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The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 does not create an administrative exhaustion requirement that must be satisfied as a prerequisite to bringing certain claims under section 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). If exhaustion is not required, abstention is not nonetheless warranted under the primary-jurisdiction doctrine. Plaintiff filed suit against the city alleging that four of the city's webpages did not provide closed captioning in violation of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA. The court vacated the district court's grant of the city's motion to dismiss based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that the district court had no reason to invoke the primary jurisdiction doctrine. View "Sierra v. City of Hallandale Beach" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of petitioner's 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion for want of jurisdiction. The court held that petitioner's second section 2255 motion was an improper vehicle to contest the denial of his first one because a Johnson v. United States claim was available to petitioner during the time that his first section 2255 motion was pending. View "Randolph v. United States" on Justia Law

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A lawful permanent resident alien who has already been admitted to the United States -- who is not currently seeking admission or readmission -- can, for stop-time purposes, be rendered inadmissible by virtue of a qualifying criminal conviction. The Eleventh Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision that petitioner was barred from seeking cancellation of removal. The court held that the BIA correctly concluded that petitioner was ineligible for cancellation of removal because the stop-time rule -- triggered when he committed a crime involving moral turpitude in January 1996 -- ended his continuous residence a few months shy of the required seven-year period. View "Barton v. U.S. Attorney General" on Justia Law

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High school students sprayed with or exposed to Freeze +P filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the board of education, the chief of police, and the Student Resource Officers (SROs) who used the spray against them or in their vicinity. On appeal, the police chief challenged the district court's judgment. The Eleventh Circuit reversed and held that the September 30 order was final and appealable under 28 U.S.C. 1291 pursuant to the court's decision in United States v. Alabama; assuming the SROs in question violated the Fourth Amendment by failing to adequately decontaminate the students exposed to Freeze +P, they were entitled to qualified immunity because the relevant law was not clearly established at the time of their conduct in 2009, 2010, and 2011; the class-based claim for declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to the use of Freeze +P failed for lack of standing; and the class-based claim for declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to the decontamination policy also failed for lack of standing. View "J W v. Roper" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Southern Home under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. 1981, asserting claims for discriminatory termination, hostile work environment, and retaliation. The Eleventh Circuit held that plaintiff's discriminatory termination and retaliation claims failed as a matter of law because she provided insufficient evidence of pretext in response to Southern Home's legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating her. The court held, however, that plaintiff offered sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact that the harassment plaintiff suffered was severe or pervasive to alter the terms or conditions of her employment. The court also held that plaintiff offered sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact that Southern Home had actual notice of the hostile work environment. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. View "Smelter v. Southern Home Care Services Inc." on Justia Law

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The Trusts initiated before FINRA an arbitration proceeding against the eight individuals who had owned Banque Pictet as partners and others, including Pictet Overseas, seeking to recover losses from custodial accounts with Banque Pictet. Pictet Overseas and the Partners then filed an action in federal district court, seeking to enjoin the arbitration, contending that, even if Rule 12200 of the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes required Pictet Overseas to arbitrate certain claims before FINRA, it did not require Pictet Overseas or the Partners to arbitrate the Trusts' claims. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling that the Trusts' claims were non-arbitrable and held that FINRA Rule 12200 did not require arbitration. In this case, the Trusts' claims did not arise in connection with Pictet Overseas' or the Partners' business activities. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's order permanently enjoining the Trusts from arbitrating in a FINRA forum their claims against Pictet Overseas and the Partners. View "Pictet Overseas Inc. v. Helvetia Trust" on Justia Law

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In these consolidated cases, plaintiffs alleged that their mortgage servicers, SLS and Caliber, breached plaintiffs' loan contracts, as well as an implied coverage of good faith and fair dealing, by charging inflated amounts for force-placed insurance. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the cases under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, holding that the filed-rate doctrine applied because plaintiffs challenged a rate filed with regulators. Therefore, plaintiffs' claims were barred because the filed-rate doctrine precluded any judicial action which undermined agency rate-making authority. View "Patel v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Kia for gender and national origin discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as race and alienage discrimination and retaliation under 42 U.S.C. 1981. The district court granted summary judgment for Kia. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's judgment as to the retaliation claims under Title VII and section 1981. The court held that, viewing the record in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the manner of her opposition to discrimination was reasonable. In this case, were it not for plaintiff's position as a human resource manager, her action of providing the name of an attorney in connection with her EEOC charge would be protected opposition conduct, because it assisted the employee with filing her own charge. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on plaintiff's claim of sex and national origin discrimination under Title VII and section 1981. View "Gogel v. Kia Motors Manufacturing of Georgia, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit held that the DEA's regulatory definition of "positional isomer" did not unambiguously apply to the use of that term as it pertained to butylone and ethylone in this case. Therefore, the court vacated defendant's conviction of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance where the substance involved was ethylone. The court explained that ethylone constitutes a controlled substance only if it is a "positional isomer" of butylone. View "United States v. Phifer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court correctly determined that the availability of class arbitration was a question of arbitrability, presumptively for the court to decide, because it was the kind of gateway question that determined the type of dispute that would be arbitrated. In this case, defendants sought to compel arbitration on a class basis with JPay, a Miami-based company that provides fee-for-service amenities in prisons in more than thirty states. The court held, however, that the language the parties used in their contract expressed their clear intent to overcome the default presumption and to arbitrate gateway questions of arbitrability, including the availability of class arbitration. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment to JPay, reversed the denial of defendants' motion to compel arbitration, and remanded for further proceedings. View "JPay, Inc. v. Kobel" on Justia Law