All Courts 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th DC Federal Supreme Court
  
Search
  

1 2
Edit Column Delete Column   
Edit Delete 11th Circuit

HABEAS, DEATH PENALTY, INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE

Jones v. GDCP Warden, Jan-28-2016

J. Marcus finds that the court is precluded by law and Supreme Court precedent from reconsidering defendant's original habeas petition. No injustice will result if the original denial of habeas relief stands. Even if a pending case alters the standard for federal habeas relief, the ruling would not make defendant's original ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim have merit. In addition, the state's interest in the finality of its criminal judgments would weigh strongly against revisiting defendant's case. His motion for a stay of execution shall be denied.

Edit Delete 1st Circuit

MURDER, DUI, EXPERTS

Barbosa v. Mitchell, Jan-28-2016

J. Kayatta finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant of first-degree murder, armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unlicensed possession of a firearm. Evidence provided by an expert witness who relied on work done by a non-testifying witness did not violate defendant's right to confrontation. The expert's discussed DNA evidence when the testing was performed by someone else. However, given the overwhelming evidence against defendant, the admission was not prejudicial. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit

ARBITRATION, ADMIRALTY, CONTRACT

Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Team Tankers, Jan-28-2016

J. Cabranes finds that the district court improperly awarded attorney's fees and costs to respondents. Petitioners, as subrogee and shipper, claimed damages when a chemical hauled to South Korea arrived in a degraded state; claim went to arbitration, where carriers were found not responsible. Petitioners then sought to set aside the finding but were denied, with court awarding carriers their costs. While upholding the arbitral award was proper, the fees decision was not under the "bedrock principle" of the American Rule: that win or lose, litigants pay their own costs unless a statute or contract says otherwise. And while parties' charter agreement had a breach provision, no breach was found to have occurred. Reversed in part.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit

SECURITIES, ARBITRATION, CONTRACT

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) v. Tracy, Jan-28-2016

J. Droney finds that the district court properly ordered arbitration claims to be heard in the forum outlined in employees' contracts. Respondents resigned as employees of petitioner and moved to a new firm. Petitioner then alleged solicitation of former clients, a claim respondents and their new employer took to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as a matter of arbitration between member firms. Petitioner, though, argued that its employment contracts specified that any arbitration be conducted through a private provider or the American Arbitration Association. Because that provision was part of a contract that pre-dated respondents' dispute, they were bound by it. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 2nd Circuit

CIVIL RIGHTS, GOVERNMENT, IMMUNITY

Lynch v. Ackley, Jan-28-2016

J. Leval finds that the district court improperly denied defendant qualified immunity as city police chief. Plaintiff, a patrolman and union officer, claimed unconstitutional retaliation for his criticism at union and city government meetings of chief's job performance. As a public employee, though, plaintiff's First Amendment rights are not as broad as those of private citizens and must be balanced against government's ability to operate efficiently. Because no authority clearly put plaintiff's free-speech rights to criticize chief above her interest in effective administration of her department, the case should have been dismissed on chief's qualified immunity. Reversed.

Edit Delete 3rd Circuit

JUDICIARY, JURISDICTION, PATENT

In re: Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam v. , Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the 3rd Circuit finds that it lacks jurisdiction to hear petitioner's request for an order requiring the disqualification of a district judge. Petitioner is a plaintiff in a number of patent suits in the District of Delaware, and seeks to disqualify the judge based on the judge's ownership of mutual funds that have holdings in defendant corporations. The Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals that might be taken in patent actions, and therefore it is the proper forum for plaintiff's writ of mandamus.

Edit Delete 4th Circuit

PLEA, SENTENCING

U.S. v. Williams, Jan-28-2016

J. Wynn finds that defendants were properly convicted based on their guilty pleas to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and cocaine base, as the lower court fully complied with rule 11 before accepting the pleas. Defendant Kristin Williams was properly sentenced to 120 months. The sentence was not longer than the sentence set forth in the plea agreement, as Williams stipulated to exactly 120 months. Also, her plea did not rely on the guidelines to calculate that sentence, and thus was not "imposed as a result of an incorrect application of the sentencing guidelines." Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete 5th Circuit

BANKRUPTCY

In Re: Tusa-Expo Holdings v. , Jan-28-2016

J. Wiener finds that the lower court properly determined that the trustee, seeking to avoid transfers from the debtor to its creditor, failed to establish requirements under the Bankruptcy Code allowing it to do so. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 5th Circuit

DRUG OFFENDER

U.S. v. Rojas, Jan-28-2016

J. Higginson finds that the lower court properly convicted the four defendants for their roles in a Columbian conspiracy to import thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the country. While defendants made various challenges to their convictions and sentences, including constitutional argues, and to the sufficiency of the evidence, there is no reversible error. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 6th Circuit

IMMUNITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, FAMILY LAW

Eaton v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Jan-28-2016

J. Sutton finds that the lower court properly granted defendant immunity on plaintiff's claim that its drug-testing program was so unreliable as to be unconstitutional. Plaintiff was ordered to take drug tests in a child custody battle and tested positive for drugs at least 10 times and for alcohol at least 20 times. He claims that some of these tests should be struck as inaccurate. Due to his ongoing substance abuse problems, the court gave custody of the child to the mother. No evidence supports plaintiff's claims that the testing program was flawed, and testing at an alternative center never came to an opposite conclusion. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit

ASSAULT, SENTENCING

U.S. v. Smith, Jan-28-2016

J. Posner finds that the lower court properly convicted a police officer of using excessive force for punching a handcuffed man in the face and breaking his nose, and kneeing another man in the back so hard he defecated. Other officers testified that neither man was resisting when defendant used force, and there was no need for them to be qualified as experts on the use of force in order for them to testify. However, the lower court improperly sentenced defendant to 14 months, less than half the bottom rung of the guidelines' range. This sentence is extremely light when compared to other officers convicted of similar violence behavior. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit

PRISONERS RIGHTS, CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Donelson v. Pfister, Jan-28-2016

J. Hamilton finds that the lower court improperly denied a prisoner's challenge to discipline that allegedly deprived him of liberty without allowing him to call witnesses and present evidence. The prisoner was accused of punching a guard in the face, which he denies. The court dismissed the case based on the prisoner's failure to follow the instruction of a paper form for requesting witnesses or evidence to tear off the top portion of the form. This ruling "carried bureaucratic concerns about paperwork to an unreasonable extreme," and defendant's failure to follow the instruction does not deprive the court of jurisdiction to consider the merits of his claims. Reversed.

Edit Delete 7th Circuit

DRUG OFFENDER, CONSPIRACY

U.S. v. Clayton, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that the lower court properly sentenced defendant to 91 months in prison on his conviction for conspiracy to possess cocaine and heroin with intent to sell. Defendant's original offense levels were reduced due to his cooperation with the government, so the lower court did not abuse its discretion in denying him a further reduction due to the severity of his offense. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit

DRUG OFFENDER, SEARCH

U.S. v. Jackson, Jan-28-2016

J. Benton finds that the lower court properly convicted defendant of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute following his plea agreement. Homeland Security agents had probable cause to search defendant's plane for drugs given his suspicious behavior, the usual decision for a new pilot to divert from his flight path, and the fact that he bought the plane months before he had a license to fly it. His detention awaiting the search warrant was not illegal, given that it was based on information obtained before his arrest, his motion to suppress was properly denied. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 8th Circuit

IMMIGRATION

Mutie-Timothy v. Lynch, Jan-28-2016

J. Wollman finds that the immigration board properly denied petitioner's application for a waiver of removal. Immigration services found that she had entered into a fraudulent marriage for the purpose of winning U.S. citizenship. She later changed her story, making allegations of domestic violence against her husband, and sought to apply for lawful permanent resident status under the Violence Against Women Act. The board did not abuse its discretion in finding her testimony incredible and denying her a fraud waiver. Affirmed.

Edit Delete 9th Circuit

BANKRUPTCY

Zachary v. California Bank & Trust, Jan-28-2016

J. Hurwitz finds that the bankruptcy court properly sustained an objection to a chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The absolute priority rule -- providing that a dissenting class of unsecured creditors must be provided for in full before an individual debtor can retain any property under a reorganization plan -- continues to apply following the amendments to the bankruptcy code enacted as part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals Division One

CONTRACT, DAMAGES

Dobson Bay Club II DD v. La Sonrisa de Siena, Jan-28-2016

J. Brown finds that the trial court improperly enforced a $1.4 million late fee on plaintiffs' late balloon payment as liquidated damages. The late fee constitutes a penalty, which is unenforceable as damages. Vacated.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals Division One

FAMILY LAW

Goodman v. Forsen, Jan-28-2016

J. Swann finds that the superior court improperly granted the former girlfriend of a mother visitation rights to the mother's child. The court discounted the mother's opinion for denying her ex-girlfriend visitation as lacking credibility when there was evidence that the girlfriend spanked the child without the mother's permission and exposed the child to "interpersonal conflicts." Reversed.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals Division One

CIVIL PROCEDURE, FRAUD

Wells Fargo Bank v. Rogers, Jan-28-2016

J. Norris finds that the superior court improperly stayed a judgment against real party-in-interest Hoag in a fraudulent transfer lawsuit. The stay "upended the status quo" and jeopardized the effectiveness of the judgment by allowing Hoag to prevent petitioner Wells Fargo from pursuing trust distributions even though the judgment authorized Wells Fargo to receive them. Vacated.

Edit Delete Arizona Court Of Appeals, Division Two

DUI, JURY

State v. Peraza, Jan-28-2016

J. Howard finds that the trial court properly denied defendant suppression of the results of a breathalyzer test during his DUI trial. The officer that conducted the test did not violate defendant's right to counsel because he informed defendant of his right to counsel, allowed him to call an attorney, and gave defendant enough time to contact one before performing the test. The court also properly instructed the jury on the refusal to submit to a sobriety test. Even if the instruction was not given, there was still sufficient evidence to convict defendant. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Arkansas Supreme Court

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, DRUG OFFENDER

Rice v. Arkansas, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the Arkansas Supreme Court denies the inmate's petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court so that he could proceed with a petition for writ of error coram nobis since he failed to establish a ground for the writ. The inmate is serving an aggregate term of 360 months' imprisonment as a habitual offender for drug charges and resisting arrest.

Edit Delete Arkansas Supreme Court

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Desoto Gathering Co. v. Ramsey, Jan-28-2016

J. Brill finds that the writ of prohibition requesting to prohibit the Faulkner County Court from conducting further proceedings is denied.

Edit Delete Arkansas Supreme Court

CIVIL PROCEDURE

In Re: Recommendations of the Committee on Civil Practice v. , Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the Arkansas Supreme Court releases the proposals and recommendations for changes in rules of procedure affecting civil practice.

Edit Delete Arkansas Supreme Court

CLASS ACTIONS

Lambert and Lamber Investors v. Harris, Jan-28-2016

J. Danielson finds that the lower court properly granted class certification to the deceptive trade practices complaint alleging the company charge usurious rates of interest. Since the elements of commonality, predominance, superiority, and typicality have been satisfied, certifying the class was not an abuse of discretion. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Arkansas Supreme Court

MURDER, SENTENCING

Starling v. Arkansas, Jan-28-2016

J. Brill finds that the lower court properly sentenced the inmate as a habitual offender to a total term of life imprisonment plus 15 years after convicting him of first-degree murder and committing a terroristic act. Despite challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence and jury instructions, there is no reversible error. Additionally, his attorney can withdraw from the case since the appeal is without merit. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Arkansas Supreme Court

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Grissom v. Arkansas, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the Arkansas Supreme Court finds that the state's motion to dismiss the appeal is granted since the petition for post-conviction relief was not timely filed. Defendant is serving a 660-month sentence after pleading guilty to sexual assault in the first degree.

Edit Delete Arkansas Supreme Court

INSURANCE, CIVIL PROCEDURE

Granger v. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the Arkansas Supreme Court finds that plaintiff's motion for rule on clerk was improvidently granted and must be dismissed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

JUVENILE LAW

In re C. v. , Jan-28-2016

J. Miller finds that the lower court properly imposed probation conditions on the juvenile after finding he was not eligible for informal supervision when he was found with a knife that had a blade longer than two and one-half inches on his school grounds. The juvenile argues that the electronics search condition is over broad. The condition to provide all passwords to any electronics is over broad since it is not relevant to the juvenile's crime. Therefore, the language "electronics including passwords" must be stricken. Additionally, the juvenile asserts that the probation condition that prohibit him from having weapons and narcotics is over broad. However, the weapons and narcotics condition clearly states that the juvenile must not possess anything that could be considered dangerous or deadly or is considered a controlled substance. Affirmed in part.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

BATTERY, ROBBERY, EVIDENCE

California v. Aguilera, Jan-28-2016

J. Willhite finds that the trial court properly convicted defendant of battery and robbery after he took his wife's cell phone in order to prevent her from calling the police while he beat her. Defendant argues that there was not sufficient evidence to support the robbery conviction since the cell phone is considered his under the principle of community property. However, defendant was charged under a temporary taking theory which supported his robbery conviction since the wife was deprived of the value of the phone since she could not make a needed 911 call. Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

SENTENCING

California v. Johnson, Jan-28-2016

J. Detjen finds that the trial court properly refused defendant's request for resentencing under the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012. Defendant argues that it was erroneous to deny his request since he was not convicted for causing great bodily injury. However, the jury had found defendant inflicted serious bodily injury when he severely beat two paramedics who were sent to respondent to his girlfriend's complaint of stomach pain. Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

EMPLOYMENT

Ellins v. City of Sierra Madre, Jan-28-2016

J. Hoffstadt finds that the lower court properly denied petitioner's request to overturn his dismissal from his position as a police officer after finding he was insubordinate for not submitting to an interrogation. Petitioner argues that it was erroneous to deny his request since he provided evidence that he was not told why he was being investigated in time for him to consult with a representative. However, petitioner was not told of the investigation until an interrogation was started since he had been using the police force database to track down his ex-girlfriend which may have put her in danger if he was told earlier. Furthermore, petitioner was given time to confer with his representative and elected not to use all the time given. Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

EMPLOYMENT

Hughes v. County of San Bernardino, Jan-28-2016

J. Cunnison finds that the lower court improperly dismissed the retired sheriff's deputy's request to compel the county to complete an appeal process from a disciplinary action against him after he missed his scheduled hearing since he was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. The deputy argues that it was erroneous to find he was not entitled to an administrative appeal since he is currently retired. The deputy was not retired at the time he sought an appeal. Therefore, the deputy is entitled to his administrative appeal in order to review the allegations of misconduct against him after 30 years of employment. Reversed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

FAMILY LAW

W. v. The Superior Court of Del Norte County, Jan-28-2016

J. Stewart finds that the lower court improperly determined that the parents were no longer eligible for reunification services with their toddler after the mother relapsed into schizophrenic episodes when she ran out of medication and hallucinated about killing the child. The parents argue that there was not sufficient evidence to support the decision. The mother had not been investigated or diagnosed with a certain mental illness in order to assist her in getting the necessary medication. Therefore, adequate services need to be provided before making a reunification determination. Vacated.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

DISCOVERY

Rubio v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Jan-28-2016

J. Aldrich finds that petitioner's request to vacate an order for him to pay $2,560 for the costs of making copies of all the discovery materials related to his first degree murder conviction and death sentence must be granted. The phrase "actual costs of examination" refers to the costs related to physical evidence rather than charging for the examination and preparation of the documents. Therefore, the reimbursement cost needs to be recalculated.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

ARBITRATION, CONTRACT

Epic Medical Management v. Paquette, Jan-28-2016

J. Rubin finds that the lower court properly confirmed an arbitration award in favor of the management company regarding a money due dispute. The physician argues that it was erroneous not to find the arbitrator illegally modified an agreement in order to determine he owed the company money after it under-performed on its promises. However, the arbitrator did not modify the agreement by finding that the management's fee could be calculated by using a 50-25-75 method when determining the fees the company incurred and the amount of money it was entitled to receive from the physician. Affirmed.

Edit Delete California Courts Of Appeal

ATTORNEYS, CIVIL PROCEDURE

Martin Potts and Associates v. Corsair LLC, Jan-28-2016

J. Hoffstadt finds that the lower court properly set aside a default judgment for money owed against respondent after its attorney attested that he made a mistake. Appellant argues that it was erroneous to set aside the default judgment without requiring the attorney to explain what mistake he made. However, the attorney was not required to explain his mistake since he met all the conditions when making his request for relief. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Colorado Court Of Appeals

CONTRACT, DAMAGES, ATTORNEY FEES

Ravenstar v. One Ski Hill Place, Jan-28-2016

J. Richman finds that the lower court properly entered judgments against plaintiffs on their breach of contract claim. While there was an option in the parties' contract where defendant could seek actual damages, it does not render the liquidated damages provision allowing defendant to retain construction deposits invalid since defendant could not seek a double recovery. The court also properly awarded attorney fees to defendant's in-house counsel based on the "lodestar method," which provided an initial estimate of a reasonable attorney fee. There was sufficient evidence to support an award of fees. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Colorado Court Of Appeals

DAMAGES, CONSTITUTION

Denver Health and Hospital Authority v. City of Arvada, Jan-28-2016

J. Loeb finds that the lower court properly found for plaintiff following its lawsuit seeking payment of medical expenses of a man who attempted suicide following an interaction with defendant's police officers and was in defendant's custody while he received treatment. An officer's statement that the man's injuries were self-inflicted were not enough to release defendant from its statutory obligations, and defendant did not have immunity while the man received treatment in its custody. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Court Of Federal Claims

SETTLEMENTS

Sears v. U.S., Jan-28-2016

J. Lettow finds that the Moody's Aaa Index is the appropriate basis to calculate the interest rate beyond Feb. 3 in the parties' Fifth Amendment taking settlement. The record shows the party has mostly reached a settlement regarding 269 parcels of land in Marshall and Hardin Counties that the government converted from railroad lines to walking trails as part of its rails-to-trails program. The government argues the interest rate should be based on government treasury securities, the record shows that those securities have been kept artificially low since the financial crisis of 2008, and thus a prudent investor would seek a higher rate such as the Moody's index.

Edit Delete Florida Courts Of Appeal

TORT, PRODUCT LIABILITY

Lesnik v. Duval Ford, Jan-28-2016

J. Bilbrey finds that the lower court properly found for defendant in a tort action related to plaintiff's purchase of second-hand vehicle with a modified suspension. No longer after the purchase, the suspension failed, the truck flipped over, and plaintiff was severely injured. There is no evidence the lift kit was defective, or that defendant's inspection of the vehicle failed to find an obvious problem with the car. Defendant had no duty to warn plaintiff because it found nothing inherently dangerous about the truck when it was sold. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Florida Supreme Court

EXPERTS, INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE

Lucas v. State, Jan-28-2016

J. Labarga finds that appellee was not required to name a possible expert witness to prove his ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Appellee claimed his defense lawyer should have called an ophthalmologist to rebut testimony that his assault victim sustained permanent eye damage, and even though state law mentions availability of the witness as a factor in determining the merits of the claim, it "does not expressly call for the name of a specific expert." Affirmed.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, MANSLAUGHTER

Walker v. State, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that defendant's pro se application for discretionary appeal in a voluntary manslaughter case must be dismissed as untimely.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Clement v. State, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that defendant's application for discretionary appeal must be dismissed as untimely.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, MURDER

Ballard v. State, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that defendant's application for discretionary appeal in a murder case must be transferred to the Georgia Supreme Court, which has appellate jurisdiction.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CIVIL PROCEDURE, PROPERTY

Chuck's Gun & Pawn v. Lendmark Finance, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that appellant's appeal in a trover action must be dismissed for failure to follow the discretionary review procedure.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Pulliam v. Georgia Ophthalmologists, Jan-28-2016

Per curiam, the court of appeals finds that appellant's application for interlocutory appeal in a breach of contract action must be granted. The summary judgment was subject to direct appeal.

Edit Delete Georgia Court Of Appeals

CIVIL PROCEDURE, REAL ESTATE, WRONGFUL FORECLOSURE

Essien v. CitiMortgage, Jan-28-2016

J. Ellington finds that the lower court properly granted summary judgment to a mortgage company in a wrongful foreclosure case. The claim was premature, as the scheduled foreclosure sale did not take place. Additionally, defendants had properly provided notice. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Hawai'i Courts Of Appeal

EMPLOYMENT, MEDICAID, AGENCY

Home and Community Services of Hawai'i v. Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Jan-28-2016

J. Foley finds that the Board improperly ruled against plaintiffs in an employment dispute, and ruled that home day care service providers to disabled individuals may be considered employees. Plaintiff classified these workers as subcontractors under the domestic exemption for workers performing Medicaid waiver services. The board's conclusion that a person must receive social services in order to qualify for the domestic exemption is erroneous. Plaintiffs' relationship to their subcontractors is exempt from the meaning of "employment." Affirmed.

Edit Delete Indiana Supreme Court

NEGLIGENCE, CONTRACT

Mid-America Sound Corp. v. Indiana State Fair, Jan-28-2016

J. Rush finds that trial court properly granted the fair summary judgment in a negligence lawsuit. The parties' contract did not explicitly spell out that the fair would retroactively indemnify plaintiff, following the 2011 Indiana State Fair, where a stage collapsed injuring and killing patrons. Affirmed.

Edit Delete Indiana Supreme Court

NEGLIGENCE, CONTRACT

Mid-America Sound Corp. v. Indiana State Fair Commission, Jan-28-2016

J. Rush finds that the trial court properly granted the state fair commission summary judgment in a negligence lawsuit. The parties' contract did not explicitly spell out that the fair would retroactively indemnify plaintiff following the 2011 Indiana State Fair, during which the collapse of a stage injured and killed patrons. Affirmed.

1 2