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8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Digest: Aug. 30, 2017

Minnesota Lawyer//August 31, 2017//

8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Digest: Aug. 30, 2017

Minnesota Lawyer//August 31, 2017//

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Civil Opinions


Civil Practice

Collateral Estoppel; Alter Ego Liability; Fringe Benefit Contributions


Where a service association attempted to recover unpaid fringe benefit contributions allegedly due under a collective bargaining agreement, and the defendant corporation argued that the District Court erred by applying offensive collateral estoppel on the issue of alter ego liability, the orders constituted a valid and final judgment for purposes of issue preclusion, so the court properly found that the defendant was liable for the unpaid fringe benefit contributions, but the award should be reduced because two categories of damages were not authorized by ERISA.

Judgment is affirmed in part; reversed in part.
16-1791 Twin City Pipe Trades Service Association, Inc. v. Wenner Quality Services, Inc., appealed from the District of Minnesota, Colloton, J.


Civil Rights

Excessive Force; Standing; Minnesota Law


Where the father of a man who was shot and killed by police after a car chase filed a complaint against the officer and city alleging excessive force, the dismissal of the claim for lack of standing is affirmed because the father was not a wrongful death trustee under Minnesota law, and the Minnesota statute was not inconsistent with federal civil rights law. Judgment is affirmed.

16-2252 Estate of Ahmed M. Guled v. City of Minneapolis, appealed from the District of Minnesota, Kelly, J.


Civil Rights

Obstruction; Warrantless Arrest; Qualified Immunity


Where a plaintiff, who brought civil rights claims against officers after he was arrested without a warrant for obstruction of legal process, did not physically obstruct the officers or engage in verbal conduct that physically obstructed them, no reasonable officer could construe the plaintiff’s shouting as obstructing their duties, so the District Court properly denied qualified immunity.

Dissenting opinion by Colloton, J.: “The question is whether a reasonable police officer could have believed there was probable cause that Hoyland acted with the requisite intent and that his conduct substantially frustrated or hindered the officers in the performance of their duties. This is a legal determination for the court. By confirming that there are no disputed historical facts and concluding on those facts that the police officers violated Hoyland’s clearly established rights under the Fourth Amendment, the court effectively grants judgment as a matter of law for Hoyland on that claim.

“Police officers have a tough job. Decisions like this one make it tougher. By denying qualified immunity on undisputed facts, the majority necessarily concludes that the officers here were plainly incompetent or knowingly violated the law. In my view, the limited clearly established law concerning the Minnesota statute does not justify that conclusion when the analysis is properly particularized to the facts of this case. I would reverse the order of the District Court and direct entry of judgment in favor of the officers based on qualified immunity.”

Judgment is affirmed.

16-2222 Hoyland v. McMenomy, appealed from the District of Minnesota, Shepherd, J.


Constitutional Law

First Amendment; Leaflet Distribution; Reasonable Restriction


Where a man who was ticketed and arrested for distributing leaflets in the plaza area of an arena claimed a violation of his First Amendment rights, summary judgment for the defendants is affirmed because the District Court properly found that the plaza area was a non-public forum for First Amendment purposes, and the relevant policy was a reasonable restriction on speech.

Opinion concurring in part; dissenting in part by Melloy, J.: “The majority holds that the entire Plaza Area is a nonpublic forum and, thus, the Exterior Access and Use Policy is reasonable. I would hold that only part of the Plaza Area is a nonpublic forum; the section of the Plaza Area directly in front of the pedestrian bridge, however, is a traditional public forum. Accordingly, I concur in part and dissent in part.” Judgment is affirmed.

16-3210 Ball v. City of Lincoln, appealed from the District of Nebraska, Wollman, J.


Consumer Law

FDCPA; Statute Of Limitations; Consumer Debt


Where a consumer challenged the dismissal of an action that he brought against a law firm alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the consumer alleged concrete injuries and has standing to sue, and the judgment is reversed and remanded because the consumer’s brief properly challenged the District Court’s statute-of-limitations holding, the court erred in determining the limitations period, and the consumer plausibly pleaded a violation of Section 1692e. Judgment is reversed and remanded.

16-3173 Demarais v. Gurstel Chargo, appealed from the District of Minnesota, Benton, J.



Construction Loan; Administrative Exhaustion


Where plaintiff corporation sued defendant limited liability company to recover its share of the sale proceeds of a promissory note, the judgment is affirmed because the District Court properly held  that it lacked jurisdiction over the defendant’s counterclaim since it was barred by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, and the defendant was not excused from going through the act’s process, and the court holds that post-receivership claims, including those that arise after the claims-bar date, must be administratively exhausted. Judgment is affirmed.

16-2412 LNV Corporation v. Outsource Services Management LLC Circuit, appealed from the District of Minnesota, Smith, J.






Disability Policy

Termination Provision

Where plaintiff brought a class action alleging an insurer sold disability policies that violated state law, the District Court did not err in finding plaintiff had standing to sue whether the policy was void or not, but the plaintiff’s contract claim failed as a matter of law as defendant complied with the policy provisions for termination and plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim was time-barred.  Judgment is affirmed.

16-1161 Graham v. Catamaran Health Solutions, LLC, appealed from the Eastern District of Arkansas, Melloy, J.




Auto Accident; Designated Driver; Heightened Duty


Where an intoxicated passenger was injured when she fell from a driver’s vehicle, and the District Court imposed a heightened duty on the driver because of her role as the designated sober driver for a group of intoxicated friends, the apportionment of fault was materially influenced by the driver’s designated driver status, which was not supported by findings of fact, so the judgment is vacated and remanded. Judgment is reversed and remanded.

16-3217 Hiltner v. Owners Insurance Company, appealed from the District of North Dakota, Colloton, J.


Criminal Opinions


Anti-Kickback Statute; False Statement


Where defendant was convicted of federal charges of soliciting or receiving illegal kickbacks and making a false statement to federal agents when he referred patients to a home-health service that was receiving Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements in return for a share of the profits, there was sufficient evidence to convict defendant under the anti-kickback statute.

Concurring in part and dissenting in part, Kelly, J. “I would conclude that insufficient evidence supports [defendant’s] convictions for receiving kickbacks as charged …. because the government failed to establish that he exercised decision-making control over … referrals.”

Judgment is affirmed.

16-3065 U.S. v. Iqbal, appealed from the Eastern District of Missouri, Colloton, J.


Attempted Transportation of Minor

Age Of Consent


Where defendant was convicted of attempted transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity in a state where the age of consent is 17, and the minor was 17 years old, defendant’s acts were not protected by the First Amendment as the actions were used as an integral part of conduct in violation of a valid criminal statute.  Judgment is affirmed.

16-1669 Goodwin v. U.S., appealed from the District of North Dakota, Benton, J.



Guilty Plea

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Denial of Hearing

Where defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment, it was not ineffective assistance of counsel as there was a factual basis for defendant’s guilty plea, and denial of a hearing was proper. Judgment is affirmed.

16-3231Adams v. U.S., appealed from the District of South Dakota, Colloton, J.



Predicate Offense; Right To Counsel


Where a defendant challenged the use of a domestic abuse conviction as a predicate for a prohibited-person count, arguing that his counsel in the case was not a licensed attorney, the judgment is affirmed because the defendant did not present evidence that his counsel at the tribal court proceeding was not admitted to practice as lay counsel in the tribal court, so the conviction constituted a valid predicate offense. Judgment is affirmed.

16-3397 U.S. v. Long, appealed from the District of South Dakota, Wollman, J.



ACCA; Residual Clause


Where a defendant argued for resentencing without an enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, the judgment is affirmed because the District Court properly determined that a Wisconsin conviction for battery of an officer was a violent felony. Judgment is affirmed.

16-3458 Jones v. U.S., appealed from the District of Minnesota, Kelly, J.



Prior Convictions; Mandatory Minimum Sentence


Where defendant pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute and being an armed career criminal in possession of a firearm, and defendant had three previous convictions, defendant’s previous conviction for third-degree criminal sexual conduct with force or coercion qualified as predicate felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act, and the court properly applied the 15-year mandatory minimum sentence.  Judgment is affirmed.

16-1709 U.S. v. Mata, appealed from the District of Minnesota, Colloton, J.



Supervised Release; Revocation


Where a defendant challenged the sentence imposed following the revocation of his supervised release, the record showed that the District Court was aware of his obligation to consider sentencing factors, so there was no showing of plain procedural sentencing error, and the sentence was not substantively unreasonable, so the judgment is affirmed. Judgment is affirmed.

16-3578 U.S. v. McGhee,  appealed from the District of South Dakota, per curiam.

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