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Fuery, her friends Sciortino and Tomaskovic, and Chicago police officer Szura were involved in an altercation on the side of the road. The three women were arrested for battery of a police officer; each was acquitted. The women sued the City and Officer Szura under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1985. At trial, the defendants objected to various testimony as violating the court’s rulings on motions in limine, moved for a mistrial, and requested dismissal of all claims and attorneys’ fees as a sanction. The judge stated, “[t]here are plenty of options once the trial is concluded to deal with the misconduct … I am not letting it go.” The jury awarded Tomaskovic $260,000 against Szura on her excessive force claim, finding that Szura was acting within the scope of his employment, but found in favor of the defendants on all other claims. The court entered judgment in favor of the City and Szura on all claims but denied the claims for attorneys’ fees. The court found misconduct by plaintiffs’ attorney and that “plaintiffs actively participated.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed, stating that it was apparent, “even from the two-dimensional record, the judge’s patience being tried.” District courts “possess certain inherent powers, not conferred by rule or statute, to manage their own affairs so as to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases. That authority includes the ability to fashion an appropriate sanction for conduct which abuses the judicial process.” View "Fuery v. City of Chicago" on Justia Law

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Michigan’s Medicaid waiver program provides individuals with developmental disabilities community-based services. Washtenaw County changed its budgeting method in 2015. Notices sent to recipients acknowledged that recipients would have to pay service-providers less in order to maintain their approved hours of service. The Association, a nonprofit community organization assisting individuals with developmental disabilities, joined with three individual plaintiffs to filed suit, alleging due process violations and seeking a preliminary injunction. The Association’s CEO testified that 169 individuals, including the three named plaintiffs, had received notices and that the three were Association members. The district court concluded that the Association lacked associational standing because the 169 people for whom it claimed associational standing were not shown to be members; the named members, in their individual capacities, were not entitled to injunctive relief because they had appealed the reductions and received favorable decisions so “there can be no irreparable harm suffered by the named Plaintiffs as a result of the inadequate notice.” The Sixth Circuit affirmed, noting that “standing is not dispensed in gross.” An individual must demonstrate standing for each claim he seeks to press and for each form of relief sought; an association that relies upon an individual member for standing purposes must do the same. The Association has not shown that any named member had standing to seek fresh notices and hearing rights when it filed its complaint.. View "Waskul v. Washtenaw County Community Mental Health" on Justia Law

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In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Judicial Court remanded the matter without reaching the merits of the appeal, holding that the discovery order challenged on appeal was now a nullity and did not govern future proceedings in this case and that no exception to the final judgment applied. Appellants appealed from an order of the superior court granting Appellee’s motion to compel them to produce in discovery certain patient medical records that the court found to relevant to Appellees' notice of claim asserting medical negligence. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) given the unusual procedural posture presented in this case, the discovery order was a nullity without legal force or effect and did not govern future proceedings in this case; and (2) no exception to the final judgment rule applied that would require the Court to reach the merits of the parties’ arguments below. View "McCain v. Vanadia" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50. In this action asserting breach of contract, the court held that, assuming without deciding that the motion did not sufficiently apprise plaintiff of deficiencies in proof and that the district court therefore erred in granting defendant's Rule 50 motion, under a de novo standard of review, plaintiff failed to establish that the error was harmless. In this case, plaintiff could not have presented legally sufficient evidence to support his claim for breach of contract. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its exceedingly wide discretion by denying plaintiff's motion for a continuance. View "Kelso v. Butler" on Justia Law

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Under Federal Rule of Evidence 201, a court may take judicial notice of matters of public record without converting a motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment, but a court cannot take judicial notice of disputed facts contained in such public records. The incorporation-by-reference doctrine prevents plaintiffs from selecting only portions of documents that support their claims, while omitting portions of those very documents that weaken or doom their claims. The Ninth Circuit addressed and clarified when and how the district court should consider materials extraneous to the pleadings at the motion to dismiss stage via judicial notice and the incorporation-by-reference doctrine. In this case, plaintiffs appealed the district court's dismissal of an action under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The panel held that the district court erred in part by judicially noticing some facts, but properly took notice of the date of Orexigen's international patent application for Contrave. Therefore, the panel reversed and remanded for clarification on Exhibit D, reversed the district court's judicial notice of Exhibit E, and affirmed the judicial notice of Exhibit V. The panel also that the district court abused its discretion by incorporating certain documents into the complaint and properly incorporated others. The panel reversed the district court's incorporation-by-reference of Exhibits B, C, F, H, R, S, and U, and affirmed the incorporation of Exhibits A, I K, L, N, O, P, and T. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded as to the remaining claims. View "Khoja v. Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc." on Justia Law

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The warrant application was supported by statements from “Doe,” that for the previous six months she regularly bought heroin from T (Doe only knew him by sight and street name) in a house, which she identified while driving with the police. A judge questioned Doe under oath and issued the warrant. Executing the warrant, officers found Walker in a house that looked like a drug house. Walker stated that she had a gun but could not remember where it was. The search took 90-120 minutes. Officers left without drugs or evidence of T’s whereabouts. Walker sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court granted defendants summary judgment; more than 16 months passed before the judge released her opinion. Walker appealed that day. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, first noting that under Fed.R.App.P. 4(a)(7)(A)(ii), a judgment is deemed to be entered on the earlier of the Rule 58 judgment or 150 days after a dispositive order is entered. “Deferring the opinion until after the time allowed by Rule. 4(a)(7)(A)(ii) is never appropriate, as it can spell disaster for a litigant not versed in the appellate rules.” Addressing the merits, the court stated that Walker’s goal was to have a jury decide whether the state judge should have issued the warrant but with the benefit of “great deference” the state judge’s probable-cause evaluation must prevail. Nothing was concealed from the judge and, under the circumstances, a two-hour search was not unreasonable. View "Walker v. Weatherspoon" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff Wayne Clark appealed the grant of summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds to defendant Richard DiStefano in connection with Clark’s claim to collect on a promissory note. Clark argued the court erroneously applied a six-year statute of limitations for demand notes found in the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), 9A V.S.A. § 3-118(b), rather than the fourteen-year statute of limitations for witnessed promissory notes, located in 12 V.S.A. 508. Finding no reversible error, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed. View "Clark v. DiStefano" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed this appeal in part for want of appellate jurisdiction and otherwise affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the underlying action asserting a claim under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), 28 U.S.C. 1350, and common-law claims for negligence and civil conspiracy, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider two of Defendant's claims on appeal. Plaintiff’s complaint premised jurisdiction both on the ATS and on diversity of citizenship. Plaintiff also invoked the district court’s supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. The district court dismissed the ATS claim for want of subject-matter jurisdiction and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. Defendant appealed. The First Circuit held (1) this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s request to purge certain unflattering comments from the district court’s opinion; (2) judicial estoppel barred Defendant’s argument that the district court, even after dismissing the ATS claim, had an alternative basis for federal subject-matter jurisdiction; (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state-law claim; and (4) this Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain Defendant’s claim that the district court erred in declining to grant his first motion to dismiss. View "Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Eric McAndrews appealed an order recommended by a Marital Master (DalPra, M.) and approved by the Circuit Court which dismissed his petition to modify a parenting plan on inconvenient forum grounds. The parenting plan pertained to petitioner’s child with whom he shares custody with respondent Sachet Woodson. On appeal, petitioner argued that the trial court erred in dismissing his petition because it conducted an improper and incomplete inconvenient forum analysis pursuant to RSA 458-A:18 (Supp. 2017), a provision of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). In vacating the circuit court's order, the New Hampshire Supreme Court found the order lacked a meaningful discussion of the factors that it relied upon in reaching its conclusion and its failure to address each specific factor required by the UCCJEA was untenable and unreasonable to the prejudice of petitioner’s case, and, therefore, its decision that Indiana is the more convenient forum constituted an unsustainable exercise of its discretion. View "In the Matter of McAndrews and Woodson" on Justia Law

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Defendant moved to rescind a settlement from a lawsuit about golf carts and to vacate the dismissal under state contract law. The Fifth Circuit held that the district court did not have jurisdiction to resolve the motion on state law terms because the parties' unconditional dismissal deprived it of subject matter jurisdiction. The court explained that, to reopen this case, defendant must lean on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 60(b), but that Rule 60(b)'s six grounds to relieve a party from a final judgment, order, or proceeding were unavailable to defendant. View "National City Golf Finance v. Scott" on Justia Law