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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's 12 month and 1 day sentence and his special condition of release requiring him to attend a treatment program for anger control/domestic violence based on a ten-year old conviction for terroristic threats. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying a sentence reduction under USSG 2K2.1(b)(2) where the only evidence at sentencing to arguably support a sporting-use reduction related to defendant's firearm offense was that he enjoys hunting, fishing, and competing in gun competitions. However, defendant failed to present any evidence that the firearms he possessed were actually used for those purposes. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the special condition of supervised release where there was sufficient basis in the record to support the condition. View "United States v. Moore" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by admitting gang-related evidence to establish why officers were present, the steps they took, and the reasoning that they had. The evidence also established defendant's motive and intent. The court also held that the evidence was sufficient to establish that defendant knowingly possessed the firearm. View "United States v. Gaines" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit held that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 preempted the Iowa Utilities Board's authority to compel Sprint to pay intrastate access charges to Windstream. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the Board and Windstream and its determination that the Act preserved the Board's authority and that Sprint was not entitled to declaratory or injunctive relief. View "Sprint Communications Co. v. Jacobs" on Justia Law

Posted in: Communications Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against Ferrellgas and AmeriGas under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, alleging that defendants artificially inflated prices for propane gas tanks and had conspiratorial communications about pricing and fill levels. The district court dismissed plaintiffs' claims as barred by the statute of limitations. The Eighth Circuit held that the district court erred in dismissing the claims because each sale to the plaintiffs in a price-fixing conspiracy starts the statutory period running again. In this case, the amended complaint adequately pleaded a continuing violation sufficient to restart the statute of limitations. View "Larson v. Ferrellgas Partners" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against department of correction officers under 42 U.S.C. 1983 after their son died while in custody. In this appeal, defendants challenged a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of judgment as a matter of law, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support a reasonable inference sustaining the award of damages for pain and suffering. The court affirmed the denial of plaintiffs' motion for a new trial, holding that the close-observation policy in this case was ministerial and defendants were not entitled to official immunity; evidence of what medical staff thought but did not disclose was irrelevant and inadmissable; and defendants waived further evidentiary arguments. View "Letterman v. Lammers" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's application of a tort-reform act, the Nebraska Hospital Medical Liability Act, to reduce the verdict by 90% in a case where a jury awarded $17 million to a child born with severe brain damage. The court held that notice was not a requirement for qualification under the Act, but rather a requirement imposed on those already qualified; Bellevue did not lose the Act's protections even if it failed to properly post notice; and Nebraska's cap did not violate the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial nor the Fifth Amendment; the child failed to show a denial of access to the courts; the Act did not violate the child's right to equal protection of the laws; and the district court did not err in rejecting the child's substantive due process challenge. The court affirmed the district court's denial of Bellevue's motion for a new trial and rejected Bellevue's challenges to the district court's jury instructions and verdict. View "S.S. v. Bellevue Medical Center" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied the hospital's petition for review of the Board's determination that it violated section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act by interfering with nonemployee union representatives' use of its cafeteria; the Board's determination that it violated section 8(a)(5) by unilaterally changing its cafeteria access rules; and the Board's determination that the hospital violated section 8(a)(1) when it engaged in surveillance of two nonunion representatives. The court held that substantial evidence supported the Board's determination that the hospital violated the Act when it prohibited an employee from wearing union insignia in the hospital's atrium on the day of picketing. Therefore, the court denied the hospital's petition for review as to this issue. However, the Board incorrectly determined that the hospital violated the Act by telling two nonemployees that they were prohibited from wearing union shirts in the facility. Accordingly, the court granted the cross application for enforcement in part and granted the petition for review in part. View "North Memorial Health Care v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, NCC, for breach of contract and alleging claims under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act. Applying Nebraska's two-part test to determine whether an agreement was voidable as a product of duress, the court held that there was, at least, a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the threat of termination would support a claim of duress. Therefore, the court remanded for a determination of this factual issue. The court also held that, considering all relevant circumstances then existing and viewing the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the Term Sheet was unjust and thus voidable as a product of duress given the alleged pressure brought to bear on him to sign the Mutual Rescission and Term Sheet. Therefore, the district court erred by granting summary judgment for NCC on the breach of contract claim. Likewise, the district court erred in granting summary judgment for NCC on the state law claim. View "Gilkerson v. Nebraska Colocation Centers" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, challenged the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's finding that he was not eligible for cancellation of removal or voluntary departure because he had a prior criminal conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). The Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that the BIA did not err by affirming the IJ's finding that petitioner had a conviction for Aggravated Forgery and that he was ineligible for cancellation of removal. The court held that petitioner's probation, community service, and fines constitute court-imposed penalties under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(48). View "Mendoza-Saenz v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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After the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for abusive sexual contact, the district court sua sponte scheduled a restitution hearing and subsequently ordered defendant to pay $14,967.47 in restitution for the minor victim's medical expenses. The court affirmed the district court's restitution order, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding restitution where defendant had notice and any delay did not prejudice him; the district court did not clearly err in determining defendant owed the full amount of restitution requested where his actions were the proximate cause of the victim's medical costs; the district court sensibly directed defendant and the probation office to develop a suitable schedule of payments when he was released; and the district court did not abuse its discretion or clearly err in determining defendant's economic circumstances. View "United States v. Thunderhawk" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law