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10th Circuit


State of Wyoming v. U.S. Department of the Interior, Oct-11-2016

J. Briscoe finds that the district court properly dismissed the state's complaint related to the supposed failure of the U.S. Department of the Interior to manage the population of wild horses on seven pieces of public land that are overpopulated. The state has failed to state a valid claim because the plain language of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act gives the government discretion to decide whether removing excess animals is required in the event of overpopulation. Affirmed.

2nd Circuit


TCA Television Corp. v. McCollum, Oct-11-2016

J. Raggi finds that the district court properly dismissed the copyright-infringement claim by heirs of the comic duo Abbott and Costello for use of the word play in the routine "Who's on First?" While the verbatim use of a portion of the routine in a Broadway play did not amount to non-infringing fair use, the heirs failed to show ownership of a valid copyright in the routine, which originally was registered by a movie studio. Affirmed.

3rd Circuit


Mack v. Warden Loretto FCI, Oct-11-2016

J. Fuentes finds that the lower court improperly dismissed a Muslim inmate's claim that he was terminated from his paid work assignment for complaining about anti-Muslim harassment at work. Inmates allegedly harassed the prisoner by putting stickers such as "I love bacon" on his clothes. Further, a prison guard allegedly told him "there is no good Muslim except a dead Muslim." An inmate's grievance to prison officials constituted protected First Amendment activity, and the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act provides for monetary relief from an official sued in his individual capacity. Reversed.

5th Circuit

Sims v. Kia Motors of America, Oct-11-2016


6th Circuit


Thompson v. Rapelje, Oct-11-2016

J. Rogers finds that the lower court properly denied defendant's habeas petition concerning defense counsels' telling the jury defendant would testify on his own behalf in a child sex abuse suit, but never putting him on the stand. Counsel changed his strategy after seeing the jury's reaction to a video of defendant's statement to police. The deviation from the initial litigation plan did not prejudice defendant's right to a fair trial. Affirmed.

7th Circuit


U.S. v. Fluor Corp., Oct-11-2016

J. Flaum finds that the lower court properly found for the employer in a False Claims Act suit brought by a former employee. The employer allegedly knowingly breached the terms of its Army contract to provide electrical engineering service in Afghanistan by using unlicensed electricians as journeymen and billing the government a higher rate for the labor. A plain reading of the contract shows that the company needed to ensure its electricians were qualified for the job, but there was no one way for it to verify as much. Further, the contract allowed the company to pay higher rates to American electricians than other equally qualified foreign national electricians. Affirmed.

7th Circuit


Williams v. Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County, Illinois, Oct-11-2016

J. Williams finds that the lower court properly found for the office of the chief judge for firing a probation officer for abandoning her job. The officer claims she was actually fired for contesting a workers' compensation claim, reporting another employee's misconduct, and reporting her colleagues for racial hostility. However, she did not present sufficient evidence to support her racial animus claims. Affirmed.

9th Circuit


Lang Van v. VNG, Oct-11-2016

Per curiam, the circuit finds that the district court erroneously dismissed a music and entertainment company's copyright claim against a technology company it says made its work available for download without compensating it. The court ruled that it does not have personal jurisdiction, but granting limited discovery pertaining to the technology company's efforts directed at California would help answer questions of jurisdiction. Vacated.

Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Connecticut v. Collymore, Oct-11-2016

J. Gruendel finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant of felony murder and attempt to commit first-degree robbery. Three witnesses had immunity to testify for the state's case-in-chief, but the state did not have to grant them additional immunity for testimony for the defense's case-in-chief. Thus, the court properly allowed them to testify and then allowed them to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights for some questions. The court erroneously allowed them to invoke this privilege for certain questions asked by the defense after they already answered the state's similar questions. But this error was harmless. Affirmed.

Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Mariano v. The Heartland Building and Restoration, Oct-11-2016

J. DiPentima finds that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment to a construction company in a civil engineering firm's counterclaim regarding workers' compensation benefits after a bridge collapse. The company, as the moving party, did not submit evidence of an issue of fact regarding the firm's relationship with the state and the firm's entitlement to indemnification. Reversed.

Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Nogueira v. Commissioner of Correction, Oct-11-2016

J. DiPentima finds that the habeas court improperly granted a prisoner's petition in the matter of his conviction for first-degree kidnapping. The state established beyond a reasonable doubt that the prisoner still would have been convicted even in light of the Connecticut Supreme Court's interpretation of kidnapping in State v. Salamon, as he confined the victim longer and more thoroughly than it took to sexually assault her, and when she escaped he restrained her in an attempt to assault her again. Reversed.

Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Juma v. Aomo, Oct-11-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the trial court properly reinstated financial orders from a marriage dissolution. The orders were modified after the man became unemployed, but now that he is employed again the original orders are reinstated. Affirmed.

Connecticut Court Of Appeals


Great County Bank v. Ogalin, Oct-11-2016

J. Keller finds that the trial court properly ruled that a construction company must pay a real estate company $19,887 to help with a deficiency judgment against the construction company's employee. Testimony from its president suggested that the construction company did not reimburse its employee for business expenses. Furthermore, the construction company did not argue before the court that these expenses were wages for personal services. Affirmed.

Connecticut Supreme Court


Connery v. Gieske, Oct-11-2016

J. Palmer finds that the trial court properly granted the motion of the executrix of the decedent's estate to dismiss. The decedent's husband's complaint was properly treated as an appeal from probate court because probate court had jurisdiction. Furthermore, the trial court erroneously determined that the appeal was untimely, but it was still properly dismissed because it was actually premature. Affirmed.

Connecticut Supreme Court


Doe v. The Boy Scouts of America, Oct-11-2016

J. Rogers finds that the trial court erroneously found on behalf of a former Boy Scout in his complaint for negligence and unfair trade practices against The Boy Scouts of America in the matter of a troop leader sexually abusing him. The jury, instead of receiving a standard negligence instruction, should have been instructed that The Boy Scouts of America had to create or increase the risk that the former scout would be abused in order to be found liable for negligence because a party is generally not responsible for anticipating a third-party's intentional misconduct. Furthermore, the court applied the wrong statute of limitations with respect to the unfair trade practices claim. Reversed.

Court Of Federal Claims


Dudenhoeffer v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Oct-11-2016

Special Master Hamilton-Friedman finds that a woman who claims the MMR vaccine caused her daughter to develop Myoclonic-Astatic-Epilepsy is not entitled to an award under the National Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. Her theories regarding the vaccine's ability to cause this condition and that her daughter's particular injury was actually caused by the vaccine were unpersuasive.

Court Of Federal Claims


D'Angiolini v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Oct-11-2016

Special Master Moran finds that a man is awarded $45,866 in attorney fees and costs related to his complaint that the hepatitis B vaccine caused him to suffer chronic fatigue, lupus and autoimmune syndrome. The award is reduced from the requested $51,291 because of some inefficiencies in the appellate process and because much of the work in the most recent briefs is repeated from briefs filed with the Federal Circuit.

Court of International Trade


Sunpreme v. U.S., Oct-11-2016

J. Kelly finds that U.S. Customs improperly required an importer to file its entries as subject to the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on crystelline silicon photovoltaic cells from China. The determination depended upon an interpretation of the scope language. Therefore, the collecting of cash deposits was inappropriate, and there was no valid suspension of the liquidation of the importer's products. Reversed.

DC Circuit


PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Oct-11-2016

J. Kavanaugh finds that the lower court improperly enforced a $109 million order against the mortgage lender. The lender properly asserted that its rights were violated, since the decision was made by a single director over an independent agency without any critical checks. Thus, the lender's claims need to considered, including that it paid a reasonable market value to the PHH affiliate for reinsurance. Vacated.

Delaware Supreme Court


Mennen v. Fiduciary Trust International of Delaware, Oct-11-2016

J. Holland finds that the beneficiaries to a trust succeeded on two procedural grounds regarding exceptions to the Master's final report on a Spendthrift Ruling, which held that a trust clause precluded the beneficiaries from obtaining relief against the trustee for his interest in his trust. The beneficiaries gave untimely notice of exceptions to the final report. But the matter was not under expedited status once the trustees resigned, and so an extension should have been granted under the excusable neglect argument.

Delaware Supreme Court


Stevenson v. Delaware, Oct-11-2016

J. Holland finds that videotaped statements of the victims of a sexual predator were admissible in court to show that they had not been coached. The objection that the videotapes contained cumulative evidence failed since the tapes were referenced in the trial and thus "opened the door" to their usage. Affirmed.

Federal Circuit


Viet I-Mei Frozen Foods v. U.S., Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee, Oct-11-2016

J. Chen finds that the department of commerce properly refused to terminate the individual examination of an importer of frozen warmwater shrimp from Vietnam and imposed a 25.76 percent antidumping duty rate using adverse facts after the importer refused to cooperate with the examination. The department reasonably treated the importer as a mandatory respondent with no right to escape review once it voluntarily submitted to the examination, and was not required by any law to rescind the examination simply because the importer no longer wished to proceed. Affirmed.

Federal Circuit


Fairwarning v. Iatric Systems, Oct-11-2016

J. Stoll finds that the lower court properly dismissed the patentholder's suit, finding that its patent for a "system and method of fraud and misuse detection" was ineligible. The data proposes to detect unusual patterns in users' accessing sensitive data to detect fraud, but the patent proposes only an abstract idea and no specific inventive mechanism to implement the idea. Affirmed.

Georgia Court Of Appeals


Harris v. Deutsche, Oct-11-2016

J. Ellington finds that the lower court properly dismissed a couple's claims for breach of contract and wrongful foreclosure against a bank. The claims were barred under the principle of res judicata. Affirmed.

Georgia Court Of Appeals


McClarty v. Trigild, Oct-11-2016

J. McFadden finds that the lower court improperly re-entered a judgment in favor of a hotel company in a premises liability case. On remand, the lower court found that the company's response to a request for admission filed by the injured hotel guest was insufficient. Instead of ordering a new trial, however, the court reentered its previous judgment. Reversed.

Georgia Court Of Appeals


Taylor v. State, Oct-11-2016

J. Boggs finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant on six counts of aggravated child molestation and other offenses. Contrary to defendant's argument, the lower court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's speedy trial claim. Affirmed.

Georgia Court Of Appeals


Marlow v. State, Oct-11-2016

[Consolidated.] J. Doyle finds that the lower court improperly sentenced defendants on two felony counts of making a false statement. Under the rule of lenity, defendants should have been sentenced for the misdemeanor offense of making a false report of a crime. Vacated.

Georgia Court Of Appeals


Youngblood v. All American Quality Foods, Oct-11-2016

J. Andrews finds that the lower court properly found in favor of a grocery store in a slip-and-fall case. The evidence does not establish that the store had constructive knowledge of the puddle of water that resulted in the victim's fall prior to the injury. Affirmed.

Georgia Court Of Appeals


Ray v. State, Oct-11-2016

[Consolidated.] J. Doyle finds that the lower court properly denied defendants' motions for a new trial following their convictions for armed robbery, kidnapping and other offenses. The evidence in the case establishes that defendants robbed a restaurant and committed other offenses against the individual employees working inside. Affirmed.

Hawai'i Supreme Court


Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Woodruff, Oct-11-2016

Per curiam, the Hawaii Supreme Court immediately disbars Stephen Carl Woodruff from the practice of law in Hawaii as reciprocal discipline for his disbarment in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Indiana Court Of Appeals


Allen County Plan Commission v. Olde Canal Place Association, Oct-11-2016

J. Altice finds that the trial court improperly ruled in a dispute over the zoning of a property. The association should not have been granted relief from the original plan commission ruling, because the association failed to timely and properly file the record needed for the proceedings. Reversed.

Maine Supreme Court


U.S. Bank v. MacKenzie, Oct-11-2016

J. Hjelm finds that the trial court properly dismissed a bank's foreclosure action. However, the court should have dismissed the case with prejudice, rather than allowing the bank to refile the case after curing its defect in service. Affirmed in part.

Massachusetts Court Of Appeals


Commonwealth v. Veronneau, Oct-11-2016

J. Cohen finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant of carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Although defendant argues that his conviction for FUI is inconsistent with his acquittal of OUI, the two crimes concern different instrumentalities and activities. Affirmed.

Massachusetts Court Of Appeals


Bernier v. Smitty's Sports Pub, Oct-11-2016

J. Trainor finds that the jury properly determined that the pub was at fault for decedent's death after he mistakenly opened the unlocked "Employees Only" door instead of the bathroom door and fell down the unlit concrete stairwell. The doors were close in proximity, had similar looking signage and were in a hallway where there were distractions to the patrons, such as a lottery game machine. The pub was negligent for not locking the "Employees Only" door. Affirmed.

Massachusetts Supreme Court


Taylor v. Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission, Oct-11-2016

J. Lenk finds that the trial court properly determined that the commission cannot place a hiking trail over the grounds of the inn owners' property via an easement and then proceed to a parcel that was not intended to benefit from the easement. The benefits of preserving the long-standing, bright-line rule disallowing any use of an easement to benefit land to which the easement is not pertinent outweigh any detriments associated with its rigidity. Affirmed.

Massachusetts Supreme Court


Brown v. Office of the Commissioner of Probation, Oct-11-2016

J. Lenk finds that the employee is not entitled to postjudgment interest on punitive damages, costs and attorney fees following her victory on a retaliation claim. Sovereign immunity bars postjudgment interest on awards from a public employer. Affirmed.

Michigan Court Of Appeals


Michigan v. Turn, Oct-11-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the lower court properly ordered defendant to pay restitution to his victim and the victim's insurer after defendant pleaded guilty to assault with intent to murder. The William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim's Rights Act requires full restitution to crime victims, including for loss of sick, personal, and vacation time. Paying the victim for this lost time did not qualify as a double recuperation because the victim was not compensated by his employer for the loss of his accumulated leave time even though that time had monetary value. Affirmed.

Michigan Court Of Appeals


People v. Mahdi, Oct-11-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the lower court improperly convicted defendant of possession with intent to sell less than 50 grams of a controlled substance, and less than five kilos of marijuana, and sentenced him as a fourth habitual offender. Police officers were not entitled to seize defendant's wallet and cell phone under the plain view exception to the warrant requirement, because their incriminating evidence was not immediately apparent. Although defendant was on probation, the prosecution did not argue that the search was reasonable under the probation exception to the warrant requirement. Reversed.

Minnesota Supreme Court


Baertsch v. Baertsch, Oct-11-2016

J. Cleary finds that an appeal of a divorce decree is premature. The court has yet to rule on the amount of conduct-based attorney fees a husband owes, and because these can be assessed against a prevailing party, they are a separate claim and the divorce decree is "not final and appealable."

Mississippi Court Of Appeals


Franklin v. Mississippi, Oct-11-2016

J. Lee finds that the lower court properly dismissed defendant's pro se request for relief from his domestic aggravated assault conviction. Defendant did not file his request within the required time frame nor did he provide a valid reason for his late filing. Affirmed.

Mississippi Court Of Appeals


Poole v. Walton, Oct-11-2016

J. Lee finds that the lower court properly appointed the husband as administrator of his wife's estate after removing his son. Although the son contends he should not have been removed as the estate's administrator, he did not contest the decision during the hearing nor did he produce any factual reason to support his contentions. Affirmed.

Mississippi Court Of Appeals


Universal of Mississippi Medical Center v. Hampton, Oct-11-2016

J. Greenlee finds that the lower court improperly denied the medical center's pretrial motion for summary judgment. Since the mother did not file the wrongful death claim within the required time period, the medical center can pursue a statute-of-limitations defense since it waited until discovery produced facts about the start date of the running statute. Reversed.

Mississippi Court Of Appeals


Neelly v. Neelly, Oct-11-2016

J. Greenlee finds that the lower court properly denied the husband's request to modify a divorce decree and held him in contempt for not reimbursing his ex-wife for expenses related to their children. Although the husband contends he should be able to claim some of his children as dependents on his tax return, he did not present any material evidence to support his assertion. Affirmed.

Missouri Court Of Appeals


Missouri v. Simms, Oct-11-2016

J. Gabbert finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant of domestic assault, armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon, and assault. Although defendant contends he did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his his right to a jury trial, he had signed a waiver with the aid of an attorney and told the trial judge he wanted a bench trial. Affirmed.

Missouri Court Of Appeals


Robertson v. Missouri, Oct-11-2016

J. Pfeiffer finds that the lower court properly upheld defendant's conviction for failing to register as a sex offender. Although defendant contends he did not knowingly enter a guilty plea, he was properly advised by plea counsel about the consequences of a guilty plea and stated he understood his rights. Affirmed.

Missouri Court Of Appeals


Martin v. Martin, Oct-11-2016

J. Hardwick finds that a father's appeal to a contempt judgment must be dismissed. A final appealable contempt judgment has not been entered or enforced.

Missouri Court Of Appeals


Vimont v. Christian County Health Department, Oct-11-2016

J. Scott finds that the lower court properly granted the department's request for summary judgment. Although the farmer contends he has the constitutional right to sell and distribute raw milk from any county location, he is subject to local governmental powers regulating all county business as prescribed by law. Affirmed.

Missouri Court Of Appeals


Missouri v. Osborn, Oct-11-2016

J. Mitchell finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant of unlawful possession of an explosive weapon and for failure to appear. There was no evidence that would lead the court to suspect that defendant lacked the mental fitness to stand trial. Affirmed.

Missouri Court Of Appeals


Fike v. Fike, Oct-11-2016

J. Dolan finds that the trial court properly dissolved the couple's marriage with the exception of awarding the husband diamonds from the wife's engagement ring. Although the husband contends the diamonds once belonged to his grandmother, he admits he gave the ring as a gift to the wife before they got married. Affirmed in part.

Missouri Court Of Appeals


In re Lincoln v. , Oct-11-2016

J. Martin finds that defendant must be denied habeas relief. Although defendant contends he has new evidence showing he is innocent of the assault and manslaughter charges he was convicted of in 1983, his claims are barred since he was provided an adequate trial and did not provide compelling evidence of actual innocence. Affirmed.

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