U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

November 2012 Archives

Third Circuit: Cop Didn't Force Mom to Accompany Teen to Hospital

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a parent who sued a police officer for "forcing" her to accompany her daughter to the hospital did not establish a constitutional right violation.

In 2009, police showed up at Warren and Cheryl James' home after their 15-year-old daughter's friend alerted authorities that the daughter planned to commit suicide by ingesting ibuprofen. When questioned by her parents, the daughter admitted that she had planned to commit suicide, but said that she had changed her mind and had not ingested any pills. Nevertheless, Officer Michael Marshall stated that she had to go to the hospital for an evaluation.

Delayed Evidence Creates Credibility Problem

Gen Lin is a native and citizen of China. He entered the United States illegally in 2004. In 2008, he was served with a Notice to Appear before an Immigration Judge (IJ), and conceded removability.

To avoid removal, Lin petitioned for asylum, for withholding of removal, and for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

Unfortunately, he had a credibility problem.

Third Circuit: Little League Pins Lawsuit Time-Barred

Little League pins are a big deal in Pennsylvania.

Trading pins is the biggest activity at the Little League World Series outside of actual baseball, according to The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News. It can even form the basis of a federal lawsuit.

Randy and Janete Shrey sued Williamsport, Pa., Police Capt. Raymond O. Kontz III in 2010, accusing him of seizing more than 600 pins they'd designed for trading at the 2008 Little League World Series. This week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the claim as time-barred under Pennsylvania's statute of limitations.

Affirmed: Defendant Too Creepy for Downward Variance

David Sheridan entered into a plea agreement in which he agreed to plead guilty to distributing child pornography. At his sentencing hearing, Sheridan did not object to the court’s calculation of a Sentencing Guidelines range of 360 to 480 months; instead, he just requested a sentence not exceeding the 180-month mandatory minimum.

The proposed downward variance was primarily based on Sheridan’s age — 53 at the time of sentencing — and the criticism that several courts have leveled at the child pornography Guideline ranges.

The district court denied Sheridan’s request, and sentenced Sheridan to 360 months. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision in an unpublished opinion. Here’s why.

Government Can Raise 'Untimeliness' for First Time in Appeal

The government is entitled to a little latitude when asserting the untimeliness of an appeal, according to a recent Third Circuit decision.

Abdul Kariem Muhammud pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon pursuant to a written plea agreement in which he waived his right to appeal or collaterally attack the judgment of conviction.

More than two years after he was sentenced, Muhammud filed a notice of appeal asserting ineffective counsel.

Third Circuit to Press: Stay Out of Polling Places

It looks like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is out of options in its November 6 poll coverage lawsuit.

Thursday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Post-Gazette's challenge to a state law that prevents reporters, and others not involved in voting, from entering polling places.

Raphael Musto Appeals Trial Order

Attorneys for indicted Pennsylvania State Senator Raphael J. Musto are asking the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to review a recent ruling finding that he is healthy enough to stand trial on corruption charges, The Citizens Voice reports.

Musto, who is 83 and battling liver disease, claims that he is too sick to take the stand in his defense, and that the stress of a trial could kill him, according to The Associated Press. A prosecution expert disagrees with that assessment, while conceding that Musto is not healthy enough to help prepare his defense.