Seventh Circuit Affirms Remand of City’s Royalty Lawsuit Against Video Streaming Services Back to State Court, Based on “Comity Abstention”

In City of Fishers, Indiana v. DIRECTTV, No.20-3478 (7th Cir. July 21, 2021), the Seventh Circuit holds that a suit involving “state taxation of commercial activity” belonged in state court, and should not have been removed to federal court, under the seldom-invoked “comity abstention” doctrine. This action was brought under Indiana’s Indiana Video Service FranchisesContinue reading “Seventh Circuit Affirms Remand of City’s Royalty Lawsuit Against Video Streaming Services Back to State Court, Based on “Comity Abstention””

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of 108-Page Prisoner Complaint for Lack of Clarity Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 8

In Kensu v. Corizon, Inc., No. 21-1083 (6th Cir.July 20, 2021), the Sixth Circuit holds that the district court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing a complaint that it found was “woefully short on specifics,” “frequently connect[ed] back to conditions or complaints already litigated,” and “lack[ed] the substance needed for Defendants to answer andContinue reading “Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of 108-Page Prisoner Complaint for Lack of Clarity Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 8”

Opening a Trap for the Unwary, the Eighth Circuit Holds That the Fourteen-Day Period to File a Fee Petition Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54 Applies to Preliminary Injunctions

In Spirit Lake Tribe  v. Jaeger, No. 20-2142 (8th Cir. July 16, 2021), the Eighth Circuit holds that a fee petition for work performed on a preliminary injunction must be submitted within 14 days of the interlocutory order, rather than waiting until the final judgment, contrary to the Advisory Committee Note’s commentary. “The plaintiffs suedContinue reading “Opening a Trap for the Unwary, the Eighth Circuit Holds That the Fourteen-Day Period to File a Fee Petition Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54 Applies to Preliminary Injunctions”

Fifth Circuit Panel Holds That 28 U.S.C. § 1631 Transfer Can Cure a Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

In Franco v. Mabe Trucking Co., No. 19-30316 (5th Cir. July 8, 2021), the Fifth Circuit joins other circuits that have held that 28 U.S.C. § 1631 can cure defective personal as well as subject-matter jurisdiction. But the panel split on the interaction between § 1631 and Louisiana’s “prescription” (limitations) law. A vehicular accident onContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Panel Holds That 28 U.S.C. § 1631 Transfer Can Cure a Lack of Personal Jurisdiction”

Split Sixth Circuit Panel Adheres to Prior Authority Applying Rooker-Feldman Doctrine to Interlocutory State-Court Order

In RLR Investments, LLC v. City of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., No. 20-6375 (6th Cir. July 13, 2021), a 2-1 panel holds that Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280 (2005) (Exxon), did not abrogate the circuit’s prior caselaw applying the Rooker-Feldman doctrine to state-court interlocutory orders. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine is aContinue reading “Split Sixth Circuit Panel Adheres to Prior Authority Applying Rooker-Feldman Doctrine to Interlocutory State-Court Order”

Judicial Internet Search into Possible Perjury Criticized by Fifth Circuit as “Improper,” But Ultimately Not a Basis for Recusal

In United States v. Brocato, No. 20-40624 (5th Cir. July 9, 2021) (per curiam), the panel affirms denial of a recusal motion, despite “that certain statements of the district court judge were ill-advised and certain actions of her staff were improper.” Defendants, a married couple who ran a lawn service business together, were convicted ofContinue reading “Judicial Internet Search into Possible Perjury Criticized by Fifth Circuit as “Improper,” But Ultimately Not a Basis for Recusal”

Second Circuit Holds That Plaintiff’s Mental Disability Was Not “Excusable Neglect” For Extension Under Fed. R. App. P 4(a)(5)

In Alexander v. Saul, No. 19-3370 (2d Cir. July 8, 2021), the Second Circuit affirms a district court decision holding that plaintiff’s post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and opioid use disorder was not “excusable neglect” to justify an extension of time to file a notice of appeal, in a case where plaintiff failed to keepContinue reading “Second Circuit Holds That Plaintiff’s Mental Disability Was Not “Excusable Neglect” For Extension Under Fed. R. App. P 4(a)(5)”

Creating Split in Circuits, Divided Sixth Circuit Panel Holds That Presenting “Specific Dollar Amount” to Agency in Federal Tort Claims Act Case Is Not a Jurisdictional Requirement

In Copen v. United States, No. 21-2655 (6th Cir. July 6, 2021), a 2-1 panel holds that the requirement under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671–80, that a tort victim first present “the amount of the claim . . . to the federal agency” (id. § 2675(b)) is mandatory, but notContinue reading “Creating Split in Circuits, Divided Sixth Circuit Panel Holds That Presenting “Specific Dollar Amount” to Agency in Federal Tort Claims Act Case Is Not a Jurisdictional Requirement”

Plaintiffs Lack Standing in Suit to Order National Archivist to Publish Equal Rights Amendment, Holds First Circuit

In Equal Means Equal v. Ferriero, No. 20-1802 (1st Cir. June 29, 2021), the First Circuit holds that two orgnaizations and an individual citizen lacked an “injury” for standing in a lawsuit to order the National Archives to record the Equal Rights Amendment as “the duly ratified 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” “The plaintiffsContinue reading “Plaintiffs Lack Standing in Suit to Order National Archivist to Publish Equal Rights Amendment, Holds First Circuit”

Suit by Heir Over Deceased Parent’s Investment Does Not Fall Under Probate Exception to Diversity, Holds Eleventh Circuit

In Fisher v. PNC Bank, N.A., No. 20-10110 (11th Cir. June 29, 2021), the Eleventh Circuit reverses dismissal of a state-law conversion and fraud action, finding that there is diversity jurisdiction and standing. The panel rejects the bank’s argument that the claim, concerning a joint account with an accountholder who died, falls within the probateContinue reading “Suit by Heir Over Deceased Parent’s Investment Does Not Fall Under Probate Exception to Diversity, Holds Eleventh Circuit”