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Tag Archives: Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

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Tort/Negligence – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – FTCA – Medical Malpractice – VA Hospital – Independent Contractor (access required)

Miller v. United States Even though the VA’s Patient and Nursing Home Resident Rights and Responsibilities document promises to provide patients with understandable information about the complaint process, it does not require VA personnel to explain the employment status of its physicians, nor does it require VA attorneys to counsel patients with malpractice claims on how they can best pursue their legal claims.

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Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Constitutional – First Amendment – Establishment Clause – Church Governance – Status Quo (access required)

McCain v. Brightharp In a congregational church, trustees and deacons attempted to force their pastor’s resignation, and the trustees and deacons allege they were removed from their positions without compliance with the church’s by-laws. The trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to restore the status quo in order to enable the church to act in accordance with its by-laws.

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Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Domestic Relations – Breach of Contract (access required)

Hammer v. Hammer Even though, in settling the issues arising from the break-up of their marriage, the parties entered into a contract, that contract was part of their divorce proceeding; in fact, it was merged into a family court order. Therefore, the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in the plaintiff-husband’s action for a declaratory judgment and other relief in connection with the contract.

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Criminal Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Probation Revocation – Youthful Offender Sentence (access required)

State v. Ellis In 1997, defendant was sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act (YOA) to an indeterminate sentence not to exceed six years, and on Dec. 19, 1997, he was released on YOA parole. The sentencing judge's order simply stated, "Probation to begin after sentence now serving."

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Labor & Employment – ERISA — Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Remand to Plan Administrator — Collateral Order Doctrine (access required)

Dickens v. Aetna Life Ins. Co. The 4th Circuit dismisses for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a plaintiff’s ERISA suit challenging termination of his long-term disability benefits; the district court order denying both parties’ motions for summary judgment and remanding the case to the plan administrator was not appealable under the collateral order doctrine.

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Criminal Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Magistrate Court – Simple Possession of Marijuana – Uniform Traffic Ticket (access required)

Bayly v. State S.C. Code Ann. § 56-7-15 authorized the arresting officer to issue a uniform traffic ticket for simple possession of marijuana as this offense was committed in the officer’s presence. Simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 30 days’ imprisonment or a fine between $100 and $200.

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Bankruptcy – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Tort/Negligence (access required)

McDaniel v. Blust The 4th Circuit upholds a district court’s dismissal of claims by former officers of debtor corporation against the trustee’s law firm, hired to pursue an adversary action against the officers and sued by the former officers for invasion of privacy, breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy; the trial court did not err in applying the Barton doctrine to dismiss the officers’ claims.

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Contract – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction — Iraqi Military Equipment — Refurbishment & Disposal Agreement – Foreign Sovereign Immunity Rejected (access required)

Wye Oak Technology Inc. v. Republic of Iraq In this dispute over a company’s contract with the Iraqi Ministry of Defense to refurbish and dispose of Iraqi military equipment, the district court did not err in denying Iraq’s motion to dismiss on the basis of foreign sovereign immunity, the 4th Circuit says. Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1602-11, a federal court has subject matter jurisdiction only if that claim falls within one of the FSIA’s exceptions to immunity.

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Civil Practice – Res Judicata – Real Property – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Partition & Waste (access required)

Judy v. Judy Where petitioner raised the issue of waste in a partition action in probate court but then asked the probate court not to rule on that issue, the doctrine of res judicata applies to preclude petitioner from bringing a separate waste action in circuit court. We affirm the Court of Appeals’ ruling that petitioner’s waste claim is barred by res judicata.

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