FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Civil Procedure

Daily civil procedure case summaries, brought to you by FindLaw.com.

Pena v. Dey

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff. Defendant was allegedly made a beneficiary of a trust by handwritten interlineations by the original settlor and trustee of a certain trust. Plaintiff, the successor trustee, moved for summary judgment asserting the interlineations were not valid. The appeals court concluded that valid amendments must be by written instrument, signed by the settlor, and delivered to the trustee. The interlineations were never signed, so the trust was not effectively amended.
Posted: August 30, 2019, 8:00 am

Daley v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal.

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversed. Plaintiff appealed from judgment that dismissed her medical battery cause of action as time-barred. The appeals court held that the discovery rule applies to medical battery claims under Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 as a matter of law.
Posted: August 30, 2019, 8:00 am

Johnson v. Rimmer

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. The district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of two individual defendants in a Fourteenth Amendment case arising from the self-mutilation of a man held at a medical health complex was upheld. There was insufficient evidence of their culpability.
Posted: August 30, 2019, 8:00 am

Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Dismissed. The Center for Biological Diversity lacked standing to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's issuance of a permit that will lead to increased pollution in the Gulf of Mexico.
Posted: August 30, 2019, 8:00 am

Conservatorship of M.M.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed. M.M. appeals appointment of a conservator under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act on the grounds that his trial did not begin within 25 days of his jury demand. The appeals court held that M.M. forfeited the contention because the delay was due to his own counsel’s requests to accommodate his schedule.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

McClain v. Kissler

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed. Plaintiff filed suit alleging that Defendant failed to pay them for their work growing marijuana as agreed under a contract. Defendant failed to file a responsive pleading. The trial court ordered Plaintiff to take the Defendant’s default by a specified date. The default was taken. Defendant then sought to set-aside the default. The trial court denied relief. The appeals court found no abuse of discretion finding that the Defendant’s failure to respond to the complaint was knowing and deliberate.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

Precision Framing Systems Inc. v. Luzuriaga

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed. Plaintiff performed framing work on a commercial building owned by Defendant. Plaintiff was not paid for his work and filed a mechanic’s lien. Defendant complained of problems with some of the framing and Plaintiff performed repair work. Plaintiff filed this action to foreclose on its mechanic’s lien. The trial court granted Defendant summary judgment ruling that the mechanic’s lien was filed prematurely, before Plaintiff had ceased work. The appeals court agreed.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

Wilson v. Cook County

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. The district court properly dismissed complaint by Cook County residents raising Second Amendment claims challenging a ban on assault rifles because the issue had already been addressed by the court.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

Conservatorship of D.C.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed. D.C. appeals appointment of a conservator under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act on the grounds that she was not advised of her right to a jury trial, was not afforded an evidentiary hearing, was medicated without her consent and had ineffective assistance of counsel. The appeals court found no reversible error, but cautioned the trial court to state its findings as to the factors set out in Riese v. St. Mary’s Hospital & Medical Center (1987) 209 Cal.App.3d 1303.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

Klocke v. University of TX at Arlington

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Reversed and remanded. The Texas Citizens Participation Act does not apply to diversity cases in federal court.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

Cobb v. Aramark Correctional Services

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Reversed and remanded. The act of handing a complaint to a prison official fulfilled the prison mailbox rule regarding the date of filing.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

Romero v. Brown

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Partially affirmed, partially reversed. The removal of children from a home under investigation for abuse did not result in substantive due process violation, but did result in procedural due process rights violation.
Posted: August 29, 2019, 8:00 am

Wilson v. City of Southlake

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. An Americans with Disabilities Act claim should not have been dismissed at the summary judgment phase because there were issues of material fact.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Chaidez v. Ford Motor Company

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. The district court dismissal of a suit for failure to exhaust remedies was vacated because the claims of discrimination had been exhausted before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Broyles v. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Vacated. The district court erred in finding that plaintiffs lacked standing under Delaware law to bring a direct action against investment advisors instead of initiating a derivative action. They only need to plead an arguable position that they were not relegated to derivative actions.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Moore v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversed judgment and reinstated jury verdict in favor of Plaintiff. The trial court granted Defendant, Wells Fargo’s motions including a motion for judgment notwithstanding the jury verdict that found Wells Fargo committed fraud in a Home Affordable Mortgage Program case. The appeals court reversed the rulings and the judgment that it found in favor of Wells Fargo and remanded for further proceedings consistent with appeals court ruling.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Conservatorship of K.P.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed. The County of Los Angeles successfully brought a conservatorship action under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act that allows involuntary detention of persons who are dangerous or gravely disabled due to mental disorder. Conservatee appealed. The appeals court found no reversible error.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Jones v. US

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed. An injury suit under general maritime law failed because causation evidence was scant and the injured party couldn't prove that grease on a ship deck caused him to slip and fall.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

MultiPlan, Inc. v. Holland

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Partially vacated, otherwise affirmed, and remanded. The dismissal of breach of contract claims were vacated, but judgments dismissing civil conspiracy claims and refusal to submit punitive damages claims to a jury were affirmed in a case involving disputes over discounts to charges for physical therapy patients covered by workers' compensation insurance.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Green v. Junious

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. A state court gun possession finding was conclusive as to that factual point in a subsequent federal suit seeking damages for constitutional violations.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Lockett v. Bonson

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. The grant of a defense motion for summary judgement in an Eighth Amendment claim brought by a prisoner against prison nurses he says were deliberately indifferent to his needs as a sickle cell disease sufferer was proper because he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies against one nurse and the record wouldn't support a jury finding on his claim against the other.
Posted: August 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Flores v. Pompeo

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed. A suit arising from the denial of a petition for declaration of citizenship because the applicant failed to demonstrate that they resided in the jurisdiction where they applied was properly dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the Administrative Procedures Act provides an adequate remedy.
Posted: August 27, 2019, 8:00 am

Brock Services LLC v. Rogillo

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed. A company sued a former employee who went to work for a direct competitor. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's grant of a preliminary injunction because there was an employment agreement with a non-compete provision.
Posted: August 27, 2019, 8:00 am

Common Cause Indiana v. Lawson

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. Injunctions against the state preventing it from implementing a plan to purge voter rolls based on third party information rather than directly contacting voters was affirmed because plaintiff organizations established standing and the decision was not an abuse of discretion.
Posted: August 27, 2019, 8:00 am

Bay Point Properties, Inc. v. MS Transportation Co.

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed. The district court properly dismissed a suit brought by a man whose state court award in a Takings Clause suit against state officials was unsatisfying to him. The State was entitled to sovereign immunity.
Posted: August 27, 2019, 8:00 am

Planned Parenthood of Indiana v. Adams

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. A preliminary injunction against enforcement of state laws requiring parental notification in the case of pregnant unemancipated minors seeking abortions was upheld.
Posted: August 27, 2019, 8:00 am

Double Eagle Energy Services v. MarkWest Utica EMG

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. Subject matter jurisdiction is determined when the federal court's jurisdiction is first invoked, so although subsequent changes eliminated the basis for jurisdiction the propriety at the time of filing supported the continuation of the case.
Posted: August 26, 2019, 8:00 am

Valderas v. City of Lubbock

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed. The grant of summary judgment in favor of an officer who used deadly force in an arrest was proper since there weren't issues of material fact regarding the reasonableness. There was no genuine issue of material fact.
Posted: August 26, 2019, 8:00 am

Williams v. Ortiz

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. The district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant correctional employees in a suit brought by a prisoner was proper because the plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and the defendant's didn't provide objectively unreasonable medical care.
Posted: August 26, 2019, 8:00 am

Branom v. Diamond

(California Court of Appeal) - Dismissed appeal. Plaintiff and Defendant agreed to an expedited jury trial process pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 630.01. As part of the expedited process, the parties agree to waive the right to appeal. Plaintiff sought to appeal the amount of the damages award, but by executing the consent to expedited jury trial she voluntarily waived her right to appeal.
Posted: August 23, 2019, 8:00 am

Murray Energy Corp. v. EPA

(United States DC Circuit) - Denied, remanded, and vacated. Challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2015 revisions to the primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards for ozone were denied except with respect to secondary ozone, which was remanded for reconsideration and the grandfathering provision, which was vacated.
Posted: August 23, 2019, 8:00 am

Driveline Systems LLC v. Arctic Cat, Inc.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. The summary judgment in a contract lawsuit over a supply contract for manufactured goods was improper because there were genuine issues of material fact.
Posted: August 23, 2019, 8:00 am

Humane Society of the US v. Perdue

(United States DC Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. A pork farmer's suit alleging that the government unlawfully permitted funds for promoting the pork industry to be used for lobbying instead lacked constitutional standing. There was no evidence of misuse of funds that resulted in an injury in fact.
Posted: August 23, 2019, 8:00 am

Refined Metals Corp. v. NL Industries, Inc.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. A lawsuit relating to who should pay for the cleanup of a contaminated site was dismissed because the limitations period had expired by the time the plaintiff filed suit.
Posted: August 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. v. Friedman

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Reversed and remanded. The district court’s order vacating a registered judgement is reversed, holding that a court need not have personal jurisdiction over a judgment debtor in order to “merely register” a previously obtained judgment.
Posted: August 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Stopthemillenniumhollywood.com v. City of Los Angeles

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed. Plaintiff challenged a trial court ruling that a proposed development failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. The appeals court found that the trial court did not err in concluding that that the project failed to comply with the CEQA requirement of an accurate, stable, and finite project description.
Posted: August 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Rozumalski v. W.F. Baird & Associates, Ltd

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. The district court dismissal of a workplace harassment suit was affirmed because after harassment was reported the company swiftly investigated and fired the harasser. No evidence was presented to support allegations of harassment in the victim's subsequent dismissal.
Posted: August 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Whole Woman's Health Alliance v. Curtis T. Hill, Jr.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Plaintiff, an abortion care provider, sought a license from the State of Indiana to operate a clinic. Plaintiff made two unsuccessful license applications over a two-year period before resorting to the federal courts. The district court granted Plaintiff preliminary relief based on the likelihood that it would be successful at trial. Indiana appealed seeking a stay on the relief. Appellate ordered that Indiana should treat Plaintiff as though it were provisionally licensed while the litigation proceeds.
Posted: August 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Wu v. O'Gara Coach Co., LLC

(California Court of Appeal) - Reversed order disqualifying attorneys. The appeals court held that no evidence had been presented that Plaintiff's attorneys possessed confidential attorney-client privileged information relevant to the suit and that if there was a conflict other lawyers in the law firm could represent Plaintiff.
Posted: August 21, 2019, 8:00 am

Vanzant v. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Reversed. The court reversed the dismissal of a class action consumer fraud and deceptive business case involving cat food labeled prescription cat food that was not materially different from regular cat food. The fraud claim was sufficiently pled and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act's safe harbor didn't apply.
Posted: August 20, 2019, 8:00 am

California Communities Against Toxics v. EPA

(United States DC Circuit) - Dismissed. The Wehrum Memo relating to air quality was not a final agency action, so the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear complaints about its contents.
Posted: August 20, 2019, 8:00 am

Cole v. Hunter

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Partially affirmed, partially reversed. The court determined that a jury, not judges, will resolve competing factual narratives relating to an excessive force claim that will determine whether qualified immunity applies.
Posted: August 20, 2019, 8:00 am

American Bankers Association v. National Credit Union Administration

(United States DC Circuit) - Remanded. A final rule issued by the National Credit Union Administration intended to make it easier for community credit unions to expand their coverage that was opposed by bankers was largely affirmed, but remanded to consider a portion that might impact poor and minority urban residents.
Posted: August 20, 2019, 8:00 am

Municipal Employees' Retirement System of MI v. Pier 1 Imports

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed. Investors who alleged that Pier 1 Imports was a trend-based fashion retailer with inventory that carried a significant markdown risk they failed to disclose were unable to adequately plead scienter.
Posted: August 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Campbell v. Kallas

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Reversed. Prison officials sued for Eighth Amendment violations over their refusal to provide gender reassignment surgery to a prisoner were entitled to qualified immunity because caselaw did not clearly put them on notice their action was unconstitutional.
Posted: August 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients v. City of San Diego

(Supreme Court of California) - Reversed. The City of San Diego authorized medical marijuana dispensaries. It decided that the dispensaries did not constitute a project for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act, so an environmental review was not necessary. Plaintiff challenged the failure to conduct an environmental review. The appeals court agreed with the City’s assessment. The Supreme court ruled that an improper test was applied under Public Resources Code section 21065 to determine whether a review was necessary or not. The case was remanded for further proceedings.
Posted: August 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Gupta v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. A former employee alleging discrimination could be compelled to arbitrate his claims because he didn't opt out of the company's arbitration agreement.
Posted: August 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Moore v. LA Department of Public Safety

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Reversed. The substitution of the guardians of the children of a deceased man discovered a year after the filing of a wrongful death action by his mother was proper despite the substitution occurring after the statutory limitations period. The substitution relates back to the date of the initial complaint.
Posted: August 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Bentley v. AutoZoners, LLC, et al.

(United States Second Circuit) - Affirmed. In appealing an award of summary judgement for the defendants, plaintiff argues she proffered sufficient evidence to raise triable issues of fact in her sex discrimination case. Finding plaintiff’s arguments fail on the merits, the panel affirms.
Posted: August 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Biondo v. Kaledia Health

(United States Second Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. Plaintiff, who is profoundly deaf, appeals from dismissal on summary judgment her claim that a hospital violated the Rehabilitation Act by failing to provide an ASL interpreter. The panel concluded that material issues of fact preclude summary judgment.
Posted: August 19, 2019, 8:00 am