Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. v Kansas Department of Transportation

Martin sued Department, its director and deputy director alleging due process and other violations for removing two of its quarries form the approved list of suppliers of construction aggregate. The district court dismissed on the pleadings. The panel, with one judge concurring in part and dissenting in part, affirmed. The majority held that Martin’s argument that an emergency stop gap strengthening of requirements violated its property interest in supplying aggregate was both waived through failure to argue at the district court level and meritless as federal approval was only needed to avoid withdrawal of federal funds not to set standards and the raised standards improved road quality which would likely find favor at the federal level and Department is charged with enforcing safety standards including those involving suppliers. It further held that the raised standards imposed in 2013 were within Department’s power and thus no property interest existed to supply aggregate for the two quarries given the aggregate failed the tests under the standards. The majority held there was no private of contract between Martin and Department as it merely supplied contractors and did not enter a contract with department and thus has no property interest in the contract or right thereunder. It also held that being on the preapproved list does not entitle Martin or anyone else to sell aggregate to Department as Department retains discretion to reject on site aggregate that violates any of several policies or standards. The majority held there was no liberty interest violation as all statements Martin complained about were accurate namely the aggregate from the two quarries did not pass the tests needed to get onto the approved list and there was no evidence of significant impairment of its business. The partial concurrence argued that Martin failed to appeal the district court’s ruling there was no defamation and thus the liberty interest judgment must be affirmed.. The dissent argued Martin alleged a property interest in staying on the preapproved list, that Department lacked discretion to remove the quarries if standards are met, Department failed to prove the required “major change” set out in the regulations and thus Martin alleged a protectable property interest.

Tripodi v Welch

Welch appealed a default judgment against him and the district court’s ruling that the judgment was not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The panel affirmed. It held that accepting the facts in the complaint as true, as required by the default order, there was sufficient evidence to prove securities fraud as the notes were high yield investments that were available to unsophisticated investors, the terms were not negotiated and the collateral was limited and provided only limited security to investors. The panel affirmed the nondischaragability judgment as securities fraud judgments which are memorialized are not dischargeable under 11 USC 523(a)(19).