U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

January 2013 News

Would You Be Mad if Cops Wrecked Your Car and Told You to Chill?

Cindy Abbott sued Sangamon County and local law enforcement officers for a slew of civil rights violations after she was tased. The County and the cops claimed qualified immunity -- as both are wont to do -- and the district court dismissed the claims.

This week, the Seventh Circuit reinstated Cindy's excessive force claims, reasoning that a jury should decide whether a cop was justified in tasering Cindy repeatedly after hitting her car.

Of course, the case involves so much more than just a fender bender. Let's jump right into what made this plaintiff hopping mad.

Can an Illinois 'Citation' Be a Lien on a Bank Account?

Does Illinois law treat a citation served on a judgment debtor as a lien on the value of the debtor's bank account?

Absolutely, according to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Court Overrules Indiana's Ban on Sex Offender Social Media

Indiana sex offenders can resume tweeting, thanks to a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wednesday, the Chicago-based appellate court overturned an Indiana law banning sex offenders from social networks, IndyStar.com reports.

Benchslap: Posner Schools ALJ on How to Be a Judge

"Really the Social Security Administration and the Justice Department should have been able to do better than they did in this case."

Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner, never one to shy away from a benchslap, ended a disability appeal opinion this week with an admonishment that an administrative law judge (ALJ) must discuss the meaning of "past relevant work" before deciding that a disability benefits applicant was capable of doing "past relevant work."

Don't Let the Door Hit You...

If you've ever stayed in an ADA-accessible hotel room, you understand that such rooms are designed to make life easier for guests with disabilities. Sinks are lower. Showers are bigger and outfitted with handrails. The rooms are designed to minimize the risk of injury.

So you can understand why a guest might be surprised -- upset, even -- when a spring-hinged door in her accessible room smacks her. And lands her in the hospital with injuries. Requiring multiple surgeries.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled this week that death-door spring-hinged door closers comply with ADA regulations.

Voluntary Payment Provision: Don't Rush to Do the Right Thing

As children, we're encouraged to do the right thing. Make a mistake? Admit it. Tell a lie? Confess. Hurt someone? Apologize.

As adults, all that do-good nonsense becomes a thing of the past. We can't be forced to incriminate ourselves. We should never admit fault at the scene of an accident.

While the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals admires a business that strives to do right by its customers, it acknowledges that the law is governed by the adult-world CYA rules. Those people who approach the world with a childlike perspective? They're just suckers who voided their insurance coverage.

James Nduribe, who was wanted for heroin offenses, led authorities on a 5-year chase across three continents. Eventually, the law caught up to Nduribe in Amsterdam, and he was extradited to the U.S. to face charges.

The trial court sentenced Nduribe to an additional twenty-two months of imprisonment for obstruction of justice. On appeal, Nduribe argued that his conduct didn’t constitute obstruction, merely flight. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t buy it.