Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of judgment on the pleadings to the city in an action brought by landlord after the city revoked his rental-dwelling license. The court held that Ellis v. City of Minneapolis, 860 F.3d 1106, 1109 (8th Cir. 2017), was controlling in this case, and that landlord failed to allege a plausible claim to relief under the Fair Housing Act. Giving landlord's complaint the honest, fair assessment he invites, the court was left with the inescapable conclusion that his claim was indeed about the city's alleged hyper-enforcement of its housing code against for-profit landlords, which was essentially the same allegation that this court considered and rejected in Ellis. View "Khan v. City of Minneapolis" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed an adverse order by the FAA's Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA) regarding property Southern leased to the Administration. Southern subsequently sold the property and surrounding land to Prairie Land, assigning its lease with the FAA to Prairie Land. After the FAA refused to vacate the premises, Prairie Land initiated a contract dispute with the ODRA. The court held that the FAA's continued occupancy of the property was permitted, and the ODRA did not err by concluding that the holdover provisions permitted the FAA to holdover on the property until either a new lease was agreed upon or it acquired the property in fee. Therefore, the FAA was fully within its rights to continue possessing the property. View "Prairie Land Holdings, LLC v. FAA" on Justia Law

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At issue in this appeal were the pleading requirements for a verified claim in a civil forfeiture proceeding. The Eighth Circuit previously held that a claimant who contests a forfeiture must state its interest in the disputed property "with some level of specificity," and that "a general assertion" of an interest in property is insufficient to satisfy the governing rule of procedure. The court held that the "specificity" requirement imposed by the court's prior decision was not supported by Supplemental Rule G(5), and that LNG's claim was sufficient to comply with Rule G(5). In this case, LNG satisfied the Rule G(5) requirement by stating that it was the owner of the currency at issue and it had a claim to, interest in, and right to the property. The court reasoned that, to impose a mandate that the claimant must provide more detail or specificity, such as information about how it obtained the funds at issue, would go beyond the sparse terms of the rule. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's order striking LNG's claim and remanded for further proceedings. View "United States v. LNG Express, Inc." on Justia Law

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A group of landowners filed suit against Dakota Access, alleging that they were induced to sign easement contracts allowing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline across their properties based on various misrepresentations made by Dakota Access and its contracting affiliate CLS. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint, holding that plaintiffs' claim under North Dakota law sounded in fraud, and all plaintiffs' claims were thus governed by the heightened pleading standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b). In this case, the complaint failed to plead such facts as the time, place, and content of defendant's false representations, as well as the details of defendant's fraudulent acts, including when the acts occurred, who engaged in them, and what was obtained as a result. View "Olin v. Dakota Access, LLC" on Justia Law

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This appeal stemmed from a dispute over who was the rightful owner of a Martin D-35 guitar that Elvis Presley played during his final tour in 1977. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of the Museum, holding that the Museum was not bound by a prior Tennessee judgment between defendant and the guitar donor because the Museum was not a party to that action and was not in privity with the donor. In this case, the donor had already delivered the guitar to the Museum at the time defendant commenced the Tennessee action. Therefore, the donor had title to the Martin D-35 guitar when he transferred the guitar to the Museum and the Museum owned the guitar. View "National Music Museum v. Moss" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants after the Redevelopment Authority condemned his property under its power of eminent domain, seeking to enjoin the condemnation proceedings and to obtain relocation benefits under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act. The Eighth Circuit held that the Act did not create a private right of action against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and that plaintiff waived any challenge to the court's abstention decision. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's decision to abstain from deciding plaintiff's claim against the Redevelopment Authority and dismissal of his claim against the Agency. View "Osher v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis" on Justia Law

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After defendant was convicted of bombing a doctor, the United States filed two civil forfeiture actions against weapons seized from defendant during the criminal investigation. On appeal, defendant challenged an order of forfeiture of an unregistered shotgun, and defendant and his wife challenged the forfeiture of 93 National Firearms Act regulated weapons. The Eighth Circuit declined to overturn either order based on defendant's allegations of fraud and improper limitations on discovery. The court held that the district court did not err in granting forfeiture of the shotgun where defendant's acquittal of illegal possession of the shotgun in his criminal trial did not bar the district court from rejecting his affirmative defense and ordering forfeiture of the shotgun in this civil proceeding. The court also held that the district court had jurisdiction to dispose of 93 weapons seized from defendant as he could not lawfully possess them as a convicted felon. Furthermore, the district court did not err in ordering the proceeds from the sale of the weapons to be given to the victim where defendant's wife could not rely on the law of Arkansas marital property to establish an ownership interest in the 93 weapons and the district court did not err in relying on the Arkansas civil judgment in granting defendant's interest in the proceeds to the victim. View "United States v. Mann" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment for Wells Fargo in a third lawsuit arising between the parties involving the foreclosure of plaintiff's property. Plaintiff alleged that the bank violated Minn. Stat. 582.043 when it continued with foreclosure proceedings after he had submitted an application for a loan modification, and Wells Fargo brought a counterclaim against him for breach of a prior settlement agreement. The court held that plaintiff's claim was barred by res judicata because he could have brought the claim during the 2013 foreclosure litigation and he had an opportunity to litigate the claim fairly and fully if he had timely raised it. The court also held that the district court did not err in granting judgment on the pleadings for Wells Fargo on the bank's counterclaim where plaintiff was not discharged from his obligation to perform under the settlement agreement. Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying leave to amend on futility grounds. View "Lansing v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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The Tribe filed suit alleging that the Corps violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in issuing permit and exemption determinations to a real property owner. The permits and exemptions allowed the owner to construct a road by dredging and filling portions of Enemy Swim Lake. With one exception, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the Tribe's claims. The court held that the 2010 letter issued by the Corp did not constitute a final agency action for purposes of the permit and exemption determinations, and that the Tribe's recapture claim was a nonjusticiable enforcement action; the Tribe was not eligible for equitable tolling in this case; the Corps did not act arbitrarily and capriciously by determining that the owner's 2009 project qualified for a nationwide permit; and the court did not have appellate jurisdiction to address the lawfulness of the Corps's NHPA regulations. View "Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation v. U.S. Corps of Engineers" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment against Specialized Loan Servicing, in an action alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Minnesota Mortgage Originator and Servicer Licensing Act. The court held that plaintiff failed to prove actual damages under RESPA and therefore he failed to establish an essential element of his federal claim. In this case, the bank records that plaintiff obtained for 2012 and 2013 were irrelevant to the dispute whether his loan payments were past due before June 2011. In the alternative, plaintiff did not produce evidence to support a finding of "pattern or practice" here, and there was no evidence that Specialized failed to investigate and respond reasonably to qualified written requests from other borrowers. Consequently, the court reversed as to the state law claim as well. The court remanded with directions to enter summary judgment for Specialized on the RESPA claim and for further proceedings on the claim under the Minnesota Act. View "Wirtz v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC" on Justia Law