FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Civil Procedure

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

Shalabi v. City of Fontana

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that the statute of limitations did not bar a son from suing over his father being fatally shot by a police officer. The issue here focused on when the son reached the age of majority. Reversed a dismissal.
Posted: May 21, 2019, 8:00 am

Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. US ex rel. Hunt

(United States Supreme Court) - Clarified the statute of limitations in qui tam lawsuits. Justice Thomas delivered the Court's unanimous opinion in this case involving the False Claims Act.
Posted: May 13, 2019, 8:00 am

Thompson v Barr

(United States Second Circuit) - Denied petition for review of decision by Board of Immigration for removal. In denying, the appeals court ruled that second-degree assault under New York Penal Law 120.05 is a crime of violence as defined by 18 U.S.C section 16(a).
Posted: May 13, 2019, 8:00 am

Global Financial Distributors v. Superior Court (Perera)

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a motion to dismiss on grounds of inconvenient forum was timely filed. Granted writ relief, finding that the lower court had misapplied the relevant California statutes.
Posted: May 13, 2019, 8:00 am

Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt

(United States Supreme Court) - Held that a private citizen cannot sue one State in the courts of another. Overruled Nevada v. Hall, 440 U.S. 410 (1979), which had held that a State may grant or deny its sister States sovereign immunity as it chooses. The plaintiff here sought to bring a tort suit against a California state agency in Nevada state court. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the Constitution barred the suit. Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the 5-4 Court.
Posted: May 13, 2019, 8:00 am

Benzemann v Houslander & Assoc. PLLC

(United States Second Circuit) - Plaintiff filed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim against defendants. The trial court granted summary judgment against plaintiff on the grounds that the claim was time barred. The Second Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment against plaintiff stating that an FDCPA violation occurs when an individual is injured by the alleged unlawful conduct. Notice is not required for the statute of limitations to begin to run.
Posted: May 13, 2019, 8:00 am

IQ Dental Supply v Henry Schein, Inc.

(United States Second Circuit) - Plaintiff brought suit against three dental supply distributors alleging that they conspired to violate antitrust laws. The trial court dismissed plaintiff's antitrust claims for lack of standing and tort claims for failure to state a claim. Second circuit affirmed the dismissal of the antitrust claims, but vacated the judgment for the tort claims. The case was remanded back to the district court for further proceedings.
Posted: May 10, 2019, 8:00 am

US v Spectrum Brands

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Seventh Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court when it found defendant violated the Consumer Product Safety Act and entered a permanent injunction.
Posted: May 9, 2019, 8:00 am

Mercury Ins. Co. v Lara

(California Court of Appeal) - Judgment reversed and remanded. Defendant prevailed at an administrative hearing and civil penalties were imposed against Mercury. Mercury filed a writ of mandate, which the trial court granted. Appellate court held that the writ was issued in error, because the trial court did not use the proper standard of review, failed to give the proper presumption of correctness, and failed to place the burden of proof on Mercury.
Posted: May 9, 2019, 8:00 am

Corrinet v Bardy

(California Court of Appeal) - Appellate court reversed judgment that dismissed plaintiff's case for failure to prosecute. The court held that the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing the suit over procedural grounds when there is a fundamental policy favoring trial on the merits over procedural termination.
Posted: May 9, 2019, 8:00 am

Ashmore v. CGI Group Inc.

(United States Second Circuit) - Held that judicial estoppel did not bar a Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower retaliation claim. The issue centered on whether the plaintiff employee had attempted to conceal his whistleblower lawsuit from the court in his bankruptcy proceeding. Vacated a dismissal in relevant part.
Posted: May 8, 2019, 8:00 am

Wojciechowski v. Kohlberg Ventures, LLC

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Held that claim preclusion did not bar employees' claims under the federal WARN Act alleging that they were fired without statutorily required advance notice. Reversed a dismissal, holding that a settlement agreement in a prior case did not preclude their claims.
Posted: May 8, 2019, 8:00 am

FilmOn.com Inc. v. DoubleVerify Inc.

(Supreme Court of California) - Interpreting the state's anti-SLAPP statute, the California Supreme Court addressed whether the commercial nature of a defendant's speech is relevant in determining whether that speech merits protection. Reversing, the high court concluded that the anti-SLAPP statute was inapplicable here to a dispute between two companies over what one said about the other's business practices.
Posted: May 6, 2019, 8:00 am

Government of the Province of Manitoba v. Bernhardt

(United States DC Circuit) - Held that the State of Missouri lacked legal standing to sue the federal government on behalf of its citizens to challenge a federal water supply project that will divert billions of gallons of Missouri River water. The issue involved so-called parens patriae standing. Affirmed a dismissal.
Posted: May 3, 2019, 8:00 am

Media Rights Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Revived a tech company's copyright infringement claims against a competitor. Held that claim preclusion did not bar the company from asserting copyright infringement claims that had accrued after its earlier patent infringement suit against the competitor.
Posted: May 2, 2019, 8:00 am

McFadden v. Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector

(California Court of Appeal) - Dismissed appeals filed by a plaintiff who had been adjudicated a vexatious litigant. This was her fourth lawsuit concerning the city's condemnation and demolition of her house.
Posted: May 1, 2019, 8:00 am

Carter v. City of Alton, Illinois

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Held that a plaintiff should have been given an opportunity to withdraw her voluntary dismissal motion, in a lawsuit against a municipality. Vacated and remanded.
Posted: April 30, 2019, 8:00 am

NTCH-WA, Inc. v. ZTE Corp.

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Held that claim preclusion barred a company from bringing a breach-of-contract lawsuit after having arbitrated similar claims against the defendant's wholly owned subsidiary. Affirmed a dismissal in this diversity case.
Posted: April 25, 2019, 8:00 am

Matlin v. Spin Master Corp.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed the dismissal of a commercial dispute for lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendant companies, which lacked sufficient contacts with Illinois. The case involved an alleged failure to pay royalties to the owners of certain patent rights.
Posted: April 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Du-All Safety, LLC v. Superior Court

(California Court of Appeal) - Plaintiff timely filed it expert disclosure and then sought to file a supplemental disclosure to rebut additional experts disclosed by opposing party. The trial court denied the supplemental disclosure. The appeals court over-ruled the trial court, stating that it had abused its discretion.
Posted: April 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Stennett v. Miller

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a nonmarital biological child lacked standing to sue for the wrongful death of an absentee father who never openly held her out as his own. Affirmed the dismissal of the wrongful-death suit for lack of standing.
Posted: April 12, 2019, 8:00 am

Fasano v. Yu

(United States Second Circuit) - Revived a shareholder lawsuit against a China-based company. Held that the district court erred in analyzing a forum non conveniens issue. Vacated a dismissal and remanded for further proceedings.
Posted: April 12, 2019, 8:00 am

Demarest v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Held that diversity jurisdiction existed over a homeowner's lawsuit stemming from a mortgage foreclosure. The homeowner contended that a trust was a non-diverse party, destroying diversity jurisdiction. However, the Ninth Circuit disagreed, on appeal from a summary judgment ruling.
Posted: April 8, 2019, 8:00 am

Sonoma Media Investments, LLC v. Superior Court (Flater)

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a newspaper's anti-SLAPP motion should have been granted to block a libel suit. The plaintiffs failed to make a prima-facie showing that statements regarding them in a series of articles about campaign contributions were false. Reversed in relevant part.
Posted: April 8, 2019, 8:00 am

West v. Louisville Gas and Electric Co.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Dismissed an appeal because there was an improper attempt to manufacture appellate jurisdiction. To create the appearance of a final judgment, the plaintiff-appellant had conditionally dismissed his claims against one defendant so that he could pursue an appeal against a second defendant. The Seventh Circuit concluded that there was actually no final judgment.
Posted: April 4, 2019, 8:00 am

Workman v. Colichman

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that the defendants filed a frivolous anti-SLAPP motion. Awarded sanctions in this dispute between neighbors involving the sale of a home.
Posted: April 2, 2019, 8:00 am

Rel v. Pacific Bell Mobile Services

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed the dismissal of a proposed consumer class action lawsuit because the plaintiffs had failed to bring the case to trial within five years, as required by the California Code of Civil Procedure. It did not matter that the class claims had been dismissed within five years.
Posted: March 29, 2019, 8:00 am

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Ward

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a lender was entitled to amend its complaint, in a lawsuit against a borrower involving an unrecorded deed of trust. The trial court should have granted leave to amend. Reversed and remanded.
Posted: March 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Long v. Forty Niners Football Co. LLC

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a man who was shot in the parking lot after a professional football game could not proceed with his personal injury claims. His lawsuit against the football team was barred by the statute of limitations. Affirmed a dismissal.
Posted: March 26, 2019, 8:00 am

Republic of Sudan v. Harrison

(United States Supreme Court) - Addressed a question concerning a method of serving civil process on a foreign state. The Republic of Sudan argued that a mailing must be sent directly to the foreign minister's office in the foreign state, not to the foreign state's U.S. embassy. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Sudan's argument in an 8-1 decision. Justice Alito delivered the Court's opinion, in this case arising out of the 2000 bombing of the Navy vessel USS Cole.
Posted: March 26, 2019, 8:00 am

Whyenlee Industries Ltd. v. Superior Court (Huang)

(California Court of Appeal) - Refused to quash service of a summons on a company in Hong Kong. The company contended that the service did not adhere to proper Hong Kong procedures and was invalid under international law. Disagreeing, the California Court of Appeal denied writ relief.
Posted: March 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Herrera v. City of Palmdale

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Held that it was proper to abstain from hearing motel owners' claims that city officials violated their rights in shutting down the motel, because the city had brought a public nuisance action in state court. Abstention in the federal case was necessary under Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), with the exception of a claim alleging an unconstitutional search.
Posted: March 20, 2019, 8:00 am

Frank v. Gaos

(United States Supreme Court) - Remanded a class action settlement case for the courts below to address the named plaintiffs' standing to sue, in light of Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, 578 U.S. __ (2016). Issued a per curiam opinion, in this consumer suit against an internet company.
Posted: March 20, 2019, 8:00 am

Jarvis v. Jarvis

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed an order disqualifying an attorney from representing a partnership. The attorney had been hired for this purpose by one of two partners who were embroiled in litigation with each other.
Posted: March 19, 2019, 8:00 am

Richmond Compassionate Care Collective v. 7 Stars Holistic Foundation

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed that defendants who were partly successful in their anti-SLAPP motions were entitled to attorney fees. The case involved a business dispute between medical marijuana collectives.
Posted: March 15, 2019, 8:00 am

GEOMC Co., Ltd. v. Calmare Therapeutics Inc.

(United States Second Circuit) - Clarified the standards for pleading affirmative defenses and granting a motion to strike them, and for presenting and challenging new counterclaims. Affirmed rulings on these procedural matters in a contract dispute between two companies concerning sales of medical devices.
Posted: March 12, 2019, 8:00 am

Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc.

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Held that a former U.S. Navy sailor's personal injury action against a private shipyard could not be removed to federal court. Affirmed a remand order, in this case where the sailor alleged that asbestos exposure while his naval vessel was being refurbished eventually caused him to contract mesothelioma.
Posted: March 11, 2019, 8:00 am

Armstrong v. Ashley

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Dismissed law enforcement officials' interlocutory appeal from a qualified immunity ruling. Held that appellate jurisdiction was lacking under the facts here, in a civil rights case.
Posted: March 11, 2019, 8:00 am

Shrewsbury Management, Inc. v. Superior Court (Boucher)

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a judgment creditor may enforce a subpoena duces tecum against a third party (a bank) seeking information about the debtor's finances, under the facts here. Granted writ relief.
Posted: March 11, 2019, 8:00 am

Anderson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirmed that an insurance company timely removed an insurance coverage case to federal court by filing a notice of removal within the statutory 30-day time limit. The clock began to run only when the insurance company actually received the insured's complaint, not when its statutorily designated agent did.
Posted: March 8, 2019, 8:00 am

Greenhill v. Vartanian

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Held that a man was time-barred from claiming that another man stole his vintage airplane from an airport hangar. Affirmed a declaratory judgment ruling.
Posted: March 8, 2019, 8:00 am

In re Marriage of Wong

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a party had appealed nonappealable orders. Dismissed the appeal, in relevant part, in a dispute between the first and second wives of a deceased man regarding ownership of certain assets.
Posted: March 7, 2019, 8:00 am

Sass v. Cohen

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a default judgment was void to the extent that it exceeded the amount demanded in the operative complaint. It did not matter that the plaintiff had sought an accounting or valuation of assets. Vacated and remanded, in a breach-of-contract case.
Posted: March 7, 2019, 8:00 am

Sweetwater Union High School District v. Gilbane Building Co.

(Supreme Court of California) - Clarified the type of evidence a court may consider in ruling on a pretrial anti-SLAPP motion in determining a plaintiff's probability of success. Held that at the second stage of an anti-SLAPP hearing, the court may consider affidavits, declarations and their equivalents if it is reasonably possible that the proffered evidence set out in those statements will be admissible at trial.
Posted: February 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Laker v. Board of Trustees of the California State University

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a university had made a sufficient showing on its anti-SLAPP motion. The motion sought to strike a professor's claim that he was defamed in a series of internal investigations conducted by the university. Reversed the denial of the university's anti-SLAPP motion in relevant part.
Posted: February 28, 2019, 8:00 am

Jam v. International Finance Corp.

(United States Supreme Court) - Held that an international organization did not have as much immunity from lawsuits as it contended it did. The U.S.-headquartered organization was being sued in connection with its financing of a development project in India that allegedly created damaging pollution. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the organization's immunity was the same as foreign governments enjoy today under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, in a 7-1 decision interpreting the International Organizations Immunities Act. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the Court's opinion. Justice Kavanaugh took no part in the decision.
Posted: February 27, 2019, 8:00 am

Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert

(United States Supreme Court) - Held that the federal rule governing appeals from orders granting or denying class certification is not subject to equitable tolling. The plaintiff contended that his failure to comply with the 14-day limit specified in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) should be tolled, because he had acted reasonably in the particular circumstances here. Disagreeing, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the time limit for appealing class certification rulings cannot be equitably tolled. Justice Sotomayor wrote the unanimous opinion.
Posted: February 26, 2019, 8:00 am

United Farmers Agents Association Inc. v. Farmers Group Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a professional trade association whose members are insurance agents was not entitled to declaratory relief in its action challenging certain insurance company practices affecting the agents. Also addressed the issue of associational legal standing. Affirmed a bench trial decision.
Posted: February 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Ceara v. Deacon

(United States Second Circuit) - Held that a state inmate could proceed with his claims that a prison corrections officer assaulted him. The civil rights lawsuit was timely because an amendment to correctly identify the officer's name related back to the original complaint. Reversed a summary judgment ruling and remanded.
Posted: February 21, 2019, 8:00 am

Richmond Compassionate Care Collective v. 7 Stars Holistic Foundation Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed the denial of an anti-SLAPP motion, in a lawsuit accusing certain organizations and individuals of attempting to restrain trade and monopolize a city's medical marijuana market.
Posted: February 21, 2019, 8:00 am