The Education Department on October 7, 2010 stipulated that Robert Lepelletier, Jr. had fully discharged a disputed student loan debt incurred in the late 1970s. The discharge covered "all of the debt, including interest, penalties and collection costs," according to a filing in U.S. District Court.
The stipulation brought to an end a lawsuit filed by Lepelletier the year before. Lepelletier says he repaid the loan in the early 1980s. The Education Department, though, had been demanding payment, through the use of a collection agency.
In October 2010, Suits & Sentences reported that U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that sovereign immunity blocked him from issuing an injunction that would stop the Education Department from employing a collection agency. Leon's interim ruling dealt with a technical issue and did not represent a judgment on the merits of the claim; McClatchy apologizes for any ambiguity.