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United States Ex rel. State v. Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology Associates, PLLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

June 2, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel., STATE OF COLORADO, ex rel., STEVEN L. PATTERSON, Relator, Plaintiffs,
v.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN GASTROENTEROLOGY ASSOCIATES, PLLC, ANESTHESIA ASSOCIATES OF THE FRONT RANGE, LLC, and ANESTHESIA ASSOCIATES OF THE ROCKIES, LLC; Defendants.

ORDER

RAYMOND P. MOORE, United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Relator Steven L. Patterson’s notice to voluntarily dismiss the Complaint without prejudice (ECF No. 18) filed pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(1) and Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Also before the Court is the United States of America’s first amended consent to Relator’s notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice (ECF No. 25) and the United States of America’s amended motion to unrestrict case and maintain Level 2 restriction of certain filings (ECF No. 26) (“Amended Motion”)[1].

I. BACKGROUND

On January 16, 2014, proceeding on behalf of the United States, Relator filed this qui tam action alleging that Defendants violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b (“AKS”) and False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C § 3729 et seq. (ECF No. 1.)

The United States investigated the matter. (ECF No. 25[2] at 2-5.)

On March 20, 2015, Relator filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. (ECF No. 18.)

On March 24, 2015, the United States filed a notice of consent to the dismissal. (ECF No. 20.) The Court deemed the United States’ notice of consent to the dismissal insufficient and ordered further explanation as to the reason for dismissal. (ECF No. 23.) On May 21, 2015, the United States filed its amended notice of consent to the dismissal. (ECF No. 25.) The United States’ amended notice of consent, among other matters, informs the Court that it has “investigated this matter, consulted with the appropriate government officials about Relator’s allegations, reviewed the applicable rules and regulations relating to Defendants’ conduct, and considered the totality of the circumstances.” (ECF No. 25 at 5.) The United States “consents to Relator’s voluntary dismissal of this action because it is commensurate with the public interest.” (ECF No. 25 at 5.)

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Dismissal of Qui Tam Action

Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(1), a qui tam action may be voluntarily dismissed only if the Court and the Attorney General give written consent to the dismissal.

B. Restriction on Access to Filings

Pursuant to D.C.COLO.LCivR 7.2(c), a motion to restrict public access to documents filed with the Court must: (1) identify the documents for which restriction is sought; (2) address the interest to be protected and why such interest outweighs the presumption of public access; (3) identify a clearly defined and serious injury that would result if access is not restricted; (4) explain why no alternative to restriction is practicable or why only restriction will adequately protect the interest in question; and (5) identify the level of restriction sought.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Dismissal of Qui Tam Action


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