Aviva Life and Annuity Company v White (In re Millennium Multiple Employer Welfare Benefit Plan)

As part of the Chapter 11 proceeding involving Plan, Aviva field an interpleader action involving claims by White for life insurance benefits and tort claims. The bankruptcy court enjoined White from pursuing any claims for benefits under the policy, but, allowed the state tort claims to proceed. The district court affirmed on appeal and the panel also affirmed. It held that the interpleader statute requires an identifiable stake and two or more adverse claims when the substance of the legal claims is reviewed. Here, the White’s tort claims are general damages claims not a claim as to the policies or the premiums that paid for the policies. Additionally White does not claim an ownership interest in the policies adverse to Plan. Thus, neither element was met as to the tort claims and the bankruptcy court properly limited its injunction.

Albers v Board of County Commissioners of Jefferson County, Colorado

Albers and other sheriff department employees sued Board alleging failure to pay the correct overtime amount under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Board moved to dismiss. Albers filed an amended complaint which Board moved to dismiss adding an argument that Albers failed to allege the base pay alleged was actually the employee’s regular pay. The district court granted the second motion to dismiss on the ground that the employees effective amended their contracts to accept the lower rates actually paid. The panel affirmed. It adopted the 3rd Circuit rule and held that even if the district court erred in granting the second motion to dismiss on the new argued ground, Board could have answered then moved to dismiss so any error was harmless. The panel held that the amount actually paid in Albers paycheck, not a higher promised rate in documents issued by the Board, was the base amount for overtime calculation and thus the overtime amounts were correctly calculated. It finally held there was no abuse of discretion in denying leave to further amend the complaint as Albers failed to set out what new factual allegations would have been included.

 United States v Morrison

Morrison pled guilty to child pornography charges. He challenged his sentence and special conditions of supervised release on appeal. The panel affirmed. It held the district court gave sufficient analysis as to why it refused to vary downward and Morrison’s sentence was thus procedurally valid. The panel noted that district courts that agree with sentencing guidelines policy cannot abuse their discretion by following the policy. The panel held that Morrison waived his challenge to a ban on computer possession or internet use at sentencing and that the ban on cameras was reasonable given the large number of images on Morrison’s computer which supported an inference that he may take pictures in the future. The panel also noted that Morrison can use a camera with permission from his probation officer.