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The Rooker-Feldman doctrine can not bar a federal suit regarding events occurring long after the entry of a state court decision. Long after a state court lawsuit had been completed between Specialty Marketing and Target Media, Specialty Marketing mailed out a letter including the state court events and trial testimony. Target Media filed a defamation action against Specialty Marketing, seeking injunctive relief and damages. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the defamation case, holding that the district court improperly denied subject matter jurisdiction and erroneously dismissed Target Media's defamation claim on Rooker-Feldman grounds. The court held there was no reasonable opportunity to raise the instant claim in Alabama's state courts, and the claim was not "inextricably intertwined" with the judgment rendered in Alabama court. View "Target Media Partners v. Specialty Marketing Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Eleventh Circuit certified a question to the Florida Supreme Court regarding the appropriate limitations period to be applied to post-judgment discovery. The Florida Supreme Court answered: Under Florida law, post-judgment discovery for the purpose of collecting a federal money judgment issued by a federal court in Florida "is permitted for a period of twenty years from the date the judgment was entered." In light of the state court's guidance, the Eleventh Circuit held that plaintiffs' motion to compel post-judgment discovery was timely. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Salinas v. Ramsey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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An affidavit which satisfies Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure may create an issue of material fact and preclude summary judgment even if it is self-serving and uncorroborated. Because this principle applies in all civil cases, including those in the realm of tax law, the Eleventh Circuit, en banc, overruled that portion of Mays v. United States, 763 F.2d 1295, 1297 (11th Cir. 1985), which is (or may be interpreted to be) to the contrary. In this case concerning IRS assessments, the court remanded with instructions for the panel to consider the government's arguments, as well as defendant's answers to them. View "United States v. Stein" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Petitioner sought review of the BIA's decision denying his motion to reopen removal proceedings. The DC Circuit dismissed in part and denied in part, holding that petitioner's constitutional claims challenging the order of removal itself and those addressing the sufficiency of the IJ's order denying the instant motion were not properly exhausted in immigration proceedings or were otherwise not properly before the court. In regard to petitioner's remaining claims challenging the BIA's decision, the court could not say that the BIA abused its discretion or that its opinion lacked reasoned consideration when it denied petitioner's motion to reopen. View "Bing Quan Lin v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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Winn-Dixie filed suit against Big Lots, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree, to enforce a grocery exclusive provision of its leases. At issue on appeal was the district court's ruling on remand. The district court found that none of the Alabama stores was violating the grocery exclusive provisions. In regard to the Florida stores, the district court ruled that the definitions of "groceries" and "sales area" in Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. v. 99 Cent Stuff-Trail Plaza, LLC, 811 So. 2d 719 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002), applied. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's judgment as to the Dollar General and Big Lots stores in Florida and remanded with instructions for the district court to apply to those stores, which had leases dated before February 20, 2002, the same definitions of "groceries" and "sales area" that it applied to the Florida stores with leases dated after February 20, 2002. The court affirmed as to the Alabama stores. View "Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. v. Dolgencorp, LLC" on Justia Law

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Relators filed suit under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-30, alleging that MD and others misled the Government by providing material false or incomplete information at two points in the transactional relationship, as well as improprieties between the remaining defendants. The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court must revisit whether the relators alleged facts sufficient to support a theory of implied certification as articulated in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016). The court also held that the complaint did plead fraud in the inducement, and thus the court remanded so that the district court could reexamine the allegations relating to that theory. View "Marstettler v. Tilton" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit denied the petition for review of the DEA's denial of Jones Pharmacy and SND Healthcare's application for certificates of registration to dispense controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq. The court held that substantial evidence supported the DEA's determination that Jones Pharmacy's owner did not credibly accept full responsibility; the DEA's refusal to consider Jones Pharmacy's remedial measures did not render its decision arbitrary or capricious in this case; and the chosen sanction was not arbitrary or capricious. View "Jones Total Health Care Pharmacy, LLC v. DEA" on Justia Law

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The Florida Supreme Court answered the Eleventh Circuit's certified question, stating that the notice and repair process set forth in Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes is a "suit" within the meaning of the CGL policies issued by C&F to ACI. The state court explained that although the chapter 558 process did not constitute a civil proceeding, it was included in the policy's definition of suit as an alternative dispute resolution proceeding to which the insurer's consent was required to invoke the insurer's duty to defend the insured. In light of the state court's answer of the certified question, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for C&F, vacated the final judgment, and remanded to the district court for further proceedings. View "Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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In this wrongful death action, plaintiff filed suit against R.J. Reynolds to recover damages based on the death of his wife from tobacco-related diseases caused by her decades-long history of smoking R.J. Reynolds' cigarettes. The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court properly interpreted Florida law in ultimately deciding that plaintiff's damages could not be reduced, even though the jury found his wife to be 45% at fault for her injuries; plaintiff did not waive his right to insist that the Florida intentional tort exception be applied to prevent reduction of compensatory damages based on the wife's degree of fault; and the district court's repudiation of its own charge to the jury concerning the reduction of damages did not justify a reversal of its ultimate decision not to reduce those damages. View "Smith v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co." on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2). The court held that, because defendant has already served the entirety of his otherwise eligible sentence, he was ineligible for a sentence reduction pursuant to section 3582(c)(2). The court noted that the cases involving statutory mandatory consecutive sentences were not persuasive with respect to unrelated sentences like defendant's. The court need not, and did not, decide whether sentences may be aggregated when a statutory mandatory consecutive sentence and a guidelines sentence were imposed in the same proceeding. View "United States v. LLewlyn" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law