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Inmate's Civil Rights Suit Re Prison Officials Opening "Legal Mail," Plus Insurance, Contract & Immigration Matters

By FindLaw Staff | Last updated on

Spivey v. Adaptive Mktg. LLC., 09-3619, involved a plaintiff's suit for breach of contract and unjust enrichment in connection with his purchase of an Atkins diet product.  The court affirmed the district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment as, the voluntary payment doctrine applies in this case and precludes plaintiff from recovering the payments to defendant as, in the five years during which the charges appeared on plaintiff's credit card bills, he made no effort to discover the nature of the charge to his credit card and paid it in silence.


Muratoski v. Holder, 09-3378, concerned a petition for review brought by a native and citizen of Macedonia of the BIA's denial of a motion to reconsider its earlier decision dismissing an appeal of an IJ's denial of an application for cancellation of removal.  In denying the petition, the court held that the petitioner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies on the sole issue he raised in the petition for review.

Guajardo-Palma v. Martinson, 10-1726, concerned a challenge to the district court's dismissal of a suit for failure to state a claim, in an inmate's suit claiming that his constitutional rights were violated when prison guards opened legal mail addressed to him outside his presence.  In affirming, the court held that, although it is true that Wisconsin law provides that mail from certain officials and organizations, both state and federal, may be opened only in the inmate's presence, and this law may have been violated in this case, a violation of state law is not a ground for a federal civil rights suit.

Amerisure Mut. Ins. Co. v. Microplastics, Inc., 09-3764, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer on the ground that the underlying suit did not trigger a duty to defend because it did not allege "property damage" or "bodily injury" under the general commercial liability (CGL) policies, in the insurer's suit against its insured seeking a declaration that it was not obligated to defend the insured in an underlying suit against it.  The court affirmed the judgment as, the claim in the underlying suit has all the earmarks of a pure breach of contract claim for costs of repair, replacement, or similar economic losses not covered by the insurance policy, and there is no indication that the insured manufacturer's products caused damage to any property other than the defective products themselves.

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