Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals 
Weekly Update
 February 13, 2019

Published Opinions

There were no published cases directly involving labor or employment law cases last week.

In a published non-labor case that may be of some interest, Paez v. Mulvey , Case No. 16-16863 (February 8, 2019), the Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of qualified immunity on a Fourth Amendment claim. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants submitted or approved misleading affidavits to obtain arrest warrants. The plaintiffs, who were city police officers, had been arrested for fraud and theft for failing to remit administrative fees to the city for off-duty employment, and for reporting work time for the city while simultaneously working off-duty employment. The plaintiffs argued that the defendants were aware that administrative fees were not required in the bargaining agreement, that they had been submitted later anyway, and that the double-reporting of time was the result of the common and employer-approved practice of flexibly reporting compensatory hours in lieu of overtime compensation, but failed to include these facts in the affidavits. In reversing the district court, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that these contentions did not defeat probable cause since the defendants were not required to “resolve legal matters in dispute, understand the nuances of any possible defense, or answer them in order to decide whether there was probable cause.” Because the sources from whom the defendants obtained their information were reliable, the officers could reasonably believe probable cause existed.  
Unpublished Opinions

Case No. 18-13173
February 8, 2019

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint seeking current and prospective relief under ERISA as to her employer’s life insurance benefits plan.

The plaintiff sued after the defendant denied the plaintiff’s claim for a premium waiver under the plan on the grounds of total disability. After the suit was filed, the defendant reversed its administrative decision and granted the waiver retroactively, and the district court dismissed the complaint on the grounds of mootness. In response, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint which again brought her original claim, and added a request for declaratory relief as to how the plan would treat her qualification under the waiver provision in the future. The district court again dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit agreed that the original claim was moot, and that the claim for future relief did not raise a present case or controversy. The Court rejected the plaintiff’s contention that the Court should apply judicial estoppel to bar Liberty Life from contending that her claim was not presently justiciable, distinguishing another case plaintiff identified involving Liberty Life’s litigation position, finding it was not inconsistent with the defendant’s position in this case. 
The Eleventh Circuit Weekly Update was prepared by Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission staff: case summaries by Chairman Frank E. Brown, and Appellate Counsel Cristina A. Velez and Katie E. Sabo; editing by Deputy General Counsel and Chief Appellate Attorney Amanda L. Neff; research and layout by Research Attorney Lesley Blanton.