Justia U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of the United States in this civil forfeiture action. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by striking claimant's claim, because he willfully disobeyed the discovery orders. The court also held that defendant's motions to dismiss and constitutional arguments were moot. View "United States v. Thompson" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's order granting summary judgment to the Commissioner, in an action brought by Farm Wineries seeking a declaration that the Minnesota Farm Wineries Act's in-state requirements violates the dormant Commerce Clause. The court held that the Farm Wineries had Article III standing, because they established an injury in fact by alleging that they were presently injured by the Act because they cannot plan for and expand their businesses. Furthermore, the Farm Wineries' injuries were fairly traceable to the in-state requirement, because the Commissioner has the authority to enforce the Act against the Farm Wineries. Finally, Farm Wineries' injuries can be redressed by a declaratory judgment. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Alexis Bailly Vineyard, Inc. v. Harrington" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1981 against K.C. Live for assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, and malicious prosecution. The district court granted K.C. Live's motion to dismiss after finding the claim was barred by res judicata in light of the state court's prior dismissal with prejudice. The Eighth Circuit affirmed, holding that the suit was barred by res judicata because plaintiff asserted the same cause of action against the same party in federal court that he did in the state court, which had jurisdiction and entered a final judgment. View "Brown v. Kansas City Live, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit dismissed TEI's appeal of the district court's order remanding the case to state court based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction, because the court could not review the merits of the remand order, colorably characterized as based on a lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and it must stand whether erroneous or not. View "Vasseur v. TEI Construction Services, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of CapDev's motion to cancel the lis pendens. The court held that the district court acted within its discretion in canceling the lis pendens as invalid under Missouri law, because the imprecise description of the property at issue did not connect it to any particular request for equitable relief. View "Enterprise Financial Group Inc. v. Podhorn" on Justia Law

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A proceeding in the district court under 8 U.S.C. 1447(b) does not become moot when the USCIS purports to deny a naturalization application after the applicant has already initiated the court proceeding. In this case, after USCIS failed to reach a decision in plaintiff's citizenship application within 120 days, he filed suit under section 1447(b) to seek a decision in the matter. While the action was pending, USCIS denied the application. Looking to the text and context of the statute, the Eighth Circuit held that USCIS's purported denial of plaintiff's naturalization application after he initiated a district court proceeding under section 1447(b) did not render the case moot. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Haroun v. DHS" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's orders requiring it to deposit $21 million in disputed insurance proceeds to maintain its federal statutory interpleader claim and dismissing Ronald Gean and the Estate of Jean Carol Gean for lack of personal jurisdiction in its declaratory judgment claims. The Geans are citizens of Michigan and were injured in an automobile accident in Illinois by a truck operated by Rex, a Missouri company. The court agreed with the district court that subject matter jurisdiction was lacking because Acuity did not deposit the disputed amount into the court's registry. The court rejected Acuity's argument that the district court had personal jurisdiction over the Geans. Rather, the court held that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over the Geans in the remaining declaratory judgment action. View "Acuity v. Rex, LLC" on Justia Law

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MDI, a Minnesota nonprofit organization, and one of its members filed suit under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's motion to dismiss the action based on res judicata grounds, because the action was precluded by the final judgment on the merits in a prior suit by MDI and one of its members. The court explained that the dismissal of the second suit was a product of MDI's decision to assert associational standing claims as a co-plaintiff on behalf of its members in the MDI-Testa suit and then to dismiss its representational claims on the merits. The court noted that the only nonparty individuals bound by these tactics are members of MDI at the time. View "Midwest Disability Initiative v. JANS Enterprises, Inc." on Justia Law

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FedNat, a Florida insurance company, appealed the district court's confirmation of an arbitration award in favor of Federal Mutual, a Minnesota insurance company. The Eighth Circuit vacated the district court's judgment and remanded with instructions to dismiss, holding that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over FedNat. The court held that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over FedNat, because it did not have the minimum contacts with Minnesota necessary for Minnesota to exercise jurisdiction under its long-arm statute. In this case, the choice-of-law provisions specifying that the forum state's laws govern were insufficient on their own to confer personal jurisdiction; the fact that the Co-Existence Agreement affected Federated Mutual in Minnesota did not subject FedNat to personal jurisdiction there; and the court's five-factor test showed that FedNat did not enter a contractual relationship that envisioned continuing and wide-reaching contacts in Minnesota. View "Federated Mutual Insurance Co. v. FedNat Holding Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against defendants as barred by the applicable Arkansas statute of limitations. In this case, plaintiffs possessed enough information in 2004 to put them on notice of any allegedly fraudulent conduct had they exercised any due diligence. Therefore, plaintiffs' tolling argument was without merit and their claims were barred by the three-year statute of limitations. View "Schmidt v. Newland & Associates PLLC" on Justia Law