Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Federal Rehabilitation Act Provides No Cause of Action Against Federal Government When Acting in Regulatory Capacity

Joseph Kinneary was the captain of a municipal tanker for the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection. Kinneary didn’t provide a urine sample for drug testing as required by federal regulations, claiming that he was prevented from doing so by “shy bladder” syndrome (the inability to urinate in the presence of others). Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security, through the Coast Guard, had Kinneary’s Merchant Mariner’s license rescinded, and Kinnery sued in federal district court under the federal Rehabilitation Act 29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. and 42 U.S.C. 1983. Ridge moved for dismissal under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(6)(1), claiming that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

The Court found that the government was acting in its regulatory capacity when it rescinded Kinneary’s mariner’s license for not providing the urine sample as required by federal regulations. It also found that the Rehabilitation Act provided no cause of action against the government when it acts in its regulatory capacity, and therefore granted Ridge’s motion to dismiss. See: Kinneary v. New York City, U.S.D.C. (S.D. N.Y.) 358 F. Supp. 2d 356.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Kinneary v. New York City