Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

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Plaintiff, an inmate, filed a pro se complaint against a Peace Officer and others under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Plaintiff filed suit more than two years after the alleged incident giving rise to his claim occurred, but filed his renewed suit within six months of filing his initial suit. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claim and held that the Georgia Supreme Court would construe O.C.G.A. 9-11-41(d) to require payment of costs before involuntary dismissals may be renewed under O.C.G.A. 9-2-61, Georgia's renewal statute; the court was not persuaded that the Georgia Supreme Court would allow plaintiff to rely on an extension of the good-faith exception to save his claim; and the court found no support for the assertion that the Georgia Supreme Court would construe Georgia's renewal statute to deem plaintiff to have met the cost-payment requirement under the circumstances of this case. View "Hancock v. Cape" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Cin-Q filed suit in 2013, alleging that Buccaneers was responsible for unsolicited faxes that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 227 (the Cin-Q case). Medical & Chiropractic Clinic eventually joined the Cin-Q case as a second named plaintiff. Plaintiffs in this case filed suit on behalf of the same class based on the same allegedly unlawful acts by Buccaneers and eventually settled their claim for nearly $20 million in damages. Cin-Q and Medical & Chiropractic Clinic moved to intervene. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's denial of the motion to intervene, holding that Cin-Q and Medical & Chiropractic Clinic met the requirements of Civil Procedure Rule 24(a)(2). The court remanded for the district court to grant the motion to intervene as of right. View "Technology Training Assoc. v. Buccaneers Limited Partnership" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Eleventh Circuit granted rehearing en banc to review the constitutionality of a municipal ordinance prohibiting the sale of sexual devices in light of several recent Supreme Court decisions. After agreeing to take the case en banc, the City repealed the challenged portion of its municipal code. The court held that the case was moot because it saw no reasonable basis for concluding that the ordinance would be reenacted and because a prayer for nominal damages, by itself, was insufficient to satisfy Article III's jurisdictional requirements. Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeal. View "Flanigan's Enterprises, Inc. v. Sandy Springs, Georgia" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, representatives of the estates of decedents who perished in a plan crash in Nigeria, appealed the district court's dismissal of their claims based upon the doctrine of forum non conveniens and denial of their motion for relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the judgment, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in either dismissing the claims or denying the Rule 60(b) motion. In this case, the district court did not abuse its discretion either in determining that the public factors also weighed in favor of dismissal or in its overall analysis under the forum non conveniens doctrine and conclusion that dismissal of the foreign decedents' claims was warranted. In regard to the denial of the Rule 60(b) motion, the district court did not apply the law in an incorrect or unreasonable manner in deciding that the procedural posture did not warrant the requested relief. Furthermore, there was no reason to believe that defendant would contest liability in Nigeria and thus there was no reason to disturb the district court's denial of reconsideration on this ground. View "Kolawole v. Sellers" on Justia Law

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The board of trustees for the University filed suit against CoMentis in federal court, asserting diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. 1332(a). The district court dismissed the complaint on the merits. The Eleventh Circuit held that, because the USF Board was an arm of the Florida state government, the district court lacked diversity jurisdiction over the suit between it and CoMentis, a citizen of another state. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded to the district court with instructions to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. View "University of South Florida Board of Trustees v. CoMentis, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's denial of motions for discovery because the jurisdictional facts in this case were genuinely in dispute and there was no undue delay by the ACLU. In this case, the ACLU twice asked for jurisdictional discovery on a state law enforcement officer's status, but both requests were denied. The court held that the district court erred when it completely denied the ACLU any opportunity to inquire into the capacity in which the officer created, submitted, and/or maintained the requested documents, a fact which implicated both the merits of the ACLU's claim and the district court's jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1). Furthermore, the interrogatories propounded by the district court did not render this error harmless. Given the limited record, this was a factual inconsistency the district court should not have resolved solely on the papers. View "American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Inc. v. City of Sarasota" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Conservationists filed suit under the Clean Water Act and Florida law, challenging the Corps' decisions about when and how to release water from certain locks along the Okeechobee Waterway. The district court dismissed the complaint based on the Corps' sovereign immunity. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed, holding that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(b) required the dismissal of this case regardless of whether the court agreed with the Water District's sequencing argument on cross-appeal or the Corps' sovereign immunity argument. The court need not reach those matters because the Water District was an indispensable party under Rule 19(b) and thus the action may not proceed without the Water District. View "Florida Wildlife Federation Inc. v. US Army Corps of Engineers" on Justia Law

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Federal tobacco laws do not preempt state tort claims based on the dangerousness of all the cigarettes manufactured by the tobacco companies. The Florida Supreme Court upheld the jury verdicts of negligence and strict liability in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006) (Engle III), and decertified the class to allow individual actions about the remaining issues. In this case, R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris challenged the jury verdict against them in one of the individual actions. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed its holding in Walker v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 734 F.3d 1278 (11th Cir. 2013), and concluded that giving full faith and credit to the Engle jury findings of negligence and strict liability does not deprive R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris of property without due process of law, and that federal law does not preempt the Engle jury findings. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgments against R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. View "Graham v. R.J Reynolds Tobacco" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel post-judgment discovery over ten years after a money judgment was entered against defendant in a suit filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq. The Eleventh Circuit certified the following question to the Florida Supreme Court: What limitations period, if any, applies to a request for post-judgment discovery brought in federal district court in Florida on a judgment entered by that same federal district court? View "Salinas v. Ramsey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Plaintiffs filed a class action in state court against insurance companies, alleging a variety of state law violations including breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unconscionability, unjust enrichment, negligence, and bad faith. The insurance companies subsequently sought permission to appeal the district court's order remanding plaintiffs' class action to state court. The court concluded that there was no minimal diversity supporting federal jurisdiction because all of the plaintiffs and all of the defendants were citizens of Georgia. Accordingly, the court denied the petition. View "Life of the South Insurance Co. v. Carzell" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure