Justia Civil Procedure Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
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The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court order was final and its retention of jurisdiction to review the arbitrator's decision did not destroy the finality of the district court's ruling pertaining to the enforcement of the arbitral summonses. The court also held that the district court's determination that it had ancillary jurisdiction was appropriate. However, the magistrate judge improperly found jurisdiction on two additional grounds: (1) the district court appointed the arbitrator; and (2) the parties agreed to jurisdiction of the district court in their arbitration agreement. The court interpreted the plain meaning of Section 7 as (1) requiring summonsed non-parties to appear in the physical presence of the arbitrator as opposed to a video conference or teleconference; and (2) prohibiting pre-hearing discovery. In this case, the district court abused its discretion in enforcing the arbitral summonses because the court lacked power under Section 7 to order the witnesses to appear at the video conference and provide pre-hearing discovery. The court also held that the district court's order denying CIGNA's motion to enforce the Settlement Agreement and compel an accounting constitutes a post-judgment order that is final and appealable. The district court abused its discretion here by allowing the arbitrator to review the claims that have already been paid. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "Managed Care Advisory Group, LLC v. Cigna Healthcare, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Department of Justice filed suit against the State of Florida, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and 28 C.F.R. 35.130(d). The Department alleged that Florida was failing to meet its obligations under Title II by unnecessarily institutionalizing hundreds of children with disabilities in nursing facilities. The Department also alleged that Florida's Medicaid policies and practices placed other children who have "medically complex" conditions, or who are "medically fragile," at risk of unnecessary institutionalization. The Eleventh Circuit held that the Attorney General has a cause of action to enforce Title II of the ADA. The court held that when Congress chose to designate the "remedies, procedures, and rights" in section 505 of the Rehabilitation Act, which in turn adopted Title VI, as the enforcement provision for Title II of the ADA, Congress created a system of federal enforcement. The court also held that the express statutory language in Title II adopts federal statutes that use a remedial structure based on investigation of complaints, compliance reviews, negotiation to achieve voluntary compliance, and ultimately enforcement through "any other means authorized by law" in the event of noncompliance. Therefore, courts have routinely concluded that Congress's decision to utilize the same enforcement mechanism for Title II as the Rehabilitation Act, and therefore Title VI, demonstrates that the Attorney General has the authority to act "by any other means authorized by law" to enforce Title II, including initiating a civil action. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's judgment and remanded. View "United States v. State of Florida" on Justia Law

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The Developers filed suit against Red Mortgage in Georgia state court, asserting various state law causes of action, including breach of contract, fraud, and violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The complaint essentially alleged that defendants intentionally and deceptively persuaded the Developers to accept high interest rates, not because they were the best market rates available, but instead to secretly pad their compensation and associated profits. Defendants removed to federal court and the Developers moved to remand to state court. The district court held that the forum selection clause in the loan documents bound both Red Mortgage and the Developers to litigate the Developers' claims in Georgia state court. The Eleventh Circuit dismissed the appeal of the remand order and held that the district court colorably characterized the basis for its remand order as a lack of unanimous consent to removal, and therefore 28 U.S.C. 1447(d) precludes the court from reviewing that order. View "Overlook Gardens Properties, LLC v. Orix USA, LP" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a pro se action against MDT under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The district court concluded that MDT could not be sued in Florida and offered to allow plaintiff to amend his complaint to substitute the County in MDT's place, but plaintiff declined. The Eleventh Circuit held that MDT was the wrong party and the court could not now sub in the County on appeal. The court held that any further amendment of the complaint would be futile because plaintiff did not otherwise state a claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal. View "Silberman v. Miami Dade Transit" on Justia Law

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Four Colombian Departments filed an ex parte joint application under 28 U.S.C. 1782 to obtain discovery in aid of a foreign proceeding. Diageo intervened and appealed the district court's grant of the section 1782 application as to two of the departments. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of the ex parte joint application and held that the district court correctly decided the so-called "receptivity" factor by looking to evidence introduced by both sides and by granting the application of two of the departments. View "Department of Caldas v. Diageo PLC" on Justia Law

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Flat Creek filed suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had unfairly targeted it for compliance reviews and used an unsound methodology in doing so. The district court concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint, but held that Flat Creek failed to establish the requisite standing to sue under Article III. In this case, Flat Creek has shown neither concreteness nor imminence. View "Flat Creek Transportation, LLC v. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration" on Justia Law

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Fresh Results, an American company, filed suit against ASF Holland, a Dutch company, in the Southern District of Florida, alleging that ASF Holland had falsified inspection reports and fraudulently deflated the price of the shipment of blueberries. The Eleventh Circuit vacated the district court's grant of ASF Holland's motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the Netherlands was a more convenient forum. The court held that the district court abused its discretion when it dismissed the complaint for forum non conveniens because it failed to consider all relevant public factors for each forum after determining that the private factors for the litigants were not in equipoise. Furthermore, the district court must correct two errors when it reweighs the private factors on remand. First, the district court must reconsider the factor of relative ease of access to sources of proof; and second, the district court was distracted by a red herring when it reasoned that the enforceability of a possible judgment favored dismissal because no treaty exists between the United States and the Netherlands that governs the reciprocal enforcement of judgments. View "Fresh Results, LLC v. ASF Holland, B.V." on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit dismissed this insurance dispute case, holding that Gerber, as assignee of the insured, did not have standing to bring a declaratory judgment class action against GEICO. In this case, the action did not assert any claims for money damages and there was no substantial likelihood that the insured would suffer a future injury. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded with instructions to dismiss the complaint for lack of standing. View "A&M Gerber Chiropractic LLC v. Geico General Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment based on its finding that Kroma EU lacked standing to enforce the KROMA trademark. By Lee Tillett, Inc. was the owner and registrant of the mark and had the rights to use the KROMA mark in the United States. Some time after Tillett granted an exclusive license to Kroma EU, defendants (the Kardashian sisters) endorsed a cosmetic line called "Khroma Beauty," that was sold and manufactured by Boldface. The California district court subsequently granted Tillett's motion for a preliminary injunction against Boldface, finding that Tillett had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the trademark infringement claim. On appeal here, the court adopted the position taken by the district courts in this circuit and held that a licensee's right to sue to protect the mark largely depends on the rights granted to the licensee in the licensing agreement. The court held that the licensing agreement at issue did not give Kroma EU sufficient rights in the name to sue under the Lanham Act. In this case, the plain language of the licensing agreement demonstrated that the parties' intent was for Tillett to retain all ownership and enforcement rights; the agreement plainly authorized Tillett to file suit against infringers; and Kroma EU was limited in its available recourse. View "Kroma Makeup EU, LLC v. Boldface Licensing + Branding, Inc." on Justia Law

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This case arose from plaintiff's petition of the Middle District of Georgia for an order unsealing the grand jury transcripts regarding the 1946 Moore's Ford Lynching in Walton County, Georgia. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of plaintiff's request to unseal the documents, holding that the facts in this case constituted exceptional circumstances that allowed the district court to employ its inherent authority to disclose grand jury records outside the confines of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(e). In this case, the district court did not err in holding that the interest in disclosure outweighed the interest in continued secrecy, especially in light of the historic importance of an event of exceptional historical significance. Therefore, the district court did not abuse its substantial discretion in ordering the release of the grand jury transcripts. View "Pitch v. United States" on Justia Law