Thaw v. Moser

Appellant is the non-debtor spouse of debtor. Appellant claimed a homestead exemption in property held jointly with debtor that is subject to a forced sale in debtor's bankruptcy proceedings, contending that the sale is a Fifth Amendment taking and that she is entitled to just compensation. The court held, however, that the forced sale of the property by operation of section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. 363, is not a taking of appellant's homestead where any potential property interest was acquired after the enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), Pub. L. 109-8, 119 Stat. 23-217. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that there was no unconstitutional taking.View "Thaw v. Moser" on Justia Law

Wansley v. MS Dept. of Corrections, et al.

Respondents appealed the district court's grant of habeas relief to petitioner. Petitioner argued that his sentence was not enhanced, and that the denial of a hearing violated state law and therefore deprived him of a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause. Respondents argued that the discretionary nature of Mississippi's parole regime means that there is no liberty interest that gives rise to a federal constitutional issue. The court reversed the judgment of the district court and dismissed the petition, concluding that, any relief petitioner is entitled to under Mississippi law must be obtained in the courts of that state. Whether or not petitioner is entitled to a parole hearing as a matter of Mississippi law, the discretionary nature of the state's parole system ends the federal due process inquiry.View "Wansley v. MS Dept. of Corrections, et al." on Justia Law

Bach, et al. v. Amedisys, Inc., et al.

Plaintiffs filed suit against Amedisys and others, alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. 78u-4(b)(4). Plaintiffs claimed that Amedisys defrauded investors by concealing a Medicare fraud scheme. The district court granted a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) and dismissed the suit with prejudice. Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration but the district court denied the motion. The court concluded that the motion to dismiss should be denied as to the element of loss causation. The district court's application of the "actual fraud" standard to the partial disclosures at issue, and when viewed against the stark results of Amedisys's second quarter of 2010 earnings report, requires reversal and vacating the prior dismissal. View "Bach, et al. v. Amedisys, Inc., et al." on Justia Law

Whole Woman’s Health, et al. v. Lakey, et al.

Plaintiff filed suit seeking declaratory relief and permanent injunctions against the enforcement of two recent amendments to Texas's laws concerning the performing of abortions (H.B. 2). The district court enjoined the admitting privileges requirement and the ambulatory surgical center provision of H.B. 2 as to all abortion facilities. The district court also enjoined other specific applications of H.B. 2. The State appealed and filed an emergency motion to stay the district court's injunctions pending the resolution of their appeal. Because plaintiffs sought only as-applied relief from the admitting privileges requirement for two abortion clinics, the district court acted inappropriately by invalidating the admitting privileges requirement for all abortion clinics in Texas. The district court's facial invalidation of the admitting privileges requirement is directly contrary to this circuit's precedent. The court concluded that the State has shown a likelihood of success regarding whether the ambulatory surgical center provision is unconstitutional on its face where it satisfies rational basis review and plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that the provision will result in insufficient clinic capacity that will impose an undue burden on a large fraction of women. In regard to the district court's injunctions of both requirements as applied to clinics in McAllen and El Paso, the court concluded that the State has met its burden as to each, with the exception of the ambulatory provision as applied to El Paso. Accordingly, the court granted in part, denied in part, and stayed the district court's injunction orders until the final disposition of the appeal.View "Whole Woman's Health, et al. v. Lakey, et al." on Justia Law

United States v. Rodriguez-Salazar

Defendant pleaded guilty of being an alien present in the United States after deportation and conceded that he had been previously convicted of felony theft under Texas Penal Code 31.03(a). On appeal, defendant challenged his sentence enhancement based on the prior conviction. The court concluded that the Texas crime of theft was an aggravated felony where it is in the same category as theft without consent. In either case, the owner denies consent to the wrongdoer who takes or exercises control of property. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence.View "United States v. Rodriguez-Salazar" on Justia Law

United States v. Moreno-Torres

Defendant appealed his conviction after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Defendant's counsel moved on appeal for leave to withdraw and filed a brief and a supplemental brief in accordance with Anders v. California. Because counsel communicated with defendant, in a language defendant understands, the substance of the Anders brief and defendant's rights under Anders, defendant's due process rights were not violated. The court concurred with counsel's assessment that the appeal presented no nonfrivolous issue for appellate review. Accordingly, the court granted counsel's motion for leave to withdraw and excused counsel from further responsibilities herein. The court dismissed the appeal.View "United States v. Moreno-Torres" on Justia Law

Scarlott v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al.

Plaintiff filed suit in Texas state court against Nissan for breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and violation of Texas law. Plaintiff then amended her complaint to add claims against the dealership, a Nissan distributor, and an auto care company (Hurricane). Defendants asserted federal question jurisdiction under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301 et seq., and removed to federal court. Plaintiff raised the issue of subject matter jurisdiction three months after removal. Plaintiff subsequently dismissed her claims against the dealership and distributor. Plaintiff then filed a motion to remand the suit to state court and the district court denied the motion. The court reversed and remanded, concluding that the district court erred by denying plaintiff's motion to remand where it was not facially apparent that her total damages meet the $50,000 jurisdictional threshold.View "Scarlott v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al." on Justia Law

Cedar Lodge Plantation, L.L.C., et al. v. CSHV Fairway View I, L.L.C., et al.

Cedar Lodge filed a proposed class action suit against Fairway Defendants in Louisiana state court and Fairway Defendants removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. 1332(d). Cedar Lodge subsequently amended the complaint to add STS, a Louisiana citizen, as defendant and moved to remand to state court under the local controversy exception to CAFA jurisdiction. The district court remanded. This court then granted the Fairway Defendants permission to appeal the remand order and now hold that the application of the local controversy exception depends on the pleadings at the time the class action is removed, not on an amended complaint filed after removal. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.View "Cedar Lodge Plantation, L.L.C., et al. v. CSHV Fairway View I, L.L.C., et al." on Justia Law

Monkton Ins. Servs., Ltd. v. Ritter

Plaintiff filed a third-party complaint against Butterfield, a Cayman bank organized and regulated under Cayman law and located on the Island of Grand Cayman, alleging that Butterfield breached contracts with Geneva by failing to detect forged signatures on withdrawals from Geneva's bank account. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the dismissal of his claims against Butterfield for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court concluded that exercising specific jurisdiction over Butterfield would be improper because Butterfield has not purposefully availed itself of the benefits and protections of Texas law through minimum contacts related to the cause of action. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of Butterfield's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Further, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion for jurisdictional discovery.View "Monkton Ins. Servs., Ltd. v. Ritter" on Justia Law

RSUI Indemnity Co. v. American States Ins. Co.

The excess insurer filed suit under a theory of subrogation, seeking to recover from the primary insurer the amount that it paid on the insured's behalf to settle excess claims in an underlying lawsuit after the primary insurer had settled its own liability with the underlying plaintiff by paying its policy limit. The district court held that the excess insurer could not maintain the suit because there had been no adjudicated excess judgment against the insured in the underlying case. The court reversed and remanded, holding that no excess judgment is required if the primary insurer's alleged bad faith failure to defend exposed the insured to excess liability and caused the excess settlement.View "RSUI Indemnity Co. v. American States Ins. Co." on Justia Law