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


TSA Agents Not Liable for Assaults, False Arrests

You know that feeling you get when airport screeners pat you down or invade your luggage?

Well, maybe not you in particular, but those other guys who get treated like suspected bombers when they're just having a bad day. It's not funny when people get singled out by security for no good reason.

Unfortunately, it's going to get worse because a federal appeals court said airport screeners are immune from liability for assaults, false arrests and other intentional abuses. Let's just hope they get the real bad guys.

No Constitutional Right to Cash Money Bail, 3rd Circuit Rules

The Constitution does not guarantee the right to bail. That's not news, and the Eighth Amendment explains it.

The Constitution does not guarantee the right to cash-money bail, either. That is news and probably requires some explanation.

In Holland v. Rosen, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals said a criminal defendant has no federal right to deposit money or to obtain a corporate surety to ensure future appearance in court. It confirmed what lawmakers had been saying in New Jersey for years.

3rd Circuit Cites #MeToo 'Firestorm' in Reviving Sex Harassment Claim

Thomas Yadlosky was a hugger, to say the least.

According to allegations in Minarsky v. Susquehanna County, he was also a sexual harasser at work. He allegedly sent Sheri Marinsky sexually explicit email, tried to kiss her on the lips, and embraced her from behind.

She wanted none of it, but didn't complain to her employer. The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in her favor, said it's about #MeToo time.

Convicted Rapist Gets Hearing on Bias Based on Old Email

A convicted rapist will get a hearing to see if his case was improperly transferred due to bias, a state appeals court said.

Tito Rivera was sentenced to 80 to 160 years in prison for robbing five men and raping a woman in 2008. But in Rivera v. Sci, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals said he deserves another hearing.

The appeals panel said a trial judge erred by not allowing Rivera to present evidence of bias. According to reports, the rape victim's uncle requested the transfer to the sentencing judge.

Senator Blasts Third Circuit Nominee on Social Media

If tweetstorms are real, then judicial nominee David Porter must feel like a lightning rod in the twitterverse right now.

Sen. Bob Casey fired off a series of Twitter attacks at Porter, who is a nominee for the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Porter is a Pennsylvania attorney like Casey, but they are clearly on opposing political sides.

Porter barely made it out of a Senate judiciary committee, and now Casey aims to take him down before the confirmation hearing. With a 280-character limit, however, it might be too little too late.

Court Upholds Pennsylvania School's Transgender Bathroom Policy

Some decisions are easy -- even the tough ones.

In Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, a federal appeals court upheld a school district's transgender bathroom policy. It means that high school students may go to bathrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identity.

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals made short work of the decision. The judges summed it up in three paragraphs.

Mother Gets More Attorney's Fees in School Disabilty Case

Due to an educational disability, Rena Castrovillo asked the Colonial School District to place her daughter in private school.

District officials were unwilling, at first, so the mother filed for an administrative hearing. Before the hearing, however, they offered to make the placement.

The problem was, they weren't going to pay her attorney's fees. In Rena C. v. Colonial School District, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals said that was a mistake.

Court Ponders Navy Water Pollution

For decades, an aircraft carrier would dump about 410,000 gallons of human waste into the ocean every day.

Multiply that by 10 aircraft carriers, and you have a whole lot of ship waste. But that's not the real problem in Giovanni v. United States Department of Navy.

The plaintiffs just want the government to pay for medical monitoring of drinking water that the Navy contaminated over the years. The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals is chewing on it.

According to a judge out of Pennsylvania's federal Eastern District Court, UberBlack drivers are not employees under the FLSA, nor under Pennsylvania's state laws.

The ruling granting Uber's motion for summary judgment is the first of its kind in holding that under federal law, Uber drivers are independent contractors and not employees. Although the court acknowledged other holdings contrary to their own, it found that Uber's model did not fit the employer/employee mold as we know it today. The court explained:

Court Hears 'Empire' TV Copyright Case

Maybe Martin Luther King, Jr. could help her win the case, attorney Mary Bogan thought.

The nation had recently celebrated the life of the great civil rights leader, and his words were still in the air. "The time is always right to do the right thing," Bogan quoted to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Nice speech, but not really relevant? According to reports, Bogan's argument over the "Empire" show might have been a little awkward.