Tag Archives: Jurisdiction

Flint Water Controversy Provides Civil Procedure Lesson Under CAFA Exception

In Mason v. Lockwood, Andrews & Neuman, a split panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision to remand a class action to state court under the “local controversy” exception to the Class Action Fairness Act.  CAFA requires a court to “decline” jurisdiction over a class action that otherwise qualifies for federal court … Continue Reading

Equitable Considerations under the First-to-File Rule

The first-to-file rule is a doctrine that has grown out of the need to manage overlapping litigation across multiple courts. The doctrine provides that when actions involving nearly identical parties and issues have been filed in two different district courts, the court that first acquires jurisdiction usually retains the suit to the exclusion of the … Continue Reading

Divided Sixth Circuit Addresses “No Fly” List

The Sixth Circuit issued an opinion this morning taking a stance on an issue of first impression involving subject matter jurisdiction. On appeal from the Eastern District of Michigan, Mokdad v. Lynch, et al. involved a challenge by Saeb Mokdad, a naturalized United States citizen, to his placement on the No Fly List, a list … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Widens Circuit Split By Holding Government-Contractor Immunity Not Jurisdictional

Earlier this week in Adkisson et al. v. Jacobs Eng’g Grp., Inc., the Sixth Circuit joined the Fifth Circuit [link] in holding that government-contractor immunity is not jurisdictional like sovereign immunity. The Sixth Circuit was interpreting Yearsley v. W.A. Ross Construction Co., 309 U.S. 18 (1940), which held that government contractors are immune from suit … Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Wellness Opinion Effectively Overturns The Sixth Circuit’s Decision On Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction in Waldman

Last week, in Wellness Int’l Network Ltd. v. Sharif, No. 13-935 (May 26, 2015), the Supreme Court held that a bankruptcy court can enter final judgment on “non-core” claims under 28 U.S.C. § 157 if the parties consent to that court’s jurisdiction.  It overturned a decision by the Seventh Circuit that relied heavily on the … Continue Reading

SCOTUS To Decide Whether Order Denying Plan Confirmation Is “Final,” Appealable

The Supreme Court granted cert last Friday in the case of Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank, in which the First Circuit held that an order denying confirmation of a reorganization plan is not a “final judgment” and therefore not appealable.  The First Circuit’s decision agreed with five other circuits, including the Sixth Circuit, and … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Reviews the Contours of Jurisdiction in Declaratory Judgments

Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit upheld a Michigan district court’s decision that a commercial general-liability insurance policy did not cover a short-term worker injured at a farmer’s market in Michigan. Judge Stranch’s opinion for the court, however, is most interesting for its lengthy discussion of the contours of declaratory judgment actions in the circuit. … Continue Reading

Magnuson-Moss Won’t Cover a Manufactured Home in the Sixth Circuit

When is a “home” a “house” and not covered by federal consumer protection law? According to a split Sixth Circuit decision issued last week, when a home is manufactured and permanently installed on a property, it is a “house” for purposes of real property law and taxes, and not covered under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act’s … Continue Reading

Dismissal of Banks’ Declaratory Judgment Action Reversed and Remanded

Starting over four years ago, the City of Cleveland has attempted to deal with its housing foreclosure crisis, in part, by bringing suit against numerous financial institutions whose subprime lending activities the City alleges have contributed to the crisis.  The procedural history of the City’s lawsuits is complicated, but, in Chase Bank USA, N.A. v. … Continue Reading

LACK OF JURISDICTION ROLLS BACK SUMMARY JUDGMENT RULING

The case Hampton v. R.J. Corman Railroad Switching Co. (6th Cir., Case No. 10-5707, June 19, 2012) (PDF), serves as an object lesson in the singular importance of jurisdiction when practicing before federal courts. Hampton involved a Kentucky plaintiff whose car collided with a train and who subsequently brought common-law tort claims in state court … Continue Reading

For Want of a Penny, Jurisdiction Was Lost

“The penny is easily the most neglected piece of U.S. currency.”  So begins the legal discussion in Freeland v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., decided by the Sixth Circuit on February 4.  Answering a jurisdictional question that was unraised by the parties and unaddressed by the district court, the Sixth Circuit concluded that the amount in controversy was one penny … Continue Reading

Pending FERC Appeal and Condemnation Action are Proper Forums for Associated Tort Claims

In American Energy Corporation v. Rockies Express Pipeline LLC(Case No. 09-3864) (pdf), the Court held that the plaintiff coal companies cannot use tort and equitable claims to get a second opinion on issues the Sixth Circuit considered to be pending before the D.C. Circuit in a FERC appeal and an eminent domain proceeding in Southern … Continue Reading
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