It seems the federal judiciary has a case of summeritis, as we're not seeing that many ground- breaking cases being decided lately. We'll blame it on the snowy winter.
That said, there are new developments in the traffic stop video taping case, and the First Circuit breathed new life into quid pro quo sexual harassment. And while those cases were decided, we're still waiting to see how the court will rule on an extradition case.
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Traffic Stop Case Settles
Last week, we posted about the First Circuit's decision involving the video taping of a traffic stop, where the First Circuit held that the First Amendment applied to traffic stops, and declined to extend qualified immunity to the named officers in the case. Apparently, the officers didn't want to try their hand in court, and the town of Weare has agreed to settle the lawsuit for $57,000, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader. According to the settlement agreement, the town had made no admission regarding "liability, wrongdoing, or culpability."
Quid Pro Quo Expanded
Quid pro quo sexual harassment has been limited to the actions of a supervisor, but in a recent case, the First Circuit found that an employer could be liable for the actions of a human resources manager. In the case, the employee gently rebuffed the advances of his married human resources manager, and she allegedly stated "I will manage to undercut you at work and get you fired," reports Bloomberg BNA. Employers in the First Circuit should take note, and if they believe an employment decision was based in bias they should "break the causal chain and make [their] own decision based on [their] independent investigation," writes Bloomberg.
Scotland Seeks Extradition
Alexander Hilton, a Massachusetts man, is fighting extradition to Scotland where he is accused of attempted murder. The charges state that he attempted to murder another student by poisoning his wine, reports the Boston Herald. Hilton's attorney argued before the First Circuit that Hilton is mentally ill and is a suicide risk. The attorney argued that there was no way to ensure that Hilton would receive all of his medications if taken into custody. The First Circuit has not yet ruled on the matter.
- Creepy Shoulder Touching By Boss Not Sexual Harassment: 1st Cir. (FindLaw's U.S. First Circuit Blog)
- Case Dismissed: Alleged Murder-for-Hire Widow Can't Get Usufruct (FindLaw's U.S. First Circuit Blog)
- 1st Cir. Skirts 1st Amend. Issue, Affirms Terror Conviction (FindLaw's U.S. First Circuit Blog)