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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 action, alleging violation of her constitutional rights when defendants conducted increasingly instrusive body searches. The court held that plaintiff's substantive due process claims were not cognizable with her Fourth Amendment allegations; doctors and nurses were entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiff's claim that they violated her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by detaining her in order to conduct x-ray, pelvic, and rectal exams; because plaintiff did not demonstrate a clearly established right, it follows that her claims for deliberate indifference against the District also failed; the district court did not err by dismissing plaintiff's intentional torts claim against Doctor Solomin; and the district court did not err by declining to grant plaintiff's discovery requests because her claims could not overcome the clearly-established prong of the qualified immunity defense. View "Bustillos v. El Paso County Hospital District" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of habeas relief to a petitioner that was convicted of aggravated rape of a child under the age of thirteen. The court held that clearly established Supreme Court precedent demanded proof that the prosecution made knowing use of perjured testimony to establish a constitutional violation. In this case, the district court found no evidence to suggest that the State, or anyone else, knew that the victim was offering false testimony at trial. Therefore, the Louisiana Supreme Court decision denying relief was neither contrary to, nor involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Supreme Court precedent. View "Pierre v. Vannoy" on Justia Law

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Federal law does not prevent a bona fide shareholder from exercising its right to vote against a bankruptcy petition just because it is also an unsecured creditor. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's dismissal of the bankruptcy petition as unauthorized. The court held that, under these circumstances, the issue of corporate authority to file a bankruptcy petition was left to state law. In this case, the debtor was a Delaware corporation, governed by that state's General Corporation Law, and the court found nothing that would nullify the shareholder's right to vote against the bankruptcy petition. View "Franchise Services of North America, Inc. v. United States Trustee" on Justia Law

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Federal law does not prevent a bona fide shareholder from exercising its right to vote against a bankruptcy petition just because it is also an unsecured creditor. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's dismissal of the bankruptcy petition as unauthorized. The court held that, under these circumstances, the issue of corporate authority to file a bankruptcy petition was left to state law. In this case, the debtor was a Delaware corporation, governed by that state's General Corporation Law, and the court found nothing that would nullify the shareholder's right to vote against the bankruptcy petition. View "Franchise Services of North America, Inc. v. United States Trustee" on Justia Law

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Specific elements from within a television show—as opposed to the title of the show itself—can receive trademark protection. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Viacom on its trademark infringement and unfair competition claims related to the common law trademark of The Krusty Krab. The Krusty Krab is a fictional restaurant in the "SpongeBob SquarePants" animated television series, and IJR took steps to open seafood restaurants using the same name. The court held that The Krusty Krab's key role in "SpongeBob SquarePants" coupled with the consistent use of the mark on licensed products established ownership of the mark because of its immediate recognition as an identifier of the source for goods and services; Viacom's mark has acquired distinctiveness through secondary meaning as a matter of law; and Viacom met its burden by proving that IJR's use of The Krusty Krab created a likelihood of confusion as to source, affiliation, or sponsorship. View "Viacom International, Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Wilmington Trust, holding that the lender was not entitled to foreclosure because it failed to prove that it provided adequate notice of intent to accelerate. The court held that Texas common law imposes notice requirements before acceleration that is clear and unequivocal. In this case, Wilmington Trust failed to meet its burden to show clear and unequivocal notice of intent to accelerate prior to filing suit. View "Wilmington Trust, N.A. v. Rob" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board, filed suit against DISH, seeking an injunction against unilateral changes to employee wages during collective bargaining. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of an injunction in part, holding that the district court did not err in recognizing the nearly 25 percent disparity between union wages and non-union wages; such a basis provided sufficient factual support to survive an abuse of discretion standard of review; and the district court did not abuse its discretion by granting relief under Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act where exceptional circumstances were present. Finally, the court did not evaluate the district court's failure to issue a cease and desist order against other future unilateral changes by DISH. View "Kinard v. Dish Network Corp." on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Axis and grant of Axis's motion to strike an affidavit submitted in support of its motion for summary judgment as untimely. The court held that this case presented no unusual or exceptional circumstances and the district court did not abuse is discretion in striking the affidavit where Hartford did not not seek modification of the scheduling order so that it may apprise the district court of its intent to offer another witness's testimony so as to give Axis an opportunity to depose the witness, nor did Hartford provide any valid justification for its failure to secure the affidavit before all discovery deadlines had passed. The court held that the policy unambiguously provided coverage in this case because the Hartford policy provided liability coverage for any auto and because the CRB Endorsement did not conflict with the liability coverage provision of the policy. Finally, the court declined to take judicial notice of Dana Transport's "admission." View "Bennett v. Hartford Insurance Company of the West" on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Fifth Circuit granted defendant's motions to recall the mandate and for leave to file an out-of-time petition for panel rehearing in light of United States v. Herrold, 883 F.3d 517 (5th Cir. 2018) (en banc). The court held that recalling the mandate was appropriate because Herrold has rendered the court's previous decision affirming defendant's sentence demonstrably wrong; failure to recall the mandate would produce an unwarranted disparity between him and similarly situated defendants in other cases; and defendant demonstrated diligence in asserting his claim. The court also granted the public defender's motion to be reappointed as defendant's counsel on appeal. View "United States v. Montalvo Davila" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Fifth Circuit vacated the jury's verdict in favor of plaintiffs, former employees of Crest, in an action alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court held that the magistrate judge incorrectly placed the burden of proof on Crest as to the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act's applicability, and plaintiffs presented no evidence to meet their burden of proving the weight of the vehicles they operated. In this case, there was no legally cognizable evidence provided by plaintiffs to refute Crest's evidence that the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicles was more than 10,000 pounds and thus the Corrections Act was applicable. View "Carley v. Crest Pumping Technologies, LLC" on Justia Law