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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment and remanded with instructions to enter judgment in favor of defendant in an action brought by the owner of a mobile home park alleging that the City engaged in an unconstitutional taking. Plaintiff alleged that the City violated the Fifth Amendment when it approved a lower rent increase than he had requested. The panel applied the factors in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104 (1978), and held that plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence to create a triable question of fact as to the economic impact caused by the City's denial of larger rent increases; plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence supporting its investment-backed expectations claim; and the character of the City's action could not be characterized as a physical invasion by the government. Based on the evidence, the panel held that no reasonable finder of fact could conclude that the denials of plaintiff's requested rent increases were the functional equivalent of a direct appropriation of the property. View "Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the County and two deputy sheriffs after plaintiff was shot during the deputies' response to a 911 call. When the deputies arrived at plaintiff's apartment, plaintiff answered the door holding a large knife. Although the jury's verdict that Deputy Rose violated plaintiff's right to be free from excessive force was sufficient to deny him qualified immunity under the first prong of the qualified immunity analysis, the panel held that plaintiff failed to identify any sufficiently analogous cases showing that under similar circumstances a clearly established Fourth Amendment right against the use of deadly force existed at the time of the shooting. Therefore, the panel affirmed the district court's ruling that Deputy Rose was entitled to qualified immunity. The panel held that the district court erroneously concluded that the California Bane Act required a separate showing of coercion beyond that inherent in the use of force. The panel held that the Bane Act required a specific intent to violate the arrestee's right and that no reasonable jury in this case could find that the deputy had a specific intent to violate plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights. Accordingly, the panel reversed and remanded this claim for a new trial. Finally, the panel addressed claims in defendants' cross-appeal. View "Reese v. County of Sacramento" on Justia Law

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As voir dire was about to commence at Bickham’s state court trial, officers cleared the public from the courtroom. Bickham’s counsel objected, citing Presley v. Georgia (2010), which established that a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial is violated when a court excludes the public from jury selection. In response, the judge stated that removing spectators was necessary so that the jury panel of 52 people would not be intermixed with the audience, and that once the panel was in, those who fit separately from the jury could be allowed in. Counsel stated: I understand. After jury selection, counsel raised the matter again. The judge noted that only two seats had remained after the panel was seated and that no request had been made for those seats. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Bickham’s convictions for second-degree murder, armed robbery, assault with intent to commit armed robbery, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, finding that Bickham procedurally defaulted his Sixth Amendment claim when he did not make a contemporaneous objection to the courtroom's closure. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of his 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition, agreeing that Bickham's claim was procedurally defaulted for failing to make a timely objection to the exclusion of the public. View "Bickham v. Winn" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals, which held that the police did not have probable cause to search the trunk of a car owned and driven by Respondent. The suppression court denied Respondent’s motion to suppress, ruling that, under the totality of the circumstances, the officers had reasonable suspicion that the individuals in the vehicle were involved in criminal activity, permitting the continued detention, and that by the time the officers searched the trunk of Respondent’s vehicle they had amassed probable cause - based in part on drug evidence found on the person of Respondent’s front-seat passenger - to believe the trunk contained evidence of drug-related activity. The Court of Special Appeals reversed. The Court of Appeals vacated the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals, holding that the intermediate appellate court failed to review, in their entirety, the facts and circumstances that led the police to search the trunk of Respondent’s car and instead isolated certain facts while ignoring or minimizing others. View "State v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's denial in part of cross-defendants' anti-SLAPP motion that sought to strike certain allegations in a cross-complaint filed by Joel D. Kettler, alleging defamation and other causes of action. The court held that the trial court did not err in concluding that complaints to the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards was not protected activity. The Board was not a public agency and there was no public interest issue. The court also held that the litigation privilege did not protect the communications in question (communications to AXA reporting cross-complainant's wrongdoing). View "Kettler v. Gould" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of a motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims against the City and Eddie Salame, Chief of the Grapevine Police Department (GPD). The court also affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Officer Robert Clark on plaintiff's remaining excessive force claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 on the basis of qualified immunity. Ruben Garcia-Villalpando was shot and killed by Clark. Given the tense and evolving factual circumstances, the court held that Clark reasonably believed that Garcia-Villalpando posed a threat of serious harm. In this case, Garcia-Villalpando fled the scene of a serious crime, drove recklessly and endangered others, refused to obey roughly thirty commands, and approached Clark on a narrow highway shoulder directly adjacent to speeding traffic. The court explained that the fact that Garcia-Villalpando was ultimately found to have been unarmed was immaterial. Because plaintiff failed to demonstrate that Garcia-Villalpando's Fourth Amendment rights were violated, her claims against the City and Salame for failure to train and inadequate screening/hiring failed as well. View "Romero v. Grapevine, Texas," on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals vacated the judgment of the circuit court affirming the finding of the administrative law judge (ALJ) that Respondent was coerced into submitting to an alcohol breath test required by Md. Code Ann. Transp. 16-205.1. In affirming, the circuit court concluded that substantial evidence supported the ALJ’s decision that Respondent did not voluntarily submit to the testing. The ALJ found, specifically, that the due process afforded to Respondent was insufficient and that the officer’s actions impermissibly induced Respondent to submit to an alcohol breath test. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that the ALJ’s determination was erroneous because Respondent failed to establish that there was an insufficient advisement of rights in violation of her due process protections. View "Motor Vehicle Administration v. Smith" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a class action against Harne defendants under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the State's failure to share annual payments under a Settlement Agreement, where Minnesota released and forever discharged tobacco companies from claims that they violated state consumer protection statutes in exchange for substantial period payments, constituted a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss, holding that res judicata barred the claim. In this case, plaintiff's takings claim in federal court was identical to the federal takings claims asserted in Harne v. State, No. A14-1985, 2015 WL 4523895; Harne involved the same parties; under Minnesota law, the dismissal of the claims in Harne as time-barred was a final judgment on the merits; and plaintiff and Harne actually litigated their federal claims in Harne. View "Foster v. Minnesota" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the district court and court of appeals ruling that a search of Defendant’s van, which resulted in the discovery of drugs and a meth pipe, was not in violation of Defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. Specifically, the Court held that the district court properly denied Defendant’s motion to suppress because assuming, without deciding, that the initial encounter became an investigatory detention, it was supported by reasonable suspicion and was therefore legal, and Defendant’s consent to the search during that time was not tainted. View "State v. Hanke" on Justia Law

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In this appeal, Appellant, who at age thirteen shot and killed his mother, raised challenges to Iowa’s youthful offender laws. Specifically, he argued (1) Iowa Code 232.45(7)(a) does not provide statutory authority to try a thirteen-year-old as a youthful offender, (2) Iowa Code 232.45(7) and Iowa Code 907.3A constitute unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment, and (3) the sentencing court abused its discretion by incarcerating him. The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction as a youthful offender and his fifty-year indeterminate sentence with immediate parole eligibility, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Appellant to a prison term rather than releasing him on probation or placing him in a transitional facility based on an individualized assessment of Defendant under a constitutional statutory scheme. View "State v. Crooks" on Justia Law