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Edit Delete 3rd Circuit

HABEAS, CONSTITUTION, ATTORNEYS

Dellavecchia v. Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Apr-15-2016

J. Greenberg finds that the lower court properly denied defendant's habeas petition challenging his convictions for murder, criminal attempt, reckless endangerment, and weapons-related offenses. The lead investigating officer did not deliberately elicit an incriminating statement from defendant before he had the opportunity to speak with an attorney. In addition, even disregarding defendant's statement, the other evidence overwhelmingly supported his convictions, so any violation of defendant's Sixth Amendment rights was harmless. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 5th Circuit



Shakeri v. ADT Security Services, Apr-15-2016

[Revised.]

Edit Delete 5th Circuit



Higginbotham v. State of Louisiana, Apr-15-2016

[Revised.]

Edit Delete 5th Circuit



U.S. v. Ovalle-Chun, Apr-15-2016

[Revised.]

Edit Delete 5th Circuit



Advanced Technology Building Solutions v. City of Jacksonville, Mississippi, Apr-15-2016

[Revised.]

Edit Delete 6th Circuit

NEGLIGENCE, CIVIL RIGHTS

Richko v. Wayne County, Michigan, Apr-15-2016

J. Gilman finds that the lower court properly denied summary judgment to defendants in a civil rights suit brought by a prisoner's family after the prisoner was beaten, stabbed, and killed by his cell mate. The family presented sufficient evidence to raise a material question of fact as to whether they disregarded a known risk by allowing decedent to be placed in his cell, and failing to adequately respond to the ensuing assault. Prison officials were aware of the killer's self-reported history of schizophrenia, that he had not taken his medication for six days, and that he had been arrested the day before for attempted assault with a dangerous weapon. A jury could find that defendant's negligently placed decedent in a cell with him, causing his death. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 6th Circuit

CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSTITUTION

Smith v. City of Wyoming, Apr-15-2016

J. Lipez finds that the lower court properly found for the police in a suit alleging four difference occasions of unlawful entry and one of unlawful arrest. On the four unlawful entry claims, the officers responded to plaintiff's daughter's call and the daughter consented to their entry into the home. However, plaintiff was improperly arrested simply because she pulled her hand back when the officer initially grabbed at it on one of the occasions. The withdrawal may have been an involuntary reaction to an unexpected touch, as all her other actions complied with the officers. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 6th Circuit

SOCIAL SECURITY

Taskila v. Commissioner, Apr-15-2016

J. Sutton finds that the lower court properly denied petitioner's request for disability benefits, because the judge found she could perform a substantial number of the jobs in the national economy. Petitioner has been involved in a number of car accidents that left her with serious injuries, and recently had a mass removed from her breast. However, given her age, education, and work experience, she could still perform at least two jobs that are meaningfully available locally and nationally. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit

BANKING/LENDING, BANKRUPTCY

Matter of Jepson v. , Apr-15-2016

J. Ripple finds that the lower court properly declined to stay the case. She filed Chapter Seven bankruptcy, stopping respondent bank's foreclosure action. Her only hope at this point is for the Supreme Court to take her case to determine whether a mortgage borrower has standing to contest an assignment of its note and mortgage to a so-called Real Estate Investment Conduit trust due to a void assignment. Although there is a minor circuit split on the issue, this disagreement is not decisive in this litigation. The refusal to stay the case may harm her financially, but not in an unlawful way. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit

TAX, BUSINESS PRACTICES

Roberts v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Apr-15-2016

J. Poser finds that the tax court improperly levied deficiencies against petitioner. The tax code contains a special provision for horse racing that provides that if the gross income derived from it for two or more of the taxable years exceeds attributable deductions, then such activity shall be presumed to be profit-based. However, petitioner's horse-racing operation yielded no profits in any of the four years covered by the trial record. Although petitioner knew that prize purses and thus profit potential were increasing, this alone cannot subject a person to further liability. It merely puts him or her on notice that such liability is now of a higher likelihood. Reversed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit

COPYRIGHT, CONTRACT, CIVIL PROCEDURE

Consumer Health Information v. Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Apr-15-2016

J. Sykes finds that the lower court properly dismissed plaintiff's copyright infringement, fraud and economic distress suit. Plaintiff may have had an actionable claim since it assigned the copyright in question to defendant in 2006, but it did not sue until long after the four-year statute of limitations had passed. There is a key distinction between ordinary infringement suits and those in which the core dispute is over ownership, and ultimately the claims here deal as much with contract law as with copyright law. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit

FRAUD, JURY, RESTITUTION

U.S. v. Roy, Apr-15-2016

J. Posner finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant of defrauding Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield by submitting claims for reimbursement for respiratory therapy that he never provided. The 75-month prison sentence and $2.5 million restitution provision may be upheld as well. He provided some evidence that jurors expressed dislike for him and his attorney on the first day of trial, but this personal antipathy does not appear related to the question of guilt or innocence. The trial judge was better positioned to determine if this amounted to juror misconduct as well. There is no procedure for reviewing a trial judge in such cases either. Also, the enhancement was warranted given that defendant abused a position of trust via his crimes. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit

ARBITRATION, LABOR

Silgan Containers v. Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local Union No. 2, Apr-15-2016

J. Benton finds that the lower court partly properly upheld an arbitration award in favor of defendant union following a dispute over pension contributions. Defendant may not have agreed to contribute for hours worked above a certain amount, but mistakes made in the negotiation process do not prove that plaintiff fraudulently induced defendant into anything. The converse is true as well. The arbitrator had full authority to decide claims of mistake under the arbitration agreement itself. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit

CIVIL RIGHTS

Chavez v. Robinson, Apr-15-2016

[Amended opinion.] J. McKeown finds that the district court improperly sua sponte dismissed a civil rights complaint against defendant county probation officer and defendant therapist, who had contracted with the county to run a sex offender treatment program. Plaintiff's complaint did not clearly show that he would be unable to overcome qualified immunity, and further amendment or proceedings are necessary to clarify, for example, whether the therapist was acting under color of state law. Reversed.

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals



Wall to Wall v. Wells Fargo, Apr-15-2016

[Withdrawn.]

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals



Wall to Wall v. Cadence, Apr-15-2016

[Withdrawn.]

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

BANKING/LENDING, REAL ESTATE

Williams v. Wells Fargo, Apr-15-2016

J. Pittman finds that the lower court properly granted summary judgment in favor of a bank in an ejectment case. On appeal, the owner of the property argued the lower court should have struck certain affidavit testimony. However, the property owner waived any objection she might have had by failing to object to the testimony in the witness' deposition. Additionally, the bank had the right to exercise the power of sale. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

CIVIL PROCEDURE, FAMILY LAW

Montgomery County DHR v. A.S.N., Apr-15-2016

J. Thomas finds that the lower court improperly failed to terminate the parental rights of a father on abandonment grounds and the mother for an inability to care for the children. Testimony by a foster parent indicated that the parents had failed to attend doctor's appointments for one of the children, and DHR records indicated that they failed to comply with drug screening and visitation. Reversed and remanded.

Edit Delete Alabama Supreme Court

IMMUNITY, NEGLIGENCE

Kendrick v. Midfield, Apr-15-2016

J. Murdock finds that the circuit court incorrectly entered summary judgment against plaintiff for personal injuries she received in a car accident caused by defendant Wordell, who was driving his police car with emergency lights engaged. The court found that Wordell was entitled to peace-officer immunity, but Wordell was traveling at a high rate of speed and did not turn on his siren, and a "genuine issue of fact" existed as to whether he slowed down as he proceeded through an intersection. Reversed.

Edit Delete Alabama Supreme Court

VENUE, MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

Junkin v. Southeastern Energy Corp, Apr-15-2016

J. Stuart finds that the trial court properly dismissed defendant's motion for a change of venue in an underlying malicious prosecution lawsuit. The court properly transferred the case to Lowndes County rather than Montgomery County as requested by defendant because defendant did not establish a "clear, legal right" to have the transfer order vacated.

Edit Delete Alaska Supreme Court

FAMILY LAW

Sweeney v. Organ, Apr-15-2016

J. Stowers finds that the superior court properly determined a custody agreement among and mother, father, and their one child. The mother was given the right to make all major parenting decisions regarding the child, but she was not awarded primary physical custody as she had requested. Although the father was cited for having an "abusive communication style," awarding the mother primary physical custody would be "devastating to the child and would increase the friction between the parents." Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

ATTORNEYS

DP Pham LLC v. Cheadle, Apr-15-2016

J. Aronson finds that the trial court improperly denied appellant's request to disqualify counsel for respondent. Appellant argues that it was erroneous to deny his request after he provided evidence that the attorney improperly obtain privileged information which consisted of an email and a letter between himself and his attorney. Respondent's counsel obtained copies of communications between appellant and his attorney that fell under the attorney-client privilege. Reversed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

MURDER, SELF DEFENSE, JURY

California v. Grays, Apr-15-2016

J. Simons finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant of murder after he shot a man to death. Defendant argues that it was erroneous to to instruct the jury on the theory of defense of another in one's residence. The word "residence" was too narrowly defined by the court as a person using force against a person who enters one's residence and defendant was not in his own residence during the incident. Therefore, the jury instruction should have been granted. However, the error was harmless since defendant did not have sufficient evidence to show he was acting in self-defense. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Court of International Trade

TRADE

Itochu Building Products v. U.S., Apr-15-2016

J. Barnett finds that the Department of Commerce improperly imposed antidumping duties on plaintiff's steel nails from the United Arab Emirates. While the Department was within its discretion to base normal values on third country sales to Canada, it must clarify how it found plaintiff and Dubai Wire FZE affiliated. Reversed in part.

Edit Delete DC Circuit

TRANSPORTATION, LICENSING

Olivares v. Transportation Security Administration, Apr-15-2016

J. Edwards finds that the respondent properly denied petitioner's application for aviation training based on finding that he presented a security or aviation risk. In 2007, he was convicted of conspiring to possess and distribute drugs and was deported after serving his sentence. He then worked as a pilot in his native Venezuela. Combined with his past conviction of firearms trafficking, this showed that petitioner has a flagrant disregard for the law. The initial public disclosures on petitioner did not reveal all of the agency's internal findings, but those have now been revealed, so any concern over that is moot. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

PROBATION, EVIDENCE

Davis v. State, Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the trial court properly revoked defendant's probation. Evidence shows defendant admitted to committing the crimes charged. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

FAMILY LAW

S.M. v. Dept. of Children and Families, Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the trial court properly revoked the father's parental rights. The father is still in a state hospital and incapable of caring for the child. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

FAMILY LAW

Nolan v. Nolan, Apr-15-2016

J. Roberts finds that the lower court improperly ordered the former husband to pay alimony of $3,500 per month to the former wife. This figure was based on the former husband's working schedule during the marriage when he worked seven days a week. He could not be required to work seven days a week in order to fulfill his alimony obligation. It also improperly ordered the former husband to pay his former wife's attorneys fees when the equitable distribution of marital property placed her in a substantially equal position as the former husband to pay her fees. Reversed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

RESISTING ARREST, SENTENCING

Pehlke v. State, Apr-15-2016

J. Badalamenti finds that the lower court improperly sentenced defendant to nine months in prison for fleeing a police officer. The sentencing judge improperly considered defendant's failure to show remorse for his actions when sentencing him. Reversed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

GOVERNMENT, PROPERTY, ENVIRONMENT

Rainbow River Conservation v. Rainbow River Ranch, Apr-15-2016

J. Lawson finds that the trial court improperly approved a settlement agreement between the parties, which allowed the property owners to develop on land governed by a restrictive comprehensive plan. The public was not given any chance to participate in this process, contrary to Florida's laws governing development. Reversed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

AGENCY

O'Meara v. Florida Department of Management Services, Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the state retirement commission improperly denied a former teacher's application for in-line-of-duty retirement disability benefits. The former teacher retired due to post traumatic stress, which he says was aggravated by an in-school incident when a student threw an object that hit him in the face very near to his one good eye. The commission did not make a clear finding on whether this incident was an aggravating cause of his disorder. Reversed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

PROBATION, JUVENILE LAW

McBurnett v. State, Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the trial court properly sentenced defendant after he violated probation. Florida law allows for the juvenile to receive more than six years for violating probation. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

BANKING/LENDING, PROPERTY

Rincon v. HSBC Bank USA, Apr-15-2016

J. Wallis finds that the trial court properly ruled in favor of the bank in a foreclosure case. The bank had the mortgage note when filing the complaint. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

FAMILY LAW

Bielling v. Bielling, Apr-15-2016

J. Kelsey finds that the lower court improperly changed the parties' child custody situation, transferring majority time-sharing of their child to the father and suspending his child support payments. The court continued the final hearing so the wife could have additional time to present testimony from four witnesses, but then entered the order without completing the hearing, and without advance notice to either party. This entry was a denial of due process. Reversed.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, PROBATION

Lemons v. State, Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that defendant's direct appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Appellant should have used the discretionary review procedure to appeal his probation revocation.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Haslam v. State, Apr-15-2016

[Consolidated.] Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that defendant's three appeals must be dismissed as untimely.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Clowers v. Williamson, Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that appellant's appeal must be dismissed as untimely.

Edit Delete Indiana Court Of Appeals

TAX, REAL ESTATE

Angel v. Vanderburgh County Treasurer, Apr-15-2016

J. Brown finds that the trial court improperly ruled in a tax sale refund dispute. Despite the tax sale being rescinded, the original buyer is entitled to recover the payment of taxes and special assessments made. Therefore, the issue is remanded to determine the amount the original buyer may recoup. Reversed.

Edit Delete Iowa Court Of Appeals

CONSTITUTION

Rhoades v. Iowa, Apr-15-2016

J. Appel finds that the district court properly found in favor of the state. Appellant pleaded guilty to criminal transmission of HIV, then successfully challenged his plea due to ineffective assistance. He then sued the state for wrongful imprisonment, for which he is not entitled to relief because he pleaded guilty. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Iowa Court Of Appeals

PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT, JURY

Iowa v. Martin, Apr-15-2016

J. Hecht finds that the district court properly denied a new trial. During voir dire, a prosecutor posed hypotheticals similar to the case, implied the state had more evidence than was presented, and implied the state only prosecutes the guilty. Though the courts concluded the conduct ventured into a "gray area" of permissibility, neither granted a new trial. Two of the four lines of questioning were permissible, and the remaining were mitigated by jury instruction. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Iowa Court Of Appeals

WORKERS COMPENSATION

Ramirez-Trujillo v. Quality Egg, Apr-15-2016

J. Wiggins finds that the lower courts improperly awarded worker's compensation benefits. An employee continued to see her employer-permitted doctors for back pain beyond the time it authorized, which the courts ruled made it liable because it failed to tell her that her coverage had ended. The treatment was not causally related to her work injury, but the record does not indicate whether the employee knew her coverage had ended, which must be determined before finding liability. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete Kansas Supreme Court

ATTORNEYS

In re Thurston v. , Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the Kansas Supreme Court publicly censures attorney John W. Thurston in response to professional conduct violations for the safekeeping of property and termination of representation.

Edit Delete Kansas Supreme Court

JURISDICTION, VEHICLE

Wiechman v. Huddleston, Apr-15-2016

J. Biles finds that defendant's appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Edit Delete Kansas Supreme Court

ATTORNEYS

In re Hawkins v. , Apr-15-2016

Per curiam, the Kansas Supreme Court suspends attorney Joan M. Hawkins for 18 months in response to multiple professional conduct violations.

Edit Delete Kansas Supreme Court

SENTENCING, RESTITUTION

Kansas v. Shank, Apr-15-2016

J. Nuss finds that the district court properly ordered defendant to serve sentences for murder and burglary consecutively and properly imposed $108,000 in restitution. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Kentucky Court Of Appeals

PROPERTY

Polis v. Unknown Heirs of Blair, Apr-15-2016

J. Nickell finds that the circuit court properly ruled that appellant did not have an interest in a certain parcel of real estate. One of the heirs was allowed to intervene because she acted quickly after becoming aware of the issue surrounding the land.

Edit Delete Kentucky Court Of Appeals

FAMILY LAW, CONSTITUTION

Wedding v. Harmon, Apr-15-2016

J. Kramer finds that the family court properly prohibited a husband from harassing his ex-wife by sending copies of their co-parenting emails to family, friends, and other members of the community. The emails were not constitutionally protected free speech because they were intended to "harass, annoy or alarm" the ex-wife. Also, that the emails were being sent around did not serve the children's best interests. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Kentucky Court Of Appeals

WILLS / PROBATE

Gilbert v. Hoover, Apr-15-2016

J. Combs finds that the circuit court properly denied plaintiff's claim against an estate for "reasonable value of her services" to the decedent, to whom she was a live-in companion. They lived together as a family, and she admitted she was not expecting payment while she lived with the decedent. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Kentucky Court Of Appeals

FAMILY LAW, CIVIL PROCEDURE

Brooks v. Byrd, Apr-15-2016

J. Nickell dismisses a mother's appeal from the circuit court's decision to award custody of her two daughters to their biological father. She failed to file an amended notice of appeal within 30 days of the final custody order.

Edit Delete Kentucky Court Of Appeals

FAMILY LAW

Belden v. Cabinet for Families and Children, Apr-15-2016

J. VanMeter finds that the circuit court improperly denied the request of an adult to inspect his adoption records. The court failed to make findings of fact to support its decision. Reversed.

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