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The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed the bankruptcy court's order dismissing plaintiffs' adversary complaint and an order denying their motion to reconsider the dismissal order. The panel held that plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(19). In this case, a prior Consent Order requiring debtor to pay a fine and costs did not result in a debt owed to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were not a party to or a signatory on the Consent Order and the debt to plaintiffs did not result from the Consent Order. View "Conway v. Heyl" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed the bankruptcy court's order disallowing debtor's claimed exemptions in his ex-wife's Wells Fargo 401K and an IRA account. The panel held that any interest debtor held in the accounts resulted from nothing more than a property settlement and thus they were not retirement funds that qualified as exempt under federal law. View "Lerbakken v. Sieloff and Associates, PA" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of qualified immunity to a police officer in an action brought by plaintiff under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the officer used excessive force in violation of her Fourth Amendment rights. The court held that a jury could find that a reasonable officer in defendant's position would not have interpreted plaintiff's actions as noncompliance and would have known that plaintiff posed neither an immediate threat to anyone's safety nor a flight risk. The court also held that it was clearly established that an officer could not forcefully take down plaintiff -- who was a nonviolent, nonthreatening misdemeanant who was not actively resisting arrest or attempting to flee -- in the violent and uncontrolled manner that defendant did. View "Karels v. Storz" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendant in an action alleging that plaintiff's injuries were caused by defendant's negligence in driving a tractor trailer truck. The court held that the workers' compensation benefits plaintiff received were his exclusive remedy against defendant. In this case, defendant and plaintiff entered into an employment relationship in which Swift and Johnson were joint employers mutually liable under Iowa law to provide plaintiff workers' compensation benefits when he suffered a work-related injury, an obligation Swift has fully performed. View "Quiles v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for DCDC in an action alleging claims of gender, age, and disability discrimination under state and federal civil rights laws. Plaintiff, a 56 year old woman, worked as a correctional officer until she was injured in inmate altercations. After plaintiff worked the maximum allowable number of days of light duty pursuant to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), she was terminated when no other suitable position was found. The court held that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of sex discrimination; plaintiff's prima facie evidence of bad faith supporting her claim of failure to accommodate/disability was rebutted by the incontrovertible evidence that plaintiff could not have been reasonably accommodated; and plaintiff's age discrimination claim failed because she did not produce evidence of a similarly situated younger person who was treated differently. View "Faulkner v. Douglas County" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence after she pleaded guilty to possession of identification documents, possession of counterfeit access devices, and possession of access-device-making equipment and aggravated identity theft. The court held that the appeal waiver was ambiguous and must be read against the government and in favor of a defendant's appellate rights. The court held that counsel was not ineffective for failing to raise an argument foreclosed by U.S. v. Thomas, 841 F.3d 760 (8th Cir. 2016) regarding Guidelines Sec. 2B1.1. The court rejected defendant's claim that her attorney was ineffective for failing to encourage her to write a pre-sentencing letter regarding her acceptance of responsibility. View "United States v. Parrott" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of default judgment against Pulmosan because the company was not properly served. The court held that, under basic principles of agency law, the death of an agent terminates his authority to act on behalf of the principal. In this case, the death of Pulmosan's registered agent prevented him from receiving service of process on behalf of Pulmosan; his death terminated any agency relationship he may have had with his apartment building's doorman to receive service; and the possible habitation of the agent's widow at her husband's former residence did not validate service based on her former status as a corporate officer. Therefore, the attempted service of process was invalid, the district court lacked jurisdiction over Pulmosan, and its subsequent judgment was void. View "Bell v. Pulmosan Safety Equipment Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Eighth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal of the IJ's denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court applied the deferential evidence standard and held that the harm petitioner suffered at the hands of a local politician was not severe enough to constitute past persecution. Furthermore, petitioner failed to establish a well-founded fear of future persecution where he could relocate to another part of Ecuador. View "Molina-Cabrera v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment for Petco in a negligence and premises liability action filed by plaintiff against the company. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by excluding plaintiff's expert evidence notwithstanding that Petco did not attempt to meet and confer with him before seeking sanctions. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the statements of plaintiff's treating physician to show causation. In this case, plaintiff failed to make any timely expert witness disclosures to Petco and never provided a summary of his treating physicians' expected testimony. View "Vanderberg v. Petco Animal Supplies Stores" on Justia Law

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The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel vacated the bankruptcy court's decision concerning injunctive and declaratory relief, holding that the bankruptcy court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the claim at issue. In this case, the bankruptcy court held that a debt to AY was not dischargeable due to debtor's fraud and defalcation while he was a director at AY. The panel explained that the outcome of AY's claim for injunctive and declaratory relief could have no effect on debtor or the bankruptcy estate; the relief for the contract claim only affected AY; and the claim involved distributions from two spendthrift trusts, which were not property of the estate. Therefore, the contract claims for injunctive and declaratory relief were neither core proceedings nor non-core related to proceedings. View "AY McDonald Industries Inc. v. McDonald" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy