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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sanctions for frivolous and vexatious litigation. When April Gallop commenced an action claiming that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attacks for their own political purposes, you could predict that the case was not long for the world. And, of course, it was dismissed. But unwisely, Ms. Gallop and her attorneys chose to appeal, and now they face an award of sanctions. The Second Circuit held that under Rule 38 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, 28 U.S.C. 1927 and its inherent power, it had the authority to impose such sanctions, provide adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard is afforded. The Court gave Ms. Gallop and her attorneys 30 days to show cause why they should be ordered to pay double costs and damages in the amount of $15,000.

The decision in Gallop v. Cheney can be found here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

No private right of action. The Second Circuit, in M.F. v. State of New York Executive Department Division of Parole has held that the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision does not create a private right of action. M.F., an individual who had been convicted of endangering the welfare of children in New Jersey sought to move to New York, where he worked. New Jersey made a request to New York that it take over the lifetime supervision imposed upon him. New York agreed, but required him, among other things to inform his employer of his conviction. M.F refused and decided not to relocate to New York. It brought an action against the New York Division of Parole, claiming that it had violated the Interstate Compact by placing requirements on him that would not be placed on a New York offender. The District Court granted summary judgment to New York, holding that M.F. had failed to show that a New York offender would have been treated differently. On appeal, M.F. argued that New York, on a motion for summary judgment, had the initial burden of showing that the same restriction would have been placed on a New York offender, and that because New York failed to make such a showing, an issue of material fact existed, precluding summary judgment. (M.F. also claimed for the first time that the District Court did not have jurisdiction over the action and requested that the Court remand the case to the District Court with instruction to dismiss the action so that M.F. could refile in state court.) The State on appeal claimed that the restrictions placed on M.F. were no different than those that could have been placed on a New York offender. It also argued, for the first time, that the Interstate Compact created no private right of action. The Second Circuit affirmed. First, the Court held that the District Court did have jurisdiction to hear the action. The Court then held that the Interstate Compact did not create a private right of action, so that even if the State had violated the Interstate Compact, M.F. had no remedy under it to bring an action for damages. The decision can be found here.

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