U.S. Eighth Circuit

U.S. Eighth Circuit - The FindLaw 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


An Iowa woman won't be allowed to withdraw a plea agreement she says she was pressured to accept, the Eighth Circuit ruled yesterday. After a heroin user overdosed and died, a police investigation identified Lacresia White as the decedent's supplier. Following a series of undercover buys, which may have involved White's six year old daughter, police arrested White and charged her with conspiracy to distribute heroin that lead to death.

White accepted a plea deal that would help her avoid a 20 year sentence, but quickly regretted it. That was too late, the Eighth Circuit ruled. Since White could allege no coercion aside from family pressure, she put forward no "fair and just" reason to withdraw her plea.

The NFL Players Association has submitted its briefs to the Eight Circuit regarding the overturned suspension of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson was suspended by the NFL after he was accused of physically abusing his son. A district court reversed that suspension, finding that the NFL's domestic abuse policy was new and couldn't be retroactively applied to actions Peterson took in the past.

The NFL's appeal of that ruling is now currently pending in the Eight Circuit. In their filings, the Players Association -- essentially a union for NFL athletes -- argues, unsurprisingly, that the district court was correct in throwing out Peterson's suspension.

Judge Myron Bright has sat on the Eighth Circuit longer than many of those reading this have been alive. For 47 years, Bright has served on the court, continuing to hear cases and author opinions to this day. Needless to say, he's the longest-serving judge in the history of the circuit. At 95 years old, he has no plans to retire anytime soon. Instead, he will continue to hear up to 50 cases this year.

Bright's good friend and then-senator, Quentin Burdick, recommended him for a judgeship to President Lyndon Johnson. According to Bright, LBJ chose him over Robert F. Kennedy for the seat. Over his years on the court, Judge Bright has made significant rulings, particularly in the realm of employment discrimination and environmental law.

Want to prove legal malpractice in Missouri when it comes to international investments? According to the Eighth Circuit, you're going to need an expert witness for that.

Phil Rosemann sued Martin Sigillito for legal malpractice after Sigillito absconded with a large part of a $15.6 million dollar loan, ultimately leading to his conviction for wire fraud and money laundering.

Roderick Nunley pleaded guilty to the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 15-year-old in 1989. The state court judge sentenced him to death. Nunley had argued, before the Eight Circuit, that his capital sentence was a violation of state and federal precedent, since he was sentenced to death without a jury. According to Nunley, state and federal Supreme Court precedent required a jury sentencing for a death penalty to be permissible.

Not so, ruled the Eighth, which found that Nunley had unequivocally waived his right to a jury sentencing when he plead guilty.

As expected, the family of Michael Brown filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Ferguson, Missouri, its former police chief, and former police officer Darren Wilson.

Brown was killed by Wilson in an altercation last year, which began the most recent national conversation about young black men being shot by white police officers. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson for Brown's death, leading to accusations that the prosecution stacked the evidence in Wilson's favor, and then to protests in Ferguson and elsewhere.

What can you get from two marijuana roaches with leftover weed, blunt paper, cigarillo wrappers, and 2 baggie knots pulled from the trash? No, it's not the worst Christmas present ever -- it's probable cause!

A few scraps of marijuana and paraphernalia recovered after searching through thirteen -- thirteen! -- bags of trash weren't the evidence of crack dealing that cops sought, but they were enough to support a warrant to search the house, the Eighth Circuit ruled on Monday.

The Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eight Amendment. The question immediately arose: would juveniles who had received such sentences before the ruling be able to have their sentences revisited?

No, according to the Eighth. Miller does not require courts to revisit sentences given prior to the ruling, the Eighth Circuit held on Monday. Prisoners who were given mandatory sentences of life without parole for crimes they committed as children cannot have those sentences retroactively changed. The case is especially noteworthy, as the Supreme Court granted cert this march on the same issue, in a case arising from Louisiana.

Infamous pornographer Larry Flynt may be allowed to intervene in two Missouri death penalty cases and access previously sealed records following a ruling by the Eight Circuit today. The cases challenged the constitutionality of Missouri's execution methods.

Flynt, who gained notoriety as the outspoken founder of Hustler magazine, sought to intervene in the lawsuits as a publisher and death penalty opponent. Intervention could give him access to documents previously sealed by the court, including the identities of participants in the states' executions. Joseph Franklin, who shot and paralyzed Flynt in 1978, was also a party to the suits before he was executed for other crimes in 2013.

Custodial parents may relocate their children to a new state without a court order, the Supreme Court of North Dakota has ruled, so long as the noncustodial parent has "moved" out of the state. The noncustodial parent does not need to have intended to establish residence in a new state for his or her relocation to count as a "move" under North Dakota law.

The case, Eggers v. Eggers, involves a mother with primary custody of three minor children who moved them from North Dakota to Ohio to North Carolina without the father's consent or a court order. No order was needed, the court found, since the father had already left the state.