Justia U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Aviation

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Plaintiff sued the Richmond International Airport and TSA agents, alleging violations of his constitutional rights when he was seized and arrested for displaying the text of the Fourth Amendment on his chest. The district court denied the TSA agents' motion to dismiss the First Amendment claim and the TSA agents appealed. Because the court found that the facts as alleged by plaintiff plausibly set forth a claim that the TSA agents violated his clearly established First Amendment rights, the court affirmed the district court's decision. View "Tobey v. Jones" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs appealed from the district court's dismissal of their complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. Plaintiffs initiated this proceeding against defendants, challenging the use of advanced imaging technology (AIT) scanners and invasive pat-downs at airport screening checkpoints in the United States. On appeal, plaintiffs maintained that the district court erred in dismissing the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the TSA's standard operating procedures for checkpoint screenings did not constitute an "order" under 49 U.S.C. 46110. Alternatively, plaintiffs argued, that section 46110's conferral of exclusive jurisdiction in a court of appeals deprived them of due process and contravened the separation of powers rooted in the Constitution. The court held that it had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1291; on the merits, the district court did not err in ruling that the Checkpoint Screen SOP constituted an order of the TSA Administrator under section 46110; and plaintiffs' remaining contentions lacked merit. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Blitz v. Napolitano" on Justia Law

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This case arose from the FAA's decision to suspend the airworthiness certification of a helicopter leased by plaintiff for his flight instruction business. Plaintiff brought suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 2671, et seq., alleging that he suffered financial harm as a result of the FAA's negligence in first issuing an airworthiness certificate to the helicopter. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint, finding that the FAA inspector's original certification of the aircraft fell under the discretionary function exception to the FTCA. In view of the fact that the discretionary function exception required the dismissal of plaintiff's action, the court need not reach the government's contention that the misrepresentation exception to the FTCA applied as well. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Holbrook v. United States" on Justia Law