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

March 2018 Archives

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the search of a smartphone at the border does not require a warrant, or even probable cause, even if we're talking about a forensic search.

The underlying criminal case involved the conviction of a man for possession of child pornography. Law enforcement discovered illegal videos and images as a result of searching his phone at the U.S. border crossing area at a port in Florida. The border agent initially saw a few videos he believed depicted minors in sex acts, and then had a DHS agent take over from there.

There's the one percent, then there are one percenters. And then there are these three alleged one percenters who sued law enforcement after the improper use of their driver license photos was discovered.

The three motorcycle club members were part of a group of seven, singled out by law enforcement, to have their driver license pictures used for lobbying purposes. On the assumption that their images would frighten state lawmakers away from passing an open carry law, the plaintiffs' pictures (without any other identifying information) were distributed to the lawmakers by the department's government liaison alongside information explaining that these were the type of people who would utilize the open carry law.

In a line of cases that even the most cynical of tort reformer wouldn't blink an eye at, another tobacco company appeal has been swatted down by the appellate courts.

In one of the thousands of Engle progeny cases, R.J. Reynolds and Phillip Morris unsuccessfully lobbed a Hail Mary appeal and, not surprisingly, lost. The tobacco giants challenged the multi-million dollar jury award to an individual plaintiff that suffered the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes.

Georgia Must Pay $2.1 Million to Feds for Grant Fraud

A decade ago, the Georgia Department of Education won a federal grant for $10.7 million to help students at high-poverty, low-performing schools.

It was all good except for one thing: Georgia cheated when it distributed the grant. It held a competition to award the money to local organizations, but rigged the results.

Georgia agreed to pay back the federal government, but then asked a federal court for mercy in Georgia Department of Education v. United States Department of Education. It didn't work.