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This case was reheard en banc after plaintiff obtained a $2.3 million judgment that was reversed and his claims were dismissed. The court held that plaintiff's Brady v. Maryland claim should have been dismissed as a matter of law on summary judgment because the city should not have been subjected to municipal liability for plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim. The court also declined the invitation to disturb its precedent concerning a defendant's constitutional right to Brady material prior to entering a guilty plea. View "Alvarez v. City of Brownsville" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to LRS in an action filed by plaintiff alleging that she was denied a promotion because of her race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The court held that it was undisputed that plaintiff established a prima facie case of employment discrimination, but LRS asserted a justification that was not pretextual. In this case, there was no evidence in the record of any discrimination in the promotion decision. The court explained that any difference in qualifications between the two candidates did not create a genuine issue of fact that plaintiff was clearly better qualified for the district supervisor position. The choice to value the other candidate's credentials over plaintiff's strengths was within the realm of reasonable business judgments. View "Roberson-King v. Louisiana Workforce Commission" on Justia Law

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Defendants Bernard and Vialva were convicted of capital murder under federal law and sentenced to death. The Fifth Circuit denied a certificate of appealability (COA) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2253(c)(2). The court held that defendants cited unrelated misconduct by the judge and then sought to link this to their substantive attacks on the federal court's previous resolution of a claim on the merits. Therefore, jurists of reason could not debate that the district court was correct to construe petitioners' filings as successive motions under section 2255. View "United States v. Vialva" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of attorneys' fees for plaintiff under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The court held that the hearing officer's decision did not make plaintiff a prevailing party under the IDEA and thus she was not entitled to attorneys' fees. In this case, the officer's decision effected no change to plaintiff's educational plan, which the officer agreed was entirely appropriate despite lacking a prior autism diagnosis. Furthermore, the IDEA focuses, not on a student's diagnostic label, but on whether the student received appropriate education services, which the officer found plaintiff had received from the school district. View "Lauren C. v. Lewisville Independent School District" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's motion to reopen. In this case, petitioner's application for cancellation of removal was denied for reasons that have since become legally infirm. However, petitioner reentered the country illegally rather than challenge his removal from abroad. Petitioner was re-apprehended by immigration authorities more than a decade later. The court held that his original order of removal was not subject to being reopened because he conceded that he had reentered the United States illegally after having been removed. View "Rodriguez-Saragosa v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of petitioner's Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) motion seeking relief from the district court's judgment denying his 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The court held that the district court did not err in determining that the Rule 60(b) motion should be construed as a successive section 2254 petition, requiring authorization from this court prior to filing as set forth in 28 U.S.C. 2244(b)(3). View "Gilkers v. Vannoy" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded the district court's grant of summary judgment to Officers Nathaniel Anderson, Jose Luna, and Venessa Trevino on plaintiff's false-arrest claims and to Luna on the excessive-force claim. The court held that genuine fact issues exist as to the reasonableness of an officer concluding that they had authority to enter the home based on consent. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Trevino on the excessive-force claim, to Luna on the retaliation claim, and to Anderson, Luna, and Trevino on plaintiff's denial-of-medical-treatment claims. The court also affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims against Officers Chris Melton and Thomas Roberson, and failure-to-train claim against the City of Southlake. Finally, the court dismissed plaintiff's appeal of the district court's sealing order based on lack of jurisdiction. View "Westfall v. Luna" on Justia Law

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After an intoxicated driver fled Austin police and knowingly accelerated through a closed city block during the South by Southwest Festival and killed four people, the family of one of the victims filed a wrongful death action against the festival organizers and the City of Austin. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants failed to adequately blockade the street and prevent the ensuing harm. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the action for failure to state a claim under Texas law. The court held that plaintiffs failed to plausibly allege the SXSW defendants controlled the premises where the driver struck the victim. Therefore, the district court properly dismissed the negligence and premises-liability claims against the SXSW defendants for lack of duty. The court held that plaintiffs failed to allege any violation of a codified standard of conduct and thus plaintiffs' negligence per se claim was properly dismissed. The court also held that the district court properly dismissed the implied warranty and public nuisance claim. Finally, the City's immunity was not waived because plaintiffs have failed to state a valid premises claim. View "Smit v. SXSW Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Fifth Circuit dismissed a petition for review challenging a ruling by the Benefits Review Board in a proceeding in which petitioner sought benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). The court held that petitioner received substantial sums from a settlement with and judgment against third parties and that the required notice of the settlement was not given. Therefore, he was not entitled to benefits under the LHWCA. View "Parfait v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed his sentence after pleading guilty to illegal reentry after having been deported. While his appeal was pending, the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. Herrold, 883 F.3d 517, 517 (5th Cir. 2018) (en banc), that a conviction under the same Texas burglary statute was not a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act. In light of Herrold, the government conceded that plaintiff was entitled to a vacated sentence. Therefore, the court vacated and remanded for resentencing. View "United States v. Islas-Saucedo" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law