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Home / Opinions / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Digest: Feb. 1, 2023
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8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Digest: Feb. 1, 2023

Civil Practice


Diversity Tort Actions

Injunctions; Sanctions

Where appellant sought review of various orders filed in his three related diversity tort actions, and he also challenged the imposition of deferred sanctions for violating an injunction order, there was no basis for reversal, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing monetary sanctions.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-2406 Fredin v. Kreil, per curiam) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.


Civil Rights



False Arrest

Qualified Immunity

Plaintiff appealed the adverse grant of summary judgment in his §1983 action. Plaintiff was arrested for felony stalking and harassment following a week-long investigation that culminated in police arresting plaintiff after he parked next to his ex-girlfriend’s truck after she had obtained a full protection order. When the criminal charges were dismissed, plaintiff filed the present suit. The district court granted defendants summary judgment, finding that they were entitled to qualified immunity as there was sufficient reliable evidence to support probable cause.

Where officers knew of plaintiff’s prior harassment conviction, received multiple reports about plaintiff’s proximity to his ex-girlfriend, and ultimately found plaintiff on the ex-girlfriend’s street, there was sufficient evidence for the officers to believe that plaintiff had committed or was committing a criminal offense by violating the protection order.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-1046 Ryno v. City of Waynesville, Shepherd, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.




Search of Home; Invalid No-Knock Warrant

Plaintiff appealed the adverse grant of summary judgment in his §1983 action, arising from the police’s search of plaintiff’s apartment pursuant to an invalid no-knock search warrant.

Where the affidavit of probable cause provided sufficient evidence to support issuing the warrant, even omitting false statements from the affidavit, officers did not act unreasonably in executing the warrant.

Judgment is affirmed.

21-2806 Talley v. City of Little Rock, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.



Pretrial Detainee

Serous Medical Needs; Deliberate Indifference

Where the mother of a pretrial detainee, who died while in an Arkansas jail, sued four jail employees alleging deliberate indifference to the detainee’s serious medical needs, the denial of summary judgment to defendant Williams on the ground of qualified immunity is reversed because the district court erred in finding that Williams was told at booking that the detainee  had seizure-like activity that was a serious medical condition, and other jail defendants were entitled to rely on the opinion of medical staff as to the detainee’s condition.

Judgment is reversed.

21-4016 Reece v. Hale, Arnold, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas.



Criminal Law


Attempted Enticement

Plea Agreement; Use of Statements from Plea Proceedings

Defendant appealed his conviction for attempted enticement and transfer of obscene material to a minor. Defendant argued that the district court erred by admitting parts of his plea agreement that the district court had not accepted.

Where defendant had expressly waived application of Rule 410 in his plea agreement, the district court did not err in considering defendant’s statements after defendant waived attorney-client privilege by discussing his communications with his attorney who was properly called as a rebuttal witness. The evidence was also sufficient to support defendant’s convictions.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-1373 U.S. v. Hahn, Benton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa.



Distribution of Child Pornography

Revocation of Supervised Release; Scope of Special Conditions

Defendant appealed the special conditions imposed following a revocation hearing. While serving a term of supervised release following a conviction for distribution of child pornography, defendant was issued a violation report for hostile behavior toward his probation officer. The district court imposed a new special condition. Defendant objected to the condition and requested clarification whether his use of a non-internet capable computer would violate another condition. The district court overruled defendant’s objections.

Where the new special condition did not subject defendant to forced medication, the district court could impose the condition given defendant’s admitted schizoaffective disorder. The district court could also restrict defendant’s computer access without specific information about the device; however, a thumb drive appeared to fall outside the scope of the restriction.

Judgment is affirmed and remanded for clarification.

22-1688 U.S. v. Bee, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.




Drug Possession

Expired Warrants; Motion for Acquittal

Defendant appealed his conviction for possession of cocaine and the denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal or a new trial. Defendant argued that the cocaine should have been suppressed because police relied on expired tracking warrants to locate defendant when he was arrested returning to the Twin Cities. Defendant’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct and improper jury instructions also relied on his challenge to the validity of the tracking warrants.

Where defendant untimely raised his arguments for the first time on appeal, the issues were waived. They also did not constitute plain error where defendant attempted to flee from officers, giving them probable cause to arrest defendant regardless of the validity of the warrants.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-1292 U.S. v. Pickens, Loken, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Montgomery, J.



Illicit Sexual Conduct

Guilty Plea; Motion to Withdraw

Defendant appealed his guilty plea conviction for interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct while required to register as a sex offender. Defendant argued that the district court erred in denying a pre-sentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

Where defendant’s allegations of deficient performance of counsel did not constitute ineffective assistance, the district court did not err in denying an evidentiary hearing on defendant’s plea withdrawal motion, as defendant filed the motion pro se while represented by new counsel.

Judgment is affirmed.

21-3713 U.S. v. Harris, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.


Possession with Intent to Distribute

Traffic Stop; Motion to Suppress

Defendant appealed the denial of her motion to suppress evidence found during a traffic stop, which resulted in defendant’s conviction for possession with intent to distribute. Police stopped defendant’s truck, which was driven by another individual who gave consent to search. On appeal, defendant argued that police unlawfully prolonged the traffic stop.

Where police could ask about travel destination, which was reasonably related to the purpose of the traffic stop, and could ask vehicle occupants’ criminal histories while waiting on warrant information, officers did not improperly extend the stop.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-1824 U.S. v. Mathes, Colloton, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.




Plea Agreement; Appeal Waiver

Where a defendant appealed after he pled guilty in a child pornography case, the defendant entered into both a plea agreement and an appeal waiver knowingly and voluntarily, and any challenge to the reasonableness of his sentence was barred by the appeal waiver.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-2738 U.S. v. McCullough, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.



Supervised Release

Revocation; Substantive Reasonableness of Sentence

Defendant appealed the judgment of sentence imposed following the revocation of his supervised release, challenging the substantive reasonableness of the sentence.

Where the district court considered the relevant sentencing factors and imposed a sentence within the statutory maximum, defendant’s sentence was substantively reasonable.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-2833 U.S. v. Rush, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa.


Supervised Release

Special Condition; Driving Prohibition

Where a defendant challenged a special condition of supervised release that prohibited her from driving without court approval, the defendant had an extensive history of drinking and driving, so the court did not abuse its discretion by imposing the condition, and the sentence was not substantively unreasonable.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-1898 U.S. v. Tobay, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.




Age and Sex Discrimination

Failure to Hire; Reduction-in-Force

Plaintiff appealed the grant of summary judgment to defendant in plaintiff’s age and sex discrimination complaint. Defendant chose not to hire plaintiff as a lease operator after acquiring plaintiff’s employer.

Where the district court failed to make findings of fact regarding whether defendant’s acquisition of plaintiff’s employer created a bona fide reduction in force, the court remanded the entry of summary judgment for defendant.

Judgment is reversed and remanded.

Connors v. Merit Energy Company, LLC, per curiam. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas.





Voluntary Departure

Where petitioner sought review of a decision denying his application for the withholding of removal and his request for voluntary departure, there was no basis for reversal.

Petition denied.

22-2589 Dominguez v. Garland, per curiam. Petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.




Video Services Providers Act

Streaming Services; Federal Jurisdiction

Defendants appealed the grant of plaintiff’s motion to remand the case to state court. The Missouri Video Services Providers Act permitted local governments to impose fees on video services providers. Plaintiff filed a class action in state court against defendants, two streaming services, alleging that defendants were liable to pay fees under the VSPA. Defendants initially removed the case under diversity jurisdiction and the Class Action Fairness Act. After the case was remanded, the state court issued an interlocutory order ruling that VSPA payments were fees, not taxes. Defendants then filed another notice of removal, arguing that the state court’s order established federal jurisdiction. Plaintiff successfully moved to remand the case.

Where the district court had already ruled on the issue of comity in the prior remand order, it did not need to decide whether the Tax Injunction Act also barred federal jurisdiction, and the state court’s order did not address comity issues.

Judgment is affirmed.

21-3090 City of Creve Coeur v. DirecTV LLC, Loken, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.





Municipal Power Lines; Negligence Per Se

Plaintiff appealed the adverse grant of summary judgment in his lawsuit against defendant. Plaintiff was electrocuted by a powerline owned and operated by defendant. Plaintiff and his wife sued, with plaintiff asserting negligence and negligence per se claims and his wife asserting a loss of consortium claim. As to the negligence per se claim, plaintiff argued that the powerline failed to comply with the minimum clearance requirements of the Iowa Administrative Code

Where the code grandfathered existing utility structures, plaintiff’s negligence per se claim failed as defendant’s powerline complied with the code at the time of its construction; however, the current version of the code could inform the jury’s deliberation of a negligence claim.

Judgment is affirmed in part, reversed in part.

21-3096 Maldonado v. City of Sibley, Kobes, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa.




Oil/Gas Well

Damage to Surface; Use of Pore Space

Plaintiffs appealed the grant of summary judgment to defendant. Defendant’s predecessor-in-interest obtained an oil and gas lease from plaintiffs’ predecessor in interest, which defendant claimed afforded the right to operate input wells. The parties executed two agreements to operate a new well on plaintiffs’ land. Defendant subsequently began trucking water across plaintiffs’ property to pressurize the well. Plaintiffs filed suit for damage to the surface of the land and use of their pore space. The district court ruled that plaintiffs had released defendant from liability and could not recover under applicable state law for use of the pore space.

Where the parties’ agreement allowed defendant to use plaintiffs’ property as reasonably necessary for oil and gas operations and expressly released defendant from surface damage, the district court correctly dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint on summary judgment.

Judgment is affirmed.

22-1230 Brown v. Continental Resources, Inc., Kobes, J. Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota.

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