Justia Weekly Opinion Summaries

Constitutional Law
September 9, 2022

Table of Contents

Barney v. Administrator New Jersey State Prisons

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

United States v. Norwood

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

US v. Augustin Arce

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Amawi v. Paxton

Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law

US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Craig v. Martin

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Sweetin v. City of Texas City

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

USA v. Ansari

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, White Collar Crime

US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Brown v. Eplett

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States v. Dennis Sryniawski

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

ATDOM PATSALIS V. DAVID SHINN, ET AL

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

BRIAN CODY V. KILOLO KIJAKAZI

Constitutional Law, Public Benefits

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

BRIAN TINGLEY V. ROBERT FERGUSON, ET AL

Constitutional Law

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

JAIME HOYOS V. RONALD DAVIS

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

USA V. SERGIO GUERRERO

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Paugh, et al. v. Uintah County, et al.

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

United States v. Williams

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Chabad Chayil, Inc. v. The School Board of Miami-Dade County Florida, et al.

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

City of North Miami v. FAA, et al.

Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Government & Administrative Law

US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Xingru Lin v. DC (REDACTED)

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Personal Injury

US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Alaska Department of Corrections v. Stefano

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Government & Administrative Law

Alaska Supreme Court

California v. Garcia

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

California Courts of Appeal

Manlin v. Milner

Business Law, Constitutional Law

California Courts of Appeal

People v. Rowland

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

California Courts of Appeal

State v. Patrick M.

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Garcia-Jarquin v. Georgia

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Supreme Court of Georgia

Mitchell v. Georgia

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Supreme Court of Georgia

Peacock v. Georgia

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Supreme Court of Georgia

Reed v. Georgia

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Supreme Court of Georgia

Idaho v. Smith

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Idaho Supreme Court - Criminal

State v. Lovell

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Haymon and Pernell v. Mississippi

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Supreme Court of Mississippi

Ward v. Mississippi

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Supreme Court of Mississippi

Petition of Devin Miles

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law

New Hampshire Supreme Court

Perkins v. Texas

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

King County v. Sorensen

Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law

Washington Supreme Court

Washington v. Anderson

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law

Washington Supreme Court

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Constitutional Law Opinions

Barney v. Administrator New Jersey State Prisons

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Docket: 18-2258

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Bibas

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Barney’s wife got a restraining order against him and temporary custody of their son. She was subsequently found dead near their son’s daycare, her throat cut open. Barney was charged with murder. Barney had a rocky relationship with his defense lawyer, Riley, and claims that he told Riley of his plan to represent himself on July 14, 2005, then wrote the judge a letter. Though Barney had dated the letter July 21, the judge did not get it until August 10, the day before the trial began. In court, the judge held up the letter, explained that he had not read it, and handed it to Riley. Riley promised Barney that he would “deal with” Barney’s request. He never did.

After a two-week trial, Barney was convicted of first-degree murder. His conviction was affirmed. In habeas proceedings, the New Jersey Superior Court found that Barney did not “clearly and unequivocally” tell the court or Riley that he wanted to represent himself. The Third Circuit affirmed the denial of federal habeas relief. The state court ruling was not “contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established” Supreme Court precedent, 28 U.S.C. 2254(d). Barney did not establish prejudice in his ineffective assistance claim; the trial court did not get Barney’s request until the eve of jury selection.

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United States v. Norwood

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Docket: 20-3478

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Krause

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Under the 1982 Victim and Witness Protection Act (VWPA), a court sentencing a defendant convicted of certain crimes could order restitution 18 U.S.C. 3663(a)(1); a restitution order was “a lien in favor of the United States,” that expired 20 years after the entry of the judgment.” The 1996 Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA) made restitution mandatory and provides that a restitution lien never becomes unenforceable, and a defendant’s liability to pay expires 20 years after the defendant’s release from imprisonment. Days before MVRA took effect, Norwood committed a New Jersey bank robbery and was convicted of federal crimes. His $19,562.87 restitution order was governed by the VWPA. Norwood filed successful habeas petitions. His restitution order was not disturbed, although his sentence was reduced.

In 2016, U.S. Attorney’s office sought money from Norwood’s prison account ($6,031.40) to satisfy Norwood’s outstanding restitution. The ensuing dispute continued until the 20-year anniversary of Norwood’s original judgment and restitution order. Under the VWPA, his liability to pay would have expired. The district court held that the government could enforce its lien under the VWPA because it filed its motion to do so before May 30, 2017. The court analogized to the tax code and concluded there was no ex post facto issue. The Third Circuit reversed. Retroactively applying the MVRA to extend the duration of Norwood’s restitutionary liability violates the Ex Post Facto Clause.

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US v. Augustin Arce

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Docket: 20-4557

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: RICHARDSON

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Defendant was convicted at a bench trial of receiving and possessing child pornography found on his phone. He appealed, making six arguments. The Fourth Circuit explained that based on the totality of the circumstances of Defendant’s questioning show Defendant was not in custody, so his Miranda rights were not violated. Although admitting the cellphone report into evidence violated Defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights, the court found that the error was harmless. And the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of past wrongs, in allowing the Detective’s lay-opinion testimony, or in fashioning its restitution order. But the lifetime ban on internet and computer usage is foreclosed by the Fourth Circuit’s caselaw. So the court reversed as to that condition and remanded to the district court.

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Amawi v. Paxton

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Docket: 21-50360

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Edith H. Jones

Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law

Plaintiffs brought suit challenging a Texas law, which was later amended so as to moot their claims before the merits were adjudicated. Nevertheless, the district court determined that their fleeting success in obtaining a preliminary injunction rendered them “prevailing parties” under 42 U.S.C. Section 1988.
 
The Fifth Circuit disagreed, and accordingly reversed. The court explained that in light of the subsequent authorities from the Supreme Court and the court, the court declined Plaintiffs’ request to apply Doe’s outdated holding. Where a plaintiff’s sought-for preliminary injunction has been granted and the case is thereafter mooted before a final adjudication on the merits, Dearmore applies. As such, the legislature passed the bill with a veto-proof majority shortly thereafter, but Plaintiffs provided nothing to the district court or this court evincing that the legislature had the preliminary injunction in mind when it completed the passage of H.B. 793. And “[t]he mere fact that a legislature has enacted legislation that moots an [action], without more, provides no grounds for assuming that the legislature was motivated by” the “unfavorable precedent.” Am. Bar Ass’n v. FTC 636 F.3d 641, 649 (D.C. Cir. 2011).
 
The court wrote that the introduction of the ameliorative statute here, however, predated the district court’s action, and given the bill’s speedy passage through both houses and overwhelming legislative support, there is no basis to infer that the Texas legislature was motivated by a desire to preclude attorneys’ fees.

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Craig v. Martin

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Docket: 19-10013

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Priscilla Richman

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

This case concerns the denial of qualified immunity to a police officer. Plaintiff and four of her children sued the officer asserting claims for unlawful arrest, bystander injury, and excessive use of force. The district court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the excessive force claims on qualified immunity grounds. This interlocutory appeal followed.
 
The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of qualified immunity on the excessive force claims and render judgment in Defendant’s favor as to those claims. The court explained that Defendant's conduct, in this case, was not objectively unreasonable and did not violate any of the Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights. On this basis alone, Defendant is entitled to qualified immunity.
 
Further, the court wrote, that even assuming Plaintiffs could show that Defendant committed a constitutional violation, Defendant is nonetheless entitled to qualified immunity under the second prong of the qualified immunity analysis. Defendant’s use of force, in this case, is also far less severe than the use of force in any of the cases Plaintiffs have identified. Although Plaintiffs need not point to a factually identical case to demonstrate that the law is clearly established, they nonetheless must provide some controlling precedent that “squarely governs the specific facts at issue. Here, Plaintiffs have not provided such precedent here and thus have failed to show that the law clearly established that Defendant’s particular conduct was unlawful at the time of the incident.

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Sweetin v. City of Texas City

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Docket: 21-40784

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Jennifer Walker Elrod

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

Texas City’s “permit officer” handles applications for ambulance permits for the City. One day, he spotted an ambulance without a permit. He knew he was powerless to issue citations to the drivers himself, so he summoned someone who could (the Fire Marshal). While waiting for the Fire Marshal to show up, the officer repeatedly told the ambulance drivers that they were detained, that they could not leave, and that they must stay. He did not have that power, but he did it anyway. The Fire Marshal showed up about thirty minutes later and issued them citations. The ambulance drivers sued, claiming this violated their Fourth Amendment rights.
 
The Fifth Circuit affirmed in part finding that because the officer acted beyond the scope of his discretionary duties as “permit officer,” he is not entitled to qualified immunity. But the claim against the City fails because the officer did not have final policymaking authority. The court explained that the officer was not acting within the scope of his discretionary authority because state law does not give a permit officer the authority to conduct stops of any kind.
 
However, the court wrote, that the City cannot be held liable under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 because Wylie does not have any final policymaking authority. Section 1983 allows suits against persons for violating federal rights. That term includes municipalities like Texas City. But a city cannot be held liable under Section 1983 on a respondeat superior theory of liability. Rather, a city can be liable only if one of its policies or customs caused the injury.

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USA v. Ansari

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Docket: 21-50915

Opinion Date: September 6, 2022

Judge: Kurt D. Engelhardt

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, White Collar Crime

Defendant was convicted on all five counts of a 2011 indictment charging himself and two co-conspirators with a variety of offenses arising from a well-orchestrated scheme to circumvent American export controls designed to prevent dual-use commodities—goods with both civilian and military applications—from falling into the hands of adversaries like Iran. On appeal, Defendant seeks reversal and remand on three independent grounds.
 
The Fifth Circuit affirmed. The court held that because of the Government’s diligence and Defendant’s evasiveness, the first two factors in the Barker balancing test weigh decidedly against Defendant’s speedy trial claim. The court wrote this is a case where a defendant who took steps to avoid being caught now faults the Government for not catching him sooner. Further, Defendant’s efforts to avoid apprehension cut against his speedy trial assertion in another way, as well—they betray a lack of diligence in asserting the right. Thus, because the Barker balancing test weighs overwhelmingly against Defendant, the district court was correct to deny his motion to dismiss for lack of speedy trial.
 
Finally, because the Sixth Amendment does not require a district court to render a particularized dissertation to justify a partial courtroom closure that is reasonable, neutral, and largely trivial (i.e., requiring spectators to watch and listen on live stream rather than in-person), the district court’s partial closure of Defendant’s jury trial was not unconstitutional.

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Brown v. Eplett

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Docket: 21-1515

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: ROVNER

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

At a barbecue at Brown's home. K.M. and Brown became inebriated and had a physical altercation. K.M.’s wife, Rebecca, got K.M. to his car, in front of Brown’s house. According to Rebecca, K.M. was standing in the street when Brown approached and swung a knife at K.M.. K.M. swung back with a piece of wood that Brown had thrown at K.M. earlier. Brown claims K.M. came up the driveway toward him holding pieces of wood and raised his hands as if to strike Brown, so Brown picked up a knife from the grill and swung it. He did not realize he had stabbed K.M. until K.M. collapsed in the street. Brown did not call 911 but made statements such as “that will teach him.” In recorded telephone calls from the jail, Brown made statements attributing the stabbing to anger rather than fear. K.M.’was struck three times; the knife’s blade penetrated his skull and passed through the brain. K.M. survived but has cognitive and physical impairments and will require care for the remainder of his life.

Brown was convicted of first-degree reckless injury. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial of Brown’s habeas petition. Even if he was deprived of due process when the trial court refused to instruct the jury on the “castle doctrine” as part of his self-defense theory, any error was harmless. It is unlikely that a properly instructed jury would have accepted Brown’s factual account.

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United States v. Dennis Sryniawski

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Docket: 21-3487

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: COLLOTON

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Defendant was charged with federal offenses of cyberstalking and extortion after he sent a series of e-mails to a candidate for the Nebraska legislature. A jury acquitted Defendant of extortion but convicted him of cyberstalking. Defendant appealed the conviction, arguing that the e-mails constituted speech that is protected by the First Amendment, and that the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction.
 
The Eighth Circuit concluded that the evidence was insufficient under a proper interpretation of the cyberstalking statute, and therefore reversed the conviction. The court explained that to qualify as speech integral to criminal conduct, the speech must be integral to conduct that constitutes another offense that does not involve protected speech, such as antitrust conspiracy, extortion, or in-person harassment. In this case, however, the jury acquitted Defendant of extortion, and there is no other identified criminal conduct to which the jury could have found that Defendant’s e-mail communications were integral.
 
Further, under prevailing law, where an alleged victim of defamation is a public figure, a speaker’s assertions are unprotected speech only if the speaker acted with “actual malice”—that is, with the knowledge that his statements were false or with reckless disregard of their falsity. Here, on this record, the evidence is insufficient to support a finding that Defendant harassed the relevant parties with defamatory speech. Finally, the government did not charge Defendant with the separate offense of transmitting obscene materials via the internet and its belated obscenity theory is insufficient to sustain the cyberstalking conviction.

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ATDOM PATSALIS V. DAVID SHINN, ET AL

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Docket: 20-16800

Opinion Date: September 6, 2022

Judge: Forrest

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Petitioner was convicted of 25 felonies (mostly residential burglaries) committed against multiple victims over a three-month period. The trial court imposed consecutive sentences on all but two of the 25 counts, resulting in an overall sentence of 292 years imprisonment.
 
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of habeas relief. Rejecting Petitioner’s constitutional claim, the Arizona Court of Appeals concluded that proportionality should be assessed based on each individual conviction and sentence, not the cumulative effect of consecutive sentences and that none of Petitioner’s individual sentences were disproportionate. Petitioner argued that the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s (AEDPA’s) deferential standard of review does not apply to the Arizona Court of Appeals’ decision because that court did not consider the cumulative impact of his sentence and that he was entitled instead to de novo review on this claim. The panel concluded that the Arizona Court of Appeals made a merits determination and that AEDPA deference applies.
 
Applying AEDPA deference, the panel noted that there is no clearly established law from the Supreme Court on whether Eighth Amendment sentence proportionality must be analyzed on a cumulative or individual basis when a defendant is sentenced on multiple offenses, and that other than the basic principle of proportionality, the only thing that the Supreme Court has established is that the rule against grossly disproportionate sentences is violated only in the exceedingly rare and extreme case. The panel concluded that it cannot say that the Arizona Court of Appeals’ decision was contrary to, or unreasonably applied, clearly established federal law.

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BRIAN CODY V. KILOLO KIJAKAZI

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Docket: 21-35553

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Bumatay

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Public Benefits

A Social Security Administration ALJ, appointed by agency staff rather than by the Commissioner as required, reviewed and denied claimant’s initial claims. Without challenging the ALJ’s appointment, the claimant appealed to the district court and prevailed in part. The district court vacated the 2017 ALJ decision and ordered a new hearing because the ALJ failed to properly consider certain evidence. The case returned to the same ALJ, who by then had been properly ratified by the Acting Commissioner. The ALJ again denied benefits, and claimant appealed to the district court, raising the issue of an Appointments Clause violation. The district court affirmed the ALJ decision and denied the Appointments Clause claim because the 2017 decision had been vacated and the ALJ was properly appointed when she issued the 2019 decision.
 
Because the ALJ’s decision was tainted by a prior Appointments Clause violation, the Ninth Circuit vacated the district court’s decision affirming the Commissioner of Social Security’s denial of claimant’s application for benefits under the Social Security Act and remanded with instructions to the Commissioner to assign the case to a different, validly appointed ALJ to rehear and adjudicate claimant’s case de novo. The panel held that under Lucia, the claimant was entitled to a new hearing before a different ALJ. The panel concluded that claimants are entitled to an independent decision issued by a different ALJ if a timely challenged ALJ decision is tainted by a pre-ratification ALJ decision.

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BRIAN TINGLEY V. ROBERT FERGUSON, ET AL

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Docket: 21-35815

Opinion Date: September 6, 2022

Judge: Gould

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law

Plaintiff worked as a licensed marriage and family therapist for more than twenty years and his Christian views inform his work. Plaintiff sued state officials (“Washington”) in May 2021, seeking to enjoin SB 5722. Equal Rights Washington (“ERW”), the lead organization supporting SB 5722’s passage, intervened as a defendant. Plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction, which Washington and ERW both opposed, and Defendants filed motions to dismiss his complaint.
 
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s lawsuit. The panel held that Plaintiff had standing to bring his claims in an individual capacity and the claims were prudentially ripe. Plaintiff’s complaint showed a plan or desire to violate Washington’s law; Washington confirmed that it will enforce the ban on conversion therapy “as it enforces other restrictions on unprofessional conduct;” and Plaintiff alleged that the law had chilled his speech and that he has self-censored himself out of fear of enforcement. Plaintiff did not, however, have standing to bring claims on behalf of his minor clients.
 
Further, the panel held that Washington’s licensing scheme for health care providers did not violate the First or Fourteenth Amendments. The panel held that the law was a neutral law targeted at preventing the harms associated with conversion therapy, and not at the religious exercise of those who wish to practice this type of therapy on minors. Finally, Washington’s law was not unconstitutionally vague. The law gave fair notice of what conduct was proscribed to a reasonable person and contained standards limiting the discretion of those who will enforce it.

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JAIME HOYOS V. RONALD DAVIS

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Docket: 17-99009

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Christen

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Petitioner was sentenced to death in 1994 after a state jury convicted him of first-degree murder and several other offenses. He appeals the district court’s denial of his federal habeas corpus petition.
 
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of a habeas corpus petition brought by Petitioner, who was sentenced to death in 1994 after a state jury convicted him of first-degree murder and other offenses. The panel affirmed the district court’s denial of Petitioner’s certified claim that the prosecutor’s use of peremptory challenges violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection pursuant to Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).
 
Because the California Supreme Court unreasonably applied Johnson, the panel reviewed de novo Petitioner’s Batson claim to determine whether he raised an inference of racial bias at Step One. The panel noted that trial courts are often well-situated to decide the Step One question without conducting a formal comparative juror analysis, but wrote that when an appellate court must decide whether the trial court that denied a Batson motion should instead have drawn an inference that discrimination occurred, Batson supports the use of comparative juror analysis.
 
Accordingly, pursuant to Batson’s three-step framework, the panel could not say the California Supreme Court erred by ruling that Petitioner did not make a prima facie showing to shift the burden to the prosecutor to explain the actual motivation for the peremptory challenges.

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USA V. SERGIO GUERRERO

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Docket: 21-10248

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Per Curiam

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

After the district court denied his motion to suppress, Defendant pled guilty to smuggling ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 554(a). Defendant timely appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. This appeal challenges that denial. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress because of the consistent conclusions of Judge Gould and Judge Bea, which represent a majority of the panel, even though the reasoning of Judge Gould and Judge Bea in their separate concurrences is different.
 
The Ninth Circuit noted that one exception to the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of searches and seizures conducted without prior approval by judge or magistrate is a Terry stop, which allows an officer to briefly detain an individual when the officer has a reasonable articulable suspicion that an individual is engaged in a crime, during which stop an officer may also conduct a limited protective frisk if the officer has reason to believe the individual has a weapon. The panel noted that another exception is when an officer has probable cause to arrest an individual.

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Paugh, et al. v. Uintah County, et al.

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Docket: 21-4067

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Gregory Alan Phillips

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

Coby Lee Paugh died from complications related to alcohol withdrawal while being held in pretrial detention at Uintah County Jail in Vernal, Utah. His estate sued Uintah County and several of its jail officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of Paugh’s constitutional rights. The County and its jail officials moved for summary judgment, with the jail officials asserting qualified immunity. The district court granted qualified immunity for one but not all defendants. It also denied the County’s motion for summary judgment. The Individual Defendants and the County filed an interlocutory appeal, challenging the district court’s denial of qualified immunity, and the County asked the Tenth Circuit to exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction and reverse the court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment. We hold that the Individual Defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity. After review, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of the Individual Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and did not consider the County’s appeal, because it lacked jurisdiction to do so.

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United States v. Williams

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Docket: 21-6061

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Rossman

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Defendant-appellant Gregory Williams appealed after he pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He claimed: (1) his sentence was procedurally unreasonable because the district court incorrectly calculated his base offense level under the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and the district court clearly erred in its drug-quantity calculation by holding him accountable for alleged packages of methamphetamine on which the government presented no evidence; and (2) the district court imposed an illegal sentence by erroneously applying the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) enhancement: his prior Oklahoma convictions for distributing a controlled dangerous substance were not categorically “serious drug offenses” under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(A)(ii) because his state offenses applied to hemp, and hemp was not a federally controlled substance at the time of his federal offense. The Tenth Circuit agreed with defendant on both issues, vacated the judgment and remanded fr resentencing.

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Chabad Chayil, Inc. v. The School Board of Miami-Dade County Florida, et al.

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Docket: 21-10619

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: COVINGTON

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

Following a government investigation into an afterschool program run by Plaintiff Chabad Chayil, Inc., Defendant Miami-Dade County Public Schools (“MDCPS”) barred Chabad from continuing to use its facilities. Chabad sued both MDCPS and the investigating authority—Miami-Dade County’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”)—for alleged violations of its federal constitutional rights. The district court dismissed those claims with prejudice and without leave to amend, and Chabad appealed.
 
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed concluding that the district court properly dismissed all of Chabad’s Section 1983 claims against the MDCPS and OIG, and the court affirmed the dismissal of those claims without leave to amend.
 
The court explained that the unspecified acts of unidentified OIG investigators in this single case do not plausibly allege an official policy of the OIG, or even a custom that rises to the force of law. Thus, the district court properly dismissed the Free Exercise claim against the OIG. Further, Chabad did not demonstrate that its comparators were similarly situated in all relevant respects. Accordingly, the district court correctly dismissed the Equal Protection claim against the OIG. Moreover, the court explained that to impose liability under Section 1983, the government entity’s actions must be the “moving force” behind the deprivation of a constitutional right. The OIG does not have the authority to refuse any group permission to use school board property–that power lies with MDCPS. Thus, even if the OIG did act in accordance with some official policy or custom, that policy or custom did not cause Chabad’s harm.

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City of North Miami v. FAA, et al.

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Dockets: 20-14656, 20-14662, 20-14674, 20-14689, 20-14677

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: MARCUS

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Government & Administrative Law

Petitioners, a group comprised of municipalities, individuals, and a nonprofit organization all based in South Florida, filed this petition for review, claiming that the FAA violated the National Environmental Protection Act (“NEPA”), the Clean Air Act, the Department of Transportation Act, and the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause. Among other things, Petitioners say the FAA’s Purpose and Need Statement was seriously deficient in violation of NEPA; its Cumulative Impact Assessment was improper and violated NEPA.
 
The Eleventh Circuit denied the petitions for review concluding that none of the Petitioners’ claims have merit. The court held that the FAA scrupulously adhered to the requirements of the relevant statutes and afforded the public numerous opportunities to comment on the proposed changes. The court explained that the FAA engaged in an exhaustive study of the South-Central Florida Metroplex Project’s impact on the environment and noise levels in the affected area, and it found no significant impact. It also provided ample opportunity for the various stakeholders to learn about and comment on the project and complied with all procedural requirements.

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Xingru Lin v. DC (REDACTED)

Court: US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Docket: 20-7111

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Millet

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Personal Injury

After Appellant, a ticketing agent ordered a non-ticketed individual off of the bus, the two women got into a physical altercation. When DC Metropolitan Police officers arrived, they grabbed Appellant, pressed her against the wall, and then forced her to the floor. The police charged her with simple assault on the non-ticketed individual and with assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest.
 
Appellant sued the District of Columbia and the police officers, alleging civil rights violations during this arrest and a second arrest that occurred two months after the first. Appellant appealed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the District and its officers.
 
The DC Circuit agreed in part and reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for the District and its officers on Appellant’s Section 1983 wrongful arrest, common law false arrest, and respondeat superior claims. The court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment as to Appellant’s other claims. The court explained that there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether probable cause for the simple assault charge dissipated before Appellant was handcuffed a second time and taken involuntarily to the police station. Second, there is a genuine issue of material fact as to the existence of probable cause to arrest Appellant for assaulting a police officer.

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Alaska Department of Corrections v. Stefano

Court: Alaska Supreme Court

Docket: S-17892

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Borghesan

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Government & Administrative Law

The Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) allows some inmates to serve a portion of their prison sentence outside a correctional facility while wearing electronic monitoring equipment. This case presented a jurisdictional question for the Alaska Supreme Court's review: did the superior court have jurisdiction to hear an appeal of DOC’s decision to remove an inmate from electronic monitoring and return the inmate to prison? Within that jurisdictional question iwass a more fundamental question: was DOC’s decision subject to the constitutional guarantee that “[n]o person shall be deprived of . . . liberty . . . without due process of law?” The Supreme Court held that due process applied. Although the Court rejected the argument that removal from electronic monitoring and remand to prison implicated the constitutional right to rehabilitation, the Court concluded that serving a sentence on electronic monitoring afforded a limited but constitutionally protected degree of liberty, akin to parole. Nevertheless, the Court held that the superior court did not have appellate jurisdiction to review DOC’s decision in this case. "Appellate review of an agency’s decision is possible only when the decision is the product of an adjudicative process in which evidence is produced, law is applied, and an adequate record is made. DOC’s decisional process in this case was not an adjudicative process and did not create a record that permits appellate review." The case was remanded to the superior court to convert this case from an appeal to a civil action so that the parties could create the record necessary for judicial review of DOC's decision.

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California v. Garcia

Court: California Courts of Appeal

Docket: C093430(Third Appellate District)

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Elena J. Duarte

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

In 1993, defendant Albert Garcia physically assaulted and stole money from an 82-year-old man, who died about an hour later from lethal cardiac arrhythmia. A jury found defendant guilty of first degree murder and robbery. The trial court sentenced him to an aggregate term of 27 years to life in prison, and the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in an unpublished opinion. In affirming defendant’s murder conviction, the Court noted that the prosecution’s theory was felony murder, and concluded that the felony-murder rule applied to the facts of this case because there was substantial evidence the robbery, either the physical altercation or the emotional stress, caused the victim’s death. In 2019, after the passage of California Senate Bill No. 1437 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.), which narrowed the class of persons liable for felony murder, defendant petitioned for resentencing under Penal Code section 1172.6 (former § 1170.95). The trial court denied the petition in August 2020, finding defendant was ineligible for resentencing as a matter of law because he was the “actual killer,” a felony-murder theory that remained valid after the passage of the Senate Bill. Defendant appealed, arguing: (1) the trial court improperly evaluated the validity of his murder conviction under the “actual killer” provision of Penal Code section 189 (e)(1), as there was no “actual killer” within the meaning of the revised felony-murder rule when death results from a preexisting medical condition aggravated by the stress of the underlying felony; and (2) the trial court erroneously relied upon a sufficiency of the evidence standard in denying his petition for resentencing rather than determining whether the prosecution had met its burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is guilty of murder under current law. The Court of Appeal disagreed with defendant on his first contention, thus it did not reach his second. Here, the Court found defendant was the actual killer; accordingly, the order denying his petition for resentencing was affirmed.

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Manlin v. Milner

Court: California Courts of Appeal

Docket: B313253(Second Appellate District)

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: CHANEY

Areas of Law: Business Law, Constitutional Law

In a dispute between members of a limited liability company (LLC), Plaintiff alleged that the LLC’s managing member engaged in self-dealing to the detriment of both Plaintiff and the company. After the managing member, represented by the LLC’s attorneys, cross-complained against Plaintiff, Plaintiff cross-complained against both the managing member and the attorneys for further self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duty, alleging they misappropriated funds from the LLC to finance the litigation. Cross-defendants specially moved to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute (Strategic Lawsuit Against Protected Activity; Code of Civil Procedure section 425) arguing the alleged conduct occurred as part of the litigation, which was protected activity.
 
The Second Appellate District affirmed the order imposing monetary sanctions. The court denied the other discovery orders deeming it a petition for extraordinary relief. The court affirmed the anti-SLAPP order striking Plaintiff’s cross-complaint. Further, the court directed the trial court to vacate its order awarding Defendant anti-SLAPP attorney fees and reconsider that order. The court explained that the trial court was in the best position to evaluate Plaintiff’s justifications for deficient responses, and as with the December 9, 2019 order, the court explained it cannot conclude that the trial court’s findings and decision on April 6, 2021, to impose additional monetary sanctions constituted a manifest abuse exceeding the bounds of reason.

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People v. Rowland

Court: California Courts of Appeal

Docket: H048799(Sixth Appellate District)

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Danner

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Detective Nava obtained a search warrant for Rowland’s residence. Nava had investigated a report from Sergeant Dahl, a member of the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against ChildrenTask Force. Dahl was investigating Cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which had received anonymous Cybertips from a Microsoft Online Operation employee who viewed files of apparent child pornography, which were uploaded from a particular IP address. The Child Victim Identification Program confirmed that the person from Cybertip 1 had been identified and was underage at the time the photograph was taken. Dahl learned the IP address was assigned to AT&T, obtained a search warrant, and learned the subscriber was Rowland. Charged with possessing or controlling matter depicting a person under 18 years of age personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct, Rowland unsuccessfully moved to quash the search warrant that led to the seizure of his electronic devices, including a thumb drive that contained about 1,000 images and 25 videos of child pornography.

The court of appeal affirmed. Although the search warrant affidavit did not name the employee who submitted the cybertips to NCMEC or the person who forwarded the cybertips from NCMEC to the police, the totality of the circumstances supported a determination that the cybertips came from unbiased citizen informants who could be presumed reliable and thus did not need independent corroboration.

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State v. Patrick M.

Court: Connecticut Supreme Court

Docket: SC20476

Opinion Date: September 6, 2022

Judge: Ecker

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction of murder and criminal possession of a firearm in connection with the death of his wife, holding that the prosecutor improperly commented on Defendant's invocation of his right to remain silent following his arrest and advisement of rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).

On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to establish his identity as the perpetrator of the crimes of conviction and that the prosecutor improperly commented on his post-Miranda silence. The Supreme Court reversed his convictions, holding (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction; but (2) the prosecutor's remarks impermissibly used Defendant's post-Miranda silence against him, in violation of Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610 (1976), rendering the trial "fundamentally unfair," and the error was not harmless.

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Garcia-Jarquin v. Georgia

Court: Supreme Court of Georgia

Docket: S22A0727

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Colvin

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Appellant Ylarrio Garcia-Jarquin was convicted by jury of malice murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the shooting death of Edel Mendoza and the aggravated assault of Miguel Canil. Appellant claimed the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction for the aggravated assault of Canil. Finding no reversible error, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed.

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Mitchell v. Georgia

Court: Supreme Court of Georgia

Docket: S22A0771

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Colvin

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Kashawn Mitchell was convicted by jury of malice murder and related offenses in connection with the shooting death of Jaron Acklin. Mitchell claimed the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions, the trial court erred by admitting his custodial statements into evidence, and that the trial court erred during sentencing. Finding no reversible error, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed.

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Peacock v. Georgia

Court: Supreme Court of Georgia

Docket: S22A0578

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Pinson

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Jeffrey Peacock was convicted of five counts of malice murder and other crimes related to the shooting deaths of Jonathan Edwards, Jr., Alecia Norman, Reid Williams, Jones Pidcock, and Jordan Croft; the burning of their home; and the killing of three dogs. On appeal, he contended: (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain his convictions for malice murder and the associated possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony; (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence found during the search of his truck; (3) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to seek to suppress his statements to a GBI agent who allegedly provided him a hope of benefit in violation of OCGA § 24-8-824; and (4) his cruelty-to-animals convictions and sentences should have been for misdemeanors rather than felonies based on the rule of lenity. Finding no reversible error, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed.

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Reed v. Georgia

Court: Supreme Court of Georgia

Docket: S22A0530

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Carla Wong McMillian

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Jaquavious Reed appealed his conviction for murder and other charges in connection with the death of Antwan Curry. On appeal, Reed argued: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; (2) he was denied due process due to an inordinate delay in the appellate process; (3) he was denied the right to be present at every critical stage of the trial when the trial court conferred with counsel at 26 bench conferences; (4) the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office (the “DA’s office”) should have been disqualified because his attorney of record was employed by the DA’s office at the time of trial; (5) he was denied due process when the State failed to preserve a true and correct copy of the full trial transcript including the bench conferences; (6) he was denied the right to effectively confront his accusers when the State failed to turn over exculpatory Crime Stoppers reports in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963); (7) the trial court committed reversible error by refusing his request for a continuance to allow time to investigate a “surprise witness” presented by the State; (8) he received ineffective assistance of counsel with regard to the bench conferences, the incomplete transcript, and his trial counsel’s failure to object to the “presumption of truthfulness” jury charge; and (9) the trial court erred in sentencing him for both murder and felony murder. Although the Georgia Supreme Court agreed with Reed that the trial court erred in imposing his sentence and it vacated his conviction for felony murder and remand for resentencing, the Supreme Court otherwise affirmed.

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Idaho v. Smith

Court: Idaho Supreme Court - Criminal

Docket: 49461

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Brody

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Michanglo Smith challenges multiple evidentiary decisions of the district court involving two jury trials. The underlying convictions stem from a violent incident involving Smith and his then girlfriend (“Girlfriend”) on the night of January 27, 2018 and lasted into the morning of January 28, 2018. According to Smith, Girlfriend was attacked by some other person(s) to whom she owed money. In contrast, Girlfriend testified that Smith had attacked, threatened, and attempted to strangle her repeatedly—not some other person(s). In the first trial, after hearing from both Girlfriend and Smith, in addition to multiple witnesses corroborating Girlfriend’s injuries and reported version of events, the jury convicted Smith on all counts except the attempted strangulation charge. The jury was unable to reach a decision on the attempted strangulation charge. The State re-tried Smith on that charge, and after a second trial, a jury found him guilty of attempted strangulation. Smith appealed his convictions and the subsequent restitution order. Finding no reversible error, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed Smith's convictions.

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State v. Lovell

Court: Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Citation: 2022 ME 49

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Andrew M. Mead

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of conviction entered in the trial court upon his conditional guilty plea to drug-related offenses and endangering the welfare of a child, holding that the trial court did not err when it denied Defendant's motion to suppress.

Based on evidence discovered during the stop of a Honda Civic the grand jury indicted Defendant on the four counts for which he was later convicted. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained during the stop, arguing that the police officer lacked a clearly articulated and objectively reasonable suspicion to justify the seizure. The trial court denied the motion to suppress, and Defendant entered conditional guilty pleas on all counts. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the vehicle stop was constitutionally permissible, and therefore, the trial court did not err in denying Defendant's motion to suppress.

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Haymon and Pernell v. Mississippi

Court: Supreme Court of Mississippi

Citation: 2021-KA-00240-SCT

Opinion Date: September 1, 2022

Judge: Chamberlin

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Crystal Pernell and Tajarvis Haymon were convicted of two counts of armed robbery (Counts I and II), kidnapping (Count III) and aggravated assault (Count IV). On appeal, Pernell challenged the weight and sufficiency of the evidence used to support her conviction and argued that her request for a lesser offense jury instruction for simple assault should have been granted. Haymon argued that Danzel Williams’s (Danzel) identification of him in a photo lineup was impermissibly suggestive. Finding no error, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed.

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Ward v. Mississippi

Court: Supreme Court of Mississippi

Citation: 2021-KA-00664-SCT

Opinion Date: September 1, 2022

Judge: Michael K. Randolph

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Alphonso Ward was charged in a multi-offense indictment for automobile burglary and as an habitual offender. Ward was convicted by jury of automobile burglary. At Ward’s sentencing hearing, the State offered evidence attempting to prove Ward’s habitual offender status, but the documents offered were not in the record. Ward was convicted and sentenced as an habitual offender. On appeal, Ward argued: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the trial court’s finding that Ward was an habitual offender; and (2) the trial court erred when it denied Ward’s motion to dismiss for a violation of his right to a speedy trial. The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed and remanded this case to the trial court to determine whether the specific facts of the instant case justified the finding that good cause existed for the delay in bringing Ward to trial. "If good cause existed, then the trial court should apply the proper Barker analysis. Should it be determined that Ward’s right to a speedy trial has not been violated, then his conviction stands. However, Ward should be resentenced on the substantive crime only."

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Petition of Devin Miles

Court: New Hampshire Supreme Court

Docket: 2020-0569

Opinion Date: September 2, 2022

Judge: Donovan

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law

Petitioner Devin Miles sought certiorari review of superior court decisions denying his motion to quash an indictment against him, his renewed motion to quash, his motion for interlocutory appeal, and his motion for findings of fact and rulings of law. In August 2019, the State filed three juvenile delinquency petitions against petitioner in the family division of the circuit court. One of the juvenile petitions charged the petitioner with a pattern of aggravated felonious sexual assault (AFSA). Petitioner argued the court erred by failing to quash the indictment because, in his view, the indictment was contrary to RSA 169-B:4, VII (Supp. 2021) and violated New Hampshire Rule of Criminal Procedure 20(a)(4) as well as his double jeopardy rights pursuant to the State and Federal Constitutions. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the superior court.

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Perkins v. Texas

Court: Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Docket: PD-0310-20

Opinion Date: September 7, 2022

Judge: Newell

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Carroll Weathermon saw appellant Mickey Perkins standing over Lana Hyles who was on the ground. Weathermon did not know Hyles or Appellant prior to that day. She began honking her horn and saw Appellant grab Hyles by the hair pulling her toward a car parked in the grass to the side of the road. Weathermon called 911, opened her passenger door, and Hyles crawled inside as her nose bled. Weathermon took Hyles to the emergency room. Hyles previously dated Appellant, and, according to Hyles, Appellant was to drop her off at home but began heading in the wrong direction. Hyles advised Appellant to take her home, which led to an argument. The argument became physical when Appellant pushed her head into the console of the car and choked her causing her pain and difficulty breathing. Hyles bit Appellant’s finger and exited the vehicle as it slowed down. She did not recall being on the ground or Appellant physically trying to force her back to the car. After Appellant left in Hyles’s car, she got into Weathermon’s car. But according to Appellant, Hyles caused her own injuries. He claimed that as he was driving, Hyles slammed the car into either park or reverse from the passenger seat. Appellant claimed he was forced to hit the brakes, causing Hyles to hit her face on the dash. Ultimately, Appellant was charged by indictment with aggravated assault against a person with whom he had previously had a dating relationship. The issue this case presented for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals centered on whether the State was required to accept a defendant's stipulation of evidence regarding an unadjudicated extraneous offense offered for non-character conformity purposes, rather than introduce testimony regarding the commission of that offense into evidence during the State’s case-in-chief. The Court declined to extend its holding in Tamez v. Texas involving jurisdictional DWI convictions to the situation presented in this case. The Court affirmed the court of appeals opinion in this regard. However, the Court concurred with Appellant that the court of appeals failed to review the trial court’s decision to admit testimony of Appellant’s unadjudicated aggravated assault over Appellant’s Rule 403 objection. Consequently, the Court remanded the case for the court of appeals to determine whether the trial court’s admission of this evidence ran afoul of Rule 403.

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King County v. Sorensen

Court: Washington Supreme Court

Docket: 100,731-1

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Susan Owens

Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law

King County, Washington petitioned the Washington Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to compel the presiding judge of Pierce County Superior Court to turn over court reporters’ backup audiotapes and to search court employees’ private files and devices for records responsive to a records request. The Supreme Court dismissed the petition because it failed to demonstrate why the Court should grant the extraordinary remedy: the superior court presiding judge was not the proper subject of a writ of mandamus to turn over audiotapes or other records under GR 31 or GR 31.1. Furthermore, the Court found King County had a plain, speedy and adequate remedy that precluded the issuance of a writ of mandamus.

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Washington v. Anderson

Court: Washington Supreme Court

Docket: 97890-5

Opinion Date: September 8, 2022

Judge: Debra Stephens

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law

Tonelli Anderson petitioned the Washington Supreme Court for review of his 61-year sentence he received for two first degree murders committed at age 17. Anderson asked the Court to find his sentence was unconstitutionally cruel under the Washington constitution, arguing that Washington v. Haag announced a bright line rule that no juvenile offender could ever receive a sentence of 46 years or longer, no matter how serious or numerous their crimes might be. The Supreme Court agreed that Haag limited the category of juvenile offenders who could receive a de facto life without parole (LWOP) sentence, but when the offender’s crimes do not reflect those “mitigating qualities of youth,” Washington’s constitution does not bar a de facto LWOP sentence. In light of the evidence presented at trial, the Supreme Court concluded the trial court appropriately determined Anderson’s crimes did not reflect “youthful immaturity, impetuosity, or failure to appreciate risks and consequences.” Therefore his sentence was affirmed.

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New on Verdict

Legal Analysis and Commentary

It’s Time to End the Inhumanity of Confinement on America’s Death Rows

AUSTIN SARAT

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Amherst professor Austin Sarat comments on a recent report by the advocacy group, the Legal Defense Fund, noting that the total number of people on death row is 3.6% lower than it was a year ago, and 35% lower than it was in 2001 when the death row population was at its peak. However, Professor Sarat highlights the inhumanity of allowing even this reduced number of people—indeed, anyone—to languish for years or decades on death row.

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News & Notes on Google Local Services Ads: September 2022

Justia Amplify Team

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The latest info from the Google Partner newsletter is in! Check out this post to learn more about important changes and updates to Google Local Services Ads that may impact your law firm.

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