U.S. Third Circuit - FindLaw

U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


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3rd Circuit: Gov't Can't Treat K-4 Visas Like Tourist Visas

The Third Circuit took steps in a recent case to close an incongruous loophole in immigration law that leads to certain K-4 visa holders being removed wrongly. It reversed a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision that earlier found that a young Chinese woman could not change her status to become a permanent United States resident.

The law as it has been generally applied, said the court, "contravenes congressional intent."

Abortion Clinic 'Buffer Zone' Case Revived by 3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit has revived a controversial buffer zone free speech case that challenged Pittsburgh's local ordinance establishing a 15-foot zone around abortion clinics. The zone was created to provide easier access for patients seeking to enter clinics without being verbally accosted by protesters and pro-life advocates.

It was not even a close call as the circuit voted 3-0, saying that protesters had a valid cause of action to pursue a suit against the city on theories that their free speech rights were violated under the Constitution.

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Does Old, Converted Housing Have to Comply With Fair Housing Act?

It's a fair question that deserves to be asked: does old but converted housing have to comply with the Fair Housing Act?

No, say federal courts... so long as those converted buildings are built before March 13, 1991.

As a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Michel Davis served for half a year in Iraq and three years in Afghanistan. And while he was fighting abroad, taxes were piling up on his Philadelphia home. Eventually, Davis's home was foreclosed upon, despite his repeated attempts to limit delinquent property taxes and penalties under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act -- requests that were repeatedly denied.

Davis sued, arguing that the denial of relief under SCRA violated his rights. But, the Third Circuit noted last week, Davis's arguments had a fatal flaw: he had transferred his house to his company before leaving for his tours of duty and businesses simply don't qualify as servicemembers under the SCRA.

3rd Cir. Tosses Anti-Trust Suit Against Sanofi-Aventis, Twists Knife

Judge Jane Roth of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in New Jersey soundly dismissed the Eisai v. Sanofi-Aventis anti-competition lawsuit in her court when she denounced every one of the characterizations Eisai had used to describe Sanofi's conduct, reports Reuters. Finally, this thing looks put to bed.

It's a major win for the large pharmaceutical company that will be holding the attention of industry regulars for at least a few weeks.

Prosecutor Misconduct in Murder Case Didn't Render Trial Unfair

Prosecutorial misconduct did not render a murder trial fundamentally unfair according to the Third Circuit, affirming the lower court. What kind of misconduct are we talking about? The misconduct included repeated suggestion that the defendant's freedom would threaten the jurors' safety, the suggestion that the defendant's discarded firearm would endanger children, and repeated showings of images of a bloodied corpse the defendant had shot.

Seven women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault could soon have access to files regarding Cosby's confidential settlement with a prior accuser. A judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Bill Cosby's motion to squash a subpoena for the case files from his suit and settlement with Andrea Constand.

Constand entered into a confidential settlement with Cosby in 2006, but that doesn't mean her case file can be withheld from discovery, Judge Anita Brody ruled.

The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the EPA's Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan last week, letting stand a Third Circuit ruling that the program did not violate the Clean Water Act. In order to address stubborn, persistent agricultural pollution in one of the nation's largest estuaries, the EPA instituted a complex scheme to regulate key pollutants being discharged into the Bay.

Agricultural interests and developers sued, arguing that the cleanup plan went beyond what the Clean Water Act allowed and usurped the powers of the states. Had their arguments been successful, the EPA could have seen its efforts to address stubborn water pollution hampered in a major way.