Plaintiffs, nine children in the custody of PMC, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against three Texas officials, in their official capacities, seeking to represent a class of all children who were now, and all those who will be, in the State's long-term foster care. The gravaman of plaintiffs' complaint is that various system-wide problems in Texas's administration of its PMC subjected all of the children in PMC to a variety of harms. Applying the standards announced in the Supreme Court's recent opinion, Wal-mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, the court held that the district court failed to conduct the "rigorous" analysis required by Rule 23 in deciding to certify the proposed class. The court also held that the district court abused its discretion by certifying a class that lacked cohesiveness under Rule 23(b)(2). Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's class certification order and remanded for further proceedings. View "M.D., et al. v. Rick Perry, et al." on Justia Law
Posted in: Civil Rights, Class Action, Constitutional Law, Government & Administrative Law, International Law, Juvenile Law, U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Defendant appealed a restitution order when he plead guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and the district court ordered him to pay restitution to one of the children ("child") portrayed in the images he possessed. At issue was whether 18 U.S.C. 2259 included a proximate causation requirement and whether the restitution order exceeded the amount of the child's losses that his offense caused. The court held that the child was eligible for restitution as a "victim" of defendant's crime of possessing images of her abuse pursuant to section 2259(c) and that the other provisions of section 2259 did not require additional proof of causal connection between defendant's conduct and the child's recoverable losses. The court also vacated the order and remanded where it could not discern from the record any supportable rationale for the district court's order.