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

October 2009 Archives

US v. Coleman, No. 09-1454

Defendant's drug conspiracy conviction is affirmed where: 1) the government offered sufficient evidence that the conspiracy involved fifty grams or more of crack cocaine; 2) the government proved that defendant aided and abetted the conspiracy; and 3) the jury was equipped to evaluate the motivations of the government's cooperating witnesses without the aid of additional testimony.

Read US v. Coleman, No. 09-1454

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 22, 2009

Filed: October 30, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Gruender

US v. Smith, No. 09-1057

Defendant's appeal from his child pornography sentence is dismissed where defendant's plea agreement rendered a sentence unappealable unless the district court did not accept a recommendation to it contained in the agreement.

Read US v. Smith, No. 09-1057

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 25, 2009

Filed: October 30, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Arnold

US v. Higgins, No. 09-1515

Defendant's cocaine base conspiracy sentence is affirmed where the district court did not err in declining to further reduce defendant's sentence pursuant to Amendment 706 to the Sentencing Guidelines because U.S.S.G. section 1B1.10(b)(2)(B), the policy statement applicable to defendant, limited any reduction below the amended guidelines range to an amount comparable to the reduction from the original guidelines range.

Read US v. Higgins, No. 09-1515

Appellate Information

Submitted: October 19, 2009

Filed: October 28, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

US v. Goodwin-Bey, No. 09-1317

Defendant's firearm possession conviction is affirmed where the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress the gun at issue because an earlier incident report regarding a vehicle resembling defendant's, along with the number of the vehicle's occupants, sufficiently implicated officer safety concerns to justify a search incident to arrest.

Read US v. Goodwin-Bey, No. 09-1317

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 22, 2009

Filed: October 28, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Gruender

US v. Espinosa, No. 08-3354

Defendant's sexual assault conviction is affirmed in part where: 1) the district court clearly and promptly admonished the jury to disregard that part of an expert's testimony that could be construed as having invaded the province of the jury; and 2) there was no hearsay issue because the district court did not allow the witnesses to repeat the content of what the victim had said.  However, defendant's conviction is reversed in part where insufficient evidence existed as to the victim's age at the time of the offense conduct.

Read US v. Espinosa, No. 08-3354

Appellate Information

Submitted: June 11, 2009

Filed: October 26, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Smith

US v. Blackmon, No. 09-1059

Defendant's sentence is vacated pursuant to the government's appeal where, because defendant's sentence was based on his career offender range, he was not eligible for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. section 3582(c)(2).

Read US v. Blackmon, No. 09-1059

Appellate Information

Submitted: October 19, 2009

Filed: October 27, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

US v. Hill, No. 08-3748

Defendant's firearm possession sentence is affirmed where: 1) there was sufficient evidence in the record that defendant's actions in his prior resisting arrest offense created a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death; and 2) the Sentencing Commission intended the U.S.S.G. sections 2K2.1 and 3A1.2 enhancements to be cumulative.

Read US v. Hill, No. 08-3748

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 25, 2009

Filed: October 22, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Melloy

Doyle v. Graske, No. 08-3144

In an action based on injuries sustained by plaintiff while on defendant's boat, judgment for plaintiff is affirmed in part where: 1) substantial evidence supported the district court's conclusion that defendant breached a duty of reasonable care if plaintiff was seated on the bow cushion when the boat came on plane; and 2) the district court's finding that defendant's negligence was a proximate and substantial cause of plaintiff's injuries was not clearly erroneous.  However, the judgment is reversed in part where federal admiralty law did not allow for recovery of loss of consortium damages in negligence matters occurring outside territorial waters.

Read Doyle v. Graske, No. 08-3144

Appellate Information

Submitted: April 16, 2009

Filed: September 2, 2009

Amended: October 21, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Colloton

McAdams v. McCord, No. 09-1303

In a securities fraud action alleging that defendant executives and auditor defrauded plaintiffs by inducing them to invest in a company through misrepresentations and false statements about its financial condition, dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where plaintiffs failed to allege how two statements by the auditor, as compared to the complaint's long list of alleged misrepresentations and omissions by the executives, proximately caused the investors' losses.

Read McAdams v. McCord, No. 09-1303

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 24, 2009

Filed: October 20, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Benton

Casey v. FDIC, No. 09-1096

In an action against mortgage lenders alleging that the lenders had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by charging a fee for preparation of loan documents by nonlawyers, judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) all claims in a case to which the FDIC was a party had "arising under" federal subject matter jurisdiction; and 2) the document preparation fees at issue constituted loan-related fees, including without limitation, initial charges, as enumerated in 12 C.F.R. section 560.2(b)(5).

Read Casey v. FDIC, No. 09-1096

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 24, 2009

Filed: October 20, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Murphy

US v. Beane, No. 08-3769

Defendant's drug distribution sentence is affirmed where: 1) it was not error for the district court to consider whether a particular sentence would be reversed on appeal; and 2) because defendant was sentenced as a career offender under U.S.S.G. section 4B1.1, his offense level was determined by the statutory maximum penalty for the offense of conviction, not by section 2D1.1 and its crack-powder ratio.

Read US v. Beane, No. 08-3769

Appellate Information

Submitted: June 11, 2009

Filed: October 20, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Colloton

US v. Bates, No. 08-3331

Defendant's firearm possession sentence is affirmed where: 1) the evidence adequately supported the district court's finding that the firearm at issue was stolen; and 2) the dangerous nature of defendant's offense conduct provided ample justification for the district court's exercise of its considerable discretion.

Read US v. Bates, No. 08-3331

Appellate Information

Submitted: May 15, 2009

Filed: October 20, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Colloton

Irving v. Dormire, No. 09-1157

In an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action claiming that defendants denied him access to his legal papers, resulting in his habeas petition being untimely, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where petitioner's claims were barred by collateral estoppel because, by denying petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion in the face of his denial of access claim, the habeas court necessarily decided that petitioner was not illegally denied access to his legal materials.

Read Irving v. Dormire, No. 09-1157

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 21, 2009

Filed: October 19, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Wollman

US v. Martin, No. 08-3881

Defendant's drug manufacturing sentence is affirmed where: 1) the district court's conclusion that the transaction at issue did not end until the crack was delivered was well supported by the evidence; 2) defendant's extensive dealing with controlled substances and previous crimes were adequate grounds for not granting a downward departure based on the powder/crack disparity; and 3) the district court's failure to find sentencing entrapment was not clearly erroneous.

Read US v. Martin, No. 08-3881

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 25, 2009

Filed: October 19, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Wollman

US v. Turner, No. 09-1328

Defendant's drug conspiracy conviction and sentence are affirmed where: 1) evidence of defendant's prior drug dealings was relevant to the material issue of whether defendant had the requisite intent to enter into a conspiracy; and 2) the methamphetamine evidence discovered at defendant's residence established that a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine existed between defendant and another.

Read US v. Turner, No. 09-1328

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 22, 2009

Filed: October 16, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Shepherd

US v. Salean, No. 08-3315

Defendant's firearm possession sentence is affirmed where defendant's prior Minnesota state court conviction for aiding and abetting assault in the fourth degree was a violent felony within the meaning of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA).

Read US v. Salean, No. 08-3315

Appellate Information

Submitted: May 11, 2009

Filed: October 16, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Loken

US v. Parker, No. 08-2883

In a drug conspiracy prosecution, denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence is affirmed where the district court did not err in finding there was no Fourth Amendment violation because the stop of defendant's vehicle was properly administered under the authority of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and defendant was not unlawfully detained when he consented to the search.

Read US v. Parker, No. 08-2883

Appellate Information

Submitted: April 14, 2009

Filed: October 16, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Shepherd

US v. Seward, No. 08-3912

Defendant's firearm possession sentence is affirmed where the district court properly imposed an obstruction of justice enhancement because: 1) Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 had no application to guilty pleas that were not the product of a plea agreement; and 2) defendant's silence or refusal to testify were not the cause of his enhanced sentence.

Read US v. Seward, No. 08-3912

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 22, 2009

Filed: October 15, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Shepherd

USCOC of Greater Mo. v. Ferguson, No. 08-3705

In an action claiming that defendant-city violated plaintiff telecommunications company's rights under the Telecommunications Act (TCA) by failing to act on its applications for zoning variances and a special use permit within a reasonable period of time, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff did not preserve for appeal its claim that defendant failed to act on plaintiff's variance application within a reasonable period of time; and 2) because the city Board of Adjustment's "final action" under 47 U.S.C. section 332(c)(7)(B)(v) did not occur until it issued a written decision on plaintiff's variance application, it follows that the Board did not violate the "in writing" requirement of section 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) by issuing that decision more than thirty days after voting to deny the variances.

Read USCOC of Greater Mo. v. Ferguson, No. 08-3705

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 21, 2009

Filed: October 9, 2009

Judges

Before Murphy, John R. Gibson, and Riley, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Murphy, Circuit Judge 

Krout v. Goemmer, No. 08-2781

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action alleging excessive force by officers during an arrest, denial of summary judgment to defendants on qualified immunity grounds is affirmed in part where: 1) the court of appeals lacked jurisdiction to review officers' contention that there was insufficient evidence of causation to hold them liable for the decedent's death; and 2) the evidence supported a finding that certain officers violated decedent's clearly established rights under the Fourth Amendment by failing to intervene in the assault.  However, the order is reversed where defendant correctional officers in the jail where decedent was housed were not deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.

Read Krout v. Goemmer, No. 08-2781

Appellate Information

Submitted: April 15, 2009

Filed: October 6, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Colloton

Cicle v. Chase Bank USA, No. 08-1362

In an action alleging illegal credit card penalties, the district court's order denying defendant's motion to stay and to compel arbitration is reversed where: 1) plaintiff had ample opportunity and time to opt out of the amendment to the parties' arbitration agreement before it took effect, but instead continued to use the card; 2) the agreement specifically provided an exception to binding arbitration in that plaintiff could file her claim individually in small claims court; and 3) the record did not support the district court's conclusion that the costs and fees associated with arbitration of plaintiff's individual claim made the agreement unconscionable as to her.

Read Cicle v. Chase Bank USA, No. 08-1362

Appellate Information

Submitted: October 15, 2008

Filed: October 6, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Bowman

Cook v. City of Bella Villa, No. 08-2712

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action alleging excessive force by an officer in performing an arrest, judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) defendant-officer's use of force was reasonable under the circumstances; 2) the district court adequately gave plaintiff's counsel an opportunity to make a prima facie showing that one of defendant's peremptory challenges was made on the basis of race; and 3) because defendant was permitted to provide a detailed description of a preliminary breath test device, any improper showing of the device was merely duplicative of other evidence presented at trial.

Read Cook v. City of Bella Villa, No. 08-2712

Appellate Information

Submitted: April 16, 2009

Filed: October 2, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Riley

Nelson v. Correctional Med. Servs., No. 07-2481

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action claiming that defendant prison personnel interfered with plaintiff's childbirth, denial of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed in part where a reasonable fact-finder could determine that there was substantial evidence of one officer's general awareness of the risk of harm from shackling a woman in labor.  However, the district court's order is reversed in part where there was no evidence of deliberate indifference to plaintiff's health on the part of the prison director.

Read Nelson v. Correctional Med. Servs., No. 07-2481

Appellate Information

Submitted: September 24, 2008

Filed: October 2, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Murphy

US v. Gavin, No. 08-3342

Defendant's witness tampering conviction is affirmed where: 1) the district court's jury instructions improperly added the element of intimidation, and failed to reference the use of physical force, but there was no reasonable probability that defendant would have been acquitted given a proper instruction; and 2) there was no material difference between the indictment's accusations and the evidence presented at trial.

Read US v. Gavin, No. 08-3342

Appellate Information

Submitted: April 14, 2009

Filed: October 5, 2009

Judges

Opinion by District Judge Rosenbaum

US v. Brunken, No. 08-2488

Defendants' drug conspiracy sentences are affirmed where: 1) one defendant's sentence was not substantively unreasonable; and 2) as to the other defendant, when a sentence is below the guidelines range, it is nearly inconceivable that the court abused its discretion in not varying downward still further.

Read US v. Brunken, No. 08-2488

Appellate Information

Submitted: February 10, 2009

Filed: October 5, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Loken

All-Ways Logistics, Inc. v. USA Truck, Inc., No. 08-1054

In a breach of contract action arising out of a commission agreement entered into by the parties, judgment for plaintiff is affirmed where: 1) the affirmative defense of waiver of breach by acceptance of benefits did not apply; 2) the agreement was unambiguous in its treatment of different accounts as separate, and thus the district court did not need to submit the issue of severability to the jury; 3) the district court properly awarded plaintiff prejudgment interest because a method existed for calculating plaintiff's damages at the time of the loss; and 4) fee awards based in part on a contingency agreement are permissible under Arkansas law.

Read All-Ways Logistics, Inc. v. USA Truck, Inc., No. 08-1054

Appellate Information

Filed October 1, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Bowman