Week of August 10, 2020 through August 14, 2020
Salley v. Myers (Gregory 8/10/2020): The Fourth Circuit held that the district court misapplied the summary judgment standard to a malicious prosecution claim in favor of an arresting officer. The court reasoned that the district court failed to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the termination of proceedings in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and that—in this light—the nonmovant showed the existence of genuine issues of material fact concerning whether the arresting officer’s nolle prossed the arresting charge in a way that indicated the nonmovant’s innocence. Therefore, the court vacated the award of summary judgment to the arresting officer and remanded the case for further proceedings. Full Opinion.
United States v. Cobb (Traxler 8/11/2020): The Fourth Circuit upheld the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress images of child pornography seized from the defendant’s computer under a search warrant related to a murder investigation. The court held that the search warrant was sufficiently particular because it confined the officers’ search to evidence connected to the murder investigation. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress the evidence seized from the defendant’s computer. Full Opinion.
Howard County, Md. v. FAA (Diaz 8/11/2020): The Fourth Circuit held that the county unreasonably waited 110 days after the issuance of the FAA’s order—which directed certain air traffic to depart over areas of the county that had previously endured little air traffic—to file its petition to challenge the order. The court reasoned that the county failed to file its petition within the requisite sixty-day period after the FAA issued its order, and the county failed to provide reasonable grounds to extend the filing requirement. Full Opinion.
Stegemann v. Gannett Company, Inc. (Wynn 8/11/2020): The Fourth Circuit held that participants in a 401(k) Savings Plan set out sufficient facts describing how the Defendants’ breached their fiduciary duty by describing how the fiduciary failed to monitor the participants’ 401(k) fund, which led to a failure to recognize and remedy a defect, and that failure resulted in the participants’ financial loss. Therefore, the court vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded for further proceedings. Full Opinion.
Wilcox v. Lyons (Rushing 8/11/2020): The Fourth Circuit upheld the district court’s dismissal of an employee’s retaliation claim premised on reporting alleged sex discrimination. In upholding the decision below, the court pointed out that the complaint did not implicate disparate treatment on the basis of a protected classification; rather, the complaint concerned First Amendment protections. Therefore, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s complaint failed to present a cognizable claim and affirmed the district court’s decision to dismiss. Full Opinion.