Org. v. United States, 226 Ct.Cl. 274, 641 F.2d 870 (Ct.Cl. 1981);
National Consumer Information Center v. Gallegos, 549 F.2d 822 (D.C.
1977). Plaintiff has not been funded for over twq years. Even if
plaintiff had, in 1980, sought an order compelling defendant to enter into
a multi-year agreement, this court would not have granted such relief.
The decision to refund each year is within the discretion of the director
of ACTION; and assuming, arguendo, the director's decision was arbitrary
or unlawful, the appropriate relief would be for this court to remand it
Plaintiff also seeks an injunction to continue funding until a full
hearing is held. Plaintiff has not been funded since April 1980. Prior to
or at the time of termination of funding, plaintiff could have sought an
order from a court to continue funding pending a full hearing. This court
will not now enter an order restoring funding when the plaintiff has not
received any funds for the past two years, nor has plaintiff fulfilled
the requirements and obligations of a VISTA sponsor in the last two
 Plaintiff, in the alternative, seeks to have the court remand the
action to the agency with instructions. A VISTA sponsor is only
considered for refunding in the year in which its funding expires.
Plaintiff at this time is not an applicant for refunding. Accordingly, at
this time there is no action of the agency for the court to remand with
[5, 6] Plaintiff also asks this court to enter a declaratory judgment
finding unlawful defendant's denial of refunding. A court will only enter
a declaratory judgment when declaratory relief will achieve a useful
objective. Spivey v. Barry, 665 F.2d 1222 (D.C.Cir. 1981). The 1979 VISTA
guidelines, which controlled denial of CCLAF's refunding in 1980, have
been superseded. The new VISTA guidelines specifically retract the policy
responsible for the denial of refunding to CCLAF in 1980. A declaration
that ACTION's denial of refunding in 1980 was unlawful would serve no
useful purpose because the guidelines which determined ACTION's decision
are no longer in effect.
 In addition to the fact that the relief sought by plaintiff is not
appropriate, this cause must also be dismissed because the equitable
relief sought is barred by the doctrine of laches. Laches applies both to
unreasonable delay by the plaintiff and prejudice to a defendant as a
result of the delay. Boone v. Mechanical Specialties Co., 609 F.2d 956,
958 (9th Cir. 1979); Independent Bankers Ass'n. of America v. Heimann,
627 F.2d 486 (D.C.Cir. 1980). As discussed above, plaintiff has waited
over two years since refunding was denied to file suit. It could have
sought injunctive and declaratory relief back in 1980 when it was an
applicant for refunding, and the 1979 VISTA guidelines were in effect.
 Defendant has been prejudiced by plaintiff's delay in filing this
action. The Director of State Programs, who was responsible for the
decision not to continue funding plaintiff, is no longer with the
agency. "Classic elements of undue prejudice include unavailability of
witness [and] changed personnel. . . ." EEOC v. Dresser Industries,
Inc., 668 F.2d 1199, 1203 (11th Cir. 1982), citing EEOC v.
Massey-Ferguson, Inc., 622 F.2d 271 (7th Cir. 1980). Defendant is further
prejudiced because of the substantial decline in available funds since
1980. In 1980, Congress appropriated $29,963,000 to fund VISTA sponsors.
However, when plaintiff filed suit, only $11,831,000 was appropriated.
Furthermore, defendant would be required to defend a policy which it no
longer follows. Therefore, the court finds that all of plaintiff's
requests for equitable relief are barred by the doctrine of laches.
[9, 10] Plaintiff's final claim is for money damages. Both sides
concede that money damages are not available under the Administrative
Procedure Act. Plaintiff, however, claims that the Tucker Act,
28 U.S.C. § 1346, entitles it to money damages. The Tucker Act is
only jurisdictional; and as the supreme Court stated, this statute "does
not create any substantive
right enforceable against the United States for money damages." United
States v. Testan, 424 U.S. 392, 398, 96 S.Ct. 948, 953, 47 L.Ed.2d 114
(1976). Plaintiff must rely on another statute which confers either a
right to recover money damages or waives sovereign immunity. United
States v. Testan, supra at 399, 96 S.Ct. at 953. Neither statute on which
plaintiff relies, the Administrative Procedure Act or the Domestic
Volunteer Service Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 4951, et seq., confer
a right to money damages against the United States nor waives sovereign
immunity. Accordingly, defendants motion to dismiss Count I is granted.
© 1992-2003 VersusLaw Inc.