Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

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The district court held Early Education in contempt and awarded Rainbow School $60,000, plus attorney's fees and costs, after Early Education violated the terms of a consent judgment and permanent injunction. The Fourth Circuit affirmed and held that the district court did not clearly err in finding multiple violations of the injunction; Early Education's violations harmed the Rainbow School; and the district court did not abuse its discretion by awarding damages and attorney's fees and costs. The court dismissed Early Education's appeal from the order requiring it to undergo an audit based on lack of appellate jurisdiction. The court held that the question of whether Early Education should initially pay for an audit was neither inextricably linked nor a necessary precursor to the issues presented in the appeal from the district court's prior order, which made a determination of contempt and had nothing to do with paying for an audit. View "Rainbow School, Inc. v. Rainbow Early Education Holding LLC" on Justia Law

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The district court held Early Education in contempt and awarded Rainbow School $60,000, plus attorney's fees and costs, after Early Education violated the terms of a consent judgment and permanent injunction. The Fourth Circuit affirmed and held that the district court did not clearly err in finding multiple violations of the injunction; Early Education's violations harmed the Rainbow School; and the district court did not abuse its discretion by awarding damages and attorney's fees and costs. The court dismissed Early Education's appeal from the order requiring it to undergo an audit based on lack of appellate jurisdiction. The court held that the question of whether Early Education should initially pay for an audit was neither inextricably linked nor a necessary precursor to the issues presented in the appeal from the district court's prior order, which made a determination of contempt and had nothing to do with paying for an audit. View "Rainbow School, Inc. v. Rainbow Early Education Holding LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction over plaintiff's appeal from the district court's dismissal with prejudice of her complaint. Like the plaintiff in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, 137 S. Ct. 1703, 1712-15 (2017), plaintiff secured a voluntary dismissal of her complaint in order to seek an immediate appeal from an otherwise interlocutory order. The court found Justice Ginsburg's opinion in Microsoft instructive, where Justice Ginsburg characterized the appeal in that case as arising from a voluntary-dismissal tactic that contravened the final-judgment rule embodied in 28 U.S.C. 1291. In this case, plaintiff also sought to transform an otherwise interlocutory order into a section 1291 final decision. Therefore, the court held that the dismissal order secured by plaintiff was not an appealable final decision under section 1291 and the court lacked appellate jurisdiction. View "Keena v. Groupon, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Plaintiffs filed a putative class action against Saber, alleging that defendants failed to deliver contractually promised care and failed to comply with certain state law requirements. After removal to federal court, the district court granted plaintiffs' motion to remand to state court based on the forum selection clause in plaintiffs' contracts. The Fourth Circuit vacated and remanded for further proceedings and factual development on the question of whether all of the defendants were bound by the forum selection clause contained in the contracts executed by plaintiffs. In this case, although the plain language of the forum selection clause precluded removal, a question remains as to whether all of the defendants were alter egos or otherwise bound by the clause. View "Bartels v. Saber Healthcare Group, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit granted the Government's motion to dismiss defendant's appeal because his appeal was time-barred. The court rejected defendant's argument that the Government was tardy in filing the motion to dismiss and that delay effectively cures any failure to observe the requirements of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure on his part. The court held that the Government's motion to dismiss was timely and thus, the Government's motion to dismiss defendant's untimely appeal should be granted. In this case, defendant did not address the application of Local Rule 27(f) in his briefs and he never identified any prejudice he suffered by virtue of the timing of the Government's motion to dismiss. View "United States v. Hyman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Fourth Circuit granted the Government's motion to dismiss defendant's appeal because his appeal was time-barred. The court rejected defendant's argument that the Government was tardy in filing the motion to dismiss and that delay effectively cures any failure to observe the requirements of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure on his part. The court held that the Government's motion to dismiss was timely and thus, the Government's motion to dismiss defendant's untimely appeal should be granted. In this case, defendant did not address the application of Local Rule 27(f) in his briefs and he never identified any prejudice he suffered by virtue of the timing of the Government's motion to dismiss. View "United States v. Hyman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 135 S. Ct. 547 (2014), did not undermine Palisades Collections LLC v. Shorts, 552 F.3d 327, 331 (4th Cir. 2008). In this case, Home Depot filed a Petition for Permission to Appeal the district court's order remanding to state court. The Fourth Circuit deferred ruling on the petition pending consideration of the merits of the appeal. The court held that the Supreme Court has not called into question Palisades's conclusion that an additional counter-defendant is not entitled to remove under 28 U.S.C. 1441(a) or 1453(b), nor has it abandoned Shamrock Oil’s definition of "defendant" in the class action context. See Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108 (1941). The court held that Palisades applied to Home Depot. The court also held that the district court properly declined to realign the parties and correctly remanded to state court. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. . View "Jackson v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc." on Justia Law

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This appeal arose out of litigation by family members of United States sailors killed in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole against the Republic of Sudan for its alleged support of Al Qaeda. The district court denied Sudan's motion to vacate default judgments entered against it. The Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's order, holding that plaintiffs' method of serving process did not comport with the statutory requirements of 28 U.S.C. 1608(a)(3), and thus the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over Sudan. The court remanded to the district court with instructions to allow Kumar the opportunity to perfect service of process. View "Kumar v. Republic of Sudan" on Justia Law

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Wayne Oliver filed suit in state court against CMC, alleging asbestos exposure claims. CMC filed a third-party complaint against several entities, including GE. GE removed to the district court and the district court granted Oliver's motion to sever his claims and to remand to state court and concomitantly retained jurisdiction over CMC's third-party claims, which the district court stayed. The Fourth Circuit dismissed CMC's appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction, including jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine. View "Campbell-McCormick, Inc. v. Oliver" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Plaintiff filed suit against Wauquiez Boats, alleging claims for breach of maritime contract and for products liability under the general maritime law. The district court dismissed the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for failing adequately to demonstrate admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. However, plaintiff had filed an amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 roughly an hour before the district court filed its order dismissing the case. The Fourth Circuit reasoned that, because the amended complaint remained the operative complaint in the district court and was unaddressed by Wauquiez Boats or the court, the district court's order dismissing the original complaint and denying sanctions was not a final decision under 28 U.S.C. 1291. Accordingly, the court dismissed plaintiff's appeal and Wauquiez Boats' cross-appeal requesting sanctions, for lack of appellate jurisdiction. View "Fawzy v. Wauquiez Boats SNC" on Justia Law