United States of America et al v. General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc et al

Filing 29

ORDER Dismissing Without Prejudice Count One Of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. Signed by Judge Linda Lopez on 5/4/2022.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(ddf)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel., ERIK LECKNER, Case No.: 21cv1109-LL-BLM ORDER DISMISSING WITHOUT PREJUDICE COUNT ONE OF PLAINTIFF’S AMENDED COMPLAINT Plaintiff, v. GENERAL DYNAMICS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, INC.; APEX SYSTEMS, LLC, Defendants. 18 19 Currently before the Court is relator Plaintiff Erik Leckner’s (“Plaintiff”) “Response 20 to Order Requiring Plaintiff To Show Cause Why Count 1 Should Not Be Dismissed.” 21 ECF No. 28. The Court has given Plaintiff multiple extensions to show cause why Count 22 1 of his amended complaint, a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 23 §§ 3729-3733, should not be dismissed on the ground that Plaintiff is not represented by 24 counsel. See Stoner v. Santa Clara Cty. Off. of Educ., 502 F.3d 1116, 1126–28 (9th Cir. 25 2007) (holding that qui tam relators may not proceed pro se in FCA actions). Per the 26 Court’s October 21, 2021 Order, Plaintiff was given until November 3, 2021 to show cause 27 why Count 1 of his Amended Complaint should not be dismissed without leave to amend, 28 but without prejudice to future refiling by a licensed attorney. ECF No. 4. The Court stated 1 21cv1109-LL-BLM 1 that “[b]ecause Plaintiff is unrepresented by counsel, his FCA qui tam claim (“Count 1”) 2 fails as a matter of law.” Id. at 2. Plaintiff has subsequently requested and been granted 3 three extensions to show cause, most recently until May 2, 2022. ECF Nos. 10, 12, 18. 4 In the Court’s most recent order granting Plaintiff’s extension of time to show cause, 5 the Court set a deadline for Plaintiff “to show cause, on or before May 2, 2022, why Count 6 1 should not be dismissed without leave to amend, but without prejudice to future refiling 7 by a licensed attorney.” ECF No. 18. The Court warned that “this is the last continuance it 8 will grant for showing cause” and that “[a]bsent extraordinary circumstances, no further 9 continuances will be granted by the Court.” Id. at 2. Notwithstanding this, Plaintiff has 10 failed to refile Count 1 by a licensed attorney. Instead, Plaintiff now disputes “whether a 11 qui tam relator can proceed pro se on Count 1.” ECF No. 28 at 2. The Court finds the 12 arguments made in Plaintiff’s Response unpersuasive because the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in 13 Stoner is binding precedent on this Court. 502 F.3d 1116. 14 In light of Plaintiff’s failure to meet the May 2, 2022 deadline to find a licensed 15 attorney to refile Count 1 of his Amended Complaint [ECF No. 2], the Court hereby 16 DISMISSES Count 1 without prejudice. Additionally, to the extent that Plaintiff seeks 17 additional time to find a licensed attorney in this matter, the request is DENIED. 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 4, 2022 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 21cv1109-LL-BLM

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