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This appeal stemmed from a dispute over who was the rightful owner of a Martin D-35 guitar that Elvis Presley played during his final tour in 1977. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of the Museum, holding that the Museum was not bound by a prior Tennessee judgment between defendant and the guitar donor because the Museum was not a party to that action and was not in privity with the donor. In this case, the donor had already delivered the guitar to the Museum at the time defendant commenced the Tennessee action. Therefore, the donor had title to the Martin D-35 guitar when he transferred the guitar to the Museum and the Museum owned the guitar. View "National Music Museum v. Moss" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to vacate his sentence. Defendant argued that he did not have the requisite three prior violent felony convictions under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) because his two Arkansas convictions for first-degree terroristic threatening were not violent felonies. The court held that it's decision in United States v. Myers, 896 F.3d 866 (8th Cir. 2018), that Section 5-13-301(a)(1)(A), the Arkansas first-degree terroristic threatening statute, is divisible and requires the modified categorical approach was controlling in this case where the state court documents that may be examined established that defendant was twice convicted of the ACCA violent felony of threatening to use physical force against another person. The court also held, in the alternative, that Descamps v. United States, 570 U.S. 254 (2013), and Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), did not announce a new rule of constitutional law made retroactive to cases on collateral review. View "Martin v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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At issue in this case was whether the Labor Management Relations Act completely preempts a Minnesota Human Rights Act claim for disability discrimination brought by a former employee of a nuclear power plant. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of remand to state court and grant of judgment on the pleadings to the employer, holding that the employee's claim could not be resolved without interpreting a collective-bargaining agreement. The court held that section 301 of the Act completely preempted plaintiff's disability discrimination claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act; the district court had jurisdiction over the removed matter; and the judgment on the pleadings was properly granted because the section 301 claim was time-barred. View "Boldt v. Northern States Power Co." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's order finding that the trustee's claim under the Carmack Amendment against Canadian Pacific was untimely. This appeal stemmed from a train accident killing 47 people and destroying an entire town in Quebec. The court held that WFE's claim based on a claim letter and denial in April 2014 made the trustee's April 2016 lawsuit timely. In regard to Irving Oil, the court held that there was a genuine dispute over the very existence of contractual terms in the bill of lading providing for a nine-month notice period and a two-year suit limitation, precluding both dismissal on the pleadings or summary judgment as a matter of law. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Whatley v. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, challenging procedures used in proceedings brought by the State to remove Native American children temporarily from their homes in exigent circumstances. The district court denied defendants' motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds and granted partial summary judgment for plaintiffs. The district court then entered a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction. The Eighth Circuit held that the district court should have abstained from exercising jurisdiction under principles of federal-state comity articulated in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), and later cases. In this case, even setting aside the question of “ongoing” temporary custody proceedings, plaintiffs may not circumvent the abstention doctrine by attempting to accomplish the same type of interference with state proceedings through a claim for prospective relief. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's order and remanded with instructions to dismiss the claims that gave rise to the orders. View "Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Vargo" on Justia Law

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Defendant was convicted and sentenced for attempted exploitation of a child, attempted receipt of images depicting sexual exploitation of a child, possession of counterfeit obligations, two counts of attempted witness tampering, and attempted travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The Eighth Circuit rejected all of defendant's challenges to the convictions but one. The court held that there was insufficient evidence to support defendant's conviction for attempted travel. Therefore, the court remanded for resentencing based on the remaining five counts. View "United States v. Bernhardt" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After plaintiff was appointed as a presidential elector during the 2016 presidential election, he was deemed to have vacated his position under Minnesota's Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act, Minn. Stat. 208.40-208.48, when he attempted to vote for candidates other than those to whom he was pledged. Plaintiff then filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the Minnesota statute and to enjoin Minnesota officials from counting the vote of the substitute elector. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the action as moot where Congress had counted the Minnesota elector votes, and denied plaintiff's motion to supplement the record and to remand for further proceedings on mootness. The court held that plaintiff failed to establish that his action fell within the mootness exception for cases that were capable of repetition yet evading review because plaintiff failed to file his action sooner. View "Abdurrahman v. Dayton" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Trimark in an action filed by plaintiff, alleging that she was terminated from her job as an executive housekeeper because of her age, in retaliation against her, because she took protected leave, and because she opposed Millennium's discriminatory practices. The court held that plaintiff failed to provide direct evidence that she was retaliated against because of her deposition testimony. Under the McDonnell-Douglas framework, even assuming plaintiff could establish a prima facie case of retaliation, Millennium had clearly shown a legitimate non-discriminatory or retaliatory reason for firing her. In this case, Millennium's internal investigation credibly exposed that plaintiff regularly altered employee hours without using a company-sanctioned form. The court also held that plaintiff failed to show a specific link between any age discrimination and her termination sufficient to support the inference that the discrimination was the cause of her termination. Finally, plaintiff failed to provide any direct evidence that she was fired because she took protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. View "Naguib v. Trimark Hotel Corp." on Justia Law

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After debtor filed for bankruptcy, she sought to exempt a property tax refund of $1,500, asserting that she could exempt the refund as government assistance based on need under Minnesota law. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy appellate panel's decision sustaining the trustee's objection to the amended exemption. The court held that the property tax refund did not fit within the Minnesota Legislature's definition of government assistance based on need and was therefore not exempt. View "Hanson v. Seaver" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiffs, holding that St. Paul Insurance's policy expressly precluded indemnification of intentional criminal acts and that David Kofoed's act of evidence tampering did not fall within the malicious prosecution exception. Kofoed was criminally convicted for evidence tampering while investigating two murders and eventually charging plaintiffs with the murders. The court held that St. Paul's policy coverage was not illusory where it excluded coverage for acts with specific intent, but did not cover general intent acts; the policy did not provide some exceptions to the exclusions to cover certain intentional acts such as malicious prosecution; and Kofoed's evidence-tampering crime was analogous to civil malicious prosecution. Because plaintiffs failed to sufficiently plead the malicious prosecution cause of action in their complaints, the district court's entry of default judgment against Kofoed did not include malicious prosecution. Because Kofoed's judgment did not include malicious prosecution, plaintiffs failed in their burden to show that an exception to the insurance exclusion applied. Therefore, St. Paul had no duty to indemnify Kofoed. View "Sampson v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law