Justia Civil Procedure Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
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After the government removed petitioner from the United Stated, the removal mooted the government's appeal of the district court's order directing the government to release petitioner from immigration detention. The government now moves to dismiss the appeal as moot and requests vacatur of the district court's decisions related to 8 C.F.R. 241.14(d), a regulation that the government had invoked to detain petitioner. Petitioner opposes the government's request for vacatur and separately requests vacatur of the Second Circuit's opinion granting the government's motion for a stay pending appeal.The Second Circuit held that because the district court's decisions related to 8 C.F.R. 241.14(d) could have legal consequences in future litigation between the parties, those decisions should be vacated so that "the rights of all parties are preserved." However, this court's opinion granting the government's motion for a stay pending appeal does not warrant vacatur because it does not have legal consequences for the parties. The court held that a decision concerning a stay is not a final adjudication on the merits of an appeal and lacks preclusive effect. Therefore, the court denied petitioner's motion to vacate this court's opinion granting the government's motion for a stay pending appeal, granted the government's motion to vacate the district court's decisions related to section 241.14(d), dismissed the appeal as moot, and remanded with instructions to dismiss petitioner's challenge to his detention as moot. View "Hassoun v. Searls" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's order denying the Unions' request for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the implementation of three Executive Orders relating to federal labor-management relations. The Orders and Guidances issued by President Trump address collective bargaining, work time for representational activities, and discipline and discharge.After an independent review of the record and relevant case law, the court affirmed for substantially the reasons set forth by the district court in its carefully reasoned December 10, 2019 decision and order. The district court held that (1) it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the Unions' substantive Administrative Procedure Act (APA) claim; and (2) the Unions' procedural APA claim was unlikely to succeed on the merits because the Guidances were not subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking as the Orders were "presumptively legally binding" and the Guidances "did nothing more than summarize the legally binding . . . Orders." View "Service Employees International Union Local 200 v. Trump" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's order adopting the Magistrate Judge's sua sponte order administratively closing plaintiff's civil rights suit against defendants and denying his motion to reconsider. The district court concluded that, because plaintiff had been deported to the Dominican Republic, plaintiff would be unavailable in the United States for depositions, further medical examinations, and trial testimony, and the case should be closed.The Second Circuit held that an administrative closure in such circumstances is a last resort that is appropriate only when all other alternatives are virtually impossible or so impractical as to significantly interfere with the operations of the district court or impose an unreasonable burden on the party opposing the plaintiff's claim. In this case, the court held that numerous alternatives to the issues identified by the district court exist, and none seems virtually impossible or so impractical as to significantly interfere with the operations of the district court or impose an unreasonable burden on the party opposing plaintiff's claim. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's order and remanded for further proceedings. View "Rodriguez v. Gusman" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied a motion brought by unions representing uniformed New York City officers to stay, pending appeal the district court's July 29, 2020 order modifying the district court's July 22, 2020 order such that the order no longer applies to non-party NYCLU. This dispute arose out of the action of the New York legislature repealing section 50-a of the State's Civil Rights Law, which had shielded from public disclosure personnel records of various uniformed officers including police officers. The court stated that the effect of the modification is to permit the NYCLU publicly to disclose information concerning disciplinary records of approximately 81,000 New York City police officers, records alleged to contain unsubstantiated and nonfinal allegations.The court held that the district court properly excluded the NYCLU from the disclosure prohibition under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d)(2)(C) because it was not "in active concert" with a party bound by a TRO or a preliminary injunction. The court explained that the NYCLU could not be "in active concert" with such a party because it lawfully gained access to the information at issue before the July 22 disclosure prohibition was issued against it and obviously could not have known of a prohibition that did not then exist. Therefore, because appellants had no probability of success on the appeal from the July 29 order, the court denied the motion for a stay pending appeal, thereby terminating the emergency stay that a judge of this court had entered pending consideration of the stay motion by a three-judge panel. View "Uniformed Fire Officers Ass'n v. DeBlasio" on Justia Law

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After the district court granted defendants' Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss with prejudice plaintiffs' second amended complaint alleging violations of the federal securities laws and entered judgment for defendants, plaintiffs brought a motion under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) and 60(b) for relief from the judgment and for leave to file a third amended complaint.The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of the motion and held that plaintiffs are not entitled to relief under Rules 59(e) and 60(b). The court held that the district court applied the correct legal standard to plaintiffs' post-judgment motion by considering whether plaintiffs were entitled to relief under Rules 59(e) or 60(b), and committed no abuse of discretion in denying the motion on the grounds that plaintiffs had failed to identify an adequate basis for relief pursuant to those rules. In this case, plaintiffs failed to proffer any newly discovered evidence that would entitle them to relief under Rules 59(e) or 60(b) and, even if the purported newly discovered evidence was indeed new, the result would be the same because amendment would be futile. View "Metzler Investment GmbH v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a petition for discovery pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782(a), seeking discovery from four investment banks related to their work as underwriters in the Tencent Music IPO. Petitioner alleged that he intended to use the documents in his pending CIETAC arbitration against the Ocean Entities and its founder.28 U.S.C. 1782(a) authorizes federal courts to compel the production of materials "for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal" upon "the application of any interested person." In In National Broadcasting Co. v. Bear Stearns & Co., 165 F.3d 184 (2d Cir. 1999) ("NBC"), the court held that the phrase "foreign or international tribunal" does not encompass "arbitral bod[ies] established by private parties."The court held that nothing in the Supreme Court's decision in Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 U.S. 241 (2004), alters its prior conclusion in NBC that section 1782(a) does not extend to private international commercial arbitrations. Furthermore, the arbitration at issue here is a non-covered, private, international commercial arbitration. View "In re: Application and Petition of Hanwei Guo" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit first addressed this matter by affirming in part, vacating in part, and remanding. Defendants then filed petitions for rehearing, which the court denied, and Defendant Bank Markazi filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General ultimately recommended that the petitions for writs of certiorari be denied because both Houses of Congress had passed separate bills that could substantially affect the proper disposition of the case. Congress then enacted the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and the Supreme Court subsequently granted the petitions for certiorari, vacated the prior decision in Peterson II, and remanded to the Second Circuit.The Second Circuit readopted that portion of its now vacated decision in Part B and Part C.1 of the "Discussion" section of Peterson II as the decision of this court. In regard to subpart C.2, the court reinstated only its judgment that the district court prematurely dismissed the amended complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and remanded for the district court to reconsider that question. However, the court did not reinstate its analysis as to whether the common law and Koehler provide the district court with jurisdiction over the extraterritorial asset, directing the district court to address these issues. Finally, the court respectfully directed the Clerk of this Court to return the matter to this panel for further review and adjudication. View "Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran" on Justia Law

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The judgment the Second Circuit entered in its initial opinion in this appeal was vacated by the Supreme Court and remanded for reconsideration. The court reinstated the judgment.Plaintiffs, participants in IBM's employee stock option plain filed suit alleging that the plan's fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss; this court reversed and remanded; and then the Supreme Court granted defendants' petition for certiorari, which presented the question whether a plaintiff can state a duty-of-prudence claim based on generalized allegations that the harm of an inevitable disclosure of an alleged fraud generally increases over time. The Supreme Court also granted the government's motion to participate in oral argument as an amicus curiae in support of neither party, so that it could present the views of the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission. After oral argument, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded, explaining that defendants' and the government's post-certiorari arguments primarily addressed matters that fell beyond the question presented to the Supreme Court, and that had not been raised before this court.The court held that the arguments raised in the supplemental briefs either were previously considered by this court or were not properly raised. To the extent that the arguments were previously considered, the court will not revisit them. To the extent that they were not properly raised, they have been forfeited, and the court declined to entertain them. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's judgment and remanded for further proceedings. View "Jander v. International Business Machines Corp." on Justia Law

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Movant filed suit on behalf of plaintiffs, seeking to recover money owed on defaulted Argentina bonds. In 2006, plaintiffs received a judgment in their favor, which went unpaid until plaintiffs settled their claims with Argentina in 2016, without movant's involvement. Movant then moved to enforce his attorney's lien on the settlement proceeds under New York Judiciary Law 475, which the district court denied.The Second Circuit vacated the district court's order, holding that the district court had jurisdiction over movant's claim against Argentina under the commercial activity exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act. In this case, Argentina's settlement with plaintiffs constitutes an act outside the territory of the United States connected with a commercial activity of Argentina elsewhere, and that act caused direct effect in the United States because it ended in long-running litigation in New York. The court also held that movant's lien on his clients' cause of action attached to the settlement proceeds even though he was not involved in the settlement. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Gleizer v. Republic of Argentina" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit reversed the district court's decision concluding that it had subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) over plaintiffs' suit seeking declaratory relief against Greece. This action stemmed from a dispute between the parties over the ownership of an ancient Greek artifact of a bronze horse figurine.The court held that Greece's claim of ownership over the figurine was not in connection with any commercial activity by Greece outside of the United States. Therefore, the court held that the FSIA does not authorize jurisdiction over this dispute. The court remanded with instructions to dismiss the action. View "Barnet v. Ministry of Culture & Sports of the Hellenic Republic" on Justia Law