According to the December issue of the ABA Journal, the federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has passed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as the court most reversed by the United States Supreme Court. Since the Fall of 2005, the 6th Circuit has apparently been reversed 31 of 38 times, or 81.6% of the time. The 9th Circuit runs a close second with a reversal rate of 100 of 128 cases, or 78.1%. The reversal rate for the 6th Circuit's 2011-2012 term was 5 of 5, and the article says that habeas cases have been a big issue for the 6th Circuit over the years. Unfortunately, the 6th Circuit judges did not respond to an interview request by the deadline for the ABA Journal article.
According to a news release from the United States Courts, PACER fees are increasing from $.08 to $.10 per page effective April 1, 2012. The increase is apparently needed to maintain and enhance the public access system, as well as "develop and implement the next generation of the judiciary’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system." PACER fees have been 8 cents since 2005, and the electronic system which provides public access is totally self-funded.
The Sixth Circuit Law Blog tipped me off to a new procedure being employed in the federal 6th Circuit. The blog indicates that: "The Sixth Circuit is trying to cut down its backlog of cases and decide all cases in a more expeditious manner. To do that, they are scheduling some cases for telephone argument. Other cases are being issued 'on brief day set' notices that do not acknowledge the request for oral argument." I checked, and 6th Circuit Rule 34(h)(4) on Oral Argument provides that: "This court may conduct oral argument via teleconference in appropriate cases." The Court has also created a Telephone Argument Acknowledgement Form, and I even found the Court's telephone argument calendar. According to the 6th Circuit Law Blog, this process is speeding up the delivery of opinions.
Drivers of leased vehicles will have to wait a bit longer to find out if the City of Cleveland will have to reimburse them a collective $10 million dollars over red light traffic camera tickets. The 6th Circuit issued a recent decision in the McCarthy case which upheld the law under Constitutional provisions prohibiting unjust takings (U.S. Const. amend V; Ohio Const. Art. I, § 19), but remanded the case to the district court for a determination of whether the City was unjustly enriched by collecting $100 fines from lessees under a law that purportedly only covered vehicle owners. Click here to read an article from Cleveland.com about the court's decision.
The Sixth Circuit court has affirmed the Akron District Court's dismissal of Cleveland's nuisance suit alleging that subprime lending tactics by 22 financial entities caused the local foreclosure crisis. The Sixth Circuit's decision devolved to a proximate cause analysis, with the Court concluding that: "the connection between the alleged harm and the alleged misconduct is too indirect to warrant recovery." See our prior post about the district court decision and links to additional information.
Starting with March 11, 2009, Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Counsel who work on cases before the Sixth Circuit can now receive additional compensation, including $500 more, or $6,100, for representation in direct appeals and appeals from the denial of habeas corpus or section 2255 relief. The Court also increased the hourly compensation rate from $100 to $110 for non-capital representation. Finally, the maximum hourly rate for capital federal post-conviction proceedings was raised from $170 to $175. Click here to read the Court's notice, and here for CJA forms.
The federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon be implementing mandatory electronic case filing. According to a Notice the Court recently posted on its home page, the system will operate similar to the ECF systems being used in many federal district courts, with some differences. In addition, filers will have to re-register with PACER for the 6th Circuit even if they are already registered to file in district court. Potential filers are also asked to watch the Sixth Circuit's website for additional, upcoming information.