U.S. Sixth Circuit: February 2012 Archives
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February 2012 Archives

Sixth Circuit: 1 Day Child Pornography Sentence Unreasonable

What’s an appropriate sentence for a defendant who pleads guilty to possessing over 7,100 images of child pornography?

While the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to answer that precise question this week, it ruled that a one-day sentence and a $100 fine landed on the lax side of the child pornography sentence spectrum.

Sony is 'King of the Road' in Roger Miller Music Rights Lawsuit

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that Sony owns the rights to "King of the Road" singer Roger Miller's 1964 song catalog, reversing a lower court ruling that Miller's widow owned the renewal rights to songs.

Courts had previously ruled that Sony owned the rights to Miller's songs from 1958 to 1963; this latest Roger Miller music ruling strikes a district court judgment awarding Mary Miller $900,000 in damages.

SCOTUS Reverses Sixth Circuit in Howes v. Fields

The Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a Miranda-based case this week, ruling that the government doesn’t have to read Miranda rights to prisoners during jailhouse interrogations about crimes unrelated to their current incarceration.

The decision tossed the Sixth Circuit’s categorical rule that a prisoner questioned in private about events occurring outside the prison is the subject of a custodial interrogation under Miranda v. Arizona.

AG Has Discretion in Green Card Marriage Joint Petition Waivers

True story: In college, one of our friends received a Dear John letter from his live-in girlfriend, explaining that she had married another man a year earlier to help him get his Green Card and had subsequently fallen in love with her husband. Our friend, unwittingly, was the mister-ess in a sham marriage.

Lest you think Green Card marriages are the stuff of fiction, they are very real. But that doesn’t mean they work in circumventing immigration laws. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion today, noting that a Green Card marriage doesn’t guarantee continued resident status or protection from a removal proceeding.

Sweet Corn Festival Policy Violated Christians' Free Speech Rights

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a civil rights lawsuit against Fairborn, Ohio this week, finding that plaintiffs could proceed with their claim against the city for infringing on their free speech rights at the annual Sweet Corn Festival.

Plaintiffs Bays and Skelly are Christians who seek to publicly convey their religious beliefs by speaking, preaching, distributing literature, and displaying signs. They went to the Sweet Corn Festival in 2009 to express their religious views. Bays walked through the festival speaking and carrying a sandwich board sign that read "Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. John 14:6" on the front and "Are you born again of the Holy Spirit?" on the back.

City Has Qualified Immunity in Foreclosure Warrantless Entry Suit

Pets are the forgotten victims of the housing market collapse. While we hear the stories of struggling families living on the streets or in their cars, it is easy to overlook the heartache those families face when deciding how, or if, they can care for their four-legged friends when they no longer have a home.

Today, we have a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case that involves such a problem, and demonstrates how a city's missteps in a foreclosure can lead to warrantless entry claims and qualified immunity defenses.

Picture this: A borrower realizes that she is going to lose her home. She leaves the house, and all her worldly possessions behind. Hardest of all, she leaves her cats.

No Immigration Removal Relief for Defendant Caught Lying to FBI

Lying to the FBI is a bad idea. For an alien, lying to the FBI is even more dangerous, as it could be considered aggravated felony for immigration removal. Ramani Pilla learned that lesson the hard way.

This week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ramani Pilla's writ of coram nobis as she attempted to overturn her conviction and subsequent removal for lying to the FBI, finding that Pilla could not prove the merits of her ineffective counsel claim.

Court Throws the Book at Arthur Anderson for Ongoing Violation

Full disclosure: Arthur Anderson in today's Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case is not the former accounting giant. Instead, this Arthur Anderson is a Michigan drug runner who appealed the dismissal of a motion to suppress a car search that yielded heroin.

Police stopped Arthur Anderson approximately four hours after they discovered that he was violating state license-plate regulations. Because they suspected he was involved in a drug operation, they used the interim time for surveillance. The Sixth Circuit validated the search because Anderson was engaged in an ongoing violation