U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

September 2010 Archives

Todorovic v. US Atty. Gen., No. 09-11652

In Todorovic v. US Atty. Gen., No. 09-11652, a petition for review of the denial of petitioner's asylum application, the court granted the petition where the IJ relied impermissibly on stereotypes about homosexuals, stereotypes which tainted the proceedings and prevented the court from conducting a meaningful review of the agency decision.

Leal v. Sec'y., US Dept. of Health & Hum. Servs., No. 09-15727

In Leal v. Sec'y., US Dept. of Health & Hum. Servs., No. 09-15727, an action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) seeking a court order requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to remove a report about plaintiff-physician's alleged misconduct from the National Practitioner Data Bank, the court affirmed judgment for defendant where 1) the consistency between the Hospital's letters and its report to the Data Bank established the report's factual accuracy in the only sense that matters under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act; and 2) "imminent danger" was not required before a summary suspension is reportable under the Act.

Abel v. S. Shuttle Servs., Inc., No. 10-10659

In Abel v. S. Shuttle Servs., Inc., No. 10-10659, an action alleging violations of the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act by an airport shuttle driver, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendant where defendant's airport shuttle van drivers fell under the Motor Carrier Act exemption in 29 U.S.C. section 213(b)(1).


Miccosukee Tribe of Indians v. US Army Corps of Eng'rs., No. 09-14194

In Miccosukee Tribe of Indians v. US Army Corps of Eng'rs., No. 09-14194, an action challenging the federal government's plans to replace a mile of the ground-level Tamiami Trail with a bridge to increase the flow of water into Everglades National Park, the court affirmed the dismissal of the action where a spending bill partially repealed the environmental laws that plaintiff was invoking, and thus, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

Asset Forfeiture Case and Capital Habeas Matter

In US v. One 1990 Beechcraft, No. 09-15119, an appeal from a district court decision ordering the forfeiture, under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, of a Beechcraft airplane to which appellant held legal title, the order is affirmed where the district court did not err in drawing credibility determinations and inferences against appellant and in favor of the government and, on that basis, determining that appellant did not meet its burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that it, rather than a third party, exercised any dominion or control at all.

Habeas Petition Regarding Civil Commitment and Other Criminal Matter

In US v. Williams, No. 10-10612, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm where the vehicle stop at issue was justified by the officer's reasonable suspicion, and the resulting search incident to defendant's arrest revealed a hidden gun.

In Grider v. Auburn, No. 09-13261, an action by plaintiffs who owned a bar/restaurant in Auburn, Alabama, against City of Auburn and City employees under state tort law and 42 U.S.C. section 1983 for violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, claiming that the City and its agents filed false bribery charges and selectively enforced regulatory laws in order to harm plaintiffs' business, the court affirmed in part the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity, holding that, absent the offering of funds, there was no bribery and no arguable probable cause for defendant-officer to arrest plaintiff.  However, the court reversed in part on the ground that plaintiffs lacked evidence that the city defendants conspired with the officer to maliciously prosecute plaintiff.

Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Leshin, No. 09-11679

In Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Leshin, No. 09-11679, the Federal Trade Commission's suit against defendants for providing debt consolidation services in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, the court affirmed the district court's judgment holding defendants in contempt for violating a stipulated injunction and ordering defendants to disgorge all fees collected in violation of the injunction, holding that 1) district court did not abuse its discretion by holding the defendants in contempt; 2) district court did not err by holding the counseling center in contempt, by holding defendants individually liable, or by holding the contempt defendants jointly and severally liable; 3) district court did not abuse its discretion by ordering disgorgement as the sanction for contempt or in calculating the amount to be disgorged; 4) district court issued civil contempt sanctions and did not violate the contempt defendants' right to due process; and 5) the provision of the final order of disgorgement that allows the Commission to convert unpaid balance into a money judgment is not ripe for review.


Polycarpe v. E&S Landscaping Serv., Inc., 08-15154

In Polycarpe v. E&S Landscaping Serv., Inc., 08-15154, a case involving consolidated Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) actions claiming that during plaintiffs' employment they worked more than forty hours per week and defendant employers failed to pay them either a federally mandated minimum wage, the court reversed summary judgment for defendants, on the grounds that 1) if a district court, ruling for a defendant, applied the "coming to rest" doctrine -- for instance, by looking at where defendant bought an item instead of where an item was produced, the court must vacate the judgment for the defendant if there was a question about where the "goods" or "materials" were produced or where they moved; and 2) for the purposes of the FLSA's handling clause, an item will count as "materials" if it accords with the definition of "materials" -- tools or other articles necessary for doing or making something -- in the context of its use and if the employer has employees "handling, selling, or otherwise working on" the item for the employer's commercial (not just any) purposes.

Faculty Senate of Fla. Int'l. Univ. v. Winn, No. 08-15647, involved a Supremacy Clause challenge to Florida's restriction on the use of state money for travel by state employees to countries that the federal government listed as "State Sponsors of Terrorism."  The court vacated partial summary judgment and a preliminary injunction in favor of plaintiffs, holding that no federal law said that states could not differentiate among foreign nations when it came to spending for academic travel.