The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Newton v. Lee on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.
The Tenth Circuit affirmed in part and declined to exercise jurisdiction in an interlocutory appeal. Petitioner alleges that two officers of the Utah Air National Guard violated his due process rights when they suspended and subsequently withdrew his Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS) certificate, and when they suspended his employment as an Air Traffic Control Supervisor at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The district court granted summary judgment to Respondents on Petitioner’s due process claim regarding the suspension of his employment. However, it denied summary judgment on his due process claim regarding the withdrawal of his ATCS certificate, holding this claim is not barred by qualified immunity or by intramilitary immunity under the Feres doctrine.
In this interlocutory appeal, Respondents challenge the denial of qualified immunity and intramilitary immunity on Petitioner’s ATCS certificate claim. Petitioner cross-appeals the grant of summary judgment on his employment claim. The Court held that Petitioner’s ATCS certificate is not barred by the Feres doctrine, and that it had no jurisdiction over the interlocutory appeal from the denial of qualified immunity to Respondents. The Court also declined to exercise pendent jurisdiction over Petitioner’s cross-appeal.