by
After the magistrate judge concluded, on remand, that defendants met the remaining requirements to foreclose on their mortgage under Texas law, the Fifth Circuit reversed and rendered judgment in favor of Deutsche Bank. The court held that the magistrate judge defied a previous mandate and contravened the law of the case doctrine by concluding that the court's prior opinion was clearly erroneous and that failure to correct the error would result in manifest injustice. In this case, the magistrate judge found no impediment to foreclosure other than a supposed defect in the assignment, and any such imperfection did not change the fact that MERS and its successors and assigns were entitled to foreclose on defendants' property. View "Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Burke" on Justia Law

by
Conn Credit filed suit against TF Loan for breach of contract and TF Loan counterclaimed for breach. The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment in favor of Conn, holding that Conn's representations and warranties in Section 8.5 of the Sale Agreement were false because Conn's failure to refund canceled retail service agreement (RSA) accounts violated Section 1304.159(c) of the Texas Occupations Code. Therefore, Conn did not satisfy the condition precedent in Section 10.2, and its claim for breach of contract failed. The court also held that the district court erred as a matter of Texas law by imposing a prejudice requirement on TF Loan; Conn failed to show that anything in the Sale Agreement imposed a materiality requirement on the Section 10.2 condition; Conn failed to show that TF Loan waived the condition precedent in Section 10.2; and Conn's remaining claims failed. Finally, the court held that TF Loan was entitled to repurchase of accounts in the Bulk Sale and Deliveries One and Two with canceled RSAs. View "Conn Credit I, LP v. TF Loanco III, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

by
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Southwest in an action filed by plaintiff under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), alleging claims of interference and retaliation. The court held that the district court correctly determined that plaintiff failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether she provided the required notice to her employer to sustain her FMLA claims. Even if plaintiff had made a prima facie showing for her FMLA interference claim, she was still required, and failed, to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Southwest's proffered nondiscriminatory reason for terminating her employment was merely pretextual. View "DeVoss v. Southwest Airlines Co." on Justia Law

by
On remand from the Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit held that Sessions v. Dimaya, 584 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018), did not affect defendants' convictions for Hobbs Act robbery under 18 U.S.C. 924(c). Therefore, the court affirmed its prior judgment regarding defendants' violations of section 924(c) as predicated on Hobbs Act robbery. The court held that section 924(c)'s residual clause was unconstitutionally vague and thus defendants' convictions and sentences for knowingly using, carrying, or brandishing a firearm to aid and abet conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery must be vacated. The court noted that its decision did not implicate the sentences on the other counts. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for entry of a revised judgment. View "United States v. Davis" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal with prejudice as to relators and without prejudice as to the Government in an action under the False Claims Act (FCA). The court held that the district court did not err by dismissing the Government without prejudice when relators sought to abandon their claims. The court explained that relators acted on purely private interests and the Government, even one that chose not to intervene, should not be bound by that decision, because it was powerless to vindicate the public's interests in other actions that may have a stronger basis or a relator more able to shoulder the burdens of litigation. The court rejected United's remaining claims regarding relators' voluntary dismissal and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion. View "United States ex rel. Vaughn v. United Biologics, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that DBG had discontinued its Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) health plan without notifying him, in violation of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Recovery Act's (COBRA) notice requirements. The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the COBRA claim and held that plaintiff adequately alleged that DBG did not fulfill its notice obligations under COBRA, and that DBG's letter was insufficient to support dismissal of his notice claim. The court held that the district court abused its discretion when it ruled that plaintiff was legally barred from obtaining a penalty award, and remanded the case to the district court to determine whether, in light of the foregoing analysis, to award a civil penalty, and if it did, the amount of such penalty. The court also remanded to the district court for it to determine whether attorneys fees were applicable in this case. View "Hager v. DBG Partners, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: ERISA

by
The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of CFPB's petition to enforce a civil investigative demand (CID) against Public Data. The court held that, pursuant to 12 U.SC. 5562(c)(2), CFPB failed to advise Public Data of the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged violation which was under investigation and the provision of law applicable to such violation. View "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. The Source for Public Data" on Justia Law

by
The Fifth Circuit vacated a certificate of appealability (COA) on two issues and dismissed the appeal. The court held that it had no jurisdiction to issue a COA on an issue in which the district court did not deny a COA. In this case, petitioner did not present to the district court, in any manner identifiable by that court, a claim that he was constructively denied counsel. Therefore, the district court did not consider the Cronic issues and thus the COA was granted without jurisdiction. View "Black v. Davis" on Justia Law

by
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings in a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action brought by plaintiff, alleging that police officers violated his Fourth Amendment rights by forcibly entering his house without a warrant, without his consent, and without reason to believe that any person inside was in imminent danger of harm; and by assaulting and arresting him with excessive force. Although the court found plausible plaintiff's allegations that the officers' warrantless entry into his house violated his Fourth Amendment right, the court could not conclude under the second prong of the qualified immunity analysis, that this right was clearly established under the circumstances of this case at the time of the officers' entry. Therefore, the officers were entitled to qualified immunity. View "Linicomn v. City of Dallas" on Justia Law

by
Texas's special tolling rule in Hughes v. Mahoney & Higgins, 821 S.W.2d 154, 157 (Tex. 1991), which suspends the statute of limitations on legal malpractice claims until completion of the litigation from which they arise, does not extend to actions against public adjusters. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of an action alleging negligence and breach of contract based on defendants' failure to submit proof of loss timely to Fidelity. The court held that plaintiff's claims could not implicate the unique relationship that triggered the bright-line rule from Hughes. The court reasoned that only Texas has the power to say where lawyering ends and adjusting begins, just as its courts have the sole power to decide Hughes's outer bounds. Because Texas law was clear, the court rejected plaintiff's alternative requests for certification of the issue to the Texas Supreme Court. View "Bloom v. Aftermath Public Adjusters, Inc." on Justia Law