Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

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Plaintiff, a naturalized U.S. citizen, filed suit against defendants under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and the Federal Torts Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 1346(b), after agents erroneously lodged an immigration detainer against him while he was detained in county jail. After the notice of appeal on the Bivens ruling was filed, however, the district court sanctioned plaintiff for egregious misconduct during that discovery and ultimately dismissed his FTCA claims. Defendants then filed a motion in the Ninth Circuit to consider applying the sanction to plaintiff's remaining claims under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 12.1(b). The panel held that a limited remand was permissible without first moving in the district court under FRCP 62.1 for a targeted "indicative ruling" and, in this case, a limited remand was appropriate in order for the government to move for dismissal of the remaining claims. View "Mendia v. Garcia" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Following Walden v. Fiore, 134 S. Ct. 1115 (2014), the panel held that while a theory of individualized targeting may remain relevant to the minimum contacts inquiry, it will not, on its own, support the exercise of specific jurisdiction, absent compliance with what Walden requires. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of a copyright infringement action based on lack of personal jurisdiction over defendant, a United Kingdom limited company. In this case, the panel applied the "effects" test and held that defendant committed an intentional act, but did not expressly aim its intentional act at the forum state. The panel held that the district court properly declined to exercise jurisdiction over defendant pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2). View "Axiom Foods, Inc. v. Acerchem Int'l, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Midbrook filed suit seeking recognition of an Amsterdam Court of Appeals judgment under Washington's Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act (UFCMJRA). The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Midbrook and denied Holland America's discovery request under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d). The panel held that the commentary and prefatory note to the UFCMJRA demonstrate that under section 4(c)(8), courts ask only whether the party resisting judgment "was denied fundamental fairness in the particular proceedings leading to the foreign-country judgment," not whether the foreign proceedings literally conformed to the requirements of due process under our own Constitution. UFCMJRA 4 cmt. 12. The panel explained that it was not necessary to decide whether process accorded to Midbrook also passed muster under American standards of due process. The panel held that the Dutch courts' treatment of Holland America's discovery requests was a mere "procedural difference" that was insufficient to establish that the Dutch proceedings were fundamentally unfair; Holland America was not denied due process when the Amsterdam Court of Appeal overturned the Alkmaar District Court's factual finding denying the existence of the parties' alleged 1999 settlement agreement; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Holland America's motion for additional discovery. View "Midbrook Flowerbulbs Holland v. Holland America Bulb Farms" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff and his law firm, Morrill & Aronson, filed suit in Arizona district court alleging claims of abuse of process and wrongful institution of civil proceedings. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the action based on no personal jurisdiction over any defendant. In this case, plaintiff and his firm resided, or were located, in Arizona. Defendants were a North Dakota Corporation and its sole shareholder and officer, and a Nevada attorney and law firms. The court held that defendants' actions were not purposefully directed at Arizona, and defendants did not purposefully avail themselves of the benefits of Arizona law. View "Morrill v. Scott Financial Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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California consumers who can seek in California state court an order requiring the manufacturer of an allegedly falsely advertised product to cease the false advertising may also seek such an order in federal court. A consumer's inability to rely in the future upon a representation made on a package, even if the consumer knew or continued to believe the same representation was false in the past, is an ongoing injury that may justify an order barring the false advertising.The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of an action alleging that Kimberly-Clark falsely advertised that four cleansing wipes they manufactured and sold were flushable. The action was filed in state court and then removed to federal court. The panel held that plaintiff plausibly alleged that Kimberly-Clark engaged in false advertising and that she will suffer further harm in the absence of an injunction. Accordingly, the panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Davidson v. Kimberly-Clark Corp." on Justia Law

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Verizon cellular and data subscribers filed a putative class action against Turn, a middle-man for Internet-based advertisements, challenging the company's use of "zombie" cookies. The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for writ of mandamus and vacated the district court's order granting Turn's motion to stay the action and compel arbitration. Applying Bauman v. U. S. Dist. Court, 557 F.2d 650, 654–55 (9th Cir. 1977), the panel held that the majority of the Bauman factors weigh heavily in favor of granting the writ where direct appeal was unavailable; prejudice was not correctable on appeal; and the district court committed clear error by applying New York's equitable estoppel doctrine, rather than California's, and by failing to apply California law correctly. View "Henson v. USDC" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit held that the district court abused its discretion by not staying this federal case in deference to pending state court proceedings under Colo. River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424 U.S. 800, 817-19 (1976). Accordingly, the panel reversed the district court's condemnation order, and remanded for the district court to stay the proceedings. On cross-appeal, the panel affirmed the district court's decision to deny Montanore's motion to determine the validity of the Subject Claims. View "Montanore Minerals Corp. v. Bakie" on Justia Law

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The City of Pomona appealed a jury judgment that SQM was not liable for causing perchlorate contamination in Pomona's water system. The Ninth Circuit held that the district court abused its discretion by limiting the testimony of one of Pomona's experts and failing to make sufficient findings before admitting the testimony of one of SQM's experts. In this case, the record demonstrated that the science of stable isotope analysis evolved significantly during this case's first journey through the appellate system. The panel explained that, by constraining Dr. Sturchio to his 2011 report, the district court abused its discretion. The panel further held that the district court's failure to make any findings regarding the reliability of Dr. Laton's testimony, despite Pomona's Daubert motion, was an abuse of discretion. Therefore, these errors, in combination, were prejudicial. Accordingly, the panel reversed the district court's judgment and remanded for a new trial. View "City of Pomona v. SQM North America Corp." on Justia Law

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After the Blues asserted a lien against plaintiff's putative future settlement proceeds in an ongoing medical negligence action in California state court to satisfy a subrogation clause in a Federal Employee Health Benefit Act (FEHBA) health insurance plan that the Blues administer, plaintiff asked the state court to expunge the lien. The Blues then removed the action to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1). The district court held that the probate exception precluded federal court jurisdiction and remanded. The Ninth Circuit held that it had jurisdiction to review the remand order under 28 U.S.C. 1447(d) and held that the action was properly in federal court. The panel explained that, in administering the FEHBA plan by pursuing subrogation against plaintiff, the Blues "acted under" a federal officer for purposes of the federal officer removal statute, and thus the action was properly removed to federal court. Because neither the probate exception to federal jurisdiction nor the prior exclusive jurisdiction doctrine precludes federal jurisdiction, the panel held that the action should not have been remanded back to state court. View "Goncalves v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Massachusetts" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Ninth Circuit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction relators' appeal of the district court's dismissal of their qui tam suit against UOPX. The panel held that the appeal was untimely because relators' post-judgment motion, although styled as a Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) motion, was in substance a motion only to stay the entry of judgment, which did not toll the time to file a notice of appeal. View "United States ex. rel. Hoggett v. University of Phoenix" on Justia Law