Friday, February 24, 2006

E.D. Va. Says MWAA's Status Does Not Confer FQ Jurisdiction; Holds Post-Contracting Disputes Do Not Implicate Sufficient Federal Interest

Per San Jose Const. Gp., Inc. v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth.,--- F.Supp.2d ----, 2006 WL 354217 (E.D.Va. Feb. 14, 2006):

At the outset, it is important to note that there is nothing in the nature of MWAA itself that warrants federal question jurisdiction. MWAA is not a federal entity; the chartering legislation specifically notes that MWAA is independent of the federal government. MWAA is a creation of state law, established by a joint compact between Virginia and the District of Columbia for the purpose of leasing and operating the Airport from the federal government. And significantly, both the Virginia and the District of Columbia enabling statutes creating the compact make clear that courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia are vested with original jurisdiction of “all actions brought by or against [MWAA], which courts shall in all cases apply the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia.” See Va.Code § 5.1-173(A); D.C.Code Ann. § 9-922. For these reasons, WMAA's status furnishes no basis for federal question jurisdiction.

. . .

The scope of the federal interest in MWAA's contracts extends to the solicitation and awarding of contracts, but not to the administration and termination of contracts after they have been awarded. Accordingly, San Jose's claims that MWAA violated the Contracting Manual by improperly administering and terminating the parties' contract do not implicate any “continuing but limited” federal interest in the Airport.

Because San Jose's allegations do not implicate the “limited federal interest” in free and open competition in the solicitation and award of MWAA contracts, San Jose's claims do not meet the “arising under” standard for federal question jurisdiction under § 1331. Accordingly, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate San Jose's claims, and the case must therefore be dismissed.


Post a Comment

<< Home