U.S. Court of Federal Claims - Judicial Business 2013
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has nationwide jurisdiction over a variety of monetary claims against the federal government, including those involving tax refunds, federal taking of private property for public use, pay and dismissal of federal civilian employees, pay and dismissal of military personnel, land claims brought by Native Americans and/or their tribe(s), contract disputes, bid protests, patents and copyright, congressional reference, and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 791(c), each January the clerk of the court transmits to Congress a report of the business of the court, which notes the names of the claimants, the nature of the claims, and the disposition for all judgments rendered the previous year.
Filings in this court climbed 58 percent to 1,515 in 2013. Cases involving contracts rose by 342 to 499, and miscellaneous cases went up by 104 to 180, with both increases arising mainly from two groups of related cases concerning property owners who provided below-market-rate housing in exchange for various government benefits. Vaccine filings grew by 97 to 500 in response to cases addressing the flu vaccine.
Case terminations decreased 52 percent to 1,616. In 2012, terminations had jumped in response to the dismissal of many cases alleging that vaccines containing Thimerosol were related to the occurrence of autism. This year, as terminations exceeded filings, pending cases dropped 2 percent to 2,618.
For actions terminated in 2013, the amount claimed by plaintiffs/petitioners exceeded $5 billion. Judgments for plaintiffs/petitioners exceeded $1 billion, of which more than $300 million carried interest. Judgments for the United States on counterclaims or offsets totaled more than $3 million. Under its non-monetary jurisdiction, the court disposed of 105 contract cases seeking injunctive or declaratory relief.
From 2009 to 2013, filings in the court have risen 69 percent. During that five-year period, case terminations have increased 39 percent, and pending cases have dropped 64 percent.