Justia U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

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Plaintiff filed a putative class action against Comenity to recover statutory damages for violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq. The district court concluded that plaintiff failed, as a matter of law, to demonstrate that four billing-rights disclosures made to her by Comenity in connection with plaintiff's opening of a credit card account violated the TILA. The court concluded that plaintiff failed to demonstrate the concrete injury required for standing to pursue two of her disclosure challenges and thus dismissed those two claims for lack of jurisdiction. The court concluded that, although plaintiff established standing to pursue the two remaining claims, those challenges fail as a matter of law. In this case, Comenity’s notice that certain TILA protections applied only to unsatisfactory credit card purchases that were not paid in full is substantially similar to Model Form G–3(A) and, therefore, cannot as a matter of law demonstrate a violation of 15 U.S.C. 1637(a)(7). Furthermore, because neither the TILA nor its implementing regulations require unsatisfactory purchases to be reported in writing, Comenity’s alleged failure to disclose such a requirement cannot support a section 1637(a)(7) claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Comenity on those TILA claims. The court also affirmed the district court's denial of her cross-motion for class certification as moot. View "Strubel v. Comenity Bank" on Justia Law
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Defendant appealed his sentence and conviction after pleading guilty to thirteen counts of child‐pornography‐related offenses. Defendant challenged the actual basis supporting his plea as to one of the thirteen counts and the reasonableness of his 480‐month sentence. The Government concedes that the district court committed “plain error” by accepting defendant's plea to the count challenged on appeal and that defendant's conviction as to that count must be vacated, but argues that resentencing is unnecessary. The court concluded, however, that the the error was a so‐called “conviction error,” and thus de novo resentencing is required. Accordingly, the court remanded with instructions to vacate the erroneous count of conviction and for de novo resentencing. View "United States v. Powers" on Justia Law
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The Union filed a petition seeking to represent Constellation’s outside cellar employees as a bargaining unit. Constellation subsequently refused to bargain with the Union and the Union filed an unfair-labor-practice charge. The Board granted summary judgment for the Union, concluding that Constellation had violated labor laws. Constellation petitioned for review and the Board cross-petitioned for enforcement. At issue is whether the framework for evaluating proposed bargaining units set forth in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, is unlawful. The court held that the Specialty Healthcare framework was valid, as its sister circuits have, and was consistent with this court’s precedent. However, the court concluded that the Board did not properly apply the Specialty Healthcare framework in its decision and order against Constellation. In approving the petitioned‐for collective bargaining unit, the court concluded that the Board did not analyze at step one of the Specialty Healthcare framework whether the excluded employees had meaningfully distinct interests from members of the petitioned‐for unit in the context of collective bargaining that outweigh similarities with unit members. Accordingly, the court granted the petition for review, denied the cross-petition for enforcement, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Constellation Brands, U.S. Operations, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Parties to a facultative reinsurance certificate differ as to which of two arbitration provisions govern the resolution of a dispute that has arisen between them. First Mutual, the ceding company, sought to compel its reinsurer, Infrassure, to submit to arbitration governed by an endorsement. Infrassure filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the arbitration provision contained in the body of the form is controlling. First Mutual counterclaimed. The district court held that the form’s procedures governed, granted declaratory relief in favor of Infrassure, dismissed First Mutual’s counterclaims, and denied the request to compel arbitration. The court concluded that the contract is unambiguous and the arbitration clause in the body of the certificate controls. The court explained that its reading of the facultative certificate is easily confirmed by consulting other provisions. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Infrassure, Ltd. v. First Mutual Transportation Assurance Co." on Justia Law
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Plaintiffs appealed the district court's conclusion that defendant, a licensed bail bond agent, was entitled to retain the bond premium in this case even though bail was denied. The court certified to the Court of Appeals of the State of New York the following question: Whether an entity engaged in the “bail business,” as defined in NYIL 6801(a)(1), may retain its “premium or compensation,” as described in NYIL 6804(a), where a bond posted pursuant to NYCPL 520.20 is denied at a bail-sufficiency hearing conducted pursuant to NYCPL 520.30, and the criminal defendant that is the subject of the bond is never admitted to bail. View "Gevorkyan v. Judelson" on Justia Law
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Petitioner, pro se, moves for leave to file a successive 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition challenging his 2009 New York conviction for burglary and sexual abuse. Petitioner filed multiple section 2254 petitions in the past challenging his conviction, but each petition was dismissed as incomprehensible. The court held that an order denying a section 2254 petition as incomprehensible is “on the merits” for the purposes of the successive‐petition requirements if the petitioner was on notice that the district court considered the section 2254 petition to be incomprehensible, and had an opportunity to cure the defect. In this case, because petitioner's motion for leave to file a successive section 2254 petition is as incomprehensible as the others, he has not made a “prima facie showing” that his application satisfies the section 2244(b)(2) requirements. Accordingly, the court denied the motion. View "Garcia v. Superintendent of Great Meadow Correctional Facility" on Justia Law
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Petitioner seeks leave to file a successive 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion to challenge his 2007 sentence for Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1951. Petitioner, in his plea agreement, agreed “not to file an appeal or otherwise challenge the conviction or sentence in the event that the Court impose[d] a term of imprisonment of 210 months or below.” The district court accepted the plea and sentenced him to 151 months in prison. The court concluded that petitioner's collateral attack waiver bars his motion because the waiver encompasses any challenge to his sentence. Accordingly, the court dismissed the motion for leave to file a successive section 2255 motion. View "Sanford v. United States" on Justia Law
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Plaintiffs filed these lawsuits challenging the federal government's decision in 2008 to give the Oneida Indian Nation of New York over approximately 13,000 acres of land in central New York. The district court granted summary judgment to defendants, rejecting plaintiffs' claims that the land‐into‐trust procedures are unconstitutional and that certain provisions of the Indian Land Consolidation Act (ILCA), 25 U.S.C. 2201 et seq., bar the United States from taking land into trust for the Tribe. The court agreed with the district court that the entrustment procedure generally, and this entrustment in particular, lie within the federal government’s long‐recognized “plenary” power over Indian tribes: Neither principles of state sovereignty nor the Constitution’s Enclave Clause—which requires state consent for the broadest federal assertions of jurisdiction over land within a state—prevents the federal government from conferring on the Tribe jurisdiction over these trust lands. The court further held that the Oneida Nation of New York is eligible as a “tribe” within the meaning of 25 U.S.C. 465 and 2201(1) for land to be taken into trust on its behalf. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgments. View "Upstate Citizens for Equality v. United States" on Justia Law
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CI owns the registered marks ʺCollective Network,ʺ ʺCollective Video,ʺ and ʺC Collective The Audience Engine,ʺ a stylized mark in which the word ʺCollectiveʺ appears most prominently. CCM operates under the name ʺCollective[i].ʺ This appeal arises from the software companies' dispute over trademarks containing the word "collective." In a series of three orders, the district court granted summary judgment to CCM on virtually all points in dispute and awarded attorneyʹs fees under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq. The court reversed or vacated all contested portions of the March Order, August Order, and December Order because: (1) the unregistered mark ʺcollectiveʺ is suggestive, not descriptive; (2) there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether CI used the unregistered mark ʺcollectiveʺ in commerce before CCM introduced its allegedly infringing marks; (3) the district court prematurely granted summary judgment as to CIʹs counterclaim for infringement of the registered marks, an action that neither party requested and the district court did not explain; and (4) there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether CI abandoned its registered marks ʺCollective Networkʺ and ʺCollective Video.ʺ Accordingly, the court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Cross Commerce Media, Inc. v. Collective, Inc." on Justia Law

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The parties cross appeal the district court's grant in part and denial in part of a motion for a preliminary injunction to bar enforcement of three local laws restricting operations at a public airport located in and owned and operated by the Town of East Hampton, New York. The district court enjoined the enforcement of only one of the challenged laws—imposing a weekly flight limit—concluding that it reflected a likely unreasonable exercise of the Town’s reserved proprietary authority which is excepted from federal preemption by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA), 49 U.S.C. 41713(b)(3). Plaintiffs contend that none of the challenged laws falls within the ADA’s proprietor exception to federal preemption because the Town failed to comply with the procedural requirements of the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA), 49 U.S.C. 47521–47534, in enacting them. The court identified merit in plaintiffs’ ANCA argument and resolved these cross appeals on that basis without needing to address the Town’s proprietor exception challenge. The court concluded that plaintiffs (1) can invoke equity jurisdiction to enjoin enforcement of the challenged laws; and (2) are likely to succeed on their preemption claim because it appears undisputed that the Town enacted all three laws without complying with ANCA’s procedural requirements, which apply to public airport operators regardless of their federal funding status. The court affirmed the district court’s order insofar as it enjoins enforcement of the weekly flight‐limit law, but vacated the order insofar as it declines to enjoin enforcement of the other two challenged laws. Accordingly, the court remanded to the district court for the entry of a preliminary injunction as to all three laws and for further proceedings. View "Friends of The East Hampton Airport v. Town of East Hampton" on Justia Law