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Case SummariesCivil Rights

[01/08] Quezada v. City of Los Angeles
Summary judgment for defendant-city and defendant-chief of police in an action in which plaintiff-police officers alleged mistreatment during a departmental investigation into the discharge of one of the officer's weapons while the three officers were off duty and had been drinking at a bar near the police station, is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiffs have failed to establish their interrogations violated their rights under the Public Safety Officers Bill of Rights Act; 2) plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights were not violated; and 3) no triable issues of fact exist as to plaintiffs' claims of Bane Act violations.

[01/07] Snider International Corporation v. Town of Forest Heights
Summary judgment in favor of defendant-towns in a putative class action challenging the constitutionality of the issuance and form of automated speeding citations from defendant-towns that were issued under Maryland's speed camera program is affirmed, where: 1) service of the citations via first-class mail comports with due process; 2) the automated citation procedures do not violate due process; and 3) the use of the citations as evidence at trial does not violate due process.

[01/06] Matusick v. Erie County Water Authority
Judgment for plaintiff in an action alleging employment discrimination and harassment is: 1) affirmed in part, where plaintiff presented sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find, as this jury did, that the defendants were liable on his state-law discrimination claims, and the award of backpay is undisturbed; 2) reversed in part, where although the plaintiff sufficiently alleged a constitutional violation, the relevant constitutional rights during the time in question were not clearly established and therefore the individual defendants are entitled to qualified immunity so the award of punitive damages against the individual defendants is vacated; 3) affirmed in part, where there was sufficient evidence presented to the jury for a reasonable fact-finder to determine that the municipal defendant was liable on plaintiff's claim under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, so the award of punitive damages on this claim was proper; and 4) affirmed in part, where the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney's fees to the plaintiff in an amount substantially less than the amount claimed.

[12/31] Alliance for Property Rights and Fiscal Responsibility v. City of Idaho Falls
Summary judgment for plaintiffs in an action brought by plaintiff-property owners who objected to defendant-city's efforts to condemn easements over their property located outside of the city's limits, for the purpose of constructing electric transmission lines, is affirmed, where municipalities in Idaho do not have the power to exercise eminent domain extraterritorially for the purpose of constructing electric transmission lines.

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Constitutional Law

[01/10] Eid v. Thompson
The district court properly found for the government on petitioners' challenge to the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) denial of the Petition for Alien Relative filed by petitioner-wife on behalf of her non-citizen husband, where: 1) the intent to enter into a marriage solely to gain immigration benefits is sufficient to establish intent to evade the immigration laws, so although husband withdrew his prior petition which was based on a sham marriage and entered a good-faith second marriage, the bar on subsequent petitions under 8 U.S.C. section 1154(c) applies; and 2) petitioners' constitutional claims fail.

[01/10] Aircraft Service International, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters
In an action brought under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) against "carrier employees" of an aircraft service provider, the district court's issuance of a preliminary strike injunction is affirmed, where: 1) the district court's exercise of jurisdiction in this case proper, because the employees are covered by the RLA and have a legal obligation to engage in the RLA's procedures with which they have not complied; and 2) the strike injunction was not overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.

[01/08] Quezada v. City of Los Angeles
Summary judgment for defendant-city and defendant-chief of police in an action in which plaintiff-police officers alleged mistreatment during a departmental investigation into the discharge of one of the officer's weapons while the three officers were off duty and had been drinking at a bar near the police station, is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiffs have failed to establish their interrogations violated their rights under the Public Safety Officers Bill of Rights Act; 2) plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights were not violated; and 3) no triable issues of fact exist as to plaintiffs' claims of Bane Act violations.

[01/07] Snider International Corporation v. Town of Forest Heights
Summary judgment in favor of defendant-towns in a putative class action challenging the constitutionality of the issuance and form of automated speeding citations from defendant-towns that were issued under Maryland's speed camera program is affirmed, where: 1) service of the citations via first-class mail comports with due process; 2) the automated citation procedures do not violate due process; and 3) the use of the citations as evidence at trial does not violate due process.

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Criminal Law & Procedure

[01/10] US v. Jones
Defendant's sentence of 120 months imprisonment following his guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is: 1) affirmed in part, where defendant's misdemeanor flight conviction qualified as a crime of violence under the sentencing guidelines, and the record confirms that the district court at no point presumed the guidelines range to be reasonable; but 2) reversed in part and remanded for resentencing, where the government failed to carry its burden to show by a preponderance of the evidence that a guideline enhancement for assault on a police officer should apply because the officer was unaware that defendant was attempting to withdraw a gun.

[01/08] In re Alvarez
A petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging petitioner-inmate's validation as an associate of the Northern Structure prison gang is denied, where: 1) the regulatory structure provides for validation of an inmate as a prison gang member or associate based on three independent source items, without any time restrictions on those source items except for photographs; 2) a validated member or associate is only subject to housing in the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) for an indeterminate term if that gang affiliate is currently active, and that current activity is demonstrated if only one of the three source items shows documented gang activity within the past six years; and here, 3) two of the three source items used to validate and classify petitioner as a current active associate showed his gang activity within the past six years.

[01/08] US v. Shepperson
Defendant's convictions for conspiracy and murder are affirmed, where: 1) the plain language of 18 U.S.C. section 3005 imposes no affirmative obligation on the district court, except its obligation to appoint a second attorney upon the defendant's request, which defendant did not do; and 2) the district court did not err in admitting the testimony of a cooperating witness, although the government did not furnish a list of witnesses three days before trial as required in capital cases, as the prosecutor did not seek the death penalty in this case and the purpose for which the list is usually required was otherwise met.

[01/08] People v. Millbrook
Defendant's convictions for attempted murder and two counts of assault are: 1) reversed in part, as to the conviction for attempted murder because the jury was not instructed on attempted voluntary manslaughter based on a sudden quarrel or heat of passion and this error was prejudicial, but the People may retry defendant for attempted murder, however, because there was sufficient evidence presented to support the charge; but 2) otherwise affirmed.

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