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When resentencing follows a successful 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion based on counsel's failure to appeal, the prescribed procedure is for the district court to vacate the sentence and then reimpose it. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's section 2255 motion to vacate his sentence. The court held that the district court did not procedurally err when it resentenced defendant to 200 months in 2017 where it followed clearly established procedure. Furthermore, even if the court were to agree with defendant that the sentencing package doctrine or any other consideration should compel district courts to follow a different procedure, any error the district court committed here would not be plain. The court also held that defendant's convictions for second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer were violent felonies under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA); defendant's challenge to his second degree assault convictions was procedurally defaulted; even if his assault convictions were considered a single conviction, he still had the requisite predicate offenses under the ACCA; and defendant's final two arguments were procedurally defaulted. View "United States v. Darden" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed and vacated the district court's imposition of special conditions of supervised release prohibiting the consumption of alcohol and setting a curfew. In this case, defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The court held that the waiver in the plea agreement did not prevent defendant from challenging the special conditions of supervised release. The court also held that the sentencing court abused its discretion by imposing the consumption of alcohol condition, because it failed to conduct an individualized inquiry into the circumstances of defendant's alcohol use and drug dependence. The sentencing court also abused its discretion by imposing the curfew, because it failed to make individualized findings. View "United States v. Bell" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2255 in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). The court held that when the record was inconclusive of what Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) clause was the basis of the sentencing enhancement, the second step is to determine the relevant legal environment at the time of sentencing. In this case, defendant had three predicate offenses at the time of her sentencing because her Iowa robbery conviction qualified as an ACCA predicate under the force clause. Therefore, defendant could not carry her section 2255 burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the residual clause led the sentencing court to apply the ACCA enhancement. View "Golinveaux v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Relators filed a quit am action against the Hospital for violations of the False Claims Act. Relators also filed suit against the Hospital and its CEO, alleging violation of the Act's anti-retaliation provision. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of the Hospital's motion to dismiss all counts of the complaint and grant of summary judgment as to the retaliation claim. The court held that the complaint alleged a fraudulent scheme without representative examples with the required specificity. Furthermore, the complaint lacked the sufficient indicia of reliability leading to a strong inference that claims were actually submitted. The court also held that claims alleging that defendants made false records or statements were properly dismissed because they failed to connect the false records or statements to any claim made to the government; claims that the Hospital conspired to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute were properly dismissed because the complaint did not include any details about an agreement and relators failed to plead the conspiracy with particularity; claims against the CEO were properly dismissed because the Act did not impose individual liability; and the district court properly granted summary judgment for the Hospital on the remaining claims. View "United States ex rel. Strubbe v. Crawford County Memorial Hospital" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2255, invoking Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). The court held that defendant had at least three qualifying convictions under current law and resentencing would not change his Armed Career Criminal Act enhancement. Therefore, Johnson error was harmless and he was not entitled to relief under section 2255. View "Garcia-Hernandez v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit dismissed defendant's appeal, holding that he waived his right in his plea agreement to request or receive records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Defendant had pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange, for the purpose of private financial gain, the travel of a person in interstate commerce in order to engage in a commercial sex act with a person under 18 years of age. The court also held that it lacked jurisdiction to hear defendant's challenge to his FOIA waiver because the claim was not ripe for review. In this case, defendant has not requested any records from the government under FOIA. View "United States v. Gates" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence after she conditionally pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The court held that the district court did not err in finding that the CCSO had an impoundment and inventory policy; the district court did not err in finding that the officer's decision to use his discretion to impound the vehicle was legitimate and reasonable; the district court also did not err in finding the deputies followed the inventory policy without impermissible, unfettered discretion; because the policy required an inventory of the entire vehicle it was reasonable for the officers to open containers believed to have items valued at more than $25; the decision to terminate the inventory also complied with policy; and the officers' suspicion that defendant was engaged in criminal activity did not establish that the sole purpose of the search was investigative. View "United States v. Morris" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiff filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against police officers, in their individual capacities, alleging that the officers used excessive force and exhibited deliberate indifference to medical needs in an incident that led to the death of her son. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity to the officers and held that the officers' use of force did not violate clearly established law nor did their actions on the scene exhibit deliberate indifference to medical needs. In this case, there was insufficient evidence that a need for medical treatment was so obvious that law enforcement exhibited deliberate indifference by taking the son to jail. Furthermore, the officers were not deliberately indifferent when they called paramedics to assist him. View "Hanson v. Best" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Strata's excess insurer, Houston Casualty, and denial of its cross-motion for summary judgment. After an employee was killed in a mine accident, his estate filed the underlying suit alleging that Strata's intentional failure to maintain a safe workplacae triggered an exception to the Montana Workers Compensation Act which provided the exclusive remedy for work injuries. The court held that the district court properly granted summary judgment to Houston Casualty because the excess insurance policy did not cover the estate's claims against Strata in the underlying suit. Therefore, Houston Casualty had no duty to indemnify Strata and thus it did not breach its duty of good faith. In this case, under the policy's plain and unambiguous language, coverage was subject to the Montana Intentional Acts Exclusion Endorsement. View "Houston Casualty Co. v. Strata Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of JBS in an action under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA), and the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law (IWPCL). Plaintiff alleged a failure to accommodate claim and a termination claim, as well as a claim that JBS intentionally failed to pay plaintiff a portion of his earned wages. The court held that, even if plaintiff was disabled, he was not qualified to perform the essential functions of his job, and his claims failed on that basis. The court explained that lifting was an essential function of the maintenance mechanic position that could not be reasonably accommodated, and plaintiff failed to show that accommodations JBS offered were unreasonable. The court held that plaintiff was not a qualified individual under the ADA and thus his termination claim also failed. Finally, because mere allegations were insufficient to rebut a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the district court properly granted summary judgment as to the IWPCL claim. In this case, JBS's payroll records reflected that plaintiff was correctly paid and any errors were quickly remedied. View "Gardea v. JBS USA, LLC" on Justia Law