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Sexual Abuse Convictions Partially Reversed on Double Jeopardy Grounds

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By FindLaw Staff on June 07, 2010 10:46 AM

Also, Decisions in Contract, Criminal and Property Matters

Trim Fit, LLC v. Dickey, No. 08-3711, involved an action for breach of a noncompetition agreement and unfair competition.  The court of appeals affirmed partial judgment for both parties, holding that 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying the amendment of plaintiff's counterclaim; and 2) a party will not be granted relief that is not pled when it would unduly prejudice the opposing party.  However, the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees is remanded where the district judge's ruling that there was no statutory basis for an award of attorney's fees was erroneous.

Usery v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., No. 09-1113, concerned an action to quiet title to a mineral interest.  The Eighth Circuit reversed the denial of plaintiffs' motion to remand the action to state court, holding that defendants' evidence did not establish that the value of the mineral interest exceeded $75,000 and thus that diversity jurisdiction was proper.

In US v. Robertson, No. 09-1612, the court of appeals affirmed in part defendant's convictions for attempted aggravated sexual abuse and attempted abusive sexual contact in Indian country, holding that 1) the government proved that defendant had the intent to commit attempted aggravated sexual abuse; 2) nothing in the instructions permitted the jury to disregard the mens rea standard of specific intent; and 3) defendant did not meet his burden of showing that any improperly admitted hearsay statements prejudiced his substantial rights.  However, the court reversed in part, on the ground that abusive sexual contact (Count II) was a lesser-included offense of aggravated sexual abuse (Count I) and defendant's being convicted on both Counts I and II therefore violated the Fifth Amendment's prohibition against double jeopardy.

In Turnage v. Fabian, No. 09-1668, a murder prosecution, the court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of petitioner's habeas petition, on the grounds that 1) the petitioner was attempting to raise a new claim in federal court that he failed to present in state court; and 2) petitioner failed to demonstrate either cause and prejudice or a fundamental miscarriage of justice that would permit us to review his defaulted federal claim.

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