Case 1:15-cv-01238 Document 1 Filed 07/31/15 Page 1 of 13

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
TRUMP OLD POST OFFICE LLC,
1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
Plaintiff,
v.
TOPO ATRIO LLC,
717 D Street NW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
and
THINKFOODGROUP LLC
717 D Street NW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
Defendants.

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COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Trump Old Post Office LLC (“Landlord”), by its undersigned counsel, files this
complaint, asserting claims for breach of contract, action on a guarantee, and attorneys’ fees against
defendants Topo Atrio LLC (“Tenant”) and ThinkFoodGroup LLC (“Guarantor”) arising from
Tenant’s breach and ultimate abandonment of its obligations under the sublease it had entered into
for certain restaurant space at the Trump International Hotel, The Old Post Office, Washington D.C.
As a result of Tenant’s breach, on July 17, 2015, Landlord notified Tenant that it was in default
under the sublease. On July 31, 2015, Landlord terminated and canceled the sublease following
Tenant’s failure and refusal to cure its default. Landlord now seeks to recover monetary damages
against both Tenant and Guarantor pursuant to the terms of the sublease and guarantee.

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JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1.

The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. There is

complete diversity of citizenship between plaintiff and defendants, and the amount in controversy
exceeds the sum of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.
2.

Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391 because one or more defendants reside

in this district, the conduct complained of occurred in this district, and the property that is the
subject of this complaint is located in this district.
PARTIES
3.

Landlord is a limited liability company whose members are citizens of Delaware and

New York.
4.

Tenant is a limited liability company whose members, on information and belief, are

citizens of Washington, D.C.
5.

Guarantor is a limited liability company whose members, on information and belief,

are citizens of Washington, D.C.
FACTS
6.

Pursuant to an August 8, 2013 master ground lease (the “Master Lease”) with the

United States of America – General Services Administration, Landlord leases the building located
at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. commonly known as the “Old Post Office”
(the “Building”). The Building, built in 1899, is an historic and architecturally distinctive property
which served as the city’s main post office until 1914 and remains the second tallest structure in the
nation’s capital after the Washington Monument.
7.

In 2014, Landlord broke ground on a $200 million plus renovation of the Building.

Upon completion, the Building will be known as the Trump International Hotel, The Old Post
Office, Washington D.C. (the “Hotel”), consisting of 263 luxury guestrooms and suites, 36,000
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square feet of meeting and event space, an opulent 13,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom and a 5,000
square-foot super luxury spa and state-of-the-art fitness center, making it one of the finest hotels in
the nation’s capital and the world.
8.

On or about November 19, 2014, Landlord and Tenant entered in an agreement of

sublease (as amended by the First Amendment, the “Sublease”) pursuant to which Tenant, led by
renowned chef, José Andrés, agreed to lease for a ten (10) year term of approximately 9,018 square
feet of space in the Grand Cortile of the Building (the “Demised Premises”) to operate a José
Andrés flagship restaurant. Unless otherwise noted, all defined terms contained herein shall have
the same meaning as in the Sublease.
9.

On or about November 24, 2014, Landlord and Tenant entered in that certain first

amendment to agreement of sublease (the “First Amendment”) amending the terms of the Sublease.
10.

On or about November 19, 2014, Guarantor executed a certain guaranty (the

“Guaranty”) pursuant to which Guarantor agreed to guarantee to Landlord the full and prompt
performance of all of Tenant’s obligations under the Sublease.
The Sublease
11.

Pursuant to the terms of the Sublease, Tenant was obligated to use and occupy the

Demised Premises as a first class, high quality, flagship, top-tier Washington, D.C. restaurant
consistent with the Operating Standards.
12.

Specifically, Section 4(a) of the Sublease provides in this regard as follows:
Tenant shall use and occupy the Demised Premises for a first-class in
all respects, fine dining restaurant, adhering to the concept described
in Exhibit F to this Sublease (the “Style Concept”) and serving as the
José Andrés Hospitality Flagship, all in strict accordance with the
Operating Standards and other provisions of this Sublease, and for no
other purpose.

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13.

The Sublease also imposes a series of material obligations on Tenant to build-out the

Demised Premises as “a first-class high quality restaurant” pursuant to an agreed upon timeline.
14.

Section 7(b)(iii)(A) of the Sublease provides in this regard, as follows:
Tenant shall perform all work necessary to build-out the Demised
Premises as a first-class high quality restaurant consistent with top tier
restaurants in Washington D.C. and the other facilities within the
Building with a high-design finish and consistent with the Initial
Conceptual Design Documents. Tenant shall deliver all items set
forth on Exhibit D3 (the “Tenant’s Work Timeline”) as requiring
submittal and cause the occurrence of each fact or circumstance listed
as a Critical Milestone on Tenant’s Work Timeline, in each case on
the dates set forth therefor on the Tenant’s Work Timeline.

15.

Similarly, Section 7(b)(iii)(E) of the Sublease, entitled “Performance of Tenant’s

Work,” provides, as follows:
Tenant shall cause to be performed at Tenant’s expense all of the
work depicted or described in the Tenant’s Plans (the “Tenant’s
Work”).
16.

Exhibit D3 to the Sublease, entitled “Tenant’s Work Submittal List and Milestone

Dates,” sets forth a series of deadlines by when Tenant must submit and/or complete, as applicable,
various plans, permits, documents and milestones. Included on Exhibit D3 is the requirement that
Tenant deliver to Landlord “90% Completed Construction Documents” on or before the “Delivery
Date” of “June 29, 2015.”
17.

Section 22(a) of the Sublease, entitled “Events of Default,” states that “[e]ach of the

following shall constitute a breach of this Sublease by Tenant (“Event of Default”):”
xiii. Tenant shall fail to deliver any Budget, document, Permit,
schedule or other item listed as an item that requires submittal
on Exhibit D3 on or before the date set forth on Exhibit D3
and such failure continues for a period of ten (10) days after
Landlord gives Tenant notice thereof specifying the items
Tenant failed to deliver …

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18.

Section 22(c) of the Sublease states that if at any time Tenant is in default of the

Sublease, “Tenant shall not be entitled to exercise any right of cancellation or termination or other
option granted to it by this Sublease (if any).”
19.

Section 23(a) states that if an Event of Default occurs, Landlord may deliver to

Tenant “Landlord’s Cancellation Notice” informing Tenant that Landlord is cancelling the
Sublease, in which case the Sublease shall expire and the Term shall end as if it is the last day of the
Term of the Sublease.
20.

If Landlord shall deliver Landlord’s Cancellation Notice to Tenant, pursuant to

Sections 23(c and d), Landlord shall be entitled to draw down upon the Letter of Credit delivered by
Tenant pursuant to Section 26 of the Sublease and also recover from Tenant all unpaid Base Rent,
Percentage Rent and Additional Rent due and owing under the Sublease together with all monetary
damages, costs and fees sustained by Landlord, along with all of Landlord’s costs and attorneys’
fees associated with its enforcement of the terms of the Sublease.
21.

Section 23(j) makes clear that “[t]he remedies provided for in this Sublease shall not

preclude Landlord from any other remedy, in law or in equity” and that Landlord’s “cancellation or
termination” shall not “deprive Landlord of any of its remedies or actions against the Tenant” for
rent or any other sums which would otherwise come due “as if there had been no cancellation or
termination.”
22.

Section 25 states not only that Tenant shall be responsible to pay Landlord for all

costs and expenses it incurs by reason of Tenant’s breach of the Sublease, but that, in any action or
proceeding brought to enforce the terms of the Sublease, the “substantially prevailing party shall be
entitled to recover from the other reasonable attorneys’ fees and other out-of-pocket costs.”

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23.

Section 27 states that (a) Landlord and Tenant waive their right to a jury trial in any

action or proceeding involving the Sublease, (b) the Sublease shall be governed by the laws of the
District of Columbia, and (c) Landlord and Tenant agree that any dispute between them shall be
heard in either the Superior Court of Washington D.C. or in the federal district courts located in
Washington D.C.
24.

Section 38 provides that (a) Landlord has not made and Tenant is not relying upon

any warranties, representations, promises or statements except to the extent expressly set forth in
the Sublease and (b) “all prior understandings and agreements … are merged in the Sublease which
alone fully and completely express the agreement of the parties and which are entered into after full
investigation.”
The Guarantee
25.

As a “material and necessary inducement to Landlord’s execution and delivery of the

Sublease” and Landlord’s concession with respect to certain construction expenses, Tenant agreed
to “execute and deliver” the Guarantee to Landlord.
26.

In the Guarantee, the Guarantor “absolutely, unconditionally and irrevocably . . .

guarantees to Landlord the full and prompt performance and observance of all of Tenant’s
obligations under the Sublease, monetary and nonmonetary.” Guarantee, Section 2.
27.

The Guarantee also provides, in relevant part, that “[t]he liability of Guarantor . . . is

coextensive with that of Tenant,” and that the “Guarantee shall be enforceable against Guarantor.”
Id., Section 3. The Guarantee further provides that Guarantor’s liability under the Guarantee is
“primary” and that, at Landlord’s option, the Guarantor can be “joined in any action against said
Tenant in connection with the Sublease.” Id., Section 12.

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28.

Similar to the Sublease, the Guarantee waives a trial by jury, Id., Section 14,

provides for the payment of attorneys’ fees to Landlord in actions on the Guarantee, id., and is
governed by law of the District of Columbia, Id., Section 16.
Tenant Defaults and Abandons its Obligations Under the Sublease
29.

On June 29, 2015, Tenant was to have delivered to Landlord “90% Completed

Construction Documents” pursuant to its obligations under Section 7(b)(iii)(A) and Exhibit D3 of
the Lease. Tenant failed to deliver these documents.
30.

On July 8, 2015, less than eight (8) months after Tenant entered into the Sublease,

Tenant’s co-owner and executive chef, Mr. Andrés, was quoted in The Washington Post as stating
that it was “impossible” for him and his company to open his restaurant in the Demised Premises.
These comments reflected an apparent abandonment of Tenant’s obligations under the Sublease.
31.

Mr. Andrés’ stated refusal to proceed with his obligations under the Lease were

allegedly based on his personal offense to statements made by Mr. Trump with respect to illegal
immigration during his June 16, 2015 presidential campaign announcement speech. Mr. Andrés’
offense is curious in light of the fact that Mr. Trump’s publicly shared views on immigration have
remained consistent for many years, and Mr. Trump’s willingness to frankly share his opinions is
widely known.
32.

Notwithstanding Mr. Trump’s well-known frankness, in a January 2015 press release

announcing the Sublease, Mr. Andrés praised Mr. Trump for his “business acumen” and said he was
“proud to partner” with him, explaining:
I have long respected Donald Trump for his business acumen and am
proud to partner with him to create a truly remarkable, fine dining
restaurant in the city I have called home for many years, right in the
heart of the historic Post Office.

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33.

On July 17, 2015, Landlord sent Tenant (and Guarantor) a Notice of Default

(“Landlord’s Default Notice”) informing Tenant that, due to its failure to deliver to Landlord “90%
Completed Construction Documents” on or before the “Delivery Date” of “June 29, 2015,” Tenant
was in material default of its obligations under Section 7(b)(iii)(A) and Exhibit D3 of the Sublease,
which default Tenant had ten (10) days to cure.
34.

Also on July 17, 2015, Tenant sent Landlord a notice of its own alleging that, as a

result of the content of Mr. Trump’s June 16 announcement speech, Landlord had allegedly
constructively evicted Tenant from the Demised Premises as well as violated the covenants of quiet
enjoyment and good faith and fair dealing.
35.

Tenant demanded as a “cure” for this alleged breach that Landlord recant his

personal opinions, and that Landlord somehow “ensure” that Mr. Trump’s personal opinions “not be
repeated, restated, or further disseminated.”
36.

Tenant’s July 17, 2015 notice to Landlord not only sought to control what Mr.

Trump could say, it failed to cite to any provision from the Sublease that Landlord had purportedly
violated. This is because there are no provisions in the Sublease that grant Tenant the right to
terminate the Sublease based upon personal offense with respect to comments made by Landlord, its
principals or affiliates, including Mr. Trump. There are similarly no provisions in the Sublease that
grant Landlord the right to terminate the Sublease based upon comments made by Tenant, its
principals or affiliates, including Mr. Andrés.
37.

Tenant can point to no other agreements between it and Landlord, its principals or

affiliates, including Mr. Trump, protecting Tenant from personal offense. Indeed, Mr. Andrés never
sought such a provision in the Sublease. Section 38 of the Sublease provides that it represents the
entire agreement and that Tenant is not relying upon any other promises by Landlord.

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38.

By letter dated July 20, 2015, Landlord rejected Tenant’s purported default notice,

explaining, among other things, that Mr. Trump was not a party to the Sublease, that Landlord had
done nothing to breach the Sublease or otherwise interfere with Tenant’s ability to use, occupy and
enjoy the Demised Premises, and that Landlord could not possibly have constructively evicted
Tenant given that Tenant had not yet taken occupancy of the Demised Premises.
39.

Without justification, on July 28, 2015, Tenant informed Landlord that Tenant was

“terminating the Sublease because of Landlord’s default.”
40.

In response, by letter dated July 28, 2015, Landlord advised Tenant that, insofar as

“Tenant has no right of termination under the Sublease,” Tenant’s July 28, 2015 termination notice
was “rejected as a nullity” and that, “to the extent Tenant desires to avoid an Event of Default and
termination of the Sublease … we urge Tenant to act promptly and deliver ‘90% Completed
Construction Documents’ to Landlord by the close of business on July 30, 2015.”
41.

Despite Landlord’s reminder, Tenant not only failed and refused to cure the defaults

set forth in Landlord’s Default Notice, but has remained steadfast in its refusal to comply with any
of its obligations under the Sublease. In short, Tenant, having attempted to terminate the Sublease,
has altogether abandoned its rights and obligations thereunder.
42.

Based upon the foregoing, on July 31, 2015, Landlord sent Tenant (and Guarantor)

“Landlord’s Cancellation Notice” informing Tenant that, based on Tenant’s failure to cure the
defaults in the Default Notice, Landlord was exercising its right to terminate and cancel the
Sublease and end the Term.
Landlord’s Substantial Damages
43.

The restaurant space that Mr. Andrés has suddenly abandoned is slated to be in the

center of the hotel, adjacent to the lobby and a visual focal point for all the perimeter guest rooms

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that line the nine-story atrium. In addition to Landlord’s obligation in the Master Lease to operate a
“signature” restaurant, it is indisputably harmful to open a luxury hotel without its planned
restaurant, much less one undergoing construction as will now be required. This is why the parties
to the Sublease negotiated numerous provisions to ensure that the design, approval, and construction
remained on schedule. As such, it is not an option for Landlord allow the Demised Premises to sit
vacant. Instead, Landlord must promptly move forward with plans to find a new signature
restaurant. Toward that end, Landlord has been forced to hire a new architect to quickly prepare
new designs and plans for the Demised Premises.
44.

As a result of Tenant’s decision to abandon its obligations under the Sublease at this

late date, Landlord has already suffered and will continue to suffer millions of dollars in costs,
expenses, losses and other damages. In addition to the loss of Base Rent, Percentage Rent and
Additional Rent, Landlord must now attempt to reprogram the Demised Premises with a new
signature restaurant. Accordingly, Landlord will be forced to incur significant costs and expenses
including, without limitation, additional legal fees, brokerage commissions, tenant allowances and
credits, the cost of building out, altering and preparing the Demised Premises for a new tenant,
advertising expenses and the expense of maintaining the Demised Premises in good condition. In
the event Landlord is unable to find a timely replacement, Landlord will be forced to design and
develop a restaurant itself at significant cost. In addition, Landlord will no longer receive
guaranteed rent for this space and will be required to cover any operational shortfalls.
45.

As a result, Landlord’s damages have and will continue to multiply.
COUNT I
(Breach of Sublease)

46.

Landlord repeats and realleges each and every allegation as if fully set forth at length

herein.
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47.

The Sublease is a fully enforceable contract, supported by consideration, and was

negotiated by sophisticated commercial parties at arm’s length.
48.

Pursuant to the terms of the Sublease, in exchange for the payment by Tenant of

certain Base Rent, Percentage Rent and Additional Rent as well as Tenant’s agreement to build-out
the Demised Premises into and continuously use, occupy and operate same as a first class, high
quality, flagship, top-tier Washington, D.C. restaurant, Landlord agreed to lease the Demised
Premises to Tenant for a ten (10) year Term.
49.

Tenant has breached the Sublease by failing to abide by its requirements, including

by providing construction documents as required, by repudiating its obligations to operate a
restaurant, and by purporting to terminate the Lease on grounds not allowed under the Sublease.
50.

By reason of Tenant’s actions, Landlord has suffered and will continue to suffer

damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but believed to be in excess of $10 million.

COUNT II
(Action on Guarantee)
51.

Landlord repeats and realleges each and every allegation as if fully set forth at length

52.

The Guarantee is a fully enforceable contract, supported by consideration, and was

herein.

negotiated by sophisticated commercial parties at arm’s length.
53.

Pursuant to its terms, Guarantor is fully liable for Tenant’s breach of the Sublease

and, at Landlord’s option, Landlord can and is hereby joining Guarantor in this action to hold
Guarantor fully liable for Tenant’s breaches.
54.

By reason of Tenant’s actions, Landlord has suffered and will continue to suffer

damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but believed to be in excess of $10 million.

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COUNT III
(Attorneys’ Fees)
55.

Landlord repeats and realleges each and every allegation as if fully set forth at length

56.

Section 25 of the Sublease entitles the “substantially prevailing party” in any action

herein.

or proceeding to recover its reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees:
if any legal action, arbitration or other proceeding is brought to
enforce or interpret this Sublease, the substantially prevailing party
shall entitled to recover from the other reasonable attorneys’ fees and
other out-of-pocket costs (including expert fees), in addition to any
other award to which the substantially prevailing party may be
entitled.
57.

Section 14 of the Guarantee similarly allows Landlord to recover its fees and costs,

including attorneys’ fees, incurred in enforcing its rights against the Guarantor.
58.

Landlord has incurred, and will continue to incur, costs and expenses, including

attorneys’ fees and disbursements, in connection with this action.
59.

Accordingly, Landlord seeks a monetary judgment for its reasonable attorneys’ fee

and other out-of-pocket costs incurred in this action.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Landlord prays for judgment as follows:
1.

That the Court adjudicate and declare that Tenant has materially breached its

obligations under the Sublease;
2.

That the Tenant and Guarantor are liable to Landlord for damages, to be proven at

trial but currently estimated to be in excess of $10 million;
3.

That the Court awards Landlord its attorneys’ fees and costs, consistent with its

rights under the Sublease and Guarantee; and

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4.

That the Court award Landlord such other and further relief as the Court may deem

just and equitable.
Dated: July 31, 2015

Respectfully submitted
Trump Old Post Office LLC

By: /s/ Rebecca Woods
Rebecca Woods (D.C. No. 468495)
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
975 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
Telephone: (202) 463-2400
Facsimile: (202) 641-9200
rwoods@seyfarth.com
Counsel for Plaintiff Trump Old Post Office LLC

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Case 1:15-cv-01238 Document 1-1 Filed 07/31/15 Page 1 of 2
CIVIL COVER SHEET
JS-44 (Rev. 7/13 DC)

I. (a) PLAINTIFFS

DEFENDANTS

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE OF FIRST LISTED DEFENDANT
(IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES ONLY)

(b) COUNTY OF RESIDENCE OF FIRST LISTED PLAINTIFF
(EXCEPT IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES)

NOTE: IN LAND CONDEMNATION CASES, USE THE LOCATION OF THE TRACT OF LAND INVOLVED

ATTORNEYS (IF KNOWN)

(c) ATTORNEYS (FIRM NAME, ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBER)

II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION

III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES (PLACE AN x IN ONE BOX FOR

(PLACE AN x IN ONE BOX ONLY)

o
o

o

1 U.S. Government
Plaintiff

3 Federal Question
(U.S. Government Not a Party)

o

2 U.S. Government
Defendant

4 Diversity
(Indicate Citizenship of
Parties in item III)

PLAINTIFF AND ONE BOX FOR DEFENDANT) FOR DIVERSITY CASES ONLY!
PTF
DFT

PTF

Citizen of this State

o1 o1

o4 o4

Citizen of Another State

o2 o2

Citizen or Subject of a
Foreign Country

o3 o3

Incorporated or Principal Place
of Business in This State
Incorporated and Principal
Place of Business in Another State
Foreign Nation

DFT

o5 o5
o6 o6

IV. CASE ASSIGNMENT AND NATURE OF SUIT
(Place an X in one category, A-N, that best represents your Cause of Action and one in a corresponding Nature of Suit)

o

A. Antitrust
410 Antitrust

o

o

o

B. Personal Injury/
Malpractice
310 Airplane
315 Airplane Product Liability
320 Assault, Libel & Slander
330 Federal Employers Liability
340 Marine
345 Marine Product Liability
350 Motor Vehicle
355 Motor Vehicle Product Liability
360 Other Personal Injury
362 Medical Malpractice
365 Product Liability
367 Health Care/Pharmaceutical
Personal Injury Product Liability
368 Asbestos Product Liability

Personal Property
370 Other Fraud
371 Truth in Lending
380 Other Personal Property
Damage
385 Property Damage
Product Liability

151 Medicare Act
Social Security
861 HIA (1395ff)
862 Black Lung (923)
863 DIWC/DIWW (405(g))
864 SSID Title XVI
865 RSI (405(g))
Other Statutes
891 Agricultural Acts
893 Environmental Matters
890 Other Statutory Actions (If
Administrative Agency is
Involved)

OR

E. General Civil (Other)

Real Property
210 Land Condemnation
220 Foreclosure
230 Rent, Lease & Ejectment
240 Torts to Land
245 Tort Product Liability
290 All Other Real Property

C. Administrative Agency
Review

o

Bankruptcy
422 Appeal 27 USC 158
423 Withdrawal 28 USC 157
Prisoner Petitions
535 Death Penalty
540 Mandamus & Other
550 Civil Rights
555 Prison Conditions
560 Civil Detainee – Conditions
of Confinement
Property Rights
820 Copyrights
830 Patent
840 Trademark
Federal Tax Suits
870 Taxes (US plaintiff or
defendant)
871 IRS-Third Party 26 USC 7609

o

D. Temporary Restraining
Order/Preliminary
Injunction

Any nature of suit from any category
may be selected for this category of case
assignment.
*(If Antitrust, then A governs)*

F. Pro Se General Civil
Forfeiture/Penalty
625 Drug Related Seizure of
Property 21 USC 881
690 Other

Other Statutes
375 False Claims Act
400 State Reapportionment
430 Banks & Banking
450 Commerce/ICC
Rates/etc.
460 Deportation
462 Naturalization
Application
465 Other Immigration
Actions
470 Racketeer Influenced
& Corrupt Organization

480 Consumer Credit
490 Cable/Satellite TV
850 Securities/Commodities/
Exchange
896 Arbitration
899 Administrative Procedure
Act/Review or Appeal of
Agency Decision
950 Constitutionality of State
Statutes
890 Other Statutory Actions
(if not administrative agency
review or Privacy Act)

Case 1:15-cv-01238 Document 1-1 Filed 07/31/15 Page 2 of 2

o

G. Habeas Corpus/
2255

o

K. Labor/ERISA
(non-employment)
710 Fair Labor Standards Act
720 Labor/Mgmt. Relations
740 Labor Railway Act
751 Family and Medical
Leave Act
790 Other Labor Litigation
791 Empl. Ret. Inc. Security Act

*(If pro se, select this deck)*

*(If pro se, select this deck)*

o

o

L. Other Civil Rights
(non-employment)

o

I. FOIA/Privacy Act
895 Freedom of Information Act
890 Other Statutory Actions
(if Privacy Act)

442 Civil Rights – Employment
(criteria: race, gender/sex,
national origin,
discrimination, disability, age,
religion, retaliation)

530 Habeas Corpus – General
510 Motion/Vacate Sentence
463 Habeas Corpus – Alien
Detainee

o

o

H. Employment
Discrimination

152 Recovery of Defaulted
Student Loan
(excluding veterans)

o

M. Contract
110 Insurance
120 Marine
130 Miller Act
140 Negotiable Instrument
150 Recovery of Overpayment
& Enforcement of
Judgment
153 Recovery of Overpayment
of Veteran’s Benefits
160 Stockholder’s Suits
190 Other Contracts
195 Contract Product Liability
196 Franchise

441 Voting (if not Voting Rights
Act)
443 Housing/Accommodations
440 Other Civil Rights
445 Americans w/Disabilities –
Employment
446 Americans w/Disabilities –
Other
448 Education

J. Student Loan

N. Three-Judge
Court
441 Civil Rights – Voting
(if Voting Rights Act)

V. ORIGIN

o 1 Original

o 2 Removed
from State
Court

Proceeding

o 3 Remanded from o 4 Reinstated or o 5 Transferred from o 6 Multi-district o 7 Appeal to
Appellate Court

Reopened

another district
(specify)

Litigation

District Judge
from Mag. Judge

VI. CAUSE OF ACTION (CITE THE U.S. CIVIL STATUTE UNDER WHICH YOU ARE FILING AND WRITE A BRIEF STATEMENT OF CAUSE.)

VII. REQUESTED IN
COMPLAINT

CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS

VIII. RELATED CASE(S)
IF ANY

(See instruction)

JURY DEMAND:
YES

SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY OF RECORD

DATE:

Check YES only if demanded in complaint

DEMAND $

ACTION UNDER F.R.C.P. 23

NO

YES

NO

If yes, please complete related case form

/s/ Rebecca Woods

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING CIVIL COVER SHEET JS-44
Authority for Civil Cover Sheet
The JS-44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replaces nor supplements the filings and services of pleadings or other papers as required
by law, except as provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required for the use of the
Clerk of Court for the purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. Consequently, a civil cover sheet is submitted to the Clerk of Court for each civil complaint filed.
Listed below are tips for completing the civil cover sheet. These tips coincide with the Roman Numerals on the cover sheet.
I.

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE OF FIRST LISTED PLAINTIFF/DEFENDANT (b) County of residence: Use 11001 to indicate plaintiff if resident
of Washington, DC, 88888 if plaintiff is resident of United States but not Washington, DC, and 99999 if plaintiff is outside the United States.

III.

CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES: This section is completed only if diversity of citizenship was selected as the Basis of Jurisdiction
under Section II.

IV.

CASE ASSIGNMENT AND NATURE OF SUIT: The assignment of a judge to your case will depend on the category you select that best
represents the primary cause of action found in your complaint. You may select only one category. You must also select one corresponding
nature of suit found under the category of the case.

VI.

CAUSE OF ACTION: Cite the U.S. Civil Statute under which you are filing and write a brief statement of the primary cause.

VIII.

RELATED CASE(S), IF ANY: If you indicated that there is a related case, you must complete a related case form, which may be obtained from
the Clerk’s Office.

Because of the need for accurate and complete information, you should ensure the accuracy of the information provided prior to signing the form.

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