clearance--Sensitive Compartmented Information, one of the highest level security clearances available in the military--was suspended, and part of his pay was terminated. He received notice that administrative board proceedings were being convened to determine whether to recommend a discharge under DADT. 31. During the discharge process, many of Mr. Almy's colleagues, including his superiors as well as individuals who had served under his command, wrote letters in resounding support of his retention. For instance, a retired Army Colonel wrote: "My view is that Major Almy has been, and will continue to be an excellent officer." The Lieutenant Colonel who was Mr. Almy's squadron commander during the discharge process also wrote: "I am convinced the Air Force, its personnel, mission and tradition remains unchanged and unharmed despite his alleged [violations of DADT]." 32. Other character reference letters included the following comments from a First Lieutenant who had been under Mr. Almy's supervision in the 606th ACS: As a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute I have seen plenty of examples of good and bad leadership. Based on my personal and professional interaction with Maj Almy I can say that he is truly one of the best. . . . One would be hard pressed to find someone in the directorate that did not respect him. His troops loved working for him and were willing to do anything for him at a moment's notice. He demands the best out of his people and always gets it. If given the opportunity to work for Maj Almy again, my answer would be a resounding YES! If removed, the Air Force would be losing a great man and a great leader. When he was relieved of his duties as Chief of Maintenance the 606 ACS fell apart. It became painfully evident how important Maj Almy was not only to the mission but to his troops. Another First Lieutenant whom Mr. Almy supervised in the 606th ACS wrote that Mr. Almy "was one of the most respected leaders in the squadron thanks to his no nonsense approach to mission accomplishment and dedication to the squadron in both directions of the chain of command. . . . I can say without any reservation that Maj. Almy was the best supervisor I have 6 1 ever had. . . . It would be an absolute travesty to lose such an outstanding officer and superior 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 leader." 33. While his discharge proceedings were pending, Mr. Almy remained at Spangdahlem Air Base performing ad hoc duties. Approximately a year after Mr. Almy was relieved of his command duties, his Wing Commander formally recommended to the Air Force promotion board that Mr. Almy be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel "below promotion zone"--in other words, ahead of his peers--even though the Air Force was actively pursuing Mr. Almy's discharge. 34. Despite his long and distinguished service record and the recommendations of numerous colleagues in the armed forces, the Air Force ultimately discharged Mr. Almy under DADT, for making a statement about his sexual orientation in private email correspondence while he was deployed in Iraq. He received an Honorable Discharge on or about July 21, 2006. A true and correct copy of the first page of Mr. Almy's discharge order is attached to this complaint as Exhibit 1. 35. Mr. Almy was discharged from the Air Force against his will. Had he not been discharged under DADT, he would have remained on active duty in the Air Force to this day. Mr. Almy does not seek lost wages or other benefits that directly flow from reinstatement in this lawsuit. He simply wishes to be reinstated into active duty in the Air Force so he can once again serve his country and fulfill the commitment he made to the Air Force. PLAINTIFF LOVERDE Since childhood, Mr. Loverde has had an interest in serving in the U.S. military. 36. One of his grandfathers served in the Coast Guard in World War II, another grandfather served in the Army during the Korean conflict and received a Purple Heart, and one of his uncles served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Mr. Loverde was the first member of his family in his generation to serve in the armed forces. He was followed by his brother and three of his cousins. Mr. Loverde's brother served in the Army as an Infantryman and currently serves in the Air Force Reserves as a Security Forces Non-Commissioned Officer. 7 1 37. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 41. Unmatched support on channel [mission] . . . key to mission success . . . superior knowledge/abilities guaranteed readiness . . . pressing ahead of peers academically . . . agile in body & mind[.] Earned Distinguished Graduate award from Basic Loadmaster course . . . Hard charger . . . Airdropped 87 Army & Italian special forces; critical to joint training exercise--fostered combat effectiveness . . . Sincere humanitarian; visited injured soldiers at LRMC w/Red Cross pet program--lifted hopes/sped recovery[.] Excels in all facets of his duties, consistently improving knowledge level and loadmaster skills--promote now. During Mr. Loverde's deployment to Ali Al Salem Air Force Base in 2007, it Mr. Loverde enlisted in the Air Force in January 2001. He served from 2001 to 2004 in the 86th Maintenance Squadron. During this time, he was stationed in Germany and calibrated weapons systems for the squadron as a Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory Technician. In 2005, Mr. Loverde was reassigned to Edwards Air Force Base, California. 38. Mr. Loverde reenlisted in 2006, opting to retrain as a C-130 Loadmaster. In this new role, Mr. Loverde joined the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. In 2007, Mr. Loverde deployed with his squadron as part of the troop "surge" in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 39. During his service in the Air Force, Mr. Loverde received numerous military awards and decorations. These accolades include the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Air Force Overseas Ribbon, the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon, the Air Force NCO PME Graduate Ribbon, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and the Air Force Training Ribbon. 40. During Mr. Loverde's service in the Air Force, his military superiors and evaluators provided uniformly high assessments of him in his annual performance evaluations and promotion recommendations. For example, one former supervisor made the following comment about Mr. Loverde: became clear to Mr. Loverde that he could no longer continue pretending to be someone he was not. Other service members talked about loved ones back home and leaned on each other for COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 8 1 support, but because Mr. Loverde is gay, he found himself avoiding interaction with his fellow 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 troops so as not to deceive them. 42. Upon his return from deployment in April 2008, Mr. Loverde emailed two of his superior officers to let them know that he is gay. Mr. Loverde was mindful of what the Air Force has described as "Air Force Core Values," which are "Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do." He told his superior officers that although he would like to continue to serve, he could not do so if it also meant continuing to conceal his sexual orientation. 43. On or about June 9, 2008, Mr. Loverde received a memorandum informing him that he was being recommended for discharge under DADT. On or about June 19, 2008, he received a "Discharge Legal Review" memorandum again recommending discharge. 44. During the discharge process, many of Mr. Loverde's co-workers and superiors wrote in support of his retention. Consistent with his high performance reviews throughout his career, these supporters noted that Mr. Loverde "always produced high quality work" and could be counted on "to get the job done right." Based on personal experience working with Mr. Loverde, one former superior officer wrote: "I fully recommend that you consider retaining him in the Air Force. He has the potential to go very far in whatever endeavor he pursues . . . I hope that includes continued service to our nation." Another former superior officer wrote: "If I ever had the opportunity to build my `dream team' for work, I would take an entire crew of SSgt Loverdes over most other workers I have encountered." 45. Despite his numerous service awards, his consistently excellent performance reviews, and the recommendations of others, at the conclusion of Air Force administrative separation proceedings, Mr. Loverde was discharged under DADT for making a statement that he is gay. He received an Honorable Discharge on or about July 13, 2008. A true and correct copy of Mr. Loverde's discharge order is attached to this complaint as Exhibit 2. 46. Ironically, in August 2008, Mr. Loverde was awarded the Air Medal for his "superior ability in the presence of perilous conditions" during his deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom--the deployment that ultimately brought Mr. Loverde to the decision to come out as gay to the Air Force. The Air Medal Citation noted that "the professional ability and COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 9 1 outstanding aerial accomplishments of Sergeant Loverde reflect great credit upon himself and the 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 48. PLAINTIFF KNIGHT Like thousands of Americans before him, Mr. Knight joined the military both to United States Air Force." 47. Mr. Loverde was discharged from the Air Force against his will. Had he not been discharged under DADT, he would have remained on active duty in the Air Force to this day. Mr. Loverde does not seek lost wages or other benefits that directly flow from reinstatement in this lawsuit. He simply wishes to be reinstated into active duty in the Air Force so he can once again serve his country and fulfill the commitment he made to the Air Force. serve his country and to be able to afford college under the G.I. Bill. He enlisted in the Navy on or about April 4, 2001. He served from 2001 to 2003 in the Navy Ceremonial Guard in Washington, D.C. During his service in the Ceremonial Guard, he represented the United States at official White House ceremonies and during state and military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He was present at more than 1,500 military funerals as part of the firing party rendering the 21-gun salute. 49. In July 2003, following his service in the Ceremonial Guard, Mr. Knight began training as a Hebrew Linguist--formally, a Cryptological Technician Interpretive (CTI), Linguist--at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. After his graduation in December 2004, he reported for duty at Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he attained the rank of Petty Officer Third Class. 50. In 2004, Mr. Knight filed paperwork annulling his marriage because he realized that he is gay. In keeping with the Navy's core values of honesty and integrity, he provided the Navy with copies of his annulment and with a written statement to his commander, in which Mr. Knight revealed his sexual orientation. The Navy then began administrative discharge proceedings under DADT. 51. Ultimately, at the conclusion of Navy administrative proceedings, Mr. Knight was discharged under DADT for making a statement that he is gay. He received an Honorable Discharge on or about April 3, 2005. Although discharge under DADT is ordinarily COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 10 1 accompanied by a lifetime ban on future military service, indicated by an "RE-4" negative reentry 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 code, Mr. Knight's discharge papers made him eligible for active duty recall due to a bureaucratic error. A true and correct copy of Mr. Knight's April 3, 2005 discharge order is attached to this complaint as Exhibit 3. 52. On or about July 24, 2006, Mr. Knight received a letter from the Navy recalling him to active duty service. On or about September 11, 2006, he was deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for a yearlong tour of duty with the Navy Customs Battalion Romeo. During this entire tour of duty, he served as an openly gay man out to his immediate chain of command and to most of the rest of his command. He attained the rank of Petty Officer Second Class during this tour of duty. 53. During his service in the Navy, Mr. Knight received numerous military awards and decorations. These accolades include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal. Mr. Knight's accolades also include the following awards and decorations that he received during his service as an openly gay man: a second Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Navy and Marine Corp Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. 54. Mr. Knight's second Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal contained the following recognition: CTI2 Knight consistently performed his duties in an exemplary and professional manner. He excelled in the coordination, logistics and transportation requirements for over 100 personnel for Customs Romeo and FWD Echo [Morale, Welfare and Recreation] trips to Kuwait City. His attention to detail directly contributed to the extraordinary success of the mission. CTI2 Knight's exceptional professionalism, unrelenting perseverance, and loyal devotion to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. During Mr. Knight's service in the Navy, his military superiors and evaluators 55. provided consistently positive assessments of him in his annual performance evaluations and 11 1 promotion recommendations, including those performance evaluations and promotion 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 recommendations issued during the time when Mr. Knight was serving openly. 56. In March 2007, after General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly expressed his personal views of homosexuality as "immoral," Mr. Knight wrote a letter to the editor of the Stars & Stripes, a military newspaper, responding to General Pace's comments. In May 2007, Mr. Knight was the subject of an article in the Stars & Stripes regarding his service in Kuwait while openly gay. Shortly thereafter, the Navy began administrative discharge proceedings under DADT against Mr. Knight for the second time. 57. At the conclusion of administrative separation proceedings, Mr. Knight was once again discharged by the Navy under DADT for making a statement that he is gay. He received an Honorable Discharge on or about May 18, 2007. True and correct copies of Mr. Knight's May 2007 discharge orders are attached to this complaint as Exhibit 4 and Exhibit 5, respectively. 58. Mr. Knight was discharged from the Navy twice against his will. Had he not been discharged either time under DADT, he would have remained on active duty in the Navy to this day. Mr. Knight does not seek lost wages or other benefits that directly flow from reinstatement in this lawsuit. He simply wishes to be reinstated into active duty in the Navy so he can once again serve his country and fulfill the commitment he made to the Navy. CLAIMS FOR RELIEF CLAIM ONE (DENIAL OF SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS--AS-APPLIED-- BY PLAINTIFF ALMY AGAINST THE AIR FORCE DEFENDANTS) 59. Mr. Almy incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 60. In Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), the United States Supreme Court recognized a constitutional substantive due process right to engage in private, consensual sexual conduct with any adult, including one of the same gender, without government intervention. 61. In light of Lawrence, to discharge a service member for allegedly violating DADT, the military bears the burden of proving that the service member's discharge significantly 12 1 furthers, and is necessary to further, the government's interests in proper military discipline, unit 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 cohesion, morale, and good order. 62. At no point prior to the discharge of Mr. Almy did the Air Force meet, or even attempt to meet, its burden of proving that the discharge of Mr. Almy under DADT significantly furthered, and was necessary to further, the government's interests in proper military discipline, unit cohesion, morale, and good order. 63. In fact, the Air Force ignored evidence that the discharge of Mr. Almy would actually harm the government's interests in proper military discipline, unit cohesion, morale, and good order. 64. Due to the Air Force's failure to meet its burden as described above, the discharge proceedings and subsequent discharge of Mr. Almy violated his substantive due process right under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, as recognized in Lawrence. 65. To remedy the unconstitutional discharge of Mr. Almy pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, including but not limited to AFI 36-3206, the Air Force must reinstate Mr. Almy immediately into active duty and give him credit towards retirement for the time he would have served in the Air Force had he not been unlawfully discharged under DADT. CLAIM TWO (DENIAL OF SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS--AS-APPLIED-- BY PLAINTIFF LOVERDE AGAINST THE AIR FORCE DEFENDANTS) 66. Mr. Loverde incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 67. At no point prior to the discharge of Mr. Loverde did the Air Force meet, or even attempt to meet, its burden of proving that the discharge of Mr. Loverde under DADT significantly furthered, and was necessary to further, the government's interests in proper military discipline, unit cohesion, morale, and good order. 13 1 68. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 In fact, the Air Force ignored evidence that the discharge of Mr. Loverde would actually harm the government's interests in proper military discipline, unit cohesion, morale, and good order. 69. Due to the Air Force's failure to meet its burden as described above, the discharge proceedings and subsequent discharge of Mr. Loverde violated his substantive due process right under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, as recognized in Lawrence. 70. To remedy the unconstitutional discharge of Mr. Loverde pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, including but not limited to AFI 36-3208, the Air Force must reinstate Mr. Loverde immediately into active duty and give him credit towards retirement for the time he would have served in the Air Force had he not been unlawfully discharged under DADT. CLAIM THREE (DENIAL OF SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS--AS-APPLIED-- BY PLAINTIFF KNIGHT AGAINST THE NAVY DEFENDANTS) 71. Mr. Knight incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 72. At no point prior to either discharge of Mr. Knight did the Navy meet, or even attempt to meet, its burden of proving that the discharges of Mr. Knight under DADT significantly furthered, and was necessary to further, the government's interests in proper military discipline, unit cohesion, morale, and good order. 73. In fact, the Navy ignored evidence that the discharges of Mr. Knight would actually harm the government's interests in proper military discipline, unit cohesion, morale, and good order. 74. Due to the Navy's failure to meet its burden as described above, the discharge proceedings and subsequent discharges of Mr. Knight violated his substantive due process right under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as recognized in Lawrence. 14 1 75. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 CLAIM FIVE (DENIAL OF EQUAL PROTECTION-- BY PLAINTIFF ALMY AGAINST THE AIR FORCE DEFENDANTS) 79. Mr. Almy incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 80. 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it 76. CLAIM FOUR (DENIAL OF SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS--FACIAL-- BY ALL PLAINTIFFS AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS) Plaintiffs incorporate by reference and re-allege each preceding paragraph as if To remedy the unconstitutional discharges of Mr. Knight pursuant to DADT, 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, including but not limited to MILPERSMAN 1910-148, the Navy must reinstate Mr. Knight immediately into active duty and give him credit towards retirement for the time he would have served in the Navy had he not been unlawfully discharged under DADT in 2005 and 2007. fully set forth herein. 77. 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it subject service members to discharge from the armed forces for exercising their Fifth Amendment substantive due process right to engage in private, consensual sexual conduct with an adult of the same gender, as recognized in Lawrence. 78. Accordingly, 10 U.S.C. 654 is unconstitutional on its face, as are the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, including but not limited to AFI 36-3206, AFI 36-3208, and MILPERSMAN 1910-148. intentionally create an impermissible distinction between the status, speech, and conduct of heterosexual service members, on the one hand, and the status, speech, and conduct of gay and lesbian service members, on the other hand, by intentionally subjecting gay and lesbian service members to different and punitive treatment. 81. This facially disparate treatment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender violates Mr. Almy's rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 15 1 CLAIM SIX (DENIAL OF EQUAL PROTECTION-- BY PLAINTIFF LOVERDE AGAINST THE AIR FORCE DEFENDANTS) 82. Mr. Loverde incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 83. 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 intentionally create an impermissible distinction between the status, speech, and conduct of heterosexual service members, on the one hand, and the status, speech, and conduct of gay and lesbian service members, on the other hand, by intentionally subjecting gay and lesbian service members to different and punitive treatment. 84. This facially disparate treatment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender violates Mr. Loverde's rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. CLAIM SEVEN (DENIAL OF EQUAL PROTECTION-- BY PLAINTIFF KNIGHT AGAINST THE NAVY DEFENDANTS) 85. Mr. Knight incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 86. 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it intentionally create an impermissible distinction between the status, speech, and conduct of heterosexual service members, on the one hand, and the status, speech, and conduct of gay and lesbian service members, on the other hand, by intentionally subjecting gay and lesbian service members to different and punitive treatment. 87. This facially disparate treatment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender violates Mr. Knight's rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. CLAIM EIGHT (VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT-- BY PLAINTIFF ALMY AGAINST THE AIR FORCE DEFENDANTS) 88. Mr. Almy incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 16 1 89. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 CLAIM NINE (VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT-- BY PLAINTIFF LOVERDE AGAINST THE AIR FORCE DEFENDANTS) 93. Mr. Loverde incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 94. Mr. Loverde has the rights to freedom of speech, to freedom against compelled Mr. Almy has the rights to freedom of speech, to freedom against compelled speech, to receive information, and to expressive association, all of which are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. 90. 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it impermissibly restrict, punish, chill and burden all service members' First Amendment rights on the basis of content and viewpoint "24 hours each day . . . on base or off base . . . on duty or off duty." 10 U.S.C. 654(a)(9)-(10). 91. The discharge of Mr. Almy directly resulted from the content of his speech--namely, statements he made that revealed his sexual orientation. Based entirely on those statements, the Air Force separated him from the Air Force under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it. 92. The discharge of Mr. Almy under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it therefore violated his First Amendment rights. speech, to receive information, and to expressive association, all of which are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. 95. 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it impermissibly restrict, punish, chill and burden all service members' First Amendment rights on the basis of content and viewpoint "24 hours each day . . . on base or off base . . . on duty or off duty." 10 U.S.C. 654(a)(9)-(10). 96. The discharge of Mr. Loverde directly resulted from the content of his speech--namely, statements he made that revealed his sexual orientation. Based entirely on those statements, the Air Force separated him from the Air Force under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it. COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 17 1 97. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 CLAIM ELEVEN (VIOLATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT-- BY PLAINTIFF ALMY AGAINST THE AIR FORCE DEFENDANTS) 103. Mr. Almy incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 104. During Mr. Almy's deployment in Iraq that began in 2004, AFI 33-119, which CLAIM TEN (VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT-- BY PLAINTIFF KNIGHT AGAINST THE NAVY DEFENDANTS) 98. Mr. Knight incorporates by reference and re-alleges each preceding paragraph as if fully set forth herein. 99. Mr. Knight has the rights to freedom of speech, to freedom against compelled The discharge of Mr. Loverde under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it therefore violated his First Amendment rights. speech, to receive information, and to expressive association, all of which are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. 100. 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it impermissibly restrict, punish, chill and burden all service members' First Amendment rights on the basis of content and viewpoint "24 hours each day . . . on base or off base . . . on duty or off duty." 10 U.S.C. 654(a)(9)-(10). 101. The discharge of Mr. Knight directly resulted from the content of his speech--namely, statements he made that revealed his sexual orientation. Based entirely on those statements, the Navy twice separated him from the Navy under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it. 102. The discharge of Mr. Knight under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it therefore violated his First Amendment rights. authorized service members to use their government email accounts for personal correspondence, created an expectation of privacy attaching to personal correspondence sent from service members' government email accounts. Mr. Almy therefore expected that his personal correspondence sent from his government email account would be private. In fact, Mr. Almy COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 18 1 took steps to segregate his personal emails from his work correspondence in a separate folder and 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 to label them as such. 105. Furthermore, under Air Force policy, email accounts may not be searched unless authorized by proper legal authority or by an individual at the level of squadron commander or higher in the military chain of command. 106. The search of Mr. Almy's personal emails, which directly led to the initiation of administrative discharge proceedings under DADT, was done in contravention of the Air Force policies and the expectation of privacy described in paragraphs 104 and 105. 107. Accordingly, the Air Force's initiation of administrative discharge proceedings, and the subsequent administrative determination that Mr. Almy should be discharged pursuant to DADT, were done without observance of procedures required by law; were arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law; and were unsupported by substantial evidence, all in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court: A. Issue a judgment, declaring that 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, including but not limited to AFI 36-3206, AFI 36-3208, and MILPERSMAN 1910-148, are on their face null and void as violating the United States Constitution. B. Issue a judgment, declaring that the order discharging Mr. Almy from the Air Force under 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, is on its face null and void as violating the United States Constitution and the Administrative Procedures Act. C. Issue a mandatory injunction ordering the Air Force Defendants, and these defendants' agents, assistants, successors, employees, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert or cooperation with them or at their direction or under their control, to reinstate Mr. Almy into active duty in the Air Force at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and to give him credit towards 19 1 retirement for the time he would have served in the Air Force had he not been discharged under 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it. D. Issue a judgment, declaring that the order discharging Mr. Loverde from the Air Force under 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, is on its face null and void as violating the United States Constitution. E. Issue a mandatory injunction ordering the Air Force Defendants, and these defendants' agents, assistants, successors, employees, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert or cooperation with them or at their direction or under their control, to reinstate Mr. Loverde into active duty in the Air Force in the position held by Mr. Loverde when he was discharged under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, and to give him credit towards retirement for the time he would have served in the Air Force had he not been so discharged. F. Issue a judgment, declaring that the orders discharging Mr. Knight from the Navy under 10 U.S.C. 654, and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, are on their face null and void as violating the United States Constitution. G. Issue a mandatory injunction ordering the Navy Defendants, and these defendants' agents, assistants, successors, employees, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert or cooperation with them or at their direction or under their control, to reinstate Mr. Knight into active duty in the Navy in the position held by Mr. Knight when he was last discharged under 10 U.S.C. 654 and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, and to give him credit towards retirement for the time he would have served in the Navy had he not been so discharged, including the time between his first discharge under DADT in 2005 and his recall to active duty in 2006.. // // // // // COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 20 1 H. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT sd-539561550244 Grant plaintiffs' costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees. Grant such other relief that the Court considers proper. M. ANDREW WOODMANSEE STEPHANIE L. FONG KIMBERLY R. GOSLING JESSICA A. ROBERTS MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP AARON D. TAX JOHN M. GOODMAN SERVICEMEMBERS LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK By: M. ANDREW WOODMANSEE Attorneys for Plaintiffs MICHAEL D. ALMY, ANTHONY J. LOVERDE, AND JASON D. KNIGHT I. Dated: December 13, 2010March 15, 2011 21 Document comparison by Workshare Professional on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:32:54 PM Input: Document 1 ID Description Document 2 ID Description Rendering set Legend: Insertion Deletion Moved from Moved to Style change Format change Moved deletion Inserted cell Deleted cell Moved cell Split/Merged cell Padding cell Statistics: Count Insertions Deletions Moved from Moved to Style change Format changed Total changes 12 14 0 0 0 0 26 PowerDocs://SAN DIEGO/539561/9 SAN DIEGO-#539561-v9-ALMY/DADT:__Complaint PowerDocs://SAN DIEGO/550244/2 SAN DIEGO-#550244-v2-ALMY/DADT:_FAC standard

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.


Why Is My Information Online?