Ezell v. United States

Petitioner, convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, seeks certification of his filing of a second or successive 28 U.S.C. 2255 petition based on Descamps v. United States. As a preliminary matter, the court joined the majority of its sister circuits and held that when a section 2255(h) motion presents a complex issue, the court may exceed section 2244(b)(3)(D)'s thirty-day time limit. The court held that the Supreme Court did not announce a new rule of constitutional law in Descamps, but rather, clarified the application of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), in light of existing precedent. Accordingly, the court rejected petitioner's argument that Descamps announced a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable. The court denied the motion for certification to file another habeas corpus petition.View "Ezell v. United States" on Justia Law

United States v. Ortiz

Defendant, convicted of drug-related charges, argued that the district court erred in admitting the opinion testimony of his United States probation officer identifying defendant's voice speaking primarily Spanish on wiretapped calls because the officer does not speak Spanish and had only heard defendant speak English. The court concluded that in this case, the officer's familiarity with defendant's voice was substantially more than the minimal familiarity Federal Rule of Evidence 901(b)(5) requires for admission of lay voice identification testimony. Defendant's challenges go to the weight rather than the admissibility of defendant's testimony. Accordingly, the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in ruling on the authentication of his voice on the recordings.View "United States v. Ortiz" on Justia Law

McClellan v. I-Flow Corp.

Plaintiff filed suit against I-Flow, manufacturer of the PainBuster continuous infusion pump, alleging state common law claims for negligence and strict products liability. Plaintiff alleged that I-Flow negligently failed to warn that its pain pump should not be used in intra-articular spaces such as the glenohumeral joint; and that I-Flow was strictly liable for selling a product that was unreasonably dangerous due to the lack of adequate warnings. The PainBuster is regulated under the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (MDA) to the Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act (FDCA), 21 U.S.C. 360c(a)(1)(A)(i), (B), (C)(i). Concluding that it has jurisdiction to hear the appeal where judgment was entered as to all defendants, the court concluded that the requested jury instructions regarding negligence and federal standards were not preempted by the MDA. Therefore, the court remanded and declined to reach the evidentiary issues. The court dismissed I-Flow's cross appeal as moot.View "McClellan v. I-Flow Corp." on Justia Law

Shinault v. Hawks

Plaintiff, while incarcerated, received a $107,416.48 settlement from a medical liability claim against a drug manufacturer whose products caused him to develop diabetes. Counsel in the product liability suit deposited the settlement proceeds into plaintiff's inmate trust account. After the ODOC issued an order requiring plaintiff to pay $65,353.94 for the estimated cost of his incarceration and then subsequently froze and withdrew the funds at issue, plaintiff filed suit alleging various constitutional violations. The court concluded that plaintiff received insufficient due process as the result of Oregon's actions considering plaintiff's substantial interest, the risk of erroneous deprivation, and the ability to provide a hearing without compromising a significant government interest. Nor should providing a pre-deprivation hearing be administratively burdensome. However, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants considering no precedent established a state's obligation to provide a pre-deprivation hearing in these circumstances and thus, was not clearly established at the time of the conduct. Further, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants on plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim where the withdrawal was a reimbursement rather than a punishment.View "Shinault v. Hawks" on Justia Law

United States v. Rice

Defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, as well as failure to appear. The court concluded that, although the district court should have acted more promptly in granting defendant's request to appear pro se, defendant's Sixth Amendment rights were not violated at the March 6, 2009 initial appearance and arraignment. The court found no Sixth Amendment violation in the record as a whole where the district court's actions during the July 28 initial appearance and arraignment on the failure-to-appear charges ensured that there was no constitutional violation. When the court granted defendant's request to proceed pro se, he was given more time to prepare for trial than if his motion had been granted at the original March 6 initial appearance and arraignment. Further, the court found no violation of defendant's statutory right to a speedy trial where his trial began 54 non-excludable days after his January 12, 2012 appearance, well within the 70-day statutory limit. In this case, the government concedes that the sentence, restitution, and forfeiture imposed by the district court were based on a loss amount that included money laundered before defendant joined the conspiracy. Therefore, the court remanded for resentencing and recalculation of restitution and forfeiture. The court affirmed the conviction.View "United States v. Rice" on Justia Law

Redding Rancheria v. Jewell

The Tribe asked the Department to take into trust a parcel of land the Tribe recently required for the construction and operation of a new gambling casino. The Secretary denied the request. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), 25 U.S.C. 2719, generally bans gaming on lands that tribes acquire after its enactment in 1988, but creates an exception for tribes with restored lands. The district court granted summary judgment for the government because the Tribe was seeking to operate multiple casinos, something the applicable regulations unquestionably and reasonably are intended to prevent. While the application was pending before the agency, the Tribe advised the agency that it was willing to close down its original casinos once the new one was in operation. The court concluded that the Secretary reasonably implemented the restored lands exception, to limit the extent to which a restored tribe may operate gaming facilities on restored land, in order to ensure parity between restored and established tribes; the Indian canon, recently articulated in Montana v. Blackfeet Tribe of Indians, does not apply here; there has been no unexplained change in the agency policy; but the agency should have considered the Tribe's alternative offer to move all gaming to the new casino. Therefore, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in part.View "Redding Rancheria v. Jewell" on Justia Law

Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp.

Omega, global purveyor of luxury watches, filed suit against Costco for copyright infringement, alleging that Costco's importation of Omega's Seamaster watches, which sometimes bears an engraving of the Omega Globe Design, was without the copyright holder's permission in violation of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 602. The district court granted summary judgment to Costco on remand, finding that Omega misused its copyright of the Omega Globe to expand its limited monopoly impermissibly and granting Costco attorney's fees. Pursuant to Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the court affirmed and concluded that Omega's right to control importation and distribution of its copyrighted Omega Globe expired after that authorized first sale, and Costco's subsequent sale of the watches did not constitute copyright infringement. Therefore, application of the first sale doctrine disposes of Omega's claim, resolves this case in Costco's favor, and conclusively reaffirms that copyright holders cannot use their rights to fix resale prices in the downstream market. The court also concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney's fees to Costco where it should have been clear to Omega that copyright law neither condoned nor protected its actions, and the imposition of fees would further the purpose of the Copyright Act.View "Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp." on Justia Law

City of San Jose v. Comm’r of Baseball

This case arose when the Oakland Athletics wanted to move to the City of San Jose, but the City falls within the exclusive operating territory of the San Francisco Giants. The City, seeking approval of the move, filed suit against MLB, alleging violations of state and federal antitrust laws, of California's consumer protection statute, and of California tort law. The district court granted MLB's motion to dismiss on all but the tort claims and the City appealed. The City argues that the baseball industry's historic exemption from the antitrust laws does not apply to antitrust claims relating to franchise relocation. The court held, however, that antitrust claims against MLB's franchise relocation policies are precluded by Flood v. Kuhn, and, under Portland Baseball Club, Inc. v Kuhn, the court rejected any antitrust claim that was wholly unrelated to the reserve clause. Therefore, the City's claims under the Sherman Act and Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 1-7 and 15 U.S.C. 12-27, must be dismissed. Further, the City's antitrust claims necessarily fall with its federal claims where the City can point to no case that has ever held that state antitrust claims continue to be viable after federal antitrust claims have been dismissed under the baseball exemption. An independent claim under California's unfair competition law is also barred so long as MLB's activities are lawful under the antitrust laws. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "City of San Jose v. Comm'r of Baseball" on Justia Law

United States v. Hertler

Defendant appealed a postrevocation sentence of twenty months of supervised release, arguing that the new term exceeds the maximum period that can be imposed under 18 U.S.C. 3583(h). Section 3583(h) authorizes a district court to impose a postrevocation term of supervised release up to the statutory maximum, but requires the court to reduce the length of supervised release by "any term of imprisonment that was imposed upon revocation of supervised release." The court held that the text of section 3583(h) and the structure of section 3583 support the government's argument that "any term of imprisonment" means any "terms of imprisonment imposed with respect to the same underlying offense." The court rejected defendant's rule of lenity of argument, concluding that there is no "grievous ambiguity," and no "reasonable doubt persists" regarding the court's construction. Accordingly, the court affirmed the postrevocation sentence.View "United States v. Hertler" on Justia Law

United States v. Zamudio

Defendant appealed his conviction of violating 8 U.S.C. 1326, which prohibits a deported alien from being "found in" the United States after reentering without permission. The court held that the district court correctly concluded that defendant failed to meet his burden in collaterally attacking his underlying deportation proceeding where the district court reasoned that both of defendant's convictions (kidnapping in violation of California Penal Code 207(a) in 1994 and methamphetamine possession in 2000) rendered him removeable. Even if the IJ erred in failing to advise defendant of his ability to apply for relief from removal, defendant suffered no prejudice. The court held that defendant's "found in" offense under section 1326 was not complete when he reentered in 2001 because his presentation of an invalid green card as if it were valid did not place authorities on notice that his presence in the United States would be illegal. Therefore, the court rejected defendant's argument concerning a constructive knowledge jury instruction with regard to his statute of limitations theory. Accordingly, the court affirmed the conviction.View "United States v. Zamudio" on Justia Law