Six new opinions today! Plus 3 others from yesterday. I’m swamped so I’m keeping it short.
In re: Search of Electronic Communications — 4th Amendment — dismissal — Fuentes
The court dismissed this appeal by Congressman Chaka Fattah challenging a search warrant, holding that challenges to unexecuted warrants do not qualify for interlocutory appeal.
Schmigel v. Uchal — civil procedure — reversal — Krause
The court held that the notice requirement of Pennsylvania’s certificate-of-merit requirement for state professional malpractice suits is substantive and thus applies in a federal-court diversity suit. Rendell dissented.
Lincoln Benefit v. AEI Life — civil procedure — vacate — Fuentes
The court held that, in order to survive a motion to dismiss, a diversity-suit plaintiff need not allege the citizenship of each member of an unincorporated association, so long as it alleges complete diversity in good faith after a reasonable attempt to identify the members. Ambro concurred, joined by both members of the panel, to urge the Supreme Court to return to its earlier LLC-diversity approach.
Zahner v. Secretary — civil — reversal in part — McKee
The court held that federal law pre-empted a PA law that purports to make all annuities assignable and reversed a district-court ruling that annuities count as resources for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. Rendell dissented.
Reyes v. Netdeposit — class action — vacate — McKee
The court vacated a district court order denying certification of a consumer class on commonality and predominance grounds. Charles Becker argued on behalf of amici.
U.S. v. Doe — 2255 — remand — Ambro
The court remanded in this significant 2255 appeal, vacating the district court’s denial of Doe’s successor motion. The opinion is a glorious 50-page monument to the absurd complexity of habeas law.
Spady v. Bethlehem School Dist. — civil rights — reversal — Vanaskie
The court held that a defendant in a suit under 1983 was entitled to summary judgment because his conduct did not violate a clearly established constitutional right.
Washington v. Secretary — habeas — affirmance — Fisher
The court again affirmed a grant of habeas relief for allowing redacted introduction of a co-defendant’s confession, following a Supreme Court GVR.