October 31, 2022, opinions

Designated for publication

  • Byrd v. Cornelius, 21-20654, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • Clement, J. (Clement, Duncan, Wilson), qualified immunity
    • Dismissing appeal of denial of summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds, where summary judgment was denied based on a finding of a dispute of material fact.
    • The Court held that its jurisdiction to review a denial of qualified immunity summary judgment was limited to the legal issue of the materiality of any factual dispute, and not to the genuineness of a fact dispute. “[W]e do not apply the standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 but consider only whether the district court erred in its assessment of the legal significance of any factual disputes it found in the record on summary judgment.”
    • The Court reviewed video evidence and found it non-conclusive as to whether the plaintiff’s of the officers’ version of events was the correct version, and so deferred to the magistrate judge’s findings that there was a genuine dispute of facts.
    • The Court then held that the facts, taken in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, present a clear violation of federal law where they show “a teenager who claims she was not committing a crime, not a threat to others, and not resisting or attempting to flee the police when the officers allegedly used excessive force.”
  • In re Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., 22-11009, petition for writ of mandamus to N.D. Tex.
    • Elrod, J. (Elrod, Graves, Ho), mandamus, qui tam, Medicaid fraud, transfer of venue
    • Denying writ of mandamus to transfer Medicaid-fraud qui tam action from the Amarillo Division of the Northern District of Texas to the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas.
    • The Court held that the petitioner could not show a clear and indisputable right to the writ. The Court emphasized the discretion given to courts in determining whether to transfer venue. “The record before us falls well short of establishing that the destination venue is clearly more convenient than Respondents’ chosen venue.”


  • Ramirez v. Martin, 22-10011, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (King, Duncan, Engelhardt), King, J., concurring in judgment only; qualified immunity
    • Affirming 12(b)(6) dismissal on qualified immunity grounds.
  • U.S. v. Martinez, 22-10127, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Wiener, Elrod, Engelhardt), criminal, compassionate release
    • Affirming denial of motion for compassionate release.
  • Sentry Equities, Ltd. v. Allstate Life Insurance Co., 22-20024, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Stewart, Elrod, Graves), insurance
    • Affirming summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s claim that life insurer breached policy by unilaterally lowering the interest rate and causing the cash value of the policy to decrease.
  • Bonner v. Gayle, 22-20105, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Wiener, Elrod, Engelhardt), prisoner suit
    • Affirming dismissal of former Texas prisoner’s § 1983 action.
  • Patrick v. Herbst, 22-40150, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (King, Higginson, Willett), prisoner suit
    • Affirming dismissal of prisoner’s § 1983 action.