This morning the Federal Circuit issued one precedential opinion in a case involving a payment dispute with the United States Bureau of Reclamation under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, two nonprecedential opinions in veterans cases, one nonprecedential order denying a petition for writ of mandamus in a patent case, and three nonprecedential Rule 36 judgments. Here are the introductions to the opinions and a list of the Rule 36 judgments.

Northern California Power v. United States (Precedential)

This action was brought in the United States Court of Federal Claims by the Northern California Power Agency and three California cities—the City of Redding, the City of Roseville, and the City of Santa Clara. The plaintiffs all purchase hydroelectric power that is generated by power plants under the jurisdiction of the United States Bureau of Reclamation (“Bureau”), an agency within the Department of the Interior. The plaintiffs are seeking to recover payments that they claim were unlawfully assessed and collected by the Bureau in violation of section 3407(d) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (“CVPIA”), Pub. L. No. 102-575, 106 Stat. 4706, 4706–31 (1992).

The dispute turns on the meaning of a provision in section 3407(d) of the CVPIA that requires that certain payments made by recipients of power and water from the project be assessed in the same proportion, to the greatest degree practicable, as other charges assessed against recipients of water and power from the project. After a trial on liability, the Court of Federal Claims concluded that the Bureau’s interpretation of the statute was correct and dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint. N. Cal. Power Agency v. United States, 139 Fed. Cl. 74 (2018) (“NCPA”). We disagree with the court’s interpretation of the statute, and we therefore reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Corrao v. Wilkie (Nonprcedential)

Lucia Corrao appeals a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”) affirming the Board of Veterans Appeals’ denial of her application to reopen a claim of entitlement to recognition as the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran for purposes of dependency and indemnity compensation (“DIC”). See Corrao v. Wilkie, No. 18-3208 (Vet. App. Apr. 29, 2019). Because we lack jurisdiction, we dismiss.

Fahie v. Wilkie (Nonprecedential)

Realdalist Fahie appeals the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”) denying his claim for increased disability compensation. We dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

In re TCT Mobile International Limited (Nonprecedential Order)

TCT Mobile International Limited (“TCT International”) petitions for a writ of mandamus compelling the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

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Because a defendant can obtain meaningful review of a denial of a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction after final judgment, mandamus is ordinarily not available. See In re BNY ConvergEx Grp., LLC, 404 F. App’x 484, 485 (Fed. Cir. 2010). We see no exceptional circumstances here to depart from that general rule. TCT International cannot justify an end run around the final judgment rule by arguing that “the financial harm and inconveniences associated with forcing” it “to litigate in Texas will [already] have been done.” As the Supreme Court has explained, “extraordinary writs cannot be used as substitutes for appeals . . . even though hardship may result from delay and perhaps unnecessary trial.” Bankers Life & Cas. Co. v. Holland, 346 U.S. 379, 383 (1953) (citations omitted).

IT IS ORDERED THAT: The petition is denied.

Rule 36 Judgments