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Four groups of prospective intervenors challenged the district court's denials of their motions to intervene in a class action lawsuit by named plaintiff Connie Jean Smith against SEECO, as well as the district court's procedures for opting-out from the class. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling that Charter Land's motion to intervene was untimely because it merely repeated arguments already advanced by other attempted intervenors after the class was unsuccessful. The court dismissed the remaining appeals for lack of jurisdiction because the appeals were not filed within 30 days of the district court's order denying intervention. View "Smith v. Arnett" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of Credico's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the content of a debt collection letter violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The court held that plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead that Credico violated the Act by using "PROFESSIONAL DEBT COLLECTORS" and the acronym "CCB" because they were organization names other than Credico's true name. Furthermore, Credico did not violate the Act by having a non-licensed signatory on the letter, because there were two other licensed signatories in the letter. Finally, under Minnesota law, Credico was permitted to seek prejudgment interest. View "Klein v. Credico Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Consumer Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine. The court held that the district court did not err in determining that defendant's prior conviction for robbery in violation of Arkansas Code Annotation Section 5-12-102 was a crime of violence for purposes of career offender sentencing under USSG 4B1.1. The court held that Arkansas robbery has the same elements as the generic definition of robbery, which involves the use or threat of physical force upon another. View "United States v. Stovall" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's order vacating an arbitration award originally in favor of the union. The court held that the arbitration award drew its essence from the collective bargaining agreement. In this case, the arbitrator appropriately considered the relevant language of the Recognition Clause, even though it did not quote the Recognition Clause in its entirety. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "National Elevator Bargaining Assoc. v. International Union of Elevator Constructors" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, who has been held in custody under 8 U.S.C. 1226(a) since May 2017 while he litigates the issue of whether he is a removable alien, petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of habeas relief to petitioner, holding that section 1226(a) is not susceptible of more than one construction and that the constitutional avoidance doctrine has no application here. Therefore, the district court erred when it concluded that pre-removal order detention under section 1226(a) is limited to "the period reasonably necessary to receive a removal decision." The court remanded for further consideration of petitioner's constitutional arguments. View "Ali v. Brott" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's motion to suppress evidence after he pleaded guilty to possessing equipment having reasonable cause to believe it would be used to manufacture a controlled substance. The court held that the district court did not err in finding that a glass beaker was in plain view on defendant's deck, and the officer's lawful search was not tainted by a prior officer's earlier illegal entry. The court also held that defendant was not entitled to a Franks hearing because he failed to show that an officer seeking the warrant omitted information in reckless disregard of the truth. Furthermore, the district court properly rejected defendant's argument that the officer falsely stated that the beaker was in plain view. Finally, the court held that, under the totality of circumstances, the warrant application had sufficient information to establish probable cause. View "United States v. Reed" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After plaintiff filed suit against defendant for injuries arising out of a car accident, he attempted to serve defendant by having a local sheriff's deputy leave a copy of the summons and complaint with defendant's father, who then handed them to defendant hours later. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the action and held that Minnesota recognizes "secondhand service." The court held that a simple intent to deliver the document to the intended recipient was all that was required, especially because the would-be process server must also know that a summons was being served. In this case, defendant intentionally delivered the papers to his daughter with knowledge of their contents. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Michaud v. Davidson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to five counts of distribution of a controlled substance. The court held that the district court did not err by departing upward due to defendant's extensive criminal history in light of the seriousness of the crimes. Furthermore, the district court did not err by imposing an upward variance based on the seriousness of the instant offenses where the undisputed evidence established that defendant sold heroin on multiple occasions that contained fentanyl analogs unsafe for human consumption. Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion by imposing a substantively unreasonable sentence. View "United States v. Edmonds" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to being a felon in knowing possession of firearms and ammunition. The court held that the district court did not clearly err by imposing a two-level sentencing increase for possession of three firearms under USSG 2K2.1(b)(1)(A). The court also held that the district court did not clearly err by declining to award a two-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility under USSG 3E1.1 after defendant frivolously contested that enhancement. Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion by imposing a within-Guidelines sentence after considering the aggravating and mitigating factors, and declining to grant a downward variance. View "United States v. Goodson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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A passport card is "a United States passport" under USSG 2L2.1(b)(5)(A). The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence for charges related to the unlawful acquisition and sale of identity documents. The court applied basic rules of statutory interpretation, including the ordinary-meaning rule, and agreed with the district court that defendant's possession of a passport card justified enhancing her sentence for fraudulently obtaining or using a United States passport under section 2L2.1(b)(5)(A). View "United States v. Torres" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law