by
Plaintiffs filed suit against several financial entities for foreclosing on a mortgage loan. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants. At issue were plaintiffs' claims under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), Mo. Rev. Stat. 407.020. The court affirmed and held that the foreclosure was justified because defendants had a right to foreclose on the house and thus the MMPA claim failed as a matter of law because the loss was not caused by any misconduct on behalf of defendants. Likewise, plaintiffs' tortious interference claim failed because the foreclosure was legal. View "Wheatley v. JP Morgan Chase Bank" on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's 120 month sentence after he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition. The court held that the district court properly chose not to rule on defendant's objections to the presentencing report because the objected-to material did not affect sentencing; the district court did not abuse its discretion by imposing a consecutive sentence; the district court did not procedurally err because it referenced 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors and the considerations in USSG 5G1.3, comment 4; and defendant's within-Guidelines range was substantively reasonable. View "United States v. Peterson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for knowingly possessing a firearm. The court held that there was evidence sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, circumstantial evidence demonstrated that defendant had constructive possession of the guns. Furthermore, circumstantial evidence of constructive possession and testimony about prior specific instances where defendant handled the firearms were ways for the government to present sufficient evidence of knowing possession. View "United States v. McIntosh" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, Skybridge, alleging claims under federal and state law based on Skybridge's denial of a promotion and ultimate termination of plaintiff based on his age. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Skybridge, holding that the CEO's statement that the company was looking for a "New Face" was facially and contextually neutral when made to plaintiff. Under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis, Skybridge articulated legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for selecting another person over plaintiff for the CTO position and for ultimately terminating plaintiff. In this case, plaintiff's position as IT director of fulfillment became superfluous. The court rejected plaintiff's two remaining claims of intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation. View "Aulick v. Skybridge Americas, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court held that officers had probable cause to arrest defendant where, among other things, they had received detailed and consistent reports from two witnesses regarding defendant's violent conduct; there was no clear error in determining that defendant came to stand in the doorway of his trailer residence voluntarily; and thus defendant's Fourth Amendment rights were not violated when the officers first sought to arrest him. The court also held that defendant could not thwart his proper arrest by retreating into his home where the officers had a legitimate concern for their safety which constituted an exigent circumstance and justified a warrantless entry. Finally, the shotgun in plain view matched the description that had been provided and could be used as the basis for a search warrant. View "United States v. Council" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit against CitiMortgage in state court, seeking an order setting aside the deed from a foreclosure sale and enforcing a modified loan. Freddie Mac intervened. The district court held that plaintiff's claims were all time-barred by the applicable five-year statute of limitations and subsequently entered summary judgment to CitiMortgage. The Eighth Circuit reversed and held that the statute of limitations on plaintiff's claims only started running when a reasonable person would have been put on notice that an injury and substantial damages may have occurred and would have undertaken to ascertain the extent of the damages. In this case, by all indications, until plaintiff tried to sell the house, everything seemed to be in order with the title underlying his mortgage. View "White v. CitiMortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Brossarts filed suit against Deputy Sheriff Braathen, his supervisor, Sheriff Kelly Janke, and Nelson County, asserting federal claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The charges stemmed from confrontations at the Brossart family farmstead that extended over two days. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the grant of qualified immunity to Braathen and Janke on Rodney Brossart's excessive force claim where there was no Fourth Amendment violation, and even if Braathen's repeated use of a taser was unreasonable, it did not violate clearly established law; affirmed the dismissal of plaintiffs' claims that Deputy Braathen used constitutionally excessive force in tasing Rodney and Thomas Brossart; and rejected plaintiffs' claim for supervisory liability against Janke. The court also held that plaintiffs' failure to train claim against Nelson County was foreclosed by the court's conclusion that Braathen's tasing of Rodney and Thomas did not constitute excessive force; the absence of prior complaints to Nelson County of improper taser use meant there was no pattern of constitutional violations; and the state law claims were properly dismissed. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment in its entirety. View "Brossart v. Janke" on Justia Law

by
Mello appealed the bankruptcy court's order confirming debtors' second amended plan without a hearing. The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel held that the bankruptcy court was in the best position to determine when an evidentiary hearing on the issue of good faith was necessary. The panel also held that the bankruptcy court did not err in overruling Mello's objections and confirming debtors' second amended plan. View "Mello v. Wojciechowski" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

by
Agriprocessors wired funds covering overdrafts at Luana Savings Bank in the 90 days before the company filed for bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy court found that the bankruptcy trustee could recover some deposits, the trustee and the bank cross-appealed. The Eighth Circuit held that the true overdrafts were debt because the bank made an unsecured loan and/or extension of credit to Agriprocessors and thus Agriprocessors was legally obligated to the bank for the amount of the overdrafts. Therefore, the district court correctly found that the trustee could recover Agriprocessors' true-overdraft-covering deposits from the bank. Furthermore, the payments did not qualify as contemporaneous exchanges for new value, debts and transfers in the ordinary course of business, nor transfers creating security interests. The court affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision to base the bank's liability on the uncorrected balances; the bankruptcy court did not err in finding a netting agreement; and the transfer was not for or on account of an antecedent debt owed by the debtor before such transfer was made, and thus not voidable; View "Sarachek v. Luana Savings Bank" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to discharge a restitution obligation resulting from defendant's involvement in a fraud scheme as the owner of a life insurance company. The court held that the time limit on criminal appeals was a claims-processing rule so even if the prior panel mistakenly applied the rule governing civil appeals, there was no bar to the court's consideration of the current appeal. The court concluded that the district court correctly denied defendant's motion on the merits because the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, 18 U.S.C. 3663A(c)(1)(A)(ii), did not provide authority to reduce the amount of a restitution obligation to match the value of a negotiated settlement with the victim in civil proceedings. Consequently, the district court did not have authority to grant defendant's request to deem the restitution obligation discharged if he paid the negotiated settlement. The district court, however, did not foreclose defendant from seeking relief under section 3664(j)(2)(B) upon a proper showing, and neither did the court. View "United States v. Whitbeck" on Justia Law