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

March 2012 Archives

Dixie County Back in Court in Ten Commandments Appeal

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the Dixie County Ten Commandments case Thursday, but the litigants weren't focused on whether or not a 6-ton Ten Commandments model in front of the county courthouse is unconstitutional. Instead, attorneys spent most of their time debating whether an anonymous plaintiff has standing to bring the claim, reports The Associated Press.

Local businessman Joe Anderson, Jr. paid $20,000 for a Ten Commandments monument that was installed on top of the Dixie County courthouse steps. In addition to the actual commandments, the monument includes a large message at the base, which reads, "LOVE GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS."

Contract Includes a Delegation Provision? Get Ready to Arbitrate

We suspect that banks deduct multiple transactions from a customer’s checking account in the order of greatest amount to least amount. If the customer overdrafts, that would maximize the bank’s profits.

In college, we occasionally overdrafted because we were too absent-minded busy to keep a check register; Dad was not pleased. Whenever we received a bank statement, it was obvious that our bank had manipulated same-day withdrawals in the way that would yield the most fees.

Maxine Given sued her bank, M&T Bank Corporation, for similar behavior. Last week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals kicked Given's claim out of court and into arbitration under the terms of the M&T banking agreement delegation provision.

No Sovereign Immunity for State USERRA Violations

State governments can be sued for Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) violations, according to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Atlanta-based appellate court ruled last week that sovereign immunity does not insulate a state from USERRA liability.

Court's Rule 706 Mistake Isn't Reversible Error

Just because a court doesn't know its own power doesn't mean the court committed reversible error.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a district court's lack of familiarity with the specifics of Federal Rule of Evidence 706 wasn't sufficient to reverse the court on summary judgment.

Will Individual Mandate Plaintiff Face Standing Obstacle?

Mary Brown, the lead plaintiff representing business owners in Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, may have a standing problem.

Brown used to own a small auto repair shop in Florida. She didn't have health insurance. She didn't want health insurance. She didn't want the government to tell her that she had to purchase health insurance through the individual mandate, according to the Los Angeles Times. Last year, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Brown, (along with 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business), and ruled that the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional.

DOJ Won't Challenge Eleventh Circuit Decryption Ruling

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that forced decryption is self-incrimination.

The Justice Department must have found the Atlanta-based appellate court’s ruling thoughtful and compelling, because a DOJ spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that the Department will not appeal the ruling, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Eleventh Circuit Blocks More Alabama Immigration Law Provisions

The Alabama immigration law, once regarded as the toughest state immigration law in America, is quickly becoming unenforceable.

After hearing oral arguments on both the Alabama and Georgia laws last week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined two more sections of the Alabama law on Thursday, reports The Huntsville Times.

Eleventh Circuit Won't Consider Motion for Attorney's Fees

Attorneys like to be paid, so it’s understandable that a lawyer would zealously pursue a motion for attorney’s fees. A zealous appellate argument, however, can be premature when there are competing motions for attorney’s fees in a district court.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently noted that it lacked jurisdiction to rule on a fee appeal because a district court hasn’t issued a final ruling on a motion for attorney’s fees.

Court Will Wait to Issue State Immigration Law Opinion

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Georgia and Alabama immigration law appeals yesterday, but the appellate court will not issue an opinion on the laws any time soon.

The presiding judge in the case announced before arguments started that the circuit will wait to rule on the matter until the Supreme Court issues an opinion on Arizona’s immigration law, reports WBRC. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Arizona v. U.S. on April 25, but the Court is unlikely to decide the case before June.