by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant’s motion to suppress. As grounds for the motion, Defendant argued that the search warrant authorizing the search was unsupported by probable cause under the Fourth Amendment and that its execution violated the search-and-seizure protections of the Fourth Amendment and Ind. Const. art. I, 11. The trial court denied the motion. A jury subsequently found Defendant guilty of of several drug-related offenses. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) under a state constitutional analysis, the police did not act unreasonably under the totality of the circumstances; and (2) under a federal constitutional analysis, the search warrant was supported by probable cause. View "Watkins v. State" on Justia Law

by
From 1986-2015, Forgue was a Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer. Forgue alleges that, from 2012-2015, he was harassed by fellow police officers for adhering to CPD policy and procedure and for filing numerous internal complaints. Forgue filed suit against the city and individual officers under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for First Amendment retaliation, equal protection, civil conspiracy, and procedural due process, and related state law claims. He claimed, among other things, that he was denied a Retirement Card when he retired. Without one, Forgue cannot carry a concealed firearm, procure benefits such as health insurance, or find other employment in law enforcement. The district court dismissed. The Seventh Circuit affirmed in part. Forgue’s complaints were made pursuant to his job responsibilities; he spoke as a public employee, not a private citizen, so Forgue’s speech is not entitled to First Amendment protection. The district court properly rejected Forgue’s equal protection class-of-one claim and his conspiracy claims. Reversing the dismissal of a procedural due process claim, the court stated that Forgue sufficiently alleged that he has a legitimate entitlement and cognizable property interest in receiving a Retirement Card. View "Forgue v. City of Chicago" on Justia Law

by
Sanders has been in solitary confinement for eight years, and the prison plans to keep him there for another ten. He has been diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and other conditions that make him dangerous to others. Sanders alleged in a suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 that the isolation, heat, and restricted airflow in solitary confinement harm aggravate his psychological problems and his asthma. The filing fee in federal court is $400. Sanders asked for permission to litigate in forma pauperis, 28 U.S.C. 1915(b), which is unavailable if the prisoner has, on three or more occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim, unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury. Sanders conceded that at least three of his prior suits or appeals have been dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or failing to state a claim. The Seventh Circuit vacated the dismissal of his suit, citing “the exception to the exception.” Sanders argued that his mental condition disposes him to self-harm, that he has twice tried to commit suicide, and has engaged in self-mutilation. Sanders’s history, coupled with the prison’s diagnosis of his condition, make his allegations plausible. The court stated that a court cannot simply disregard such an allegation as self-serving. View "Sanders v. Melvin" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that defendant fired her for supporting defendant's political rival, and thus violated plaintiff's First Amendment rights. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's determination that, as an Assistant State's Attorney, plaintiff was a policymaker exempt from the First Amendment's protection against patronage dismissals. The court reasoned that to hold otherwise would undermine the public mandate bestowed upon the victor of a hard-fought election and would needlessly interfere with a state official's managerial prerogative. View "Borzilleri v. Mosby" on Justia Law

by
In 1998 Haynes was convicted of 12 federal crimes and sentenced to life plus 105 years in prison. His direct appeal and a collateral attack under 28 U.S.C. 2255 failed. After the Supreme Court retroactively held that the residual clause in 18 U.S.C.924(e)(2)(B)(ii) is unconstitutionally vague in labelling as a violent felony a crime that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another,” the Seventh Circuit authorized Haynes to pursue another collateral attack. The district court concluded that Johnson implies the invalidity of the residual clause in 18 U.S.C. 3559(c)(2)(F)(ii), under which Haynes’s life sentences were imposed and concluded that Haynes must be resentenced. The court did not invalidate any of his convictions. Haynes argued that three of his 18 U.S.C. 924(c) convictions for use of a firearm in committing a crime of violence depended on a conclusion that interstate travel in aid of racketeering, 18 U.S.C. 1952(a)(2), is a crime of violence. The Seventh Circuit dismissed his appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The length of Haynes’ new sentences for Hobbs Act robbery may affect the appropriate length of his section 924(c) sentences. When a judge in a section 2255 proceeding orders a resentencing, that proceeding is not over, and the decision is not appealable until that resentencing has occurred. View "Haynes v. United States" on Justia Law

by
The Second Circuit reversed the district court's denial of qualified immunity for federal law enforcement authorities in an action for money damages pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), based on alleged Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations in procuring and executing a search warrant. The court held that plaintiff failed to plead a plausible Fourth Amendment claim of unreasonable search and seizure because a corrected affidavit supports both probable cause for and the scope of the challenged search; plaintiff failed to plead a plausible Fifth Amendment claim that fabricated evidence (in the search warrant affidavit) deprived him of property without due process because the warrant would have issued on a corrected affidavit and thus any deprivation of the seized property was not the result of the fabricated evidence; plaintiff could not plausibly plead that defendants' alleged failure to intercede in the challenged search caused him preventable constitutional harm; plaintiff failed to plead any clearly established right to have federal officials state in a search warrant affidavit whether each referenced person is or is not then a target of investigation, nor a right to have federal officials so state after the fact if the search becomes public knowledge; and plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts as to the supervisor defendants' personal involvement in the submission of any misstatements to the magistrate judge. Accordingly, the court remanded for entry of judgment for defendants. View "Ganek v. Leibowitz" on Justia Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of a complaint alleging that prison staff were deliberately indifferent to Blair Mitchell's serious medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The court held that, because he alleged a total lack of hepatitis treatment and the resulting onset of cirrhosis, Mr. Mitchell's complaint falls within the imminent-danger exception to the three strikes provision. In the alternative, because the district court did not comply with the procedural requirements necessary for imposing sanctions, it abused its discretion in dismissing Mr. Mitchell's complaint as a sanction. The court held that the complaint stated a claim for a deliberate indifference and there was no alternative basis on which to affirm the district court's dismissal. Therefore, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Mitchell v. Warden" on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants in an action alleging that plaintiff was arrested in violation of his First and Fourth Amendment rights, as well as the statute authorizing the arrest. Plaintiff was participating in a highway overpass protest when he was arrested for not following a state trooper's orders to disperse from a crowd. The court held that qualified immunity protected State Trooper Jenkins from First Amendment damages because he had no reason to know, based on preexisting law, that his order was unlawful; qualified immunity also protected Jenkins from the Fourth Amendment damages claim; the statute authorizing arrest, 43.170 RSMo, did not violate the First Amendment by being overbroad; 43.170 RSMo was not unconstitutional as applied to plaintiff nor on its face for being unconstitutionally vague; and plaintiff presented no facts to support his request for an injunction and declaratory relief. View "Weed v. Jenkins" on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of excessive force claims in a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action filed by the estate of Fallon Frederick. Frederick was shot and killed by an officer when she charged another officer with a knife. The court agreed with the district court that the officers were objectively reasonable in tasing Frederick and then shooting her when she charged them, and that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity because they did not violate Frederick's clearly established Fourth Amendment rights. The court held that existing precedent did not place "beyond debate" that the officers violated Frederick's Fourth Amendment rights when they discharged a taser at Frederick in these circumstances. View "Frederick v. Motsinger" on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the denial of petitioner's 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition and motion to reconsider. The court rejected petitioner's Brady claims, holding that there was no agreement that a witness and the state entered into that the government could have failed to disclose; assuming the state's decision to make relocation payments to a witness was Brady information, its nondisclosure did not undermine confidence in the verdict; petitioner defaulted any claims that he may have had concerning the witness's testimony regarding a gun used in the crime; and because petitioner failed to show that the district court clearly erred in finding that no "non-prosecution" agreement existed, the state did not suppress any information in violation of Brady. The court also rejected petitioner's argument that the district court failed to consider the cumulative effect of the suppression of Brady materials. View "Kennell v. Dormire" on Justia Law