Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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When plaintiff learned that the State Bar Association of North Dakota (SBAND) was using his compulsory fees to oppose a measure that he volunteered time and money to support, he filed suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. In Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, 567 U.S. 298 (2012), a public-sector union provided an annual Hudson notice calculating germane expenses and permitting non-members to opt out of non-germane expenses by objecting within thirty days. The Eighth Circuit held that the opt-out issue debated by the Supreme Court in Knox was simply not implicated by SBAND's revised license fee statement. Accordingly, because Knox did not overrule prior cases holding that the First Amendment does not require an opt-in procedure, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment and dismissal of the case. View "Fleck v. Wetch" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit found no violation of Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 or abuse of the judicial process in this consolidated appeal involving parties in a putative action. The court held that counsel did not violate Rule 41 in stipulating to the dismissal of the action and counsel had at least a colorable legal argument that the district court’s approval was not needed under Rule 23(e) to voluntarily dismiss the claims of the putative class. Therefore, the district court abused its discretion in finding that counsel acted with an improper purpose under Rule 11 and abused the judicial process by stipulating to the dismissal of the federal action for the purpose of seeking a more favorable forum and avoiding an adverse decision. Consequently, the district court also abused its discretion in imposing sanctions upon plaintiffs' counsel for the purported violation. The court reversed the district court's orders and remanded for further proceedings. View "Castleberry v. USAA" on Justia Law

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PPKM sought and obtained a permanent injunction against DHSS after DHSS attempted to revoke PPKM's license to provide abortion services. PPKM's license expired before the district court granted its motion for attorney's fees. The Eighth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding PPKM attorney's fees or its work at all stages of this litigation, and PPKM's recovery in this case was not so technical as to render the award an abuse of discretion. In this case, PPKM was the prevailing party and DHSS offered no additional reason to conclude that PPKM was not entitled to the attorney's fees awarded by the district court. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Planned Parenthood Great Plans v. Dr. Randall Williams" on Justia Law