Paul W. Mollica

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In Legg v. Ulster Cnty., No. 17-2861 (2d Cir. Oct. 29, 2020), a Title VII and § 1983 sex harassment case, the Second Circuit holds that even though the district court improperly gave defendants an extension on their deadline to file post-judgment motions, the non-movant forfeited any objection by not raising the issue at the time the extension was granted. The panel thus creates a split with the Eighth Circuit. A plaintiff (Watson) prevailed…
In Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.,  No. 16-16486 (11th Cir. Oct. 28, 2020) (en banc), a 7-3 court (with two absententions) tossed a Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) settlement on the ground that the class representative did not allege a concrete injury from having too much of his credit card number printed on his sales receipt. “FACTA forbids merchants from printing more than the last five digits of the card number (or…
In Banca Pueyo SA v. Lone Star Fund IX (US), No. 20-10049 (5th Cir. Oct. 27, 2020), the Fifth Circuit holds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear an ongoing dispute about the scope of discovery in a proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 1782. “Section 1782 is the most recent version of statutes that for more than 150 years have ‘provide[d] federal-court assistance in gathering evidence for use in foreign tribunals’ …. On receiving a…
In Pool v. City of Houston, No. 19-20828 (5th Cir. Oct. 23, 2020), the Fifth Circuit holds that the district court had subject-matter jurisdiction to consider a constitutional challenge to a petitioning ordinance deemed unconstitutional 20 years earlier and arguably no longer enforced. “It is often said that courts ‘strike down’ laws when ruling them unconstitutional. That’s not quite right …. Courts hold laws unenforceable; they do not erase them …. Many laws that…
In State of California v. EPA, No. 19-17480 (9th Cir. Oct. 22, 2020), the Ninth Circuit holds that the district court abused its discretion by denying the Environmental Protection Agency’s motion for relief from a court-imposed deadline under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5), owing to an intervening change in the regulations. In so holding, the panel marks a departure from ordinary federal equitable principles, holding that a party seeking modification in such circumstances need…
In Priorities USA v. Nessel, No. 20-1931 (6th Cir. Oct. 21, 2020), a 2-1 panel of the Sixth Circuit holds that the Michigan Legislature had standing to seek an emergency stay of a preliminary injunction of state election law when the state’s attorney general refrained from defending it. “Three voter-advocacy organizations challenged” a law “mandating that no one ‘hire a motor vehicle or other conveyance or cause the same to be done, for conveying…
In United States v. Perea, No. 19-2160 (10th Cir. Oct. 20, 2020), the Tenth Circuit holds that a finding of competency to stand trial in a federal criminal trial is not a collateral order subject to interlocutory appeal. Defendant was indicted on nine counts of child pornography. The district court initially found him not competent to stand trial, based on an expert report offered by the defense and the testimony of a Federal Bureau…
In M.D. v. Abbott, No. 19-41015 (5th Cir. Oct. 16, 2020), the Fifth Circuit – while recognizing “the good faith of the district judge in this case” – wrests control over a statewide injunction of Texas’s foster-care system. “Plaintiffs are a certified class of minor children in the permanent managing conservatorship (PMC) of the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. About ten years ago, they brought a series of § 1983 claims alleging that the…
In Dierlam v. Trump, No. 18-20440 (5th Cir. Oct. 15, 2020), the Fifth Circuit holds that the district court was too hasty to judge whether changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) entirely mooted a claim to recover “shared responsibility” payments. In this pro se case, plaintiff sought “retrospective and prospective relief for myriad alleged violations of the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act” relating to the “shared-responsibility” payment (a tax…
In CX Reinsurance Co. Ltd. v. Johnson, No. 19-1516 (4th Cir. Oct. 14, 2020), a confused timeline made it unclear whether defendant filed his attorney’s fee petition on time under the local rules. But because the district court failed to set out the judgment in a “separate document” under Fed. R. Civ. P 58(a), the Fourth Circuit finds that there was no final judgment. Hence the local-rule deadline triggered no earlier than when the…