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In plaintiff's action challenging the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) assessment of a financial penalty against certain federal grant money used to fund Puerto Rico's child support enforcement programs, after HHS had determined that Puerto Rico had failed to satisfy data reporting requirements or meet performance benchmarks in consecutive fiscal years, district court's judgment rejecting plaintiff's contentions is affirmed where: 1) the HHS's decision not to accept and consider plaintiff's untimely PEP data to determine its fiscal year 2001 performance for incentive purposes was neither arbitrary not capricious; and 2) the HHS's interpretation of the notice provision was reasonable and entitled to deference.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
Decided December 7, 2009
Before: Torruella, Dyk, and Boudin, Circuit Judges
Opinion by Dyk, Circuit Judge
For Appellant: Pedro J. Varela-Fernández
For Appellee: Catherine Y. Hancock and Michael S. Raab, Attorneys, Appellate Staff, Civil Division, Michael F. Hertz, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Rosa E. Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney. As Of Counsel: David S. Cade, Acting General Counsel, Robert E. Keith, Associate General Counsel, Children, Families & Aging Division, William Alvarado-Rivera, Chief of Litigation, Children, Families & Aging Division