Rivera-Rivera v. Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority, No. 20-1797 (1st Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Retirement System administers a pension plan for more than 12,000 retired Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA) employees. Under the System's Bylaws, three trustees are selected by PREPA employees, three trustees are selected by PREPA's Board of Directors, one trustee is elected by retired PREPA employees, and one serves dually as a trustee and as PREPA’s Executive Director.
The Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) was created by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), 48 U.S.C. 2161, and designated PREPA as a covered entity. A 2018 Executive Order treated the Retirement System as a covered entity subject to FOMB’s oversight. The Order asserted that the System’s Trustees had "not complied with the annual obligation imposed by [PREPA's] Bylaws," and appointed PREPA's Board of Directors as trustee for the Retirement System for two purposes: finalizing the System's 2017 actuarial reports and financial statements and delivering information to the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority related to PREPA's 2019 budget. The Order would no longer be effective upon the System's issuance of the actuarial reports, FOMB's certification of a revised PREPA fiscal plan, and FOMB's certification of PREPA's 2019 budget.
After a suit was filed, challenging that Order, a 2019 Executive Order formally withdrew the 2018 Order. The First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the suit. The request for declaratory relief did not present a controversy of sufficient reality or immediacy to establish subject matter jurisdiction under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. 2201.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on November 23, 2021.