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Taylor, a former Lawrenceburg, Indiana police officer, also held positions with the civil-city, parks, and electric departments. Taylor ran for a City Council position and improperly appeared in police uniform at a campaign event and represented on his time sheet that he was on duty during that event. The State Police investigated, resulting in criminal charges for Official Misconduct and Ghost Employment. Taylor won election to the Council. Taylor signed a deferred prosecution agreement admitting to the criminal charges and agreeing to resign from the Council. The next day, he distributed a letter accusing the Board and city officials of corruption and criminal wrongdoing. The Board notified Taylor of its intent to terminate his employment. The Board terminated Taylor’s employment, crediting a prosecutor’s testimony that he would not accept case-related information from a police officer, like Taylor, who had admitted a crime of dishonesty, and rejected Taylor’s contention that Board members were biased and that the termination proceedings were a response to his letter accusing Board members of wrongdoing. Taylor dismissed his state court appeal and filed a First Amendment retaliation claim, 42 U.S.C. 1983, with state law defamation and whistleblower claims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in the city’s favor. Federal courts must give state administrative fact-finding the same preclusive effect to which it would be entitled in state courts, if the agency acted in a judicial capacity and resolved issues that the parties had an adequate opportunity to litigate. The Board acted in a judicial capacity and Taylor had a fair opportunity to litigate the issues. View "Taylor v. City of Lawrenceburg" on Justia Law

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Riley worked for the Kokomo Housing Authority (KHA) for eight years before she was terminated in 2014. During her employment, Riley suffered from seizures, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression, which required her to take leaves of absence. She claims that KHA improperly denied her requests for medical leave and retaliated against her for these requests by disciplining and terminating her, in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. 2601; that KHA failed to make reasonable accommodations and discriminated and retaliated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101; and that she was subjected to retaliation for engaging in protected activity in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e and the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3617. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in KHA's favor. Five months elapsed between the end of Riley’s FMLA leave and a written warning; although Riley had requested leave for medical appointments and was told that her leave had been exhausted, she was allowed time off for her appointments nonetheless. Riley alleged that she had been terminated because of her disability, but, in her EEOC complaint, she omitted any allegation that KHA had denied her a reasonable accommodation. Rejecting Riley’s retaliation and FHA claims, the court noted that there is no evidence that she called HUD to report a discriminatory housing practice. View "Riley v. City of Kokomo, Indiana, Housing Authority" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the motion court overruling Appellant’s Mo. R. Crim. P. 29.15 motion for postconviction relief after an evidentiary hearing, holding that the motion court did not err. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. The circuit court adopted the jury’s recommendations and sentenced Appellant to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for one murder and to death for the other murder. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions. At issue in this appeal was the motion court’s judgment overruling Appellant’s Rule 29.15 motion after an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to postconviction relief for ineffective assistance of counsel because Appellant did not show by a preponderance of the evidence that he was entitled to relief under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). View "Anderson v. State" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress and affirmed Defendant’s conviction of one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, holding (1) there was no basis on which to grant Defendant’s motion to suppress; and (2) there was no error in Defendant’s conviction. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress the handgun at issue because it was discovered during an unconstitutional search of his vehicle. The First Circuit disagreed, holding (1) the search of Defendant’s vehicle was not unconstitutional, and therefore, the weapon was not the fruit of an unlawful search and did not require suppression; and (2) Defendant’s conviction was supported by sufficient evidence of his knowing and intentional possession of the weapon. View "United States v. Davis" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against Officer Jeremy Hellawell under 42 U.S.C. 1983, after the officer fatally shot and killed Ernest Foster. The district court denied the officer's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. The Ninth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider questions of evidentiary sufficiency on interlocutory review, and thus dismissed the officer's appeal of the district court's order with respect to the claims that the shooting violated Foster's Fourth Amendment right and plaintiffs' Fourteenth Amendment rights. The panel reversed the district court's denial of qualified immunity on the Fourth Amendment claims, holding that the officer's actions during the investigative stop did not violate any clearly established law. In this case, the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop and investigate Foster after the 911 call warning of an armed man matching Foster's description, and unholstering a gun during the stop did not constitute a violation of Foster's right to be free from excessive force. View "Foster v. Hellawell" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the circuit court affirming the administrative law judge ruling that Petitioner was fully advised of the sanctions imposed upon him after refusing a chemical test, holding that Petitioner received his statutory right to full advisement. Specifically, the Court of Appeals held (1) Defendant’s due process rights were not violated, nor was full advisement of the administrative penalties that shall be imposed for refusing a breath test pursuant to Md. Code Ann. Transp. 16-205.1 negated when, after reading the Motor Vehicle Administration’s DR-15 advice form, a police officer’s oral restatement of the penalties for failing and refusing a breath test omitted the most severe mandatory penalty for refusal; and (2) the DR-15 is unambiguous regarding the duration of participation in the Interlock Program and is consistent with Petitioner’s right to due process and the statutory right to full advisement under section 16-205.1. View "Owusu v. Motor Vehicle Administration" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the district court denial of Defendant’s motion for a new trial after he pleaded guilty to violating multiple controlled substances laws, holding that remand was required for further proceedings on Defendant’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel because the judge might have failed to recognize his discretion to credit or discredit Defendant’s affidavits as they pertained to plea counsel’s allegedly deficient performance and failed to make factual findings about whether special circumstances relevant to the prejudice inquiry existed. After Defendant entered his plea, he filed a motion for a new trial pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 30(b), arguing that his counsel had rendered ineffective assistance and that he would not have pleaded guilty if counsel had properly advised him about the plea’s immigration consequences. The motion judge denied the motion after holding a nonevidentiary hearing. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the denial of the motion for a new trial, holding that remand was required for findings relating to the issue of plea counsel’s deficient performance and the issue of special circumstances. View "Commonwealth v. Lys" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the medical administrator and a medical services contractor for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, alleging that defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to provide medically necessary hip replacement and reconstructive surgery. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants. The Fifth Circuit held that the district court properly granted summary judgment in the contractor's favor because there was no evidence that he failed to take reasonable measures to abate a substantial risk of serious harm to plaintiff. However, because the district court failed to address the Ex parte Young exception to sovereign immunity for claims for prospective injunctive relief as to the administrator, the court held that the injunctive relief claim should be remanded. The court further held that factual disputes about the reason for the delay prevented it from determining whether the administrator violated plaintiff's constitutional rights. Therefore, the court reversed as to this claim and remanded for further proceedings. Finally, the court vacated the district court's judgment denying appointment of counsel and remanded for reconsideration. View "Delaughter v. Woodall" on Justia Law

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A plaintiff need not plead that racism was the but-for cause of a defendant's conduct, but only that racism was a factor in the decision not to contract such that the plaintiff was denied the same right as a white citizen. Mixed-motive claims are cognizable under 42 U.S.C. 1981. Entertainment Studios, along with NAAAOM, filed suit alleging that Charter's refusal to enter into a carriage contract was racially motivated and in violation of section 1981. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of Charter's motion to dismiss, holding that the complaint sufficiently alleged that discriminatory intent played at least some role in Charter's refusal to contract with Entertainment Studios and thus denied Entertainment Studios the same right to contract as a white-owned company. The panel also held that plaintiffs' 1981 claim was not barred by the First Amendment where section 1981 was a content-neutral regulation that would satisfy intermediate scrutiny. The panel noted that the fact that cable operators engage in expressive conduct when they select which networks to carry did not automatically require the application of strict scrutiny in this case. View "National Association of African American-Owned Media v. Charter Communications, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs have failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact on whether racial considerations predominated the City of Los Angeles's redistricting process. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's protective order and its order granting summary judgment for the City in an action alleging that race was the predominant motivator in drawing the boundaries of council districts in the Council District 10 redistricting ordinance. Viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, the panel held that the record failed to show that successive boundary amendments were driven predominantly by racial considerations. Rather, the Commission sought to rebalance the populations in each Council District, while preserving communities and unifying as many Neighborhood Councils as possible in a single Council District. The panel also held that the legislative privilege protected local officials from being deposed. View "Lee v. City of Los Angeles" on Justia Law