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

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Drivers Get No Love From Court for Toll Road Debts

Toll booth operators have pretty boring jobs, but they might get a jolt out of this federal court decision.

In St. Pierre v. Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals said that unpaid tolls are not debts under federal debt collections law. If that sounds complicated, it comes down to this:

If drivers don't pay their tolls, debt collectors can chase them down with a vengeance.

Like the Second Circuit, the Third Circuit holds a special place in my heart as I spent five years of my life in Philadelphia. And though reading Third Circuit opinions does not sate my appetite for cheese steaks or hoagies, there is never a lack of interesting cases coming out of the Third (yes, I'm looking at you Tenth Circuit and Federal Circuit).

Third Circuit in the News

The Third Circuit made headlines with important cases being decided including a student free speech case that centered on students' right to wear bracelets proclaiming "I Heart Boobies" as part of a breast cancer awareness campaign. Also notable, in a warrantless GPS case (with a circuit split brewing) the court held that officers should have first obtained a warrant before affixing a slap-on GPS tracking device to a car. The warrantless GPS decision is awaiting en banc review, and the school district has voted to petition SCOTUS for review, so these will be a hot issues in 2014 as well.

This case deals with a company going through a world-wide bankruptcy involving multiple nations' courts, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the Third Circuit, and New York law -- confused yet?

We were until we got down to the nitty gritty -- and realized this was a basic Contracts 101 case.

Last week the Third Circuit clarified an area of bankruptcy law that was unclear -- whether a disallowed trade claim in bankruptcy proceedings is also disallowable "in the hands of a subsequent transferee." The Third Circuit held that it was.

The Third Circuit recently decided a case that now results in a circuit split with two circuits on each side of the issue. With so many circuit splits heading to the Supreme Court, this case has us wondering whether it will be one of them.

Ah, the Real Housewives of New Jersey, the guiltiest of our reality TV pleasures. Some of TV's most memorable moments came from that show. How can you forget Teresa's "prostitution whore" table-flipping incident? Or, her all-cash furniture purchases for her new, gaudy mansion? Or, her sibling jealousy rivalry, with her sister-in-law? Need we say more?

Well, s*#t just got real for Teresa, and her husband, Joe. And since this is a Third Circuit blog, let's sit down at the federal charges table and see what the goverment is dishing up.

SCOTUS Ruling Contrary to 3rd Cir. Credit Bidding Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in last week on a bankruptcy issue that had come up in a 2010 Third Circuit Court of Appeals Chapter 11 ruling, and the justices didn’t see eye to eye with the Third Circuit.

The Supreme Court ruled, in a unanimous decision, that when setting out a Chapter 11 reorganization plan, debtors may not sell their property free and clear of liens without providing lienholders the opportunity to credit bid.

Court Grants Deportation Appeal After Bankruptcy Fraud

If you follow our numerous appellate court blogs, you’ll know that immigration appeals and deportation appeals aren’t easy to win.

A Jamaican citizen, Nigel Singh, however, had found success when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his deportation order. The Board of Immigration Appeals had ordered Singh’s deportation after he had been found guilty of bankruptcy perjury. But the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that the government failed to meet its burden before the BIA.

Medicaid: 3rd Circuit Allows State to Place Liens

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the issue of Medicaid this week in a lawsuit discussing a federal law preventing Pennsylvania from placing liens against the properties of living Medicaid beneficiaries, writes the Pittsburg Tribune Review.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the law doesn`t prevent the state from collecting medical costs from the money beneficiaries receive from lawsuits.

3rd Circuit Says Debt Collection Attorney Violated FDCPA

In the current economic climate, there have been many debt collection scams. Furthermore, the line between fair debt collection practices and unlawful ones has been blurred and many law firms and debt collection agencies find themselves running afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

That's what happened in this Third Circuit Court of Appeals case.

The Kay Law Firm learned the hard way that fast cash isn't always the best kind of cash. The Kay Law Firm is a debt collection law firm within the Third Circuit. The law firm sent a letter to a debtor on January 11, 2009. The letter was sent to collect a debt on a Washington Mutual home equity loan.