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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in an action filed by seven former participants in online discount membership programs, alleging that Trilegiant conspired with e‐merchant retailers such as Buy.com, Orbitz, and Priceline to enroll the retailers' customers in the membership programs via deceptive post‐transaction marketing and datapass techniques. The court held that prohibitions on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act did not apply in this case because plaintiffs failed to raise a material issue of fact as to whether they consented to enrollment in the membership programs. Therefore, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment as to that claim. The court affirmed the dismissal of the racketeering claim, holding that plaintiffs could not proceed on a theory of racketeering because they did not identify an actionable fraud. Finally, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment on the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment claims, holding that plaintiffs have not shown that they were entitled to a refund of membership fees and Trilegiant was not unjustly enriched by not issuing the refunds. View "Williams v. Affinion Group, LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit for damages resulting from defendants' manipulation of natural gas trading at four regional hubs in the western part of the United States. The Second Circuit held that plaintiffs had Article III standing, but they failed to plausibly allege injury under any of their claims. In this case, plaintiffs failed to state a claim under the Commodities Exchange Act (CEA) because it was not plausible on the record that they were injured by the manipulations West Desk perpetrated. For similar reasons, plaintiffs failed to establish antitrust standing. Accordingly, the court modified the order and judgment to remove the dismissal for lack of standing and affirmed the judgment as modified. View "Harry v. Total Gas & Power North America, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated defendant's conviction for securities fraud. The court held that although defendant's misstatements could be found by a jury to be material, the district court materially erred in admitting evidence that the counter-party representative in the sole transaction underlying the count of conviction mistakenly believed that defendant was his agent. Therefore, the evidence was prejudicial and the court could not conclude with fair assurance that the jury would have convicted defendant absent such evidence. Accordingly, the court remanded the judgment of conviction, ordering defendant be released on appropriate bond pending further proceedings. View "United States v. Litvak" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated defendant's conviction for securities fraud. The court held that although defendant's misstatements could be found by a jury to be material, the district court materially erred in admitting evidence that the counter-party representative in the sole transaction underlying the count of conviction mistakenly believed that defendant was his agent. Therefore, the evidence was prejudicial and the court could not conclude with fair assurance that the jury would have convicted defendant absent such evidence. Accordingly, the court remanded the judgment of conviction, ordering defendant be released on appropriate bond pending further proceedings. View "United States v. Litvak" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against senior federal law enforcement officials and 25 named and unnamed federal law enforcement officers, alleging that federal officers retaliated against plaintiffs when plaintiffs refused to serve as informants and put plaintiffs on the No Fly List in violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq. The district court held that RFRA did not permit the recovery of money damages against federal officers sued in their individual capacities. The Second Circuit held, however, that RFRA permitted a plaintiff to recover money damages against federal officers sued in their individual capacities for violations of RFRA's substantive protections. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "Tanvir v. Tanzin" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated in part the district court's revocation of supervised release and sentence of one year in prison followed by a term of supervised release. In this case, defendant violated the terms of his supervised release by repeatedly testing positive for drugs and failing to report for scheduled drug testing. The court was not persuaded that the imposition of a life term of supervised release -- upon defendant's first revocation -- was reasonable in light of the justifications given by the district court. Given the non‐violent nature of defendant's violations and the difficulty faced by so many offenders in controlling addiction, the court held that his behavior was not so extreme or unusual as to justify a life term of supervised release. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "United States v. Brooks" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Various entities and individuals associated with the New York City medallion taxicab industry filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that defendants' regulatory scheme applicable to the ground transportation market in New York City violated their equal protection and due process rights and that they suffered a taking. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss, holding that plaintiffs failed to state an equal protection violation because medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles (FHVs) were not similarly situated and thus the different regulations were supported by rational bases; plaintiffs failed to state a violation of procedural due process because the only effect on plaintiffs of defendants' permitting FHVs to operate in New York City and their promulgation of the Accessible Conversion Rules was some diminution in the value of a medallion, which was not a protected property interest; even assuming plaintiffs had suffered a deprivation of a cognizable property interest, they failed to plead facts to support their claim that they were denied a meaningful opportunity to be heard prior to the promulgation of the Rules; and plaintiffs' takings claim was unripe because they failed to seek compensation through the adequate state procedures that were available. View "Progressive Credit Union v. City of New York" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated defendant's conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. In this case, the district court denied defendant's motion to suppress two firearms recovered from his property in a warrantless search without probable cause, holding that there was no Fourth Amendment violation because the firearms were found outside the curtilage of defendant's home. The court reversed the denial of the suppression motion. The court weighed the Dunn factors as well as the factors applied to the property in Florida v. Jardines, 569 U.S. 1, 7 (2013), and held that the portion of the driveway in front of defendant's shed formed part of the curtilage, and the search of the area ran afoul of the Fourth Amendment. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "United States v. Alexander" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiff challenged the district court's dismissal of claims alleging that his employer, the City, retaliated against him after he filed a discrimination complaint, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. The Second Circuit held that 42 U.S.C. 1983 provided the sole cause of action against state actors alleged to have violated section 1981. The court construed defendant's claims as section 1983 claims and held that he failed to allege a policy or custom of misconduct, as was necessary to assert liability against a municipality. The court also held that defendant could not avoid Title VII's exhaustion requirement by asserting retaliation for filing a claim of discrimination that he failed to pursue. However, in regard to claims that plaintiff properly exhausted, he has adequately alleged retaliation following both of his EEOC complaints. Therefore, the court vacated the dismissal of those claims. The court affirmed in all other respects. View "Duplan v. City of New York" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff challenged the district court's dismissal of claims alleging that his employer, the City, retaliated against him after he filed a discrimination complaint, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. The Second Circuit held that 42 U.S.C. 1983 provided the sole cause of action against state actors alleged to have violated section 1981. The court construed defendant's claims as section 1983 claims and held that he failed to allege a policy or custom of misconduct, as was necessary to assert liability against a municipality. The court also held that defendant could not avoid Title VII's exhaustion requirement by asserting retaliation for filing a claim of discrimination that he failed to pursue. However, in regard to claims that plaintiff properly exhausted, he has adequately alleged retaliation following both of his EEOC complaints. Therefore, the court vacated the dismissal of those claims. The court affirmed in all other respects. View "Duplan v. City of New York" on Justia Law