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Edit Delete 11th Circuit


U.S. v. Kirk, Sep-16-2014

Per curiam, the circuit finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. The Armed Career Criminal Act applies to his prior burglary convictions because they match the generic federal version of the offense. Although Florida's statute is broader than the generic definition, defendant's particular actions would have led to conviction even under a narrower standard. Although the burglary convictions were entered at the same time, they were for seven different crimes committed on separate dates. They could thus both be counted for the Act's purposes. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 11th Circuit


Berry v. Leslie, Sep-16-2014

J. Rosenbaum finds that the lower court properly denied defendant police qualified immunity in plaintiffs' excessive force civil rights claim. A Florida sheriff's office outfitted itself in ballistic vests and masks and invaded a barber shop with guns drawn to demand to see barbers' licenses in "a scene right out of a Hollywood movie." Police violate the Fourth Amendment when they conduct administrative inspections like criminal raids. This was an unannounced, warrantless search, and the named supervisory defendants helped plan and execute it. No reasonable officer could have believed that this was lawful. Administrative searches may be conducted without a warrant only if they are narrowly tailored to the underlying administrative needs. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 11th Circuit


Taylor v. City of Gadsden, Sep-16-2014

J. Tjoflat finds that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiff firefighters' constitutional class action against defendant city, which raised employees' pension contributions by two and a half percent of their compensation in order to avoid default. As of 2011, defendant's pension fund had an unfunded $50.9 million liability, and it enacted the change pursuant to Alabama state law. Plaintiffs did not have a vested interest in a precise contribution rate. The Contract Clause prohibits states from passing laws to impair contractual obligations, but the action here was municipal, not legislative. A city in such a position is analogous to a board of directors and in that sense did not act inappropriately. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit


U.S. v. Andino, Sep-16-2014

J. Droney finds that the district court improperly suppressed evidence of cocaine possession and intent to sell after police gained warrantless entry to a home. Officers went there after a man, arrested for selling cocaine to an informant, said more of the drug could be recovered from a book bag at the home he shared with his girlfriend and that she would show them where it was. With written consent from the man, police went to the home but the girlfriend rebuffed them, shutting the door in their faces and running toward the kitchen in the back of the house. Subsequent noises led officers to believe she was destroying evidence, so they entered the home and discovered a plastic baggie with cocaine residue in the kitchen sink, where water was running. The girlfriend contended the evidence should be suppressed but her actions satisfied extending the exigent circumstances of the warrantless entry to a search of the kitchen and discovery of the cocaine residue. Reversed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit


Mead v. Reliastar Life Insurance Co., Sep-16-2014

Per curiam, the circuit finds that the district court properly remanded a claim for long term disability benefits under ERISA to the insurer for recalculation of payments due, but that the company jumped the gun by appealing the order. A remand order is not a final judicial decision that is immediately appealable. Rather, the insurer must follow a course that includes completing the ordered review, entering a final judgment in district court and then seeking appeal on the judgment.

Edit Delete 3rd Circuit


Metropolitan Edison Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Sep-16-2014

J. Jordan fins that the lower court properly denied plaintiff's request for an injunction against defendants' classification as line-loss costs, power lost as electricity travels over power lines, as the cost of electricity transmission rather than a cost of electricity generation. Defendants' classification as line-loss costs as the cost of electricity transmission means that energy companies cannot recoup the $250 million associated with these costs from customers. However, the plaintiff energy companies already litigated the same issue in Pennsylvania state courts, and the Supreme Court's decision against plaintiffs was denied review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Therefore, plaintiffs are precluded by the state court's decision. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 4th Circuit


Reid v. Commissioner of Social Security, Sep-16-2014

[Amended opinion.] J. Niemeyer finds that appellant, who suffered a degenerative disc disease, was properly denied Social Security disability benefits, which were requested after appellant fell off a roof during work. Appellant says that the denial "was not based on the entire record," claiming that the administrative law judge discussed appellant's medical history from 2004 to 2006 "just a few times." But the judge specifically referred to appellant's "history of thoracic and lumbar fusion," noting that "treatment notes from the relevant period document that the claimant was responding well to treatment with minimal complaints." This finding related to the period that had allegedly been ignored. Appellant argues that the Commissioner of Social Security did not consider his impairments in combination, but the administrative law judge first described why appellant's three severe impairments did not, individually, qualify as disabling, before considering whether the impairments would cumulatively "equal in severity" a listed impairment. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 5th Circuit

In the Matter of Heritage Consolidated v. , Sep-16-2014


Edit Delete 5th Circuit


In re Lisa Ann Coleman v. , Sep-16-2014

[Revised and consolidated with 14-70029.] Per curiam, the circuit holds that the lower court properly denied a death row inmate's stay of execution for the 2004 beating and starving death of a 9-year-old child. Because the inmate made essentially the same claims in a previous habeas petition, the lower court was correct to construe her motion as a successive habeas petition. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 6th Circuit


Rais v. Holder, Sep-16-2014

J. Donald finds that appellant's petition is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Appellant has filed twice with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to reopen removal proceedings against him, requesting that the proceedings be suspended while the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicates his application for adjustment of status. The BIA exercised sua sponte authority. "Under Barry v. Mukasey and Harchenko v. INS, the exercise of this specific authority 'is committed to the unfettered discretion of the BIA' and therefore is not subject to judicial review." Dismissed.

Edit Delete 6th Circuit


Finn v. Warren County, Kentucky, Sep-16-2014

J. Stranch finds that the district court improperly found for Jailer Strode. Defendant died from alcohol withdrawal while in his cell at Warren County Regional Jail. Defendant's estate sued for a violation of his rights to receive adequate medical care while incarcerated. The district court failed to address the holding in Hedgepath. "Hedgepath and Yanero lead us to conclude that the district court erred in granting the Jailer qualified official immunity on the negligence claims brought against him under Kentucky law." Jailer Strode wrote the Emergency Medical Services Policy (EMS); therefore, performed a discretionary act and was granted immunity. However, the proper question should have been if he "negligently performed his ministerial duties to train the deputy jailers to follow the written EMS policy and to enforce the policy as written." Reversed in part.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit


U.S. v. Federal Resources Corp., Sep-16-2014

J. Murguia finds that the district court properly affirmed a consent decree that allowed one of the companies responsible for cleaning up a mine site in Idaho to pay less than defendant. The decree did not violate federal law, as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act allows the government to settle with companies whose futures would be threatened if forced to pay more than they can afford. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit


M.M. v. Lafayette School District, Sep-16-2014

J. Thomas finds that the district court improperly found that defendants did not violate the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Defendant failed to provide educational testing data to parents as required under the law. Reversed in part.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit


Bradford v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, Sep-16-2014

J. Garbis finds that the district court properly affirmed the Public Law Board's termination of plaintiff's employment. Contrary to plaintiff's claim on appeal, the board considered the full record. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals Division One


Vortex Corp. v. Denkewicz, Sep-16-2014

J. Gemmill finds that the trial court properly found for plaintiff on its claims relating to the return of corporate property and alleged violations of employment agreements. Defendant Carol Ann Denkewicz's personal jurisdiction claim failed because she "consented to the jurisdiction of the Arizona courts by not asserting her personal jurisdiction defense until well after the conclusion of the major events of this litigation." The court also properly denied defendants' application for an advance of litigation expenses since no Arizona statute requires a corporation to indemnify or provide an advance. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals Division One


ML Servicing Co. v. Coles, Sep-16-2014

J. Orozco finds that the trial court properly dismissed plaintiff's lawsuit alleging it should recoup insurance proceeds after plaintiffs' deceased husband allegedly paid premiums with funds he misappropriated from Mortgages Ltd. Arizona law protects life insurance proceeds from creditors even if premiums were wrongfully paid. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals Division One


Reyes v. Frank's Service and Trucking, Sep-16-2014

J. Downie finds that the trial court improperly awarded plaintiff -- who was injured in a car collision with defendant's employee -- costs for video-recording depositions that were also transcribed by a court reporter. Both modes of preservation of the record were not necessary. The court properly denied defendant's request for sanctions, however. Plaintiff's recovery was still more than defendant's offer of judgment once taxes were taken into account. Reversed in part.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals, Division Two


State v. Vera, Sep-16-2014

J. Kelly finds that the trial court improperly ordered defendant to be resentenced for murder and burglary. An Arizona statute passed this year provides parole eligibility to juvenile offenders, but it only effects future sentencings and cannot be applied retroactively. Vacated.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal


People v. Peyton, Sep-16-2014

J. Yegan finds that a trial court correctly convicted defendant of receiving stolen property and identity theft, after many "sidetracking" delays. Defendant, who spent three years attacking the integrity of the trial court and other judges while representing himself, cannot show that small errors made by the trial court here and there accumulate into a large reversible error. "A defendant is entitled to a fair trial but not a perfect one," as the Supreme Court has often said. Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal


Judicial Council of California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Sep-16-2014

J. Turner finds that a trial court must find for the Judicial Council because the woman claiming to be injured by an elevator in one of its courthouses did not follow proper procedure in making a government claim. While the woman did present the claims to two different agencies that usually handle tort cases against government entities, the law specifically requires that, in the case of the Judicial Council, only its secretariat can be served with the notice.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal


Raceway Ford Cases v. , Sep-16-2014

[Consolidated.] J. Hollenhorst finds that a trial court incorrectly found defendant Raceway Ford did not break consumer law by backdating second contracts. However, plaintiffs are not automatically entitled to entry of judgment on that point since the practice did not result in illegal finance charges, but only incorrectly calculated interest rates and only in some cases. The trial court's error also undermines its award of more than $1 million in costs and fees to defendant. Reversed in part.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal


People v. Batchelor, Sep-16-2014

J. Hollenhorst finds that a trial court correctly convicted defendant of gross vehicular manslaughter for the victim's death stemming from defendant's DUI crash. Given defendant's prior conviction for DUI and his completion of a court-ordered offender program that addressed the dangers of drunk driving, defendant should have known of the risks to satisfy the elements of the charge. But the trial court in defendant's second trial gave the jury the impression that defendant would go unpunished if they did not convict him of implied malice murder, and prejudiced him in that proceeding. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Sola v. Wal-Mart Stores, Sep-16-2014

J. Prescott finds that the trial court improperly dismissed the personal injury claim plaintiff brought after slipping and falling in defendant's store when renovation efforts were taking place. The court's instructions misled the jury to believe that it could hold defendant liable only if defendant had "actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition" of the area where plaintiff fell. The effectiveness of stripping solution was being tested in one of the aisles. The instructions completely failed to reference "vicarious liability." Reversed.

Edit Delete Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Connecticut v. Jamison, Sep-16-2014

J. Bear finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant of possession of narcotics, but improperly convicted defendant of manufacturing a bomb and possession of an explosive. Defendant fails in his argument that "gluing pennies onto an existing explosive device does not constitute fabricating a bomb as a matter of law." However, the court should have provided an accomplice credibility instruction regarding the testimony from defendant's girlfriend, which was the only evidence that linked defendant to the explosive device found in her apartment. The girlfriend provided inconsistent testimony about a gun that was also recovered in her apartment. Reversed in part.

Edit Delete Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Rozbicki v. Gisselbrecht, Sep-16-2014

J. Beach finds that plaintiff was properly found in contempt after failing to pay costs for the videotaping of a deposition as required by the court. The "passage of time itself did not serve to deprive the court of jurisdiction to enforce its order." Affirmed.

Edit Delete Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Connecticut v. Connor, Sep-16-2014

J. Schaller finds that the trial court improperly found that defendant was competent to represent himself at trial on charges that included kidnapping. While defendant may have been competent to stand trial for the abduction of his wife, he suffered from dementia and psychosis. Though the right to self-representation is not absolute, the court failed to determine defendant's competency to represent himself. Reversed.

Edit Delete Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Sonson v. United Services Automobile Association, Sep-16-2014

J. Peters finds that the trial court properly dismissed plaintiff's insurance claim for reimbursement for the cost of repairs to a Ferrari, as the policy contained a clause that excluded coverage for losses incurred as a result of any type of racing. Nothing disputed that the damage occurred at a "facility designed for racing." Affirmed.

Edit Delete Connecticut Supreme Court


Gilmore v. Pawn King, Sep-16-2014

Defendant allegedly violated the RICO Act and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by selling items pawned by plaintiff. J. Zarella finds that repurchase transactions are subject to the lower interest rate cap imposed by the usury statute, as it would be inconsistent with the purpose of "protecting weak or necessitous men from oppression" to allow pawnbrokers to impose oppressive rates on borrowers simply by structuring a customer transaction as a repurchase agreement rather than as a loan.

Edit Delete Court Of Federal Claims


TPL v. U.S., Sep-16-2014

J. Kaplan finds that the company owes the government $11 million for breach of contract for not completely disposing of the Army's ammunition in its 1994 demilitarization contract. The record shows the company's arguments--that the contract was impossible to actually execute and that the government breached the agreement first by not supplying "technical data packages"--are meritless. Additionally, the company did not first bring up their protests to the Army's contracting officer.

Edit Delete Court Of Federal Claims


Compliance Solutions Occupational Trainers v. U.S., Sep-16-2014

J. Allegra finds that the company cannot sue the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for an online training course it developed because the company was working under an unsigned cooperative agreement, which was not money-mandating. The record shows "no authorized official of the U.S. ever signed the agreement," yet the company chose to develop the program anyway.

Edit Delete Court Of Federal Claims


Dobyns v. U.S., Sep-16-2014

J. Allegra finds that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, after "Kafkaesque" machinations against plaintiff, owes plaintiff $173,000 for mental distress after it violated its 2007 settlement agreement with him. The record shows the parties agreed to move plaintiff back to Tucson, Ariz. after having relocated him to California in the wake of a massive bust against the Hells Angels in which plaintiff was instrumental. However, in a "sorry failure," on the bureau's behalf, bureau staff withdrew plaintiff's secret credentials and exposed him to threats and retaliation, such as the arson attack against plaintiff's home (in which the bureau later tried to implicate plaintiff).

Edit Delete Federal Circuit


Mukand v. U.S., Sep-16-2014

J.Reyna finds that the court of international trade properly calculated an antidumping duty on plaintiff's imports of stainless steel bars from India. The department of commerce applied adverse facts that were available after plaintiff failed to provide production cost data broken down by product size, as was requested on five separate occasions. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Federal Circuit


Virnetx v. Cisco Systems, Sep-16-2014

J. Prost finds that the district court improperly granted some of plaintiff's product infringement claims, though many of plaintiff's patents were infringed by Apple's VPN On Demand product. The matter should be remanded for further proceedings to determine whether the FaceTime feature infringes those patents under the correct claim construction. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete Federal Circuit


U.S. v. Trek Leather, Sep-16-2014

J. Taranto finds that the court of international trade properly held that defendant wrongly introduced merchandise, specially men's suits, into U.S. commerce by means of undervaluation. While the merchandise was in transit to the U.S., defendant transferred ownership of the merchandise to a company he chose to be the importer of record, for its entry into U.S. commerce. He also furnished commercial invoices that materially understated the value of the hired customs broker in order to reduce the calculated customs duties. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Federal Circuit


Jang v. Boston Scientific Corp., Sep-16-2014

J. Linn denies plaintiff's request to transfer. Plaintiff argues that the circuit no longer has appellate jurisdiction because the patent trademark office's cancellation of the patent claims in issue means that the question of patent validity as it related to the public at large can no longer be "substantial." However, the patent law issues raised in the complaint were at that time substantial and met the Gunn test.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal


Flores-Orellana v. Circle-K, Sep-16-2014

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the judge of compensation claims must schedule a hearing on a modification of a 2011 order. Since the "issuance of an order can be mandated, it follows that the scheduling of the event that results in that order can likewise be mandated."

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal


Pennington v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, Sep-16-2014

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the trial court improperly found for plaintiff following its lawsuit to foreclose defendant's mortgage. Plaintiff failed to prove its standing when it did not present documentation that the mortgage lender transferred its interest to plaintiff. Reversed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal


Biden v. Lord, Sep-16-2014

J. Rowe finds that the trial court properly found Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden could not intervene in a case where the final judgment was entered in 2004. Florida law in 2004 "provided that the state attorney for the judicial circuit where a trust had its principal place of administration was the proper representative of a charitable trust's beneficiaries," so the Delaware attorney general was not needed. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal


O'Neil v. Walton County, Sep-16-2014

J. Osterhaus finds that the lower court properly found for defendants and granted an order approving a 20-unit planned development near plaintiffs' beach-view property. The order did not alter the development, which was already approved in 2010. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals


Young v. State, Sep-16-2014

J. Ray finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant on several counts, including armed robbery and aggravated assault. Although defendant claimed that counsel told him to waive his right to a jury trial based on the mistaken belief that the victim would not show up, the attorney testified that defendant had chosen a bench trial against his advice. Since defendant never gave the attorney a witness list, counsel was not deficient for failing to call witnesses. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals


State v. Fedrick, Sep-16-2014

J. Ray finds that the trial court improperly excluded the results of a breath test the state administered following defendant's DUI arrest. The fact that the arresting officer added some words when reading the implied consent notice did not affect defendant's decision to consent to testing. Reversed.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals


BDO USA v. Coe, Sep-16-2014

J. Ray finds that a lower court properly denied appellants arbitration of a tax consulting dispute that was pending before an Illinois court authorized to hear it. The Georgia court lacked jurisdiction to consider the arbitration petition according to state law, which is not preempted by federal arbitration law. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Indiana Court Of Appeals


Mechling v. Indiana, Sep-16-2014

J. Robb finds that defendant was properly denied his right to appeal an invasion of privacy conviction. Despite the fact that trial court asked if defendant wished to appeal his conviction, he had waved that right as part of a plea agreement and could not appeal the judgment. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Indiana Court Of Appeals


Jenkins v. Jenkins, Sep-16-2014

J. Crone finds that the trial court improperly vacated a contempt hearing. The court failed to give the husband the fifteen days required to respond to his ex-wife's motion to vacate the hearing, which violated procedural law. Reversed.

Edit Delete Indiana Court Of Appeals


State Farm Fire & Casualty v. Radcliff, Sep-16-2014

J. Riley finds that trial court properly denied plaintiff's appeal from a defamation award. During trial, the insurance company had full access to witnesses and discovery, which means any omissions of testimony or evidence were its own fault. Also, because defendant treated certain accusations as true, and only responded on legal grounds, the insurance company's request for new evidence was properly denied. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Massachusetts Court Of Appeals


Allen v. Allen, Sep-16-2014

J. Katzmann finds that the lower court properly found that a certain deed was not enforceable against one of two siblings disputing the ownership of a house formerly owned by their now-deceased parents. The deed contained a defective acknowledgement, so the mere fact that it was recorded did not give petitioner constructive notice. It was therefore not enforceable against her. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Massachusetts Court Of Appeals


Hull Retirement Board v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, Sep-16-2014

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that respondent properly required petitioner to amend a police officer's effective retirement date. Following his injury on the job, he and his municipal employer entered into a settlement that took into account his retirement benefits and avoided a windfall. This is adequate and should have been enforced. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Michigan Court Of Appeals


Jesperson v. Auto Club Insurance Association, Sep-16-2014

J. Boonstra finds that the trial court properly interpreted Michigan Auto Law, MCL 500.3145(1). Under the plain language of the statute, a first-party insurance benefits claim "may not be commenced later than 1 year after the date of the accident causing the injury." However, the statute also provides two exceptions to the rule. The second exception provides that "the insurer has previously made a payment of personal protection insurance benefits for the injury." The word "previously" means "previous to 'one year after the date of the accident causing injury.'" "To hold, as [appellant] suggests, that any payment made by an insurer would revive a stale claim, no matter how much time has elapsed, would render an absurd result by allowing, potentially, even decades-old claims to be asserted." Therefore, the limitations period of MCL 500.3145(1) bars appellant's claim. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Missouri Court Of Appeals


Lane v. Lampkin, Sep-16-2014

J. Carlton finds that the the lower court properly awarded appellants damages after finding that respondent had breach his fiduciary duty when he began to operate a rock-supply business under a new name when his business partner died and the estate refused to grant him a line of credit to aid in the on-going costs of operations. Appellants argue that it was erroneous to rely on respondent's expert witness' financial evaluation of the business. However, the expert witness had excellent credentials. Furthermore, the expert witness testified that he would be objective. Additionally, appellants argue that the damages award was not properly assessed. However, appellants requested an award for lost profits not damages. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Missouri Court Of Appeals


Laenen v. Laenen, Sep-16-2014

J. Odenwald finds that the trial court properly awarded a former spouse a percentage of the deceased husband's pension. Appellant argues that it was erroneous to enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) after her husband had died. However, the QDRO was properly entered to enforce the deceased husband's dissolution decree. Additionally, appellant argues that the separation agreement was erroneously modified by excluding the condition that the former spouse never remarry. The exclusion of the marital status condition would allow the former spouse to receive a part of the deceased husband's pension if she were to remarry which was not the intent of the original dissolution decree. Therefore, the award needs to be corrected to include the martial status condition. Affirmed in part.

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