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Federal Judiciary

: Sixth Circuit Cases

6th Cir Decisions for Week of Aug.25-29, 2008 (2 Ky published & one KY NPO)

By Michael Stevens



OpinionShort Title/District


USA v. Brattain
    Western District of Michigan at Grand Rapids


USA v. Hardin
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville


Ley v. Visteon Corp
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit

McKEAGUE, Circuit Judge. Plaintiffs Glynn Ley and Public Employees? Retirement System of Mississippi (collectively, ?Plaintiffs?) appeal a district court?s grant of Defendants? Visteon Corporation, Peter Pestillo, Michael Johnston, Daniel R. Coulson, James Palmer, and Pricewaterhousecooper, L.L.P., (?PwC?) (collectively, ?Defendants?) motions to dismiss Plaintiffs? class action securities violation claims. Upon review of the record and the applicable law, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.



Railey v. Webb (Warden)
    Western District of Kentucky at Louisville

ALICE M. BATCHELDER, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Ricky Dale Railey appeals the district court?s order denying his 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus. Railey argues that judicial bias, ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and his invalid plea of guilty warrant reversal of the district court?s decision. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the district court.



James Stewart Hamilton v. Alicia Hamilton Herr
    Eastern District of Kentucky at Pikeville

KAREN NELSON MOORE, Circuit Judge. This case requires us to determine whether 11 U.S.C. 524(a) makes a state-court judgment void ab initio when entered against a debtor whose dischargeable debts had been discharged, or whether the Rooker-Feldman doctrine compels federal courts to respect the state-court judgment. We conclude that 524(a) prevails and state court judgments that modify a discharge order are void ab initio.

Defendant-Appellant Alicia Hamilton Herr (?Herr?) appeals a district-court order reversing the bankruptcy court?s dismissal of Plaintiff-Appellee James Stewart Hamilton?s (the ?Debtor?s?) complaint seeking to enjoin Herr from enforcing a Kentucky judgment lien against the Debtor. Specifically, the Debtor argued that the bankruptcy court?s 1998 discharge order precluded the Pike Circuit Court of Kentucky from holding that the Debtor must indemnify Herr for payments made on a promissory note that Herr and the Debtor jointly obtained in 1990. The bankruptcy court concluded that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine barred the bankruptcy court from enjoining the Pike Circuit Court?s judgment, and the district court reversed. For the reasons discussed below, we VACATE the district court?s judgment and REMAND to the district court so that court may remand to the bankruptcy court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.



USA v. Santillana
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit


216 Jamaica Avenue v. S & R Playhouse
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland

SUTTON, Circuit Judge. At stake in this case is the enforceability of a ?gold clause? contained in a 1912 lease agreement.



Deborah Harrison v. Ash
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit

CLAY, Circuit Judge. Charles Kevin Jones, an inmate serving a 35-day sentence for failure to pay child support, died after suffering a severe asthma attack at the Macomb County Jail. Plaintiff, Deborah Harrison, personal representative of the estate of Charles Kevin Jones, brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 against Defendant-Appellants, nurses Tracey Kirk and Julianne Munro and jail officers William Ash, David Abbott, Eric Oke, Pete Martin, Harrell and Felsner.1 Harrison alleged that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Jones? serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Defendants moved for summary judgment and now appeal from an order entered by the district court denying summary judgment to Defendants Kirk and Munro and denying qualified immunity to Defendants Ash, Abbott, Oke, Martin, Harrell and Felsner. For the reasons described below, we REVERSE the district court?s denial of qualified immunity with respect to Defendant officers and DISMISS Defendant nurses? appeal for lack of jurisdiction.



USA v. Payne
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville


Secretary of Labor v. OSHRC
    Occupational Safety & Health Administration


USA v. Childs & USA v. Sims
    Western District of Michigan at Grand Rapids


Timothy Kosinski v. CIR
    Tax Court, Internal Revenue Service



Sonia Tucker v. Legacy Health Services
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland

GRIFFIN, Circuit Judge. Plaintiff-appellant Sonia Tucker brought the present action alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (?FMLA?), 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., against her former employer, defendant-appellee Middleburg-Legacy Place, LLC (?Middleburg?), and Middleburg?s human resources manager, defendant-appellee Jennifer Larsen, following the termination of Tucker?s employment after an approved medical leave. The district court granted defendants? motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) and denied further amendment of plaintiff?s complaint. Tucker now appeals the district court?s order dismissing her cause of action. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.



Tucker v. State of TN
    Western District of Tennessee at Jackson


OpinionShort Title/District
08a0521n.06 Cheese v. USA
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0522n.06 USA v. Martinez-Bahena
    Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville
08a0523n.06 Grange Mutual Casualty Company v. Joni Mack
    Eastern District of Kentucky at London

JULIA SMITH GIBBONS, Circuit Judge. Plaintiffs Grange Mutual Casualty Co., Grange Indemnity Insurance Co., and Trustgard Insurance Co. appeal the district court?s Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of their civil action under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (?RICO?) against defendant Joni L. Mack. Plaintiffs argue that the district court erred in concluding that plaintiffs could not establish a private cause of action under 18 U.S.C. 1964(c) against Mack. In light of the Supreme Court?s decision in Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., 128 S. Ct. court?s dismissal and remand for further proceedings.

Plaintiffs allege that Mack joined an ongoing conspiracy that involved fraudulently billing plaintiffs for medical expenditures. Although Mack is the only defendant in this case, plaintiffs initiated a separate civil RICO action on December 4, 2002, against Mack?s husband, Greg S. Mack, and other members of a conspiracy allegedly involving a number of medical rehabilitation centers.1 In this case, plaintiffs allege that Mack joined the same conspiracy, alluding to the suit filed against Greg Mack.

The schemes were designed to take advantage of Kentucky?s statutory automobile insurance coverage system?which encourages insurers to promptly pay providers for medical costs associated with automobile accidents?in two ways. First, the conspirators coordinated testing services for physicians, which encouraged the physicians to refer patients for unnecessary testing. Second, the conspirators operated clinics?including the Injury & Rehab Centers of Kentucky, PLLC (?IRC?)?to cater to automobile victims. At IRC clinics, physicians and other employees were creat[ed] and implement[ed][ ] multiple fraudulent schemes to bill Plaintiffs for medical treatments or supplies that were never rendered or supplied, were medically unnecessary or were billed unlawfully. [In addition, these individuals] caused these fraudulent bills to be submitted to Plaintiffs via the United States mail or interstate
wire communications.

In this case, the district court treated plaintiffs? complaint as alleging that Mack violated both 1962(c)?s substantive provision and the 1962(d) conspiracy provision. It then determined that because the complaint failed ?to plead facts demonstrating that [p]laintiffs? injuries were suffered in reliance on the fraudulent conduct of Mack or any conspiratorial acts after her joinder in the conspiracy? it could not conclude ?that Mack?s conduct was the proximate cause of [p]laintiffs? injuries.? Given that plaintiffs are no longer required to allege reliance following Bridge, we remand to the district court for consideration of whether plaintiffs have alleged facts establishing proximate cause for either a 1962(c) or 1962(d) violation. To establish proximate cause for a 1962(c) violation, plaintiffs must allege that Mack?s own violations of 1962(c) led directly to plaintiffs? injuries. See Anza, 547 U.S. at 461. To establish proximate cause for a 1962(d) violation, plaintiffs must allege that they were injured by reason of a conspiracy to violate 1962(c)?s substantive provision. See Beck v. Prupis, 529 U.S. 494, 500, 507 (2000) (holding that to maintain a 1964(c) claim predicated on a violation of 1962(d), a plaintiff must be injured by an act of ?racketeering or otherwise unlawful under the statute?). If plaintiffs can make this showing, the district court will need to further consider whether Mack can be held civilly liable for injuries caused by the conspiracy but occurring prior to Mack?s joinder in the conspiracy.

For the foregoing reasons, we vacate and remand to the district court for further consideration consistent with this opinion.

08a0524n.06 USA v. Bowman
    Eastern District of Tennessee of Chattanooga
08a0525n.06 Al Roumy v. Mukasey
    Board of Immigration Appeals
08a0526n.06 Hanna v. Mukasey
    Board of Immigration Appeals
08a0527n.06 Johnson v. Hall
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland
08a0528n.06 Gembus v. MetroHealth Sys
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland

JULIA SMITH GIBBONS, Circuit Judge. Defendant-appellee MetroHealth Medical Center (?MetroHealth?) terminated its employee plaintiff-appellant Donna Gembus, who had taken a leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of MetroHealth and Gembus appealed. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the district court?s grant of summary judgment in favor of MetroHealth.

08a0529n.06 Bazzetta v. McGinnis
    Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
08a0530n.06 USA v. Riley
    Western District of Michigan at Grand Rapids
08a0531n.06 USA v. Meeks
    Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland
08a0532n.06 Gulezian v. Mukasey
    Board of Immigration Appeals
08a0533n.06 CareToLive v. Andrew von Eschenbach
    Southern District of Ohio at Columbus
08a0534n.06 USA v. Hunley
    Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville
08a0535n.06 USA v. Cook
    Western District of Tennessee at Memphis

Full post as published by Sixth Circuit Cases on August 30, 2008 (boomark / email).

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