By: Jonathan Hilliard & Timothy Day

DePaola v. Clarke

In this prisoner civil rights case, the Fourth Circuit affirmed in part, and reversed in part, the district court’s granting of the prison’s motion to dismiss the prisoner’s claims. The Circuit, using the “continuing violation doctrine,” held that DePaola’s claims were not time barred. Furthermore, the Circuit held DePaola’s allegations were sufficient to claim deliberate indifference to his mental health needs but insufficient to claim deliberate indifference by defendants for his physical health needs. Accordingly, the case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

Slay’s Restoration v. Wright Nat’l Flood Insurance Co.

In this civil case, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s conclusion that a subcontractor did not adequately allege that its injury was proximately caused by an insurance company’s alleged violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).  The subcontractor failed to show that its alleged injury was the direct result of the insurance company’s alleged illegal conduct.

United States v. Hyman

In this criminal case, after rehearing, the Fourth Circuit granted the government’s motion to dismiss for Hyman’s failure to meet the requirement for timely filing. Although Hyman contended that the government was late in filing its motion, the court noted that Local Rule 27(f) allows a party to move to dismiss on procedural grounds at any time and accordingly granted the government’s motion.

United States v. Recio

In this criminal case, the Fourth Circuit upheld the district court’s admission of a post on the defendant’s Facebook account that quoted a rap lyric.  Furthermore, the Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it instructed the jury to continue its deliberations and when it denied the defendant’s motion for a mistrial.

BAE Sys. Tech. v. Republic of Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Admin.

In this civil case, the Fourth Circuit affirmed both the district court’s issuing of a declaratory judgment and its refusal to enjoin litigation in Korea. The Circuit noted that allowing Korea to recover from BAE would undermine the foreign military sale (FMS) structure by circumventing the FMS dispute settlement provisions and the control the United States retains in all FMS transactions over price. Additionally, the court reasoned that international comity supported the district court’s ruling refusing to enjoin litigation in Korea.

Adams v. Ferguson

In this civil case, the deceased died in jail while awaiting court-ordered transfer to a mental health hospital, and his estate sued the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services, alleging negligence and constitutional violations.  Under the collateral order doctrine, the Fourth Circuit reviewed the district court’s refusal to dismiss the estate’s constitutional claims and held that the Commissioner is entitled to qualified, but not absolute, immunity.