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

October 2011 Archives

You Got Served ... Later? 3rd Cir. Interprets the Removal Statute

To remove a lawsuit from state court to federal court under the federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1446 requires a defendant to file a notice of removal within 30 days of being served. The Circuit Courts of Appeals are divided regarding how the removal statute should be applied when multiple defendants are served on different days.

The Fourth and Fifth Circuits subscribe to the first-served rule. The Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits have chosen the later-served rule, giving each defendant 30 days after that defendant is served to remove the case to federal court. The remaining circuits have been silent on the matter.

Billboard Ban to Third Circuit? Mt. Laurel Files Notice of Appeal

Mt. Laurel, New Jersey should have an appellate court ruling on its billboard ban in about six months.

After losing its case in the district court, Interstate Outdoor Advertising (Interstate) in Cherry Hill, NJ announced last week that it has filed a notice of appeal in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pretrial Release Crime Penalties Can Exceed Statutory Maximums

Federal law mandates sentence enhancements for defendants convicted of crimes while on pretrial release from other federal charges.

In a case of first impression, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week considered whether the sentence enhancement law allows a district court to impose a sentence that exceeds the statutory maximum for the underlying crime.

Third Cir. Rejects Jeanes Hospital's Medicare Reimbursement Claim

The Department of Health and Hospitals won an appeal in a Medicare reimbursement challenge in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week.

In an unpublished opinion, the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision denying Jeanes Hospital’s (Jeanes) claim for reimbursement based on depreciation losses incurred as a result of a statutory merger.

Third Circuit Accepting Judge Mary Walrath Reappointment Comments

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is considering the reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath for a new 14-year term. Judge Walrath's current term is set to expire on September 8, 2012.

Judge Walrath is currently the bankruptcy judge for the District of Delaware in Wilmington.

Walrath has gained national attention as the judge overseeing the Washington Mutual bankruptcy proceedings. Judge Walrath, who has twice rejected WaMu's reorganization plans, appointed New Jersey bankruptcy judge Raymond Lyons this week to mediate between the company and its creditors, reports The Washington Post.

Mumia Abu-Jamal to Receive New Sentence for Philly Cop Murder

Mumia Abu-Jamal could finally receive a new sentencing hearing in his 1981 Philadelphia cop murder conviction. In orders issued this morning, the Supreme Court denied Pennsylvania’s writ of certiorari in the case, the state’s last-ditch effort to keep Abu-Jamal’s original death sentence.

Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, was sentenced to death for first-degree murder in the 1981 shooting of Daniel Faulkner, a Philadelphia police officer. The case has bounced through the courts for almost 30 years as judges contemplated whether the jury instructions for Abu-Jamal’s sentencing were flawed.

3rd Circuit Hands Law Students Win in Certificate of Merit Challenge

It’s another victory for law school practice clinics.

Two former Drexel University law students won their appeal before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week. The students, Iwona Rusek and Kristin Shicora, assisted plaintiff Elizabeth Liggon-Redding with her claim that her lawyer had committed legal malpractice while representing her in a medical malpractice claim.

Third Cir. Mulls Timeliness, Qualified Immunity in Governor Claim

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments this week in a Delaware State Police officer’s sex discrimination lawsuit against former Governor Ruth Minner. The court is considering whether the statute of limitations or qualified immunity should prevent the case from proceeding to trial.

Corporal Timothy Shockley, who has served with Delaware State Police (DSP) since 1992, filed a civil rights claim against Minner in 2006, claiming that she blocked his promotion because of his sex.