Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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Plaintiffs, the parents of six children, filed suit against the District, alleging that it was violating the "Child Find" requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by failing to provide special education to their children and hundreds of other preschoolers with disabilities. The district court certified the suit as a class action and entered a comprehensive injunction designed to bring the District into compliance with the IDEA. The DC Circuit held that the case was not moot where it remains justiciable under United States Parole Commission v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388 (1980), and where the relation back doctrine applied in this case. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying subclasses pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2). Finally, the court rejected the District's challenges to the injunction, affirming the district court in all respects. View "DL v. District of Columbia" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the government based on claimants' lack of Article III standing in a civil forfeiture case. The court held that claimants met their burden of making an assertion of ownership and provided some evidence of ownership to establish standing. The court explained that credibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts were jury functions and not those of a judge. In this case, the record was devoid of contradictory evidence, claimants consistently maintained that the money was theirs, nothing in their account was physically impossible, and the couple explained how they came to own the money in considerable detail. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "United States v. $17,900.00" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit contending that USAID and NOAA violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., by terminating his employment because of his national origin. He also contended that NOAA violated 18 U.S.C. 1001, which criminalizes false statements to the government, by lying about why he was terminated. The DC Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's claim under section 1001 because the statute did not create a private right of action. The court determined that plaintiff's remaining contentions lacked merit and affirmed, with one modification of the order of dismissal. View "Lee v. USAID" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendant, the former chair of the United States Parole Commission, alleging that plaintiff's denials of parole were infected by unconstitutional decisionmaking. The district court dismissed the case sua sponte, concluding that parole commissioners were entitled to absolute immunity from such lawsuits. The DC Circuit affirmed on the ground that defendant was entitled to qualified immunity. The court explained that, even under the most generous reading of the complaint, defendant was entitled to qualified immunity as to each of the five claims alleged against him. View "Redmond v. Fulwood, Jr." on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit held that the district court properly dismissed plaintiff's claims against DHS for failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. Although plaintiff initiated this administrative exhaustion process for his claims of race discrimination and retaliation when his supervisors denied him leave in 2002, he did not file a formal complaint with DHS's EEO office until 2010. The court explained that such a lengthy and unexplained delay in filing his formal complaint with DHS did not evidence the diligent pursuit of Title VII rights that was required for equitable tolling. Therefore, the district court properly dismissed the complaint. View "Niskey v. Kelly" on Justia Law