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Federal New Releases

New Releases
from Federal Courts

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Consumer law -- Debt collection -- Plaintiff filed lawsuit against defendant for violation of Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and nearly one year later filed second lawsuit against defendant in state court for violations of TCPA, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, which defendant removed to federal court and moved to dismiss for improper claim-splitting -- Joinder of parties -- Mandatory -- District court did not err by denying joinder of additional parties pursuant to Rule 19(a) where plaintiff failed to demonstrate that she could not obtain full relief from defendant for allegedly unlawful communications without joining the additional parties and, further, record is devoid of any allegations that party to be joined acted in concert with or controlled actions of named defendant -- Permissive -- District court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion to permissively join additional parties pursuant to Rule 20(a) where plaintiff could have amended her complaint to include the additional parties in first lawsuit arising out of same underlying conduct, but failed to do so, and allowing joinder would have undesireable effect of exposing defendant to potential conflicting liability and inconsistent judgments -- Dismissal -- Improper claim-splitting -- District court did not err in dismissing for improper claim-splitting second lawsuit filed prior to final judgment in first lawsuit -- District court properly applied a two-factor test for claim-splitting whereby the court analyzed whether the cases involve the same parties and their privies and whether the separate cases arise from same transaction or series of transactions, meaning the two actions are based on same nucleus of operative facts -- In the two lawsuits at issue, the parties are identical and factual basis for both lawsuits are related in time, origin, and motivation, and form a convenient trial unit, thereby precluding plaintiff from splitting her claims among lawsuits -- Addition of separate causes of actions in second lawsuit does not prevent application of claim-splitting doctrine
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Elections -- Congressional redistricting -- District court did not clearly err in concluding that race considerations predominated in North Carolina's redrawing of two congressional districts, District 1 and District 12 -- For District 1, record shows that state purposefully established a racial target for the district and that target “had a direct and significant impact” on the district's configuration; and, further, the electoral history gave the state no good reason to think that the Voting Rights Act required it to ramp up District 1's black voting-age population -- For District 12, the state made no attempt to justify its race-based districting
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International law -- Service of process -- Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters -- Hague Service Convention does not prohibit service of process by mail -- Text and structure of the Convention indicate that Article 10(a), which provides that Convention will not interfere with “the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons abroad,” encompasses service by mail
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Patents -- Infringement -- Venue -- Proper venue for patent infringement lawsuit brought against domestic corporation is “judicial district where the defendant resides” -- For purposes of patent venue statute, domestic corporation “resides” only in its state of incorporation -- Definition of domestic corporation's “residence” contained in general venue statute, 28 U.S.C. section 1391(c), does not supplant the definition announced by Court in Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp. so as to allow patent infringement lawsuit against corporation to be brought in any district in which corporation is subject to personal jurisdiction
VIEW OPINION

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