U.S. Sixth Circuit: September 2010 Archives
U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

September 2010 Archives

Int'l Dairy Foods Ass'n v. Boggs, 09-3515, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the state of Ohio on all but one of plaintiffs' claims, in a suit brought by two separate dairy-processor trade organizations, challenging a regulation adopted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), designed to regulate labeling of dairy products that reflect the nonuse of artificial hormones.

 

Warrior Sports, Inc. v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 09-1395, involved a suit brought by a manufacturer and distributor of lacrosse sticks against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), claiming that, by changing the rule that governs the size of lacrosse stick heads approved for use in NCAA-sanctioned play, the NCAA violated the Sherman Act and tortiously interfered with plaintiff's business.

 

Beaven v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 08-5297, involved a Federal Tort Claims Act and Privacy Act case brought by staff members at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) claiming that defendants allowed an employee roster containing plaintiffs' sensitive personal information to be disclosed to improper persons, including prison inmates and other BOP staff.

 

Miller v. City of Cincinnati, 08-4679

Miller v. City of Cincinnati, 08-4679, involved a plaintiffs' section 1983 suit against the city of Cincinnati, claiming that the city's regulation governing access to the interior spaces of city hall violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.  In affirming the district court's grant of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, the court held that the district court properly enjoined enforcement of Administrative Regulation #5 on the basis of the plaintiffs' free speech and void-for-vagueness claims because plaintiffs have established a substantial likelihood of success on these claims, and there appears to be no issue as to the existence of the remaining preliminary injunction factors.

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US v. Franklin, 08-2195, concerned a challenge to the district court's sentence, in a prosecution of defendant, a former police officer and armored truck employee, for robbing ATM machines and an armored truck at gunpoint.  In affirming the sentence, the court held that defendant's arguments that the district court had authority to consider his mandatory minimum sentence when determining his sentence for the underlying offenses, and that Kimbrough overruled Franklin II, are without merit.  Thus, district court's sentence is reasonable as defendant's sentence of 97 months' imprisonment is within the guidelines range and thus presumptively reasonable, and defendant has not provided any basis to overcome the presumption.  Lastly, defendant's claim that the district court should have considered post-sentencing rehabilitation in his Booker resentencing is without merit.

 

Louisiana Sch. Employees' Ret. Sys. v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 08-6194

Louisiana Sch. Employees' Ret. Sys. v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 08-6194, concerned a challenge to the district court's dismissal on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 9(b) and 12(b)(6) and the pleading requirements of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), in a securities fraud class action lawsuit against a public accounting firm Ernst & Young in connection with purchase of publicly traded securities of a pharmaceutical distribution company.

 

US v. Graham, 08-5993

US v. Graham, 08-5993, concerned a challenge to a defendant's convictions for crack-cocaine related offenses and a life sentence, claiming inter alia, that the district court's imposition of a life sentence violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

 

US v. Carradine, 08-3220, concerned a challenge to a defendant's conviction and sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm with intent to distribute.  In affirming, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying his motion for self-representation.  The court also held that defendant cannot demonstrate that the district court committed plain error by proceeding with sentencing rather than providing him more time to review a report, and that the district court did not commit plain error by ordering that defendant pay the costs of impaneling the jury.  However, because the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 contains no express statement that it is retroactive, nor can any such express intent from its plain language be inferred, the district court's imposition of the 60-month mandatory minimum sentence is affirmed.

 

Equitable Res., Inc. v. United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Mfg., etc., 08-6444, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a union, in a company's suit under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) to vacate or modify the arbitration award against it.  In affirming, the court held that the arbitrator did not exceed his authority by interpreting the CBA in a way that allowed the company to be found liable for a breach.  Also, the arbitrator did not exceed the scope of his authority to decide a representational issue in this case because the arbitrator's successor decision was permissible in furtherance of his interpretation of the CBA.  Lastly, the award's remedy does not violate public policy; and 4) the arbitrator did not dispense his own brand of industrial justice.

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US v. Damra, 08-4540, concerned a challenge to a defendant's conviction and sentence for evading corporate income tax in violation of 26 U.S.C. section 2701 and for conspiring to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371.   

 

US v. Howard, 08-6143, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for drug related crimes.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion for funds to obtain a drug-dog expert; 2) because the search of the vehicle was supported by probable cause, independent of defendant's unlawful arrest, the cash contained inside of the vehicle was properly seized; 3) facts are more than sufficient to establish probable cause that criminal activity was taking place at a second mobile home; 4) district court properly declined to suppress the evidence inside the second mobile home; 5) district court did not abuse its discretion when it sustained the government's objection to the question put to a witness; 6) the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the government to recall an agent to testify about his 2003 encounter with defendant; 7) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion for a mistrial; and 8) the evidence presented at trial was more than sufficient to sustain defendant's convictions for conspiring to possess and distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine, and for attempting to possess and distribute the drug.

 

US v. Montgomery, 09-3289, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence, in a prosecution of defendant for knowingly growing 100 or more marijuana plants.  In affirming, the court held that although, medication is one among many factors to consider in the inquiry, the sum of relevant circumstances supported the district court's credibility-based decision that defendant voluntarily consented to a search of his home.

 

US v. Spencer, 09-1114, concerned a challenge to the district court's modification of defendant's 262-month sentence to 210 months on crack cocaine counts.  In affirming the sentence, the court held that courts cannot modify a sentence below the amended guideline range under 18 U.S.C. section 3582(c)(2) unless the sentencing court originally sentenced the defendant below the guideline range.

 

Hamdi v. Napolitano, 09-3285

Hamdi v. Napolitano, 09-3285, concerned a challenge to the district court's dismissal of a complaint for lack of jurisdiction, in a severely disabled minor child's action under the Declaratory Judgment Act (DJA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from removing his mother on the ground that the mother's removal violated his own constitutional rights as an American citizen.  In affirming the dismissal, the court held that the jurisdictional bar of 8 U.S.C. section 1252(g) does not apply to independent actions brought by a citizen child raising distinct constitutional rights.  Also, the APA does not provide subject matter jurisdiction in this case.  The court held that a citizen child raising distinct constitutional rights may assert federal question subject matter jurisdiction.  Lastly, dismissal was proper because petitioner failed to state a constitutional claim upon which relief may be granted.

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Wilson v. Rees, 09-6306, concerned a challenge to the district court's dismissal, as untimely, of an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit challenging Kentucky's lethal injection protocol under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.  In affirming, the court held that Bowling v. Ky. Dept. of Corrections, 301 S.W.3d 478, (Ky. 2009), and its aftermath do not disrupt the district court's holding that defendant's complaint is barred by the statute of limitations.

 

Branham v. Gannett Satellite Info. Network, Inc., 09-6149

Branham v. Gannett Satellite Info. Network, Inc., 09-6149, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer, in plaintiff's suit under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) against her former employer for being terminated from her job as a receptionist.  In reversing, the court remanded the matter in concluding that the district court erred when it granted summary judgment to defendant based on the submission of negative medical certification indicating that plaintiff could return to work.  The court also held that plaintiff has produced sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact about her entitlement to FMLA leave, and defendant was not permitted to deny her leave based on the certification requirement when it never properly requested certification or informed her of the consequences of failing to provide the same, as required by Department of Labor regulations.

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Warf v. Bd of Elections of Green County, 09-5265, involved plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action claiming unconstitutional disenfranchisement against a county elections board and individuals, alleging that their voting rights under the Fourteenth Amendment were violated by a Kentucky state trial court judgment that declared void all 542 votes cast by absentee ballot in the 2006 General Election for the office of Green County Clerk.