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The Supreme Court held that the district court did not err in dismissing Defendant’s motion to dismiss the State’s petition to revoke her suspended sentence on the ground that there had been a four-year delay in executing the arrest warrant. In 2009, the district court issued a “Montana only” warrant for the arrest of Defendant, who was on probation. Thereafter, Defendant was convicted of another offense in Colorado, where, several times, Defendant was paroled and then her sentence was revoked. Defendant discharged her Colorado sentences in 2013. That same year, Defendant was arrested on the 2009 warrant. Defendant moved to dismiss the petition to revoke her suspended sentence, arguing that the State violated her right to due process by failing to bring her to court without unnecessary delay. The district court concluded that Defendant had not suffered a deprivation of due process and then determined that Defendant had violated the terms of her original sentence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss the revocation petition. View "State v. Koon" on Justia Law

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Robert Klem sued Access Insurance Company and Access General Insurance Adjusters, LLC (collectively, "Access") after he was in a car accident and Access administered his claim. Klem alleged Access falsely notified the California Department of Motor Vehicles that his care was a total loss salvage, thereby reducing its value and resulting in a loss of use. Access filed a special motion pursuant to the anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute. The trial court found Access' notice to the DMV was a protected communication, but that Klem met his initial burden of establishing a probability of prevailing on the merits. The trial court denied Access' motion, and Access appealed. Finding the trial court erred with respect to certain evidentiary rulings and by denying the anti-SLAPP motion, the Court of Appeal reversed and remanded for the trial court to enter a new order granting Access' motion. View "Klem v. Access Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff Marcus Woodson, a prisoner of Oklahoma, sued several Oklahoma prison officials in Oklahoma state court, proceeding in forma pauperis (IFP) under state law. The defendants removed the case to federal district court. As required by federal statute, they paid the filing fee. The federal court, however, determined that Woodson, who had previously abused the federal courts by filing frivolous lawsuits, was not eligible to proceed IFP and dismissed his case because he failed to pay the filing fee. Woodson appealed. The Tenth Circuit reversed finding state-court plaintiffs whose cases are removed to federal court have no obligation to pay a filing fee; nothing in the federal IFP statute was to the contrary. View "Woodson v. McCollum" on Justia Law

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After plaintiff was arrested for flying his glider plane over a nuclear plant, he filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that defendants had violated his civil rights under color of state law, denying him the "freedom of movement, freedom from arrest and detention, and freedom to conduct a lawful activity," in violation of the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff also alleged state law claims of false imprisonment, false arrest, negligence, and civil conspiracy. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment, holding that the district court did not err in determining that the release-dismissal agreement was enforceable and thus plaintiff waived his right to sue the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, the Sheriff, and the deputies; that Duke Energy and its vice president were private actors not operating "under color of" state law as required for liability under section 1983; and plaintiff's state law claims were preempted by federal law's exclusive regulation of nuclear safety. View "Cox v. Duke Energy" on Justia Law

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After deputies shot and killed David Hensley outside of his home, plaintiffs filed suit against the deputies in their individual and official capacities under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and North Carolina law. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of summary judgment to the deputies based on qualified immunity and state defenses. The court held that a jury could conclude that Hensley never raised his gun, never threatened the deputies, and never received a warning command. Under these circumstances, the deputies were not in any immediate danger and were not entitled to shoot Hensley. Therefore, the deputies were not entitled to qualified immunity. In regard to plaintiffs' state law claims, the district court correctly concluded that plaintiffs' assault claim could proceed as a matter of law. Furthermore, the deputies were not entitled to public official immunity under North Carolina law on plaintiffs' negligent infliction of emotional distress claim because they acted contrary to their duty to use deadly force only when reasonably necessary. View "Hensley v. Price" on Justia Law

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After the Governor, on May 30, 2017, vetoed line-item appropriations to the Legislature for its biennial budget, the Legislature commenced this action arguing that the line-item veto power cannot be used over the appropriations to itself without violating the Separation of Powers clause. The Governor argued in response that the line-item veto power is expressly conferred on the Executive under Minn. Const. IV, 23. The district court agreed with the Legislature, concluding that the line-item vetoes were unconstitutional under Minn. Const. art. III. The Supreme Court reversed in part and vacated and remanded in part, holding (1) the line-item vetoes did not violate article IV, section 23; (2) the line-item vetoes did not violate Article III by effectively abolishing the Legislature; and (3) this court declined to decide whether those vetoes nonetheless violated Article III as unconstitutionally coercive because the parties failed to resolve their dispute throughout the legislative process contemplated by the Constitution. View "Ninetieth Minnesota State Senate v. Dayton" on Justia Law

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Defendant Shawn Young was convicted by jury of sexually abusing his two daughters, A. and H., as well as their friend, M., who lived next door. The trial court sentenced defendant to serve an aggregate determinate prison term of 18 years, plus a consecutive indeterminate term of 85 years to life. On appeal, defendant contended: (1) the Court of Appeal had to reverse the judgment because the trial court lacked good cause to excuse one of the sitting jurors (Juror No. 4) and doing so in the absence of both defendant and his assigned trial counsel violated defendant’s constitutional rights; (2) defendant’s convictions for Counts 3 and 6 had to be reversed for insufficient evidence; (3) defendant’s Count 6 conviction had to be vacated because Penal Code section 288.5 (c), mandated charges of continuous sexual abuse and specific sexual offenses, pertaining to the same victim over the same period of time, be charged in the alternative; (4) the trial court prejudicially erred and violated defendant’s constitutional rights by allowing two prosecution witnesses to testify to their opinion that the complaining witnesses were credible; (5) defendant’s trial counsel provided constitutionally deficient assistance by failing to object to certain assertions of prosecutorial misconduct; and (6) the trial court prejudicially erred by failing to instruct the jury on attempted sexual penetration as a lesser included offense to Count 7. The Court concluded the trial court did not have good cause to excuse Juror No. 4. Furthermore, the Court concluded doing so outside defendant’s presence and while he was represented by an attorney who was standing in for defendant’s temporarily ill trial counsel, and who was told she was appearing to agree to a continuance on defendant’s behalf, violated defendant’s federal constitutional rights. Because the Court could not conclude this error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, it reversed the judgment. This conclusion made it unnecessary to address defendant’s remaining claims except those challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. As to those, we conclude sufficient substantial evidence supports defendant’s conviction in Count 3, not so with respect to Count 6. The Court reversed the judgment on that count for insufficient evidence. View "California v. Young" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants in an action alleging excessive force against Daniel Hammett. Hammett was shot and killed by an officer in a confrontation during the course of executing a warrant. The court held that plaintiff failed to produce evidence that suggested the "split-second judgments" of officers violated the Fourth Amendment as they responded to the "tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving" events of the day. In this case, the actions of Defendant Horsley and Whitener were objectively reasonable and Defendant Mayfield was entitled to summary judgment because his bullet did not strike Hammett. View "Hammett v. Paulding County, Georgia" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the provision in Ariz. Rev. Stat. 36-2901.08(A) that the director of Arizona’s indigent health care program, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), “shall establish, administer and collect an assessment” from Arizona hospitals (the hospital assessment). The legislature added this provision to fund the costs remaining after federal monies to expand coverage under AHCCCS, as provided for in H.B. 2010, which the legislature enacted in 2013 by a simple majority vote. The Supreme Court held that the hospital assessment is not subject to Ariz. Const. art. IX, 22, which generally requires that acts providing for a net increase in state revenues be approved by a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature, because the exception set forth in Ariz. Const. art. IX, 22(C)(2) that the above requirement does not apply to statutorily authorized assessments that “are not prescribed by formula, amount or limit, and are set by a state officer or agency” applied in this case. View "Biggs v. Betlach" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed Appellant’s conviction for aggravated assault entered after a jury trial. The district court sentence Appellant to life in prison. The Supreme Court held (1) the prosecutor’s failure to comply with the court’s discovery order constituted misconduct; (2) the district court abused its discretion in denying Appellant’s motion to restrict witness testimony; (3) the prosecutor committed misconduct during closing argument; (4) Appellant was denied due process of law because he was required to wear a leg brace in the presence of the jury; and (5) because of the cumulative effect of these errors, Appellant was denied a fair trial. View "Black v. State" on Justia Law