Burton v. District of Columbia, No. 01-CV-1195 (D.C. Nov. 20, 2003), Terry, J. (Ruiz and Washington, JJ. concur) (affirmed).

A former police officer sued the District of Columbia and three of his former supervisors from the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) alleging retaliation stemming from his reports of misconduct by one of the supervisors. During trial, the case was dismissed pursuant to Rule 50 on the ground that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies under the Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the exhaustion doctrine is a rule of judicial administration and is not jurisdictional, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing an action for Plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies regarding his claims of retaliation. In addition, the Court affirmed that the Defendant could raise the issue of exhaustion as a defense even though it was not included in the Joint Pretrial Order governing the trial.

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Newsletter - January 2004