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School Boards sued, alleging that Government Code 17557(d)(2)(B)) and Education Code 42238.24 and 56523(f) “implemented . . . broad changes in mandate law that were intended to eliminate or reduce the State’s mandate reimbursement obligations” and shifted the cost of the Behavioral Intervention Plans Mandate ($65 million annually) and the Graduation Requirements mandate ($250 million annually), to districts and county offices of education. Plaintiffs claimed violation of California Constitution article XIII B, section 6 or article III, section 3; that Government Code 17557(d)(2)(B) “impermissibly burdens the constitutional right to reimbursement guaranteed by article XIII B, section 6 and is invalid to the extent it allows the State to reduce or eliminate mandate claims by claiming ‘offsetting revenues’ that do not represent new or additional funding . . . as reflected in the Legislature’s directives in Education Code sections [42238.24] and 56523.” The court of appeal affirmed the rejection of the claims, in part. Government Code 17557(d)(2)(B), as applied in Education Code 42238.24 and 56523(f), does not violate the state’s constitutional obligation to reimburse local governments for the costs of mandated programs and does not violate the separation of powers doctrine. It is constitutional for the legislature to designate funding it already provides as offsetting revenue when reimbursing them for new state-mandated programs where the legislation operates prospectively only. View "California School Boards Association v. State of California" on Justia Law

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Movant filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. 2244(b)(3)(A), seeking authorization to file a second or successive application for a writ of habeas corpus to challenge his 2001 sentence of four life terms plus 45 years imposed by a Virginia state court for nonhomicide crimes he committed as a juvenile. The Fourth Circuit denied the motion because the claim movant sought to present to the district was raised in his first federal application for a writ of habeas corpus, and therefore movant failed to make a prima facie showing that his successive habeas application would allege a claim that was not presented in a prior application, as the statute required. View "In re: Jarius Phillips" on Justia Law

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The district court found that the initial contact with both defendants in a parked car constituted an investigatory stop for which the police lacked reasonable articulable suspicion, and it suppressed all evidence acquired after the point of initial contact as the fruit of an unlawful stop. The Colorado Supreme Court found that because the district court failed to appreciate that the officers’ initial contact with the defendants fell short of a stop, and by the point at which the contact progressed to a seizure within the contemplation of the Fourth Amendment, the officers had acquired the requisite reasonable articulable suspicion, and subsequently probable cause, to justify their investigative conduct, or inevitably would have lawfully arrested the defendants and discovered the contraband. The Court reversed both suppression orders and remanded the respective cases for further proceedings. View "Colorado v. Fields" on Justia Law

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Officers Garcia and Murphy observed Sanchez fail to stop his van as required at intersections and fail to maintain his lane; his sliding door was completely open. Garcia activated his siren and lights. Sanchez did not stop. Sanchez eventually stopped and exited his van, stumbling. Garcia noted that Sanchez, driving on a suspended license, smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, and was mumbling vulgarities. Sanchez refused instructions and took a swing at Garcia. Garcia performed an emergency takedown. The officers found an open beer can and marijuana in the van. Sanchez claimed Garcia struck him unprovoked. At the police station, an officer observed Sanchez lying on the floor, smelling of alcohol and mumbling profanities, and requested medical assistance. Paramedic Ragusa detected the odor of alcohol, but found Sanchez able to answer questions. Ragusa made a notation ruling out battery as a cause of Sanchez’s injuries. After he declined treatment, Sanchez was returned to the jail. The lockup keeper noted that Sanchez did not appear visibly intoxicated. Sanchez was convicted of aggravated driving under the influence. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed his conviction and denied post-conviction relief. In federal court, Sanchez claimed excessive force and that Garcia lacked probable cause for arrest. The court instructed the jury that it must take it as conclusively proven that Sanchez was driving under the influence and allowed introduction, without objection, of Murphy’s deposition testimony, with Murphy’s accounts of what Garcia said, and of Ragusa’s paramedic’s report. The court excluded the lockup report. The jury ruled in favor of Garcia. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, concluding that a new trial was not required. View "Sanchez v. City of Chicago" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint for declaratory relief asserting that he had a right to access to records in the possession of the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) pursuant to the Access to Public Records Act (APRA). The motion justice found that the requested documents were not public records subject to disclosure under APRA. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the records requested by Plaintiff were not public records for the purposes of APRA, and therefore, the motion justice properly disposed of Plaintiff’s complaint on RIDE’s motion to dismiss. View "Pontarelli v. R.I. Department of Elementary & Secondary Education" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of felony murder, home invasion, and robbery in the first degree, among other crimes. The Supreme Court held that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court (1) violated Defendant’s constitutional right to present a defense by conditioning its ruling that certain out-of-court statements were inadmissible under Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 68 (2004), on Defendant not presenting evidence regarding the statements; and (2) abused its discretion by admitting testimony from a police detective indicating that he had observed a purported bite mark on Defendant’s accomplice’s hand. Lastly, any claimed impropriety with respect to the admission testimony by a police detective who narrated the presentation of a bus surveillance video was harmless error. View "State v. Holley" on Justia Law

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The Georgia Supreme Court normally issues summary denials of habeas applications by unpublished order. However, “there appears to be significant misunderstanding of the process by which this Court renders these decisions and the import of our decisions, both among repeat litigants in state habeas proceedings and among the federal courts that sometimes see the same cases - particularly death penalty cases - later in federal habeas corpus proceedings brought under 28 USC 2254.” The Court did not discuss any question of federal habeas law as presented in Wilson v. Warden, 834 F3d 1227 (11th Cir. 2016) (en banc), cert. granted sub nom. Wilson v. Sellers, 137 SCt 1203 (U.S. Feb. 27, 2017) (No. 16- 6855). However, issues presented by “Wilson” appeared to depend in part on presumptions about the Georgia Court’s summary denials of habeas applications, “and those presumptions should be founded on reality rather than supposition, inference, or misinformation.” The Court therefore took the opportunity of this case to explain. View "Redmon v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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Cheryl Brown and Matthew Denis were involved in a traffic accident, when Denis’s truck bumped into Brown’s car from behind. Denis claimed the accident happened when he inadvertently took his foot off the brake as he turned to roll the rear window down to provide fresh air to his dog, who was riding in the back seat. Denis’s truck, which was positioned behind Brown’s car, rolled forward five to six feet, striking her rear bumper. The collision took place in stop-and-go traffic. Denis, a sergeant with the Vermont State Police, estimated his speed at impact to be two miles per hour and did not believe there was any damage caused to Brown’s vehicle from the collision. Brown claimed the impact caused a scratch on her rear bumper. The truck Denis was driving did not have any markings indicating it was a police vehicle. Brown filed suit against the State of Vermont alleging it was responsible for injuries she sustained in the accident due to Denis’s negligence. Brown also raised constitutional claims, alleging: (1) due process and equality of treatment violations under the Vermont Constitution’s Common Benefits Clause, and (2) an equal protection, and possibly a due process, claim under the United States Constitution. Brown did not name Denis as a defendant in her suit. Brown’s constitutional claims were based on her assertion that Denis received favorable treatment because he was not prosecuted for causing the accident or leaving the scene without providing identifying information. Before trial, the court dismissed the due process and equal protection claims under the United States Constitution on the basis that Brown had only sued the State, and not Denis personally, and that the State was not a “person” for claims arising under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The court further ruled that Brown lacked standing to assert any claim based on the State’s failure to prosecute Denis. The court also dismissed the Common Benefits Clause claim because Brown lacked any cognizable interest in the prosecution or discipline of Denis. Lastly, the court held that, to the extent a due process claim had been raised, it was undisputed that Brown received the information required to be exchanged in the event of a car collision shortly after the accident, and her ability to file suit against the State as a result of the accident showed her due process rights were not impeded. On appeal, Brown alleged several errors in pre-trial and trial rulings, as well as in the failure to grant her a new trial. Finding no reversible error, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed. View "Brown v. Vermont" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of a petition for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. 2254. The court held that petitioner's Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) motion was timely filed and tolled the deadline for filing a notice of appeal until the entry of the order disposing of the motion. The court also held that this case presented one of those "extreme situations" in which the court was justified in finding a violation of the Sixth Amendment based on implied juror bias during the punishment phase of his trial. Although petitioner's conviction for possession of methamphetamine must stand, his sentence of life imprisonment could not. Accordingly, the court remanded with instructions. View "Uranga v. Davis" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit reversed the trial judge’s dismissal of counts in an indictment that charged Defendants with dispensing misbranded drugs in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Defendants, Massachusetts-licensed pharmacists, were charged with multiple crimes, including the allegation that Defendants dispensed drugs in violation of the FFDCA. The trial judge granted Defendants’ motions to dismiss the FFDCA charges, ruling that the indictment did not provide fair notice. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the indictment passed muster because it gave Defendants enough information to prepare a defense and to invoke double-jeopardy protections to forestall a later trial on the same charges. View "United States v. Stepanets" on Justia Law