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The Fifth Circuit denied petitioner's motion for a stay of execution, holding that he failed to demonstrate that the circumstances justify the exercise of the court's equitable discretion. The court held that petitioner was unlikely to succeed on the merits of his claim that this case should proceed in federal court without the pressures of a state execution setting. Even even assuming arguendo he could establish a likelihood of success, the other factors also weigh in favor of the state and against a stay. The court explained that, at this point, a denial of his stay motion would not prevent him from fully and fairly litigating the merits of his Rule 60(b)(6) motion before the district court. View "Crutsinger v. Davis" on Justia Law

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Petitioner brought a third challenge to the TSA's airport scanner equipment using advanced imaging technology (AIT). Petitioner challenged the TSA's latest policies and orders that require certain airline passengers to pass through AIT scanners, eliminating for them the option of being screened by a physical pat-down. The Eleventh Circuit held that it was without jurisdiction to entertain petitioner's claims, because petitioner lacked the necessary standing to bring the petition. The court held that petitioner failed to establish that he suffered an injury in fact, that is, the invasion of a judicially cognizable interest that is concrete and particularized and actual and imminent. In this case, petitioner has never said that he was subjected to the mandatory TSA policy, before his petition or since then, even though he has made numerous filings since he lodged his petition for review containing substantial information about his travel patterns and his interactions with TSA. View "Corbett v. Transportation Security Administration" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging that the former Chief of Police and a Virginia State Police Superintendent were directly liable for violation of his substantive due process rights based on the police department's failure to protect him from violent protesters at a rally. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim, holding that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity because it was not clearly established at the time of the rally that failing to intervene in violence among the protesters would violate any particular protester's due process rights. View "Turner v. Thomas" on Justia Law

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Illinois inmate Donelson was moved to Stateville, where a prison nurse screened him for medical issues. Donelson is asthmatic and stated that he needed a new inhaler. The nurse responded that he could get one from a doctor. Donelson had to wait 16 days to see a doctor but apparently could have gone to the commissary at any time for an inhaler. Donelson received an inhaler 20 days after arriving at Stateville. He sued, 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment (deliberate indifference to his asthma) and the First Amendment (delaying his care to retaliate for prior lawsuits). During discovery, the court encountered several problems: Donelson’s conflict with his recruited lawyer and that lawyer’s withdrawal; Donelson’s false assertion that Wexford refused to respond to his document requests; and Donelson’s obstructive behavior during his deposition. Donelson professed not to understand simple questions, no matter how often rephrased, then refused to answer. Donelson accused opposing counsel of bringing contraband (an inhaler) into Stateville. The judge described Donelson’s responses as “evasive and argumentative,” then ruled that dismissal with prejudice and an award of costs was a proper sanction. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding the sanction reasonable. Donelson acted willfully and in bad faith; the dismissal was proportional and appropriate given Donelson’s grossly unacceptable conduct, the need to convey the seriousness of his violations, the obvious insufficiency of any warning, and his inability to pay any meaningful monetary sanction. View "Donelson v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging that DOC defendants violated the Eighth Amendment rights of all prisoners with serious mental illness who are confined to the Montana State Prison. The panel held that the complaint, which describes the horrific treatment of prisoners, was supported by factual allegations more than sufficient to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In this case, the complaint alleged, among other things, that prisoners with serious mental illness are denied diagnosis and treatment of their conditions; described a distressing pattern of placing mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement for "weeks and months at a time" without significant mental health care; and alleged the frequent, improper use of this punishment for behavior arising from mental illness. Furthermore, the district court had mistaken this case for another case brought by plaintiff against a different defendant. Therefore, the panel remanded for further proceedings and reassigned the case to a different district court judge. View "Disability Rights Montana v. Batista" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of an action brought by independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente challenging two California ballot access laws, Cal. Elec. Code 8400, 8403. These Ballot Access Laws require independent candidates to collect signatures from one percent of California's registered voters to appear on a statewide ballot. The panel held that De La Fuente had standing because he suffered a concrete injury that was not merely speculative. On the merits, the panel held that California's overall scheme did not significantly impair ballot access. Rather, the laws were generally applicable, even-handed, politically neutral, and aimed at protecting the reliability and integrity of the election process. The panel also held that the Ballot Access Laws reasonably relate to California's important regulatory interests in managing its democratic process and are proportionate to California's large voter population. View "De La Fuente v. Padilla" on Justia Law

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The Nnebe plaintiffs, taxi drivers, filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging that their constitutional rights were violated when their licenses were suspended following their arrests and they were not given meaningful post-suspension hearings to consider whether their licenses should be reinstated. The Second Circuit held that the Taxi and Limousine Commission's suspension procedures did not afford plaintiffs adequate process, because the drivers' property interests in their licenses was substantial, the risk of erroneous deprivation was unacceptably high, and defendants could institute a more meaningful process at minimal financial and administrative costs. Therefore, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The Stallworth plaintiffs, also taxi drivers, brought a similar action challenging the same regulatory regime. The court held that the district court erroneously dismissed their complaint for failure to state a claim in reliance on its Nnebe ruling. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Nnebe v. Daus" on Justia Law

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After plaintiff's position was eliminated, he filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against the county, alleging a First Amendment retaliation claim. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of the county's motions for summary judgment, judgment as a matter of law, and new trial. The court held that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine was inapplicable; plaintiff's claim was not judicially estopped based on his response in his unemployment application; and plaintiff's failure to appeal the Board's decision in state court did not preclude his First Amendment claim under section 1983. The court also held that plaintiff's position was not a policymaking position, and the jury's verdict in favor of plaintiff was supported by sufficient evidence. In this case, there was evidence that at least three of the five board members had retaliatory motive, and the evidence was legally sufficient to support the jury's verdict. View "Griggs v. Chickasaw County" on Justia Law

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Rubio entered a no-contest plea to possession of a controlled substance with a firearm (Health & Saf. Code 12305) after the trial court denied his motion to suppress evidence found in his converted garage apartment (Pen. Code 1538.5). Police had forcefully entered the apartment after responding to the scene where 11 gunshots had just been fired. The officers found spent shell casings in the driveway and had arrested one person acting aggressively in the yard and another, acting erratically, in the house to which the apartment was attached. The officers thought that the exterior door to the apartment might be barricaded. They were concerned that a shooting victim or suspect might be inside. The court of appeal agreed with the lower court that under the circumstances the warrantless entry was justified under the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement. Although the officers were not aware of a specific, known individual who might be in danger or might pose an imminent threat to others, if the circumstances suggest that such a person may be inside a dwelling, the police may reasonably enter to determine whether, in fact, such a person is present. View "People v. Rubio" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal with prejudice of a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action brought by three former nursing home residents and a nonprofit advocacy group who alleged that the residents were subjected to unlawful "dumping." The panel held that nursing home residents may challenge, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, a state's violation of the Medicaid Act's requirement that states participating in Medicaid provide for a fair mechanism for hearing appeals on transfers and discharges of residents of nursing homes covered by Medicaid. Applying the Blessing factors, the panel held that the provisions in the Federal Nursing Home Reform Amendments (FNHRA) created a statutory right enforceable under section 1983. However, the present complaint did not allege a plausible violation of the FNHRA appeals provision as the panel has constructed it, but dismissal with prejudice and without leave to amend was not appropriate unless it was clear on de novo review that the complaint could not be saved by amendment. Because the residents' failure to state a claim could perhaps be cured by repleading, the panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Anderson v. Ghaly" on Justia Law