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Smith was transported from the Rock Island County Jail to the federal courthouse for arraignment. U.S. marshals took Smith to an interview room to meet his lawyer. The Marshals Service inspects the interview rooms weekly. On the detainee’s side of the room, there is a metal stool attached to the wall by a swing-arm. According to Smith, when he sat on the stool it “broke,” causing him to fall and strike his head; he saw that bolts were missing. A nurse examined Smith and noted that his speech was slurred. She had him taken to the emergency room. He was treated for a stroke and continues to suffer adverse effects. Smith filed an administrative tort claim, which was denied. Smith then brought suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 2671, relying on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to impute negligence to the government. The district court rejected the theory, noting that Smith’s fall occurred at 11 a.m., so it was possible that others could have already damaged the seat or that Smith fell without the stool having malfunctioned. The Seventh Circuit reversed. The fact that a detainee is left alone to confer with his lawyer does not defeat the notion that the room and its contents remain within the control of the government. The sort of malfunction that Smith has described is the kind of hazard that the government may be expected to guard against. View "Smith v. United States" on Justia Law

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Millennium petitioned to compel the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to act on Millennium's application for a water-quality certificate. The DC Circuit dismissed the petition for review, holding that, even if the Department has unlawfully delayed acting on Millennium's application, its inaction would operate as a waiver, enabling Millennium to bypass the Department and proceed to obtain approval from FERC. The court explained that the Department's delay caused Millennium no cognizable injury and thus Millennium lacked standing to proceed with its petition. View "Millennium Pipeline Co. v. Seggos" on Justia Law

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LPSC petitioned for review of FERC's rejection of LPSC's request to reform certain depreciation rates. The DC Circuit denied the petition for review and rejected LPSC's claim that FERC failed to confront its asserted evidence of undue discrimination where FERC fulfilled such obligations; FERC precedent did not require the use of FERC's own depreciation standards; and there has been no unlawful subdelegation because FERC has exercised, and intends to continue to exercise, its authority. View "Louisiana Public Service Commission v. FERC" on Justia Law

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Under the Civil Service Reform Act, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has the power to review certain personnel actions against federal employees. If an employee asserts rights under the CSRA only, MSPB decisions are subject to judicial review exclusively in the Federal Circuit, 5 U.S.C. 7703(b)(1). If the employee invokes only federal antidiscrimination law, the proper forum is federal district court. An employee who complains of a serious adverse employment action and attributes the action, in whole or in part, to bias based on race, gender, age, or disability brings a “mixed case.” When the MSPB dismisses a mixed case on the merits or on procedural grounds, review authority lies in district court, not the Federal Circuit. Perry received notice that he would be terminated from his Census Bureau employment for spotty attendance. Perry agreed to early retirement. The settlement required Perry to dismiss discrimination claims he had filed separately with the EEOC. After retiring, Perry appealed to the MSPB, alleging discrimination based on race, age, and disability, and retaliation for his discrimination complaints. He claimed the settlement had been coerced. Presuming Perry’s retirement to be voluntary, an ALJ dismissed his case for lack of jurisdiction. The MSPB affirmed, stating that Perry could seek review in the Federal Circuit. Perry instead sought review in the D.C. Circuit, which transferred the case to the Federal Circuit. The Supreme Court reversed. The proper review forum when the MSPB dismisses a mixed case on jurisdictional grounds is district court. A nonfrivolous claim that an agency action appealable to the MSPB violates an antidiscrimination statute listed in section 7702(a)(1) suffices to establish district court jurisdiction. Had Congress wanted to bifurcate judicial review, sending merits and procedural decisions to district court and jurisdictional dismissals to the Federal Circuit, it could have said so. View "Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board" on Justia Law

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On remand from the California Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal applied the analysis mandated by Los Angeles County Bd. of Supervisors v. Superior Court, (2016) 2 Cal.5th 282, 300, and considered supplemental briefs from the parties. In this case, the ACLU sought disclosure under the California Public Records Act (PRA) of billing invoices sent to the County by its outside attorneys. The superior court granted the ACLU's petition for writ of mandate and compelled disclosure, and the County challenged that decision via a petition for a writ of mandate in this court. The court granted the County's writ petition and remanded for further proceedings. View "County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

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The circuit court and Court of Special Appeals affirmed the decision of the Howard County Board of Appeals approving a conditional use application for a funeral home in Howard County’s Rural Residential-Density Exchange Option zone. The Howard County Board of Appeals hearing examiner initially denied the proposed conditional use plan, but after public hearings and two revisions, the Board approved the conditional use application subject to several conditions. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the Board properly analyzed the revised plan pursuant to the relevant statutory requirements; (2) the Board did not err in concluding that the revised plan would not create an adverse cultural impact on vicinal properties or that such impact will be beyond those ordinarily associated with funeral home and mortuary uses; and (3) substantial evidence supported the Board’s conclusion that the revised plan contemplated a 100-foot stream buffer in compliance with state requirements. View "Clarksville Residents Against Mortuary Defense Fund, Inc. v. Donaldson Properties" on Justia Law

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Maxmed sought judicial review of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' determination that the Medicaid program overpaid Maxmed by almost $800,000 for home health care services rendered to Medicare beneficiaries. The Fifth Circuit held that the failure to record the random numbers used in the sample did not necessarily invalidate the extrapolation methodology; the Secretary did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in rejecting the challenge to the independence of the sampling units; Congress clearly envisioned extrapolation in overpayment determinations involving home health agencies like Maxmed, and the Secretary's reliance on extrapolation as a tool was justified; the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Maxmed's motion to amend or alter the judgment; and the district court properly rejected Maxmed's due process claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Secretary. View "Maxmed Healthcare, Inc. v. Price" on Justia Law

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This matter involved the use by the City of Lewes, the State, and others of a former industrial park transferred to the State and held as open space. Plaintiff brought three actions contesting that use. The only issues remaining were whether a 2014 council meeting was in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and, if not, what remedy was available. The Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of the City Council of Lewes and denied Plaintiff’s motion, holding that the 2014 meeting did not frustrate the intent of FOIA and that no effective remedy could ensue from a decision that the 2014 meeting was non-FOIA compliant. View "Lechliter v. Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was the authority of the City of Miami Civilian Investigative Panel (CIP), an independent body designed to investigate and review instances of alleged police misconduct and review police policies and procedures, to issue a subpoena to Lieutenant Freddy D’Agastino and order him to appear before the CIP to testify in regard to alleged misconduct. D’Agastino and the Fraternal Order of Police argued that the CIP as an investigative authority conflicts with a component of the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights (PBR), Fla. Stat. 112.533(1). The trial court ruled in favor of the City of Miami and the CIP. The Third District Court of Appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court quashed the decision below to the extent it affirmed the CIP’s authority to issue a subpoena to D’Agastino, holding that the PBR preempts the authority of a political subdivision as defined in Fla. Stat. 112.533(1)(b) to compel an officer to testify in connection with a complaint of misconduct through a subpoena. View "D’Agastino v. City of Miami" on Justia Law

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The amendment to Ohio Rev. Code 5713.03 enacted in 2012 (H.B. 487) applied to the circumstances of this case and required a remand to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) for further consideration. At issue here was a 2013 real property valuation for a lease-encumbered property that had been the subject of recent arm’s-length sales. The Supreme Court held that the H.B. 487 amendment required the BTA to determine the value of the subject property’s unencumbered fee-simple estate. Because the BTA did not properly consider appraisal evidence that purported to explain why the subject property’s recent sale price did not reflect the value of the unencumbered fee-simple estate, the court vacated the BTA’s decision and remanded the case for the BTA to address and weigh the evidence before it. View "Terraza 8, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law