Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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The Fifth Circuit dismissed defendant's appeal of the district court's denial of a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state claim. The court held that Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), did not allow the court to question the credibility of the facts pleaded, which was what defendant wanted the court to do. Rather, Iqbal directed the court to assume the veracity of the well-pleaded factual allegations and to determine whether they plausibly gave rise to an entitlement of relief. Therefore, the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the sufficiency of the pleadings. View "Ramirez v. Escajeda" on Justia Law

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The FDIC brought two enforcement proceedings against the Bank and three of its directors, and subsequently issued a final order penalizing the Bank. The Bank petitioned for review of both orders under 12 U.S.C. 1818(h)(2) and also filed suit in federal district court, alleging various constitutional violations arising out of the same enforcement proceedings. The Fifth Circuit held that the district court correctly dismissed the Bank's lawsuit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court held that the Thunder Basin factors reinforced the district court's conclusion that the review scheme precluded district court jurisdiction over the Bank's claim. In this case, a finding that the review scheme precludes district court jurisdiction would not foreclose all meaningful judicial review of the Bank's constitutional claims; the Bank has not shown that its suit was wholly collateral to the agency proceedings; and the agency expertise factor pointed toward finding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Bank of Louisiana v. FDIC" on Justia Law

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After Brown Sims, a Houston law firm, successfully obtained a favorable result for its client, AJR, the client colluded with the opposing party, CNA and its attorneys, to consummate a settlement just between themselves. After settlement, the district court dismissed the case as moot. The Fifth Circuit held that the district court had subject matter jurisdiction over Brown Sims's claims against CNA. The court also held that Brown Sims met all of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24's criterion for intervention as of right and the district court erred in concluding otherwise. Furthermore, the district court erred in denying the Rule 60(b)(5) and (b)(6) motions. Accordingly, the court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further consideration. View "Adam Joseph Resources v. CNA Metals Limited" on Justia Law

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After Glenn Ford was wrongly convicted of murder and spent 30 years in solitary confinement on death row before being fully exonerated, he filed suit against law enforcement officials alleging suppression of evidence, fabrication of witness statements, withholding of exculpatory evidence, and other violations. The district court denied appellants' Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion for being untimely and denied alternative relief under Rule 7(a). The Fifth Circuit held that it did not have jurisdiction to consider this appeal, because the district court's decision on the Rule 12(b)(6) motion was based on timing rather than a substantive legal disposition regarding qualified immunity. Therefore, the court dismissed the appeal based on lack of appellate jurisdiction. View "Armstrong v. Ashley" on Justia Law

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In an action where plaintiff was exposed to asbestos at the Avondale shipyard and eventually contracted mesothelioma, Avondale removed the action to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1). The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's remand to state court, holding that the court was bound by the series of cases post-dating the 2011 amendment to section 1442(a)(1) that continue to cite Bartel v. Alcoa S.S. Co., Inc., 805 F.3d 169, 172 (5th Cir. 2015), while drawing a distinction for removal purposes between claims for negligence (not removable) and strict liability (removable) under the causal nexus test. Applying the causal nexus test, the court held that plaintiff's claims were the same failure to warn claims that both Zeringue v. Crane Company, 846 F.3d 785, 793 (5th Cir. 2017), and Legendre v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc., 885 F.3d 398, 400 (5th Cir. 2018), held implicated no federal interests, and thus this case did not meet the causal nexus requirement. The court noted that Bartel should be reconsidered en banc, because the court was out of step with Congress and its sister circuits. View "Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this mortgage foreclosure case, the district court rejected all but one claim and entered a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 54(b) judgment allowing an appeal before the final claim was resolved. Thirty days passed without appeal, the district court resolved the final claim and entered final judgment, and then plaintiff appealed the district court's rulings. The Fifth Circuit held that the missed deadline for appealing the Rule 54(b) judgment prevented plaintiff from challenging those rulings in a later appeal from the final judgment. Because plaintiff filed her notice more than thirty days after entry of the Rule 54(d) judgment dismissing the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Acts claims, her appeal of those ruling was untimely. Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeal of the federal claims for lack of jurisdiction and affirmed the judgment in favor of defendants on the state law claim. View "Johnson v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether a jury should hear Xitronix's claim that KLA-Tencor violated the Sherman Act's prohibition of monopolies by obtaining a patent through a fraud on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The Fifth Circuit could not conclude that the Federal Circuit's decision to transfer this case to it was plausible, given the Supreme Court's and Congress's decisions to the contrary. The court held that the case belongs in the Federal Circuit because it presented a standalone Walker Process claim and there are no non-patent theories that would divert it to the Fifth Circuit. The court held that, under any reading of Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251 (2013), the court would deem it implausible that it could decide this appeal. Therefore, the court transferred the case back to the Federal Circuit. View "Xitronix Corp. v. KLA-Tencor Corp." on Justia Law

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The filing of an amended complaint does not revive the plaintiff’s absolute right to dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(i). The Fifth Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's case with prejudice after he attempted to dismiss unilaterally without prejudice. In this case, plaintiff filed a state court action against Correct Care and others, alleging constitutional violations and other wrongs inflicted on him while he was in the custody of the Texas Civil Commitment Office. The court held that plaintiff was entitled to dismissal by notice under Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) without prejudice and without a court order against all defendants other than McLane. Because McLane filed an answer, the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claim against him fell under Rule 41(a)(2), which allowed the court to impose conditions on the dismissal. View "Welsh v. Correct Care, LLC" on Justia Law

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In 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, a barge moored by Lafarge hurtled through a floodwall and unleashed catastrophic flooding in the Lower 9th Ward. Richard T. Seymour represented New Orleans residents, but withdrew from the Barge Litigation in 2011. After the Barge Litigation settled several years later, he moved to intervene in order to pursue his fees and expenses. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision as to intervention of right and dismissed Seymour's appeal for lack of jurisdiction as to permissive intervention. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Seymour's motion to intervene came too late. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying permissive intervention because it was also untimely. View "St. Bernard Parish v. Lafarge North America, Inc." on Justia Law

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Neither sending notice by email nor sending it to a general contractor's lawyer satisfies LA. REV. STAT. 2247's unambiguous requirements that (1) notice be sent by registered or certified mail (2) to the general contractor at any place in Louisiana that it maintains an office. In this case, 84 Lumber filed two sworn statements of claim under the Louisiana Public Works Act (LPWA), alleging that Paschen and J & A failed to pay for its work on those projects. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment and held that 84 Lumber's notice did not comply with the LPWA's notice requirements, and that the evidence established only that the notice was sent but did not establish that it was received. View "84 Lumber Co. v. Continental Casualty Co." on Justia Law