Articles Posted in U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant in this case arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), Pub. L. No. 102-243, 105 Stat. 2394. Plaintiff's claims were based upon the receipt of one fax advertisement from defendant, which plaintiff's agent undisputedly consented to receive. The one fax plaintiff received did not contain opt-out language that he argued was mandated by federal regulation. According to the FCC, the contested opt-out language was required, even on faxes sent after obtaining a potential recipient's consent. The court reversed because the Administrative Orders Review Act (Hobbs Act), 28 U.S.C. 2342 et seq., precluded the court from entertaining challenges to the regulation other than on appeals arising from agency proceedings. Without addressing such challenges, the court could not reject the FCC's plain-language interpretation of its own unambiguous regulation. View "Nack v. Walburg" on Justia Law

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Sprint contested the IUB order compelling it to pay intrastate access charges to Windstream, an Iowa communications company, for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls. Sprint filed a complaint in federal district court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The same day, Sprint also filed a petition for review in Iowa state court, asserting, among other claims, that the IUB's order was preempted under federal law. The federal district court abstained pursuant to Younger v. Harris and dismissed the action. The court affirmed the district court's decision to abstain, but the court vacated the judgment of dismissal and remanded the case with instruction to stay the proceedings. View "Sprint Communications Co. v. Jacobs, et al" on Justia Law

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Razorback Concrete Company (Razorback) sued Dement Construction Company (Dement) for breach of contract and fraud based on disputes over performance of a concrete supply contract. The district court granted summary judgment to Dement on the fraud claim and partial summary judgment to Dement as to the measure of damages for the breach of contract claim, holding that Razorback was not entitled to recover damages under a lost profits theory. After obtaining a judgment on the contract claim, Razorback appealed the grants of summary judgment. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in (1) granting summary judgment in favor of Dement on Razorback's fraud claim, as Razorback failed to identify any evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Dement knew its representation as false at the time it was made; and (2) granting partial summary judgment to Dement on Razorback's claim for lost provides, holding that Razorback failed to supply evidence creating a fact issue regarding whether it was a lost volume seller or whether damages provided or under Ark. Code Ann. 4-2-708(1) were otherwise inadequate. View "Razorback Concrete Co. v. Dement Constr. Co. " on Justia Law

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A police sergeant arrested plaintiff without a warrant for running a contest which allegedly violated Minnesota gambling laws. The sergeant later obtained a search warrant and seized several items from the house where plaintiff was running the contest. A reporter broadcasted a news story about the contest and plaintiff's arrest on a local CBS television station. Plaintiff subsequently sued the sergeant and the city of Minneapolis under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for civil rights violations for the arrest and search, and the reporter and CBS for defamation. Both sides moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion for defendants. The court held that because plaintiff failed to demonstrate that any of the sergeant's actions violated a constitutional right, he could not deprive the sergeant of qualified immunity, and thus summary judgment was appropriate. Summary judgment was also proper as to the city because municipalities could not be held liable under Section 1983 where plaintiff had not argued on appeal that any municipal policy or custom led to a deprivation of his constitutional rights. The court also held that plaintiff was a limited purpose public figure and it was not reckless disregard for the truth to conclude that plaintiff could face future incarceration related to the contests. The court further held that the district court did not abuse its substantial discretion in denying plaintiff's motion for spoliation sanctions. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed. View "Stepnes v. Ritschel, et al." on Justia Law