FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Civil Procedure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Johnson v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, L.L.C.

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Held that a missed deadline for appealing a partial final judgment prevented the appellant from challenging those rulings in a later appeal from the final judgment. Dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, in this lawsuit brought by a homeowner against a lender.
Posted: February 21, 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

Al-Tamimi v. Adelson

(United States DC Circuit) - Revived Palestinian nationals' claims that pro-Israeli Americans engaged in a civil conspiracy to expel all Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by funneling millions of dollars to Jewish settlements there. The defendants contended that the case raised nonjusticiable political questions and should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Disagreeing, the D.C. Circuit reversed a dismissal and remanded for further proceedings.
Posted: February 19, 2019, 8:00 am

U.S. Bank National Association v. Bank of America N.A.

(United States Second Circuit) - Held that a bank's breach-of-contract lawsuit against another bank should not have been dismissed on timeliness grounds. Also addressed choice‐of‐law issues. Remanded for further proceedings.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 8:00 am

Fierro v. Landry's Restaurant Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that the trial court erred in dismissing a proposed wage-hour class action on statute of limitations grounds. The issue involved the so-called death knell doctrine. Reversed a dismissal in relevant part, in an opinion after transfer from the California Supreme Court.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 8:00 am

Meza v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

(Supreme Court of California) - Answered a question certified by the Ninth Circuit regarding hearsay evidence in so-called limited civil cases. Clarified the prerequisites for introducing sworn written statements from witnesses who are not in attendance at trial, under California Code of Civil Procedure sec. 98.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 8:00 am

Korman v. Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed the dismissal of a cruise ship passenger's personal injury complaint against a cruise line company. Held that forum non conveniens applied because of a forum selection clause in the parties' contract.
Posted: February 14, 2019, 8:00 am

Jackson v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that there was no basis to vacate the voluntary dismissal of the plaintiff's discrimination lawsuit, even though California provides a right to relief from a dismissal entered due to the fault of a party's attorney. Affirmed the lower court.
Posted: February 8, 2019, 8:00 am

Welsh v. Correct Care, L.L.C.

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Held that a plaintiff should have been allowed to voluntarily dismiss his lawsuit against the Texas Civil Commitment Office without prejudice; the district court erred in instead dismissing it with prejudice.
Posted: February 7, 2019, 8:00 am

Sunrise Financial, LLC v. Superior Court (Overland Direct, Inc.)

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that defendants did not timely file a motion seeking to disqualify the trial judge based on alleged prejudice against them. Affirmed the denial of the disqualification motion, in this real estate-related litigation.
Posted: February 7, 2019, 8:00 am

Jackson County Bank v. DuSablon

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Dismissed an appeal of a remand order. Also affirmed that the defendant in this employment-related dispute must pay costs and fees for the wrongful removal.
Posted: February 6, 2019, 8:00 am

Rand Resources, LLC v. City of Carson

(Supreme Court of California) - In an opinion that clarifies the scope of the anti-SLAPP statute, the California Supreme Court held that only certain causes of action here arose from protected speech. In the underlying dispute, a developer had sued the City of Carson and another developer in connection with negotiations about the possibility of building a National Football League stadium in the city.
Posted: February 4, 2019, 8:00 am

Jensen v. Jensen

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that California lacked personal jurisdiction over a resident of Utah who was being sued by her sister in a matter involving their elderly mother. Affirmed an order quashing service of a summons.
Posted: January 24, 2019, 8:00 am

Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians v. State of Washington

(United States Ninth Circuit) - Held that no subject matter jurisdiction existed over a Native American tribe's lawsuit against the State of Washington. Concluded that the tribe had improperly tried to "engineer" federal jurisdiction over what was a state law dispute. Reversed a summary judgment ruling in favor of the tribe in a case involving liability for landslide damage.
Posted: January 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Jayone Foods v. Aekyung Industrial Co. Ltd.

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a Korean manufacturer/distributor of household products was subject to specific personal jurisdiction in California. The company was being sued in connection with a consumer's death allegedly from long-term use of a humidifier cleaning agent. Reversed an order quashing service of summons.
Posted: January 22, 2019, 8:00 am

Dogan v. Comanche Hills Apartments Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that the trial court should have furnished an official court reporter for trial at an indigent plaintiff's request. There was no trial transcript to use on appeal because the plaintiff could not afford the court reporter fees. Reversed and remanded for a new trial in this personal injury/premises liability case; followed Jameson v. Desta (2018) 5 Cal.5th 594.
Posted: January 22, 2019, 8:00 am

May v. Mahone

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Dismissed an appeal because the notice of appeal was not timely filed. The issue was disputed and the lower court had held a hearing on the matter.
Posted: January 18, 2019, 8:00 am

Moss v. Princip

(United States Fifth Circuit) - In a dispute over ownership of a lucrative YouTube channel, held that the district court had subject-matter jurisdiction and did not err in dismissing a nondiverse partnership as dispensable. Also affirmed a judgment entered on a jury verdict.
Posted: January 16, 2019, 8:00 am

Freedom Path, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Held that an organization lacked standing to bring a facial challenge to an Internal Revenue Service test for determining certain tax liabilities. The conservative issue-advocacy organization contended that the test was unconstitutionally vague.
Posted: January 16, 2019, 8:00 am

EOR Energy, LLC v. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Held that an energy company could not proceed with its claim that Illinois environmental regulators lacked jurisdiction over its handling of hazardous‐waste acid that it transported into the state. Affirmed a dismissal based on claim and issue preclusion, among other doctrines.
Posted: January 16, 2019, 8:00 am

Keep Chicago Livable v. City of Chicago

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Remanded for further findings as to whether a citizen group and six individuals had legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of Chicago's recently enacted Shared Housing Ordinance, which regulates home-sharing activities, including services offered by companies like Airbnb.
Posted: January 14, 2019, 8:00 am

Thompson v. Dallas City Attorney's Office

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Held that res judicata barred an employment discrimination lawsuit. The plaintiff could not litigate in federal court after her other claims were dismissed in state court. Affirmed a dismissal.
Posted: January 11, 2019, 8:00 am

Orange County Water District v. The Arnold Engineering Co.

(California Court of Appeal) - Remanded a discovery-related dispute. The issue involved costs of proof under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.420 based on a party's failure to admit requests for admission. Reversed with instructions, in this lawsuit involving liability for groundwater contamination.
Posted: January 10, 2019, 8:00 am

Vantage Health Plan, Inc. v. Willis-Knighton Medical Center

(United States Fifth Circuit) - In a healthcare antitrust case, affirmed a protective order that said certain confidential business documents belonging to a non-party health insurer should be unsealed (but redacted) if and when they are filed on the public docket. The non-party sought stronger confidentiality protections.
Posted: January 9, 2019, 8:00 am

Lee v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed the dismissal of a race discrimination lawsuit brought by employees of a commuter railroad. Held that they failed to remedy deficiencies in their complaint despite having opportunities to amend.
Posted: January 8, 2019, 8:00 am

Berkeley Cement, Inc. v. Regents of the University of California

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that mediation costs fall within the category of costs that may be awarded in the trial court’s discretion. Affirmed an award to the prevailing party in this construction dispute.
Posted: January 7, 2019, 8:00 am

Yu v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed an order voiding a default judgment on procedural grounds. Held that the complaint did not provide adequate notice to sustain a default because it failed to specify the amount of damages that the plaintiff was seeking, and instead merely prayed for "damages according to proof," in this lawsuit related to the construction of a hotel.
Posted: January 4, 2019, 8:00 am

In re Buccaneer Resources LLC

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Held that a fired chief executive officer could sue the company's secured creditor in state court. Affirmed that his tortious interference claim belonged in state court rather than in the company's bankruptcy proceeding.
Posted: January 4, 2019, 8:00 am

Licudine v. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed an order denying prejudgment interest. Held that the plaintiff was not entitled to interest under California Code of Civil Procedure section 998 because her settlement offer was not made in good faith, in this medical malpractice case.
Posted: January 3, 2019, 8:00 am

State of Illinois v. City of Chicago

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Held that a local Fraternal Order of Police lodge could not intervene in the State of Illinois' lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department over its use-of-force policies and practices. Affirmed that the lodge delayed too long before seeking to intervene, so its motion was untimely.
Posted: January 2, 2019, 8:00 am

Simon v. Republic of Hungary

(United States DC Circuit) - Held that 14 Holocaust survivors could proceed with their lawsuit against the Republic of Hungary seeking compensation for the seizure and expropriation of their property during the Holocaust. Reversed the district court, which had dismissed their complaint based on principles of international comity and on grounds of forum non conveniens.
Posted: December 28, 2018, 8:00 am

Drulias v. 1st Century Bancshares, Inc.

(California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed that a proposed shareholder class action could not proceed in a California court. The proper jurisdiction was Delaware because the defendant corporation had adopted a bylaw designating Delaware as the exclusive litigation forum for intra-corporate disputes. The forum selection bylaw was enforceable even though it had been adopted without stockholder consent.
Posted: December 21, 2018, 8:00 am

Gassner v. Stasa

(California Court of Appeal) - Held that a trial court's order awarding costs is appealable when it is made after a voluntary dismissal without prejudice; noted that there is a split of authority on this question.
Posted: December 17, 2018, 8:00 am

Betzner v. Boeing Co.

(United States Seventh Circuit) - Held that a manufacturer of military aircraft that was sued in state court in an asbestos-related personal injury action was entitled to remove the case under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. section 1442(a), based on the assertion of a government contractor defense. Reversed the district court.
Posted: December 14, 2018, 8:00 am

Texas v. Travis County, Texas

(United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed the dismissal on procedural grounds of the State of Texas' lawsuit against the City of Austin and other defendants relating to sanctuary city policies. The suit sought a declaratory judgment upholding the validity of a recently passed Texas statute requiring local governments to cooperate in immigration enforcement matters. Held that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this type of declaratory judgment action.
Posted: December 12, 2018, 8:00 am