Justia Commercial Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Government Law
County Records, Inc. v. Armstrong
A commercial website operator filed this declaratory judgment action seeking a determination of the reasonableness of the fee charged by the Rogers County Clerk for electronic copies of records and for a determination that the corporation was entitled to an electronic copy of the official tract index of county land records. Plaintiff County Records, Inc. is in the business of operating a website that provides land records to on-line subscribers, including the county clerk records for all 77 counties in Oklahoma. In April 2009, Plaintiff requested electronic copies of land records from the County Clerk's office including an electronic copy of the official tract index. The request for an electronic copy of the official tract index was denied based on Defendant's belief that she is legally prohibited from providing it to Plaintiff for its intended commercial sale of the information. The trial court granted summary judgment to the corporation and directed the Clerk to provide all the requested electronic copies at a "reasonable fee." Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed, finding that Plaintiff was not legally entitled to the tract index information in electronic form and the county clerk is prohibited by a specific provision in the Open Records Act from providing information from the land records for resale.View "County Records, Inc. v. Armstrong" on Justia Law
Posted in: Business Law, Commercial Law, Constitutional Law, Government Law
Commc’ns Workers of Am., ALF-CIO v. Pub. Serv. Comm’n of Md.
Verizon Maryland, a telecommunications company, and the staff of the Public Service Commission (PSC) obtained PSC approval of a global settlement of six pending cases. Verizon employed an alternative form of regulation (AFOR) under Md. Code Ann. Pub. Util. Co. (PUC) 4-301 that included up to $6,000,000 in bill credits to customers with out-of-service complaints that were not resolved in compliance with specified standards. PSC approved the AFOR pursuant to PUC 4-301. A technicians union objected, contending that the service quality aspects of the AFOR did not ensure the quality, availability, and reliability of service required by PUC 4-301. The circuit court affirmed PSC's approval of the AFOR. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that PSC acted within its discretion in approving the AFOR, as PUC 4-301's use of the term "ensuring" did not require that PSC be completely certain that Verizon's incentive strategy would result in compliance with standards.View "Commc'ns Workers of Am., ALF-CIO v. Pub. Serv. Comm'n of Md." on Justia Law
Posted in: Commercial Law, Consumer Law, Government Law, Utilities Law
Twin Rivers Health & Rehab, LLC v. Health Servs. Permit Comm’n
The Arkansas Health Services Permit Commission awarded Hospitality Care Center a permit of approval (POA) for a nursing facility. Gracewood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center subsequently requested approval from the Commission to transfer the POA to it from Hospitality. Twin Rivers Health and Rehab opposed the transfer. The Commission ultimately granted the transfer of the POA. Twin Rivers sought judicial review of the Commission's decision and declaratory relief, naming as defendants the Commission, the Arkansas Health Services Permit Agnecy (AHSPA), Gracewood, and Hospitality. The circuit court granted the summary judgment motion of the Commission and the AHSPA and affirmed the Commission's decision. The Supreme Court (1) reversed and remanded the matter with directions to enter findings of fact and conclusions of law because the Commission did not set forth any findings of fact or conclusions of law to support its decision to grant the transfer of the POA; and (2) dismissed without prejudice that portion of the appeal relating to Twin Rivers's request for summary judgment, as the Court does not hear appeals piecemeal.View "Twin Rivers Health & Rehab, LLC v. Health Servs. Permit Comm'n" on Justia Law
Posted in: Commercial Law, Government Law, Health Care Law
Drs. Pass and Bertherman, Inc. v. Neighborhood Health Plan of R.I.
When Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (NHP), a not-for-profit corporation that operated a licensed health maintenance organization that provided health insurance coverage to its enrollees, began reimbursing ophthalmologists at a higher rate than the rate paid to optometrists for performing the same services, two optometrists brought an action on behalf of all optometrists who had entered into participating provider agreements with NHP during the period that the differential reimbursement policy was in effect, contending that this differential reimbursement violated state law. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of NHP, reasoning that the antidiscrimination provision in R.I. Gen. Laws 5-35-21.1(b) applied only to expenditures of public funds and that NHP did not violate the statute because NHP paid for the ophthalmologists' services using private money. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the statute at issue was not ambiguous; and (2) the motion justice did not err in concluding that NHP is not an agency or department of the state and cannot otherwise be considered a state actor.View "Drs. Pass and Bertherman, Inc. v. Neighborhood Health Plan of R.I." on Justia Law
Posted in: Class Action, Commercial Law, Constitutional Law, Government Law