Opinions

Starting April 16th 2005 the E-Government Act of 2002 requires that the court provide access to the substance of all written opinions issued by the court, regardless of whether such opinions are to be published in the official court reporter, in a text searchable format.

Written Opinions filed after April 16, 2005, are now searchable and available at no cost to ECF and PACER users.

ECF USERS: Enter your ECF login and password and click on the "Reports" option on the blue menubar. Click on the "Written Opinions" report to search for opinions or to view case specific opinions filed after April 16, 2005. You will NOT be prompted to enter your PACER login and password.

PACER USERS: Enter your PACER login and password and click on the "Reports" option on the bluemenu bar. Click on the "Written Opinions" report to search for opinions or to view case specific opinions filed after April 16, 2005. You will NOT be charged for running this report or viewing, printing or saving opinions listed on this report. To avoid billing charges, ALWAYS use the "Written Opinions" report to view, print or save court opinions.

Senior District Judge John G. Heyburn II

Case Name: Keith B. Baranski, et al. v. Fifteen Unknown Agents of ATF, et al.

Abstract: Plaintiffs, Keith B. Baranski and Pars International Corporation, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Defendants, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, alleging that Defendants obtained an unlawful search warrant and then violated Plaintiffs? Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights by seizing 372 machine guns under authority of the warrant. The subject warrant was issued by a magistrate judge who sealed the affidavit supporting the warrant and identifying the machine guns for seizure after issuance of the warrant. Defendants moved for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity. The Court held that Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity because Plaintiffs did not have a clearly established constitutional right to a unsealed affidavit. The Court also held that Plaintiffs could not rely on the violation of federal statute as a vehicle for alleging a constitutional claim under Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents, et al., 403 U.S. 388 (1971).

 

 

Case Name: William Fultz v. Richard Whittaker, et al.

Abstract: Defendants, Officer Richard Whittaker, Officer Kevin Nuss and the Oldham County Fiscal Court moved for summary judgment on all Plaintiff, William Fultz?s, state and federal 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims. Disputes as to material facts foreclosed both qualified immunity and summary judgment on certain constitutional and state law claims as to Defendant Whittaker.

 

 

Case Name: Veronica Ayers v. C&D General Contractors, et al.

Abstract: The Court considered whether it should approve a consent judgment entered into between Plaintiff Veronica Ayers and Defendant C&D General Contractors, Inc. (?C&D?). Defendants American States Insurance Company and American Economy Insurance Company (?American?) filed a motion opposing entry of that judgment. This motion raised an issue of first impression under Kentucky law. After surveying Kentucky law, the relevant public policy considerations, and the law in other jurisdictions, the Court concluded that approval of the consent judgment depended upon Plaintiff providing some evidence that the judgment was reasonable, and American?s response
 

 

Case Name: Kathy L. Corum, et al. v. Fifth Third Bancorp and Fifth Third Bank, Kentucky

Abstract: Plaintiff Kathy Corum sued Defendants Fifth Third Bancorp and Fifth Third Bank, Kentucky alleging that they violated the federal Consumer Leasing Act when they charged $20.00 late payment fees in connection with her motor vehicle lease. Defendants moved for dismissal pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) on the grounds that the late payment fees at issue fall outside the scope of the Consumer Leasing Act. The Court held that section 1667b(b) of the Consumer Leasing Act requires that all late fees imposed by a lessor of consumer goods be reasonable, and that the reasonableness of the fees charged is more properly an issue for summary judgment.

 

 

Case Name: Hossain Saneii, et al. v. William T. Robards, et al.

Abstract: The Court considered a number of motions by Plaintiffs Saneii, et al. and Defendants RoBards, et al. concerning whether to confirm, vacate, or modify an arbitration award given in the Defendants favor. Plaintiffs’ main argument was that because of a recent decision in Kentucky case law, Marks v. Beans, 57 S.W.3d 303 (Ky. App. 2001), the Court should have never compelled arbitration of the claim of fraudulent inducement to enter into the residential real estate contract. Defendants argued that Plaintiffs should have used a different procedural mechanism, besides vacation of the arbitration award, prior to the end of arbitration, and have therefore waived the argument that the arbitrator exceeded his authority and jurisdiction. The Court concluded that the arbitrator did in fact exceed his authority in deciding the fraudulent inducement issue and therefore the arbitration award had to be vacated. To get to this conclusion the Court first decided that Marks clearly established that Kentucky arbitration law requires claims of fraudulent inducement to enter a contract to go to the court and not the arbitrator. Therefore, such a decision by the arbitrator had to be vacated even though the Court originally compelled arbitration on this issue. Next the Court established that state law, not the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) applied to this case, because a residential real estate contract does not involve “interstate commerce.” Had the FAA and not Kentucky law applied, the Court’s initial compulsion of arbitration would have been appropriate and the arbitration award confirmed. Additionally, the Court found that Plaintiffs did not file an improper motion, could not appeal to the Sixth Circuit because this Court had yet to make a final decision, were not required to move for a stay of the arbitration, and did not waive their rights to challenge the arbitration. Finally the Court held that because the Sixth Circuit would review its decision to confirm or vacate de novo, which would include considering Marks, it would cause unnecessary delay if it did not look at its own prior decision where it had incorrectly predicted Kentucky law. The award was vacated as to its finding that Defendants did not fraudulently induce the Plaintiffs to enter the contract, and the Court ordered that it should decided this issue. All other parts of the arbitration award were sustained.
 

 

Case Name: USA v. Donald M. Heavrin

Abstract: On remand from the Sixth Circuit, this Court determined whether Heavrin was entitled to attorney’s fees under the Circuit’s newly articulated Hyde Amendment standard. The Court analyzed the indictment as a whole and determined that the indictment was not frivolous and therefore denied Heavrin’s renewed motion for attorney’s fees under the Hyde Amendment.

District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman

Case Name: Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. v. BTS, Inc.

Abstract: This order granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in part and denied it in part. The parties' contract clearly required the defendant to provide computer equipment which it later refused to provide. Therefore, judgment on contractual liability was entered for the plaintiff. In light of the minimal discovery which had taken place in the case at this stage, however, the plaintiff was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the issue of damages. The plaintiff also failed to show it was entitled to judgment on the defendant's unjust enrichment counter-claim.

Case Name: Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. v. BTS, Inc.

Abstract: In this order, the court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff's second motion for summary judgment, ruling that the plaintiff was entitled to a little over $70,000 in damages for the defendant's breach of contract. The plaintiff failed to show, however, that it was entitled to the more than $100,000 in damages it was seeking.

Senior District Judge Charles R. Simpson III

Case Name: Critchfield v. Continental Casualty Co.

Abstract: Cross-motions for summary judgment in this ERISA action challenging the denial of long-term disability benefits. Held: Summary judgment granted for the plaintiff. The denial of benefits by the plan administrator was arbitrary and capricious in light of the medical evidence suggesting that the plaintiff did not possess the functional ability to perform the occupations for which the vocational specialist had found him qualified.
 

Case Name: Critchfield v. Continental Casualty Co.

Abstract: Attorney's fees and costs justified in this ERISA action, the court having previously granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff that denial of benfits had been arbitrary and capricious. Continental Casualty's handling of the claim was "blameworthy" action, in accordance with the King standard.

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