Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

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Defendant appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the United States for unpaid federal income taxes, late penalties, and interest accrued. The Eleventh Circuit initially affirmed but then later granted rehearing en banc and overruled Mays v. United States, 763 F.2d 1295 (11th Cir. 1985). On remand to the original panel, the parties raised arguments that no longer resemble the arguments they had made to the district court. Therefore, the court vacated the judgment of the district court and remanded to the district court to consider the new arguments in the first instance. View "United States v. Stein" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit held that this action claiming that the City violated the Establishment Clause when it approved the construction of a religious center near plaintiffs' homes was moot and no longer justiciable. In this case, a state court barred the construction of the center after the lawsuit was commenced. View "Gaglilardi v. City of Boca Raton Florida" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants after a Navy aircraft crashed during a training exercise, killing her husband and everyone else on board. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's denial of their motion to dismiss. The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court's order was not "final" under the collateral order doctrine where the court could not engage in an individualized jurisdictional inquiry to determine whether a decision fits into the small category of collateral order decisions. In this case, defendants' argument that an immediate appeal was necessary to stop a jury from second-guessing the Navy's decisions turned on the Navy's choice of the aircraft, selection of the mission speed and altitude, and instructions in the training manual, all of which were facts peculiar to this case. The court also held that it could not exercise jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1292(b) because the court would be required to decide whether the district court properly applied settled political question doctrine principles to the facts or evidence of this particular case. Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeals; vacated the order granting permission to appeal under section 1292(b); denied the petition for permission to appeal under that statute; and remanded for further proceedings. View "Nice v. L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants after a Navy aircraft crashed during a training exercise, killing her husband and everyone else on board. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's denial of their motion to dismiss. The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court's order was not "final" under the collateral order doctrine where the court could not engage in an individualized jurisdictional inquiry to determine whether a decision fits into the small category of collateral order decisions. In this case, defendants' argument that an immediate appeal was necessary to stop a jury from second-guessing the Navy's decisions turned on the Navy's choice of the aircraft, selection of the mission speed and altitude, and instructions in the training manual, all of which were facts peculiar to this case. The court also held that it could not exercise jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1292(b) because the court would be required to decide whether the district court properly applied settled political question doctrine principles to the facts or evidence of this particular case. Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeals; vacated the order granting permission to appeal under section 1292(b); denied the petition for permission to appeal under that statute; and remanded for further proceedings. View "Nice v. L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's grant of the Board's motion to dismiss plaintiff's action, which alleged national origin discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in violation of Title VII. The court remanded with instructions to allow plaintiff an opportunity to file an amended complaint, holding that the district court abused its discretion in dismissing plaintiff's case with prejudice because he never clearly indicated that he did not want to amend, and because a more carefully crafted complaint might be able to state a claim. In this case, the deficiencies in plaintiff's complaint might be curable and plaintiff could amend the complaint to name the proper defendant. View "Woldeab v. DeKalb County Board of Education" on Justia Law

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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

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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

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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

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Cita Trust appealed the district court's dismissal of its complaint against Fifth Third Bank in a commercial contract dispute action. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err by dismissing the complaint as untimely and enforcing the contractual one-year limitation period. In this case, the agreement's limitation provision was reasonable, clear, and unambiguous. Furthermore, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Cita leave to amend its complaint, because Cita did not properly move for leave to amend. View "Cita Trust Company AG v. Fifth Third Bank" on Justia Law

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When a litigant files a shotgun pleading, is represented by counsel, and fails to request leave to amend, a district court must sua sponte give him one chance to replead before dismissing his case with prejudice on non-merits shotgun pleading grounds. In the repleading order, the district court should explain how the offending pleading violates the shotgun pleading rule so that the party may properly avoid future shotgun pleadings. Plaintiff appealed the district court's dismissal of his Second Amended Complaint (SAC) with prejudice. In this case, the district court sua sponte gave plaintiff a chance to replead and remedy his shotgun pleading issues. Therefore, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal with prejudice. The court remanded for the limited purpose of clarifying that the dismissal of the state law claims was without prejudice as to refiling in state court. The court affirmed on all other issues. View "Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets" on Justia Law