Denial Of Benefits; Objective Evidence
Where claimant challenged the denial of her claim for disability benefits, the claimant’s objective evidence challenge failed because the administrative law judge properly considered the subjective allegations of disabling symptoms, and the claimant failed to meet the criteria to be considered disabled, and substantial evidence supported the denial of benefits. Judgment is affirmed.
20-1946 Grindley v. Kijakazi, Grasz, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.
Reinstatement Of Union Member; Public Policy
Where appellant sought to vacate an arbitration award that reinstated a union member to her former position after her discharge by the company, the arbitrator did not exceed his authority in finding that under the collective bargaining agreement there was just cause for discipline but not termination, and the award reducing the discharge to a suspension drew its essence from the agreement, so the judgment is affirmed since the award also did not violate a public policy against elder abuse. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2538 WM Crittenden Operations, LLC v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.
Additional Relief; Ambiguity
Where appellant challenged the denial of its request for additional relief in conjunction with the affirmance of an arbitration award, the request was not premature and it was not moot, but the request was precluded by the relevant statute since the request amounted to a modification of the award, and the parties’ arguments exposed an ambiguity in the award, so the court resolved the ambiguity and directed the parties on the calculation of rates and revenues. Judgment is affirmed in part; reversed in part.
20-2679 J.B. Transport, Inc. v. BNSF Railway Company, Gruender, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas.
Civil Rights Claim
Where appellants challenged an order granting summary judgment for the defendants in a civil rights action, the district court did not err. Judgment is affirmed.
21-1214 Puckett v. St. Louis County, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.
Jurisdiction; Amount In Controversy
Where a Missouri resident challenged the dismissal of his pro se diversity action, the district court did not err in accepting jurisdiction where the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000, and the case was properly dismissed for failure to state a claim and for insufficient service. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2802 Rice v. Interfood, Inc., per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.
Where plaintiffs, a televangelist and his church who were allegedly promoting an untested COVID-19 cure, sued out-of-state defendants in Missouri federal court alleging that the defendants violated their constitutional rights in their official capacities, the district court properly dismissed the action for lack of personal jurisdiction since the only contact with Missouri was letters and emails directed at the church and its pastor, not the forum state. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2954 Morningside Church, Inc. v. Rutledge, Kelly, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.
Sedative Injection; Qualified Immunity
Where appellant, who developed complications after she was injected with ketamine by paramedics while in an agitated, depressed state, sued several defendants including the county and individual paramedics and health care officers for claims including excessive force, it was not objectively unreasonable for the paramedics to administer the sedative to a suicidal woman needing medical attention, there was no showing of deliberate indifference, and there was no violation of her right to substantive due process, and the paramedics were entitled to qualified immunity. Judgment is affirmed.
19-3243 Buckley v. Hennepin County, Loken, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.
Orthotic Shoes; Expert Testimony
Where an inmate sued prison officials and medical staff for withholding his prescription orthotic shoes, the district court erred by considering state law to exclude parts of the plaintiff’s substituted expert’s testimony, but the error was harmless since the witness was not authorized to opine on the doctor’s standard of care, and the opinion was cumulative of other evidence, and the court did not err in granting the warden’s and medical officials’ motions for summary judgment. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2703 Shipp v. Murphy, Kobes, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas.
Arrest; Qualified Immunity
Where a police officer challenged the denial of qualified immunity to him after an investigative detention of two wrongfully identified boys, the officer did not unlawfully prolong the stop by waiting for backup to arrive, and the brief use of handcuffs during the stop did not turn it into an arrest, and the officer was entitled to qualified immunity,
Arrest without probable cause
Dissenting opinion by Kelly, J.: “Officer Marzolf may have been justified in his initial decision to stop W.Y. and S.Y. and even in his use of some force against them as he determined whether they posed a threat to his safety and the safety of others. But I disagree with the court’s conclusion that at no point over the course of their detention did he violate their Fourth Amendment rights. I write separately because I believe that the stop escalated to an arrest without probable cause; that Officer Marzolf unlawfully searched W.Y.; and that he used excessive force by continuing to point his gun at W.Y. and S.Y. as they lay on the ground. I would therefore affirm the district court’s ruling.”
Judgment is reversed and remanded.
20-1745 Pollreis v. Marzolf, Grasz, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas.
Where a defendant in a drug trafficking case argued that the magistrate judge erred by denying his pre-trial motion for disclosure of co-conspirator statements, the judge properly recognized the burden the request would place on the government and did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion, and there was also no error in the denial of the defendant’s request for a buyer-seller instruction. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2801 U.S. v. Merrett, Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa.
Felon In Possession
Interstate Commerce; Prohibited Person
Where defendant challenged his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm, it was immaterial whether there was proof that the weapon’s upper receiver traveled in interstate commerce when the evidence established a completed rifle capable of being shot traveled in interstate commerce prior to the defendant’s possession of it, and the jury was properly instructed on the interstate commerce element of the offense, and the defendant’s challenge to the issue of his knowledge of his status as a prohibited person also failed, so the judgment is affirmed.
Sufficiency of evidence
Dissenting opinion by Kobes, J.: “Contrary to 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(3) and 922(g)(1), the court does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a firearm or its receiver moved across state lines. Instead, it upholds a verdict backed by little more than an ATF agent’s mistaken testimony that a single gun part, an AR-15 lower receiver, is a firearm under ATF regulations. It is not. Because the Government failed to satisfy even its own understanding of what the law required, I think the evidence was insufficient. I respectfully dissent.”
Judgment is affirmed.
20-1450 U.S. v. Burning Breast, Erickson, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota.
Death Penalty; Intellectual Disability
Where the state challenged a district court finding that a defendant established by a preponderance of the evidence that he was intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for the death penalty, the court did not clearly err in considering the defendant’s childhood IQ tests in accordance with the appellate court’s instructions, and the defendant satisfied the intellectual functioning deficit prong and that he demonstrated adaptive deficits and adaptive functioning deficits, which manifested before age 18, so the judgment is affirmed.
Limited judicial role
Dissenting opinion by Grasz, J.: “Many things about this twenty-five-year-old case are tragic. And this latest appeal involves difficult legal questions with uncertain answers. Still, I believe that certain aspects of the court’s holding tend to advance an incremental deconstitutionalization of capital punishment. I do not see those aspects of the opinion as consistent with precedent or with our limited judicial role, and so, I respectfully dissent.”
Judgment is affirmed.
20-1830 Jackson v. Payne, Shepherd, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.
Where a defendant, who was convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, argued that an error in the jury instructions required a new trial, the district court did not err in instructing the jury that the defendant’s attempts to commit state law crimes could serve as RICO predicate offenses, and even if jury instructions were internally inconsistent on the definition of racketeering activity, the defendant failed to show plain error, so the conviction is affirmed, but the district court mistakenly treated aggravated assault with a firearm as an act of racketeering for the sentencing guidelines, and the error was not harmless because it affected the guidelines range, so the matter is reversed for resentencing.
Judgment is affirmed; sentence vacated and remanded.
18-2681 U.S. v. Haynie, Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska.
Motion To Suppress
Child Pornography; Search Warrant
Where a defendant challenged the denial of his motion to suppress in a child pornography case, the information provided in the search warrant affidavit was sufficient to support the probable cause determination, so the judgment is affirmed, and the sentence was not substantively unreasonable or an abuse of discretion. Judgment is affirmed.
20-3049 U.S. v. Espinoza, Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa.
Motion To Suppress
Findings Of Fact
Where defendant moved to suppress evidence of guns, ammunition and drug paraphernalia seized from his apartment, the record did not contain adequate findings of fact to resolve the appeal, so the matter is remanded for the limited purpose of making supplemental findings.
20-2796 U.S. v. Green, Grasz, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.
Jury Instruction; Sentencing
Where a defendant challenged his conviction and sentence for being a felon in possession, the district court did not err in admitting six past felony convictions, higher courts have not set a ceiling on the number of past convictions that can be used to prove intent or knowledge, and the court’s limiting instructions were proper, so the admission of the convictions was not an abuse of discretion, and the court also did not abuse its discretion in denying a mere-presence instruction, so the judgment of conviction is affirmed, and the upward variance did not amount to a substantively unreasonable sentence. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2596 U.S. v. Drew, Grasz, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.
Advisory Guidelines Range
Where a defendant challenged his sentence after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a prohibited object as a prison inmate, there was no procedural error in the calculation of the advisory guidelines range, and the sentence was not substantively unreasonable. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2468 U.S. v. Lopez, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.
Where a defendant who pled guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon challenged his sentences for the conviction and for violating supervised release, the defendant did not show that the district court double counted by considering the firearm possession twice, once for each sentence, and the supervised release sentence did not rest solely on the firearm offense since the defendant assaulted someone, so the judgment is affirmed.
20-2626 U.S. v. Roe, Benton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa.
Enhancement; Supervised Release
Where a defendant in a felon in possession case challenged the enhancement of his sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act and the special conditions of supervised release, the government proved that the defendant had three qualifying state convictions, and the district court did not err in imposing a special condition of supervised release that prohibited the defendant from gambling, so the judgment is affirmed.
20-1644 U.S. v. Andrews, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, J.
Where a defendant challenged his sentence after pleading guilty to two firearm offenses, the forensic evidence, expert testimony and lay witness evidence were sufficient to support a finding that the defendant shot the victim for application of the sentencing guidelines. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2715 U.S. v. Quinto-Pascual, Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa.
Where a defendant challenged a sentence imposed after he violated supervised release, the district court did not clearly err in finding that the defendant violated his supervised release by not telling his probation officer about traffic citations and his change in residence, and the sentence was not unreasonable. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2780 U.S. v. Nolan, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa.
Sufficiency Of Evidence; Sentencing Package Doctrine
Where a defendant who was convicted of fraudulent use of identification brought a challenge to venue, the venue was proper where he used the identification and where he illegally possessed a firearm, and the district court did not err in permitting joinder of offenses or in failing to sever counts or in admitting evidence of prior incarceration or uncharged conduct, and the judgment of conviction is affirmed over the defendant’s remaining claims of evidentiary and instructional error, but the conviction on count 8 is vacated since the violation at issue did not qualify as a crime of violence, and the sentence is thus vacated on all counts under the sentencing package doctrine.
19-3683 U.S. v. Mink, Shepherd, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa.
Employer – Employee
Where a plaintiff sued her former employer and two of its officers and employees for gender discrimination, the district court erred in finding that no language in the parties’ employment agreement suggested that she agreed to arbitrate tort claims arising from actions that predated her employment, and her claims were subject to arbitration because they arose out of and related to the agreement and employee relationship, and individual defendants who were not parties to the agreement could enforce the arbitration clause. Judgment is reversed.
20-1171 Morgan v. Ferrellgas, Inc., Loken, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.
Motion To Reopen
Where petitioners from Mexico sought review of an order denying their motion to reopen and remand, the board abused its discretion when it departed from established policy when it failed to either apply the Sanchez Sosa factors or to remand to allow the immigration judge to do so, and it failed to provide a rational explanation for its decision, including its treatment of binding precedent, so the petition for review is granted and the order is vacated and remanded. Petition granted.
20-2200 Quecheluno v. Garland, Kelly, J. Petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Convention Against Torture; Legal Standard
Where a petitioner from Somalia challenged an order of removal, arguing that the BIA applied the wrong legal standard and improperly found new facts, the appellate court found that the BIA applied the correct legal standard and did not engage in impermissible fact finding, and the BIA also did not improperly analyze the state acquiescence element required for Convention Against Torture relief, so the petition for review is denied.
20-1829 Mohamed v. Garland, Kobes, J. Petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Where a roofing contractor sued insurers alleging they breached insurance policies issued to third parties, an insured may assign its post-loss insurance claim under Nebraska law, but the authorization terms in the relevant policies were clear and could not be construed to assign the claims to the contractor, which lacked authority to determine the scope of the loss or damage sustained by the third parties. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2760 Millard Gutter Company v. Continental Casualty Company, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska.
Home Floor Plans; Statutory Defense
Where a homebuilder sued real estate companies, their agents and the contractors who generate drawings of home floor plans for infringing on their copyrights when they created and published the floor plans without authorization, the statute cited by defendants did not provide a defense to copyright infringement, but this decision does not preclude the district court from considering whether another defense might apply or whether the plaintiffs have demonstrated a claim of copyright infringement in the first place. Judgment is reversed and remanded.
19-3608 Designworks Homes, Inc. v. Columbia House of Brokers Realty, Inc., Arnold, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.
Design Defect; Failure To Warn
Where plaintiffs in a products liability case challenged the adverse summary judgment for the medical device manufacturer on a failure-to-warn claim, the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence of the manufacturer’s knowledge of the risk and utility of the device at the time the device used in the plaintiff’s surgery left the manufacturer’s control, and the court also did not abuse its discretion by excluding evidence of reasonable design alternatives and in admitting evidence from the manufacturer’s expert about operating room air flow, so the court did not err in granting summary judgment to the manufacturer on the failure to warn claim asserted under both negligence and strict liability theories. Judgment is affirmed.
18-3553 Gareis v. 3M Company, Gruender, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.
Design Defect; Standing
Where purchasers of off-road vehicles sued the manufacturers claiming that a design defect caused the vehicles to produce excessive heat that damaged the vehicles and created a risk of fire, and where seven of the 14 purchasers who did not experience fires were dismissed for failing to allege an injury in fact, the judgment is affirmed because the purchasers have alleged nothing more than the existence of a defect in a product line or ownership of a product that is at risk for developing a defect, so they did not allege an injury sufficient to confer standing. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2518 Forrest v. Polaris Industries, Inc., Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.
General Causation Experts; Discovery
Where plaintiffs, who challenged the dismissal of products liability claims arising from the use of a medical device during their orthopedic implant surgeries, the district court abused its discretion in excluding their general causation medical experts and erred in part in excluding the engineering expert, so the grant of summary judgment is reversed, and an order denying certain discovery requests is affirmed. Judgment is affirmed in part; reversed in part.
19-2899 Amador v. 3M Company, Gruender, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.
Federal Tort Claims Act
Subject Matter Jurisdiction; Scope Of Employment
Where a man, who was injured by a mail carrier on duty who drove his vehicle into him, sued the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act and the mail carrier for negligence under Missouri law, the mail carrier was not acting within the scope of his employment since he was engaged in an unauthorized deviation from his mail route, and the deviation was neither slight nor incidental, so the claim was properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claim. Judgment is affirmed.
20-2590 Magee v. Harris, Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.