DC Circuit: January 2011 Archives
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January 2011 Archives

ACLU v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, No. 09-5386

FOIA Request to Department of Defense

In ACLU v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, No. 09-5386, an action in which plaintiff submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency seeking documents related to fourteen "high value" detainees held at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the court affirmed summary judgment for the government where the information withheld by the government was exempt from FOIA disclosure, and the district court did not abuse its discretion by declining to perform in camera review.

 

Flint Hills Resources Alaska, LLC v. FERC, No. 09-1236

Petition for Review of FERC Order

In Flint Hills Resources Alaska, LLC v. FERC, No. 09-1236, a petition for review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's order accepting a proposed adjustment in a method for valuing various types of oil, the court granted the petition where, in a proceeding covered by section 4412(b)(2) of the Motor Carrier Safety Reauthorization Act, the Commission identified its initial order, allowing a carrier-filed adjustment to take effect and setting the matter for hearing, as section 4412(b)(2)'s "first order," and this interpretation was inconsistent with the statute's language and purpose.

In re: Lorazepam & Clorazepate Antitrust Litig., No. 08-5044

Antitrust Drug Price-Fixing Action

In In re: Lorazepam & Clorazepate Antitrust Litig., No. 08-5044, an action claiming that defendants entered into exclusive licensing agreements enabling defendant to raise the prices the insurance companies paid for two prescription anti-anxiety medications, the court vacated judgment for plaintiff where plaintiffs' self-funded customers were required to be counted as parties for diversity of citizenship purposes, and thus the district court needed to examine the issue of its own jurisdiction.

Vatel v. Alliance of Auto. Mfrs., No. 10-7013

Summary Judgment Affirmed in Employment Action

In Vatel v. Alliance of Auto. Mfrs., No. 10-7013, an action claiming that defendant terminated plaintiff because of her race and gender, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendant where plaintiff produced insufficient evidence to undermine her supervisor's explanation that he dismissed plaintiff because they had incompatible styles of work and her performance therefore did not meet his expectations.

 

Capitol Sprinkler Inspection, Inc. v. Guest Serv., Inc., No. 09-7128

Summary Judgment in Claims for Negligence in Connection with Burst Pipe Affirmed

In Capitol Sprinkler Inspection, Inc. v. Guest Serv., Inc., No. 09-7128, third-party claims for negligence and breach of contract in connection with a burst pipe at a building managed by third-party defendant, summary judgment for third-party defendant is affirmed where 1) the alacrity with which defendant staunched the flow of water was relevant only to the measure of damages, not to liability; 2) because plaintiff did not show "good cause," the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying plaintiff's motion for an extension of time; 3) the district court did not err in denying plaintiff's motion to strike defendant's reply brief.

Cape Cod Hosp. v. Sebelius, No. 09-5447

Action Claiming that Medicare Payments Improperly Reduced

In Cape Cod Hosp. v. Sebelius, No. 09-5447, an action contending that the Secretary of Health and Human Services improperly implemented a statutory provision in a way that over the years had progressively reduced Medicare payments for inpatient services, the court vacated summary judgment for defendant where the Secretary failed to provide a reasoned response to the hospitals' comments regarding those rules.

 

US v. Tate, No. 09-3052

Sentence for Cocaine Distribution Affirmed

In US v. Tate, No. 09-3052, the court affirmed defendants' sentences for unlawful distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base where 1) defendant's criminal conduct, as revealed in his record, constituted a "case specific aggravating factor which justifies opposition to variance," and did not warrant the requested variance from the Guidelines; 2) the district court, in reviewing the 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) factors, recognized that it had discretion to vary below the Guidelines range; and 3) the district court's conclusion that defendant's stipulation to the government's factual allegations in the plea proffer was neither candid nor complete was not clearly erroneous and its denial of safety-valve sentencing was properly accorded deference.

US Magnesium, LLC v. EPA, No. 09-1269

Petition for Review of Addition to EPA National Priority List

In US Magnesium, LLC v. EPA, No. 09-1269, a petition for review of the addition of petitioner's magnesium plant to the EPA's National Priorities List, the court denied the petition where the EPA followed the Hazard Ranking System precisely in scoring the air migration pathway and affirmation of the EPA on that first issue resulted in a score above the cutoff for inclusion on the NPL, and thus listing of petitioner's site on the NPL was not arbitrary or capricious.

 

Manin v. NTSB, No. 09-1157

FAA Revocation of License Affirmed

In Manin v. NTSB, No. 09-1157, a petition for review of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) order affirming the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) emergency revocation of his airline transport pilot, flight instructor, flight engineer, and first class airman medical certificates for failure to provide correct information about his criminal history on a series of applications for renewal of his medical certificate, the court granted the petition where the NTSB's decision departed from agency precedent without explanation.

 

Artis v. Bernanke, No. 09-5121

Action Claiming Discrimination by Federal Reserve Board

In Artis v. Bernanke, No. 09-5121, a putative class action by members of a putative class of secretaries employed by the Federal Reserve Board, claiming that the Board systematically discriminated against them on account of their race, the court vacated the dismissal of the complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies where plaintiffs completed informal counseling in a manner sufficient to give the Board an opportunity to investigate their claims.

US v. Old Dominion Boat Club, No. 09-5363

Action by U.S. to Quiet Title

In US v. Old Dominion Boat Club, No. 09-5363, an action by the U.S. to quiet title to certain "filled," i.e., reclaimed, lands lying on the bed of the Potomac River, seeking to secure public access to the Alexandria, Virginia, waterfront, the court granted summary judgment for defendant where, as a riparian owner abutting District of Columbia waters, defendant had the right to lay fill and build wharves.

 

Walpin v. Corp. for Nat'l. & Comm. Servs., No. 10-5221

Mandamus Petition to Restore Petitioner to Inspector General Office

In Walpin v. Corp. for Nat'l. & Comm. Servs., No. 10-5221, petitioner's appeal from the district court's order denying his petition for a writ of mandamus directing that the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS) be directed to restore petitioner as the CNCS Inspector General on the ground that the President did not comply with the requirement of the Inspector General Act that the President give the Congress thirty days' notice of his intent to remove an Inspector General and of the reasons therefor, the court affirmed where the district court correctly dismissed the action because petitioner did not have a "clear and indisputable right to relief" as required for mandamus.

 

City of Idaho Falls v. FERC, No. 09-1120

Petition for Review of FERC Ratemaking

In City of Idaho Falls v. FERC, No. 09-1120, a petition for review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) rental fee schedule to set annual charges for hydropower projects occupying federal land, the court granted the petition where FERC was required to go through notice and comment before it could impose charges according to the revised Forest Service methodology.