Docket – January 18, 2019

NOTE: Evening Docket will be on hiatus on Monday, January 21, 2019, in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

U.S. District Court – Virginia Eastern

Patient Servs. Inc. v. United States, EDVA at Richmond (Lauck).

The court grants the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General limited discovery to determine whether the plaintiff, a patient assistance program, waived its First Amendment rights to engage in discussions with donors.

The Department issued an advisory opinion limiting such discussions as they relate to funding levels for particular diseases. The plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief on First Amendment grounds. But the defendants have sufficiently argued that the administrative record in this case might be so deficient as to preclude effective review. Thus, limited discovery is warranted to determine whether the plaintiff can sufficiently allege a First Amendment injury-in-fact.

Newcomer v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., EDVA at Richmond (Payne).

In this mortgage litigation, the bank improperly removed the state-court action to federal court, stating as the basis of federal jurisdiction only a defense grounded in pre-emption by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The bank did not timely amend its notice of removal to include diversity jurisdiction as the basis, and therefore its fraudulent-joinder claim will not be considered.

Motion to remand granted.

Categories: Daily Dockets

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