U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

June 2013 Archives

11th Cir: Fraudulent Marriage Barred by Statute of Limitations

Last week, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a marriage fraud prosecution was actually barred by the 5-year statute of limitation, and reversed the district court’s judgment that it was not.

In 2009, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) received an “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status” and an “Application for Employment Authorization” from an Argentinian citizen, Marino, who had no legal status in the United States and had an expired nonimmigrant visa. She claimed, in the application, that she was married to a U.S. citizen, Rojas, since 2007. A copy of the marriage license was submitted, as well.

11th Cir: 100 Marijuana Plants, But Search Still Illegal

Despite the defendant being convicted of growing more than 100 marijuana plants at a warehouse in Deerfield, the Court held that the search that led up to it was not valid, and that this evidence should therefore be suppressed.

Valerio first became under suspicion during an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in July 2011, after he was seen making a purchase at Green Touch Hydroponics -- which was likely to be used in growing marijuana. Valerio was spotted back at Green Touch a couple weeks later, and agents followed him out and behind his car, as well.

11th Cir: No Racial Discrimination, Just Legitimate Termination

The Plaintiff in a wrongful termination did not establish a prima facie face for discriminatory termination, the Eleventh Circuit ruled this week, and found no errors in the district court's decision to grant summary judgment to Plaintiff's employer.

When Nicola Hudson was terminated by Middle Flint Behavioral Healthcare, she filed a lawsuit, alleging a number of claims. One of them was that she was racially discriminated in her wrongful termination. Hudson claims that she was fired solely on the basis that she was African-American. Her complaint also alleged a racially hostile work environment, but because she failed to bring this point up again in her brief, these claims are considered abandoned.

33 Months Reasonable For Bank Fraud, Says 11th Cir.

Defendant-appellant Nadia Sol attempted to appeal for a reduced sentence, arguing that it was substantively unreasonable, which the Eleventh Circuit then shot down, affirming the original sentence.

From March 2009 to April 2010, Sol participated in a conspiracy set-up involving the creation of fraudulent bank accounts. Stolen checks were obtained, then deposited into those fake bank accounts, and then the funds were withdrawn before anyone could find out. At one point, Sol even made her minor daughter participate in the depositing.

11th Cir Finds Sufficient Evidence of Minimum Wage Law Violation

The Eleventh Circuit disagreed when the district court entered a judgment ruling that the Menendez family did not willfully violate minimum wage laws, and found that there was sufficient evidence to support a finding.

Plaintiff Maria Davila was hired as a nanny for the Menendez family from 2004 until 2010 and alleged that the defendants violated federal and state minimum wage laws. The district court had granted a judgment as a matter of law against Davila and in favor of the Menendezes, claiming that Davila did not introduce sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find a willful violation of minimum wage laws.

Blocking All Suspicionless Drug Tests is Too Broad, Says 11th Cir

When the district court issued a sweeping injunction that promptly stopped an order to require 85,000 people to report to suspicionless drug testing, it was too broad, the Eleventh Circuit said last month.

In 2011, the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, issued an executive order (EO) that required nearly 85,000 state employees submit to suspicionless drug testing. In turn, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 79 ("Union") sued Rick Scott in his official capacity in court to invalidate this EO -- both facially, and as an as-applied challenge (contending that it was unconstitutional). The district court then granted summary judgment in favor of the Union.

Best Buy ID Check Doesn't Violate Privacy, 11th Cir. Says

Best Buy's practice of scanning the magnetic card strip of the drivers' licenses of customers who made returns was not a violation of any privacy law, the Eleventh Circuit ruled last month. The court agreed with and affirmed the district court's ruling that plaintiff Steven Siegler did not have any valid claim for relief under the Drivers' Protection Privacy Act ("DPPA").

Siegler, who was hoping to launch a class action suit against Best Buy, was a customer who was attempting to return a computer mouse that he had purchased the day before. Per the store's policy for returns, the cashier requested Siegler's drivers' license, which was voluntarily handed over and swiped by the cashier. Siegler then demanded that the information derived from that scan be deleted, but the store said they were unable to do so.

11th Cir: Coke Compliant With the ADA

Last month, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court's ruling that The Coca-Cola Company (Coke) was in compliance with a provision of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and employee-employment policy when they placed the plaintiff employee Franklin Owusu-Ansah on a paid leave of absence and required that he undergo a psychiatric/psychological fitness-for-duty evaluation.

Franklin Owusu-Ansah was first employed by Coke in 1999 and consented to a request and recommendation that he take paid time off to undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation. He then alleged that Coke was in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(4)(A), a provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which reads: