United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division
CALVIN W. SCOTT, Plaintiff,
ROBERT BENTLEY, Governor of the State of Alabama, Defendants.
MADELINE HUGHES HAIKALA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
memorandum opinion discusses pro se plaintiff Calvin
Scott's claim against the Federal Retirement Thrift
Investment Board or FRTIB. Mr. Scott contends that the FRTIB did
not provide spousal notification when his wife withdrew funds
from her Thrift Savings Plan or TSP account. Pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, the FRTIB asks the Court
to enter judgment as a matter of law in its favor on Mr.
Scott's claim. As explained below, there is no genuine
issue of material fact, and the FRTIB is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). To demonstrate that there is a genuine
dispute as to a material fact that precludes summary
judgment, a party opposing a motion for summary judgment must
cite “particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). “The court need consider only
the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in
the record.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3). When considering a
summary judgment motion, the Court must view the evidence in
the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. See White v. Beltram Edge Tool Supply, Inc.,
789 F.3d 1188, 1191 (11th Cir. 2015).
Thrift Savings Plan is a tax-deferred retirement savings and
investment plan for federal employees. The FRTIB administers
the plan. (Doc. 133-1, ¶ 3). There are two categories of
TSP participants: Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS, for
short) participants and Federal Employees Retirement System
(FERS, for short) participants. (Doc. 133-1, ¶
they were married, Mr. Scott's wife, Lucile Scott, worked
for the federal government, and she was a CSRS participant in
the TSP. (Doc. 133-1, ¶ 6). On December 6, 2010, before
Mr. and Ms. Scott divorced, Ms. Scott applied for a loan from
her TSP account. (Doc. 133-1, ¶ 7). That same day, the
FRTIB prepared written notice regarding Ms. Scott's loan
application and addressed the notice to Mr. Scott at 24977
Southern Heritage L, Athens, AL 35613-8400. (Doc. 133-1,
¶¶ 7-8; Doc. 133-2, p. 2). The letter states:
Dear Spouse of TSP Participant:
According to our records, your spouse has requested a loan
from his or her Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account.
By law, the TSP is required to notify you of your
spouse's request. However, this notice does not guarantee
or imply that you have a right to the money in your
spouse's account or to any additional information about
This notice will not delay payment from the account.
If you have questions, call the toll-free ThriftLine at
1-877-968-3773. Callers outside the United States and Canada
should call (404) 233-4400 (not a toll-free number). The
TSP's hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.,
Eastern time. You can also write to the TSP. Please include
your daytime telephone number and the participant's
entire Social Security number on all correspondence. Note: If
you are a member of the uniformed services, do not provide
your Defense Switched Network (DSN) telephone number.
(Doc. 133-2, p. 2). The written notice clearly is a form
notice. The notice is not signed, and it does not indicate a
mode of delivery. The FRTIB states that it sent the notice to
Mr. Scott. (Doc. 133-1, ¶¶ 7-8). Mr. Scott asserts
that he did not receive a copy of the December 6, 2010
letter. (Doc. 145, pp. 3, 7).
Scott contends that because Ms. Scott knew that FRTIB would
not provide notice of her loan application, she felt
comfortable hiding the loan a year later during the
couple's divorce proceedings. Mr. Scott argues that the
lack of notice from the FRTIB enabled Ms. Scott to lie about
her financial situation in interrogatory responses that she
provided during the divorce proceedings. (Doc. 145, pp. 2-4).
Mr. Scott placed ...