Articles Posted in U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiffs, a group of shippers who paid rate-based fuel surcharges, filed an antitrust action alleging that freight railroads engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy. On interlocutory appeal, the freight railroads seek to undo class certification because separate trials were needed to distinguish the shippers the alleged conspiracy injured from those it did not. The court vacated the district court's class certification decision and remanded the case to permit the district court to reconsider its decision in light of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, which clarified the law of class actions after the district court had certified the class. View "In re: Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litig." on Justia Law

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The District of Columbia appealed from the structural injunction entered by the district court in this class action challenging the policies and practices of the District's "Child Find" system under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq. The court vacated the order certifying the class, and consequently, the orders finding liability and ordering relief to that class. The court remanded the case to the district court for reconsideration of whether a class, classes, or subclasses may be certified, and if so, thereafter to redetermine liability and appropriate relief. View "DL, et al v. DC, et al" on Justia Law

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Five Medicaid recipients filed a class action against the District, alleging that the District systematically denied Medicaid coverage of prescription medications without providing the written notice required by federal and D.C. law. The district court dismissed the case on the pleadings, concluding that plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claims for injunctive and declaratory relief. At least with regard to one plaintiff, John Doe, the allegations sufficiently established injury, causation, and redressability and the court concluded that Doe had standing to pursue his claims for injunctive and declaratory relief. Therefore, the court had no need to decide whether the other plaintiffs had standing and reversed the judgment, remanding for further proceedings. View "NB, et al. v. DC, et al." on Justia Law

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This was an appeal from the approval of a class action settlement agreement related to the Secretary of the Interior's breach of duty to account for funds held in trust for individual Native Americans. The court concluded that the record failed to confirm either the existence of a purported intra-class conflict or a violation of due process. Rather, the record confirmed that the two plaintiff classes possess the necessary commonality and adequate representation to warrant certification, and that the district court, therefore, did not abuse its discretion in certifying the two plaintiff classes in the settlement or in approving the terms of the settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate pursuant to Rule 23(e). Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment approving the class settlement agreement. View "Cobell, et al. v. Salazar, et al." on Justia Law

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This case arose when plaintiffs filed a class action complaint under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the District was violating the Medicaid Act, 42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq. Since 1993, a consent decree has governed how the District provides "early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services" under the Act. The District has now asked the district court to vacate that decree on two grounds: that an intervening Supreme Court decision has made clear that plaintiffs lack a private right of action to enforce the Medicaid Act, and that in any event, the District has come into compliance with the requirements of the Act. Because the court concluded that the district court's rejection of one of the District's two arguments did not constitute an order "refusing to dissolve [an] injunction[]" within the meaning 28 U.S.C. 1292(a)(1), the court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. View "Salazar, et al. v. DC, et al." on Justia Law

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Appellants were arrested for speeding in excess of 30 mph above the posted speed limit and subsequently filed a class action on behalf of all individuals who have been arrested and subjected to criminal penalties for such speeding in the last three years. Appellants alleged that the district's traffic enforcement policies denied them the equal protection of law and thus violated the Fifth Amendment. Specifically appellants objected to the district's policy of subjecting motorists who speed in excess of 30 mph over the speed limit to different penalties, depending on how they were caught. The district court granted the district's motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). The court affirmed the district court's judgment, but on different grounds. The court held that appellants' claim lacked merit because their challenge could not survive rational basis review where the district's traffic policy neither burdened a fundamental right nor targeted a suspect class. View "Dixon, et al. v. District of Columbia" on Justia Law