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

June 2013 Archives

8th Circuit Applies Common Sense Rule to Child Porn Search Case

Dennis Chase appealed his case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals after being convicted of three counts of transportation and three counts of possession of child pornography.

Among his claims made on appeal, Chase argued that the district court improperly denied his motion to suppress because there was insufficient probable cause to support the initial warrant to search his residence.

The case revisits the "common sense" rules on probable cause for warrants to search homes when it comes to criminal activity like child pornography.

Iowa HIV Law Not Vague or Overbroad, Says Eighth Circuit

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Iowa’s HIV law was not unconstitutionally vague as to Adam Musser, who was convicted of knowingly transmitting the HIV virus to four women.

Musser was convicted in four separate trials of criminally transmitting HIV in violation of Iowa Code § 709C.1. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals set out to determine whether the statute violated the due process clause because it was vague and overbroad.

Naughty Nurse Loses Employment Discrimination Case

In the realm of employment discrimination, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case of Jenny Evance, a nurse at Trumann Health and Rehabilitation Center , a nursing home in Trumann, Arkansas, run by Trumann Health Services, LLC.

Evance sued her former employer and others after she was terminated, alleging federal claims of discrimination based on her gender, religion, and disability.

The case highlights the rule for summary judgment motions in employment discrimination cases.

4-H Cheating Scandal Reaches 8th Circuit

The Eighth Circuit is “weighing in” on a lawsuit brought by the family of a South Dakota teenager accused of cheating in a 4-H pig-showing competition in South Dakota, reports The Associated Press. The family of White Lake teenager Bayley Kroupa says she was humiliated and denied due process when she was banned from 4-H competition in 2011 for an alleged ethics violation. They are suing and seeking $850,000 in damages.

Kroupa, then 16, was banned from 4-H competition in October 2011 for allegedly showing a pig at the 2011 South Dakota State Fair that she did not raise herself during the project season. Her father, Greg Kroupa, allegedly bought a Missouri State Fair pig from an animal dealer in Iowa following the hog’s success in a Missouri State Fair competition — a violation of the 4-H code of ethics.

4-H officials have appealed a federal judge’s ruling that Kroupa can participate in 4-H competitions while the lawsuit proceeds.

Judge Orders Mental Exam of Terror Convict Before 8th Cir. Appeal

A judge wants a competency evaluation to see if a former janitor understands what will happen if he drops the appeal of his conviction and 20-year sentence for aiding the terrorist group al-Shabaab, reports the Pioneer Press.

In an order last Friday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case of Mahamud Said Omar, 47, back to the lower court to hold a hearing at the judge’s request.

Medicating Incompetent Defendants Involuntarily OK: 8th Cir.

Involuntarily medicating incompetent defendants is a tricky issue.

Shawn Mackey was indicted for failing to register as a sex offender, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a). After the parties determined Mackey was incompetent to understand the proceedings against him or assist in his own defense, the district court granted the government’s motion to medicate Mackey involuntarily to restore his competency to stand trial.

The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s application of Sell v. United States when it granted the government’s motion.

Exhaust Administrative Remedies, Reminds 8th Circuit

The Eighth Circuit used a farm case to remind us to exhaust the administrative remedy ladder before suing the government.

Thirty-eight farm producers of corn and soybeans in Iowa filed suit against the USDA and five other government entities, claiming the government improperly calculated revenue assistance payments owed to them under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (“SURE Program”).

The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that the corn and soybean producers failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before filing suit.

Overmedicated Prisoners: Tough to Prove Says 8th Circuit

Prisoners’ medical rights is always a hot-button issue. Arkansas inmate Billy Culbertson appealed the district court’s dismissal of his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 damage action alleging that he was overmedicated while incarcerated as a pretrial detainee.

The Eighth Circuit sided with the lower court that dismissed the complaint, which sheds light on the evidentiary requirements needed for inmates to prove deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in prison.