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Partial Affirmance and Partial Reversal of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act Conviction, and Civil Procedure and Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on July 26, 2010 10:50 AM

In US v. Garcia, No. 09-2281, the court of appeals affirmed conviction for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, holding that 1) the arresting officer did not transform a routine stop into an investigative detention; and 2) because the initial stop was not unconstitutionally prolonged, and defendant consented to the post-stop encounter, the court need not consider whether the officer also had reasonable suspicion to prolong the stop.

In Hirman v. US, No. 09-3065, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's sentence for manufacturing marijuana plants, on the grounds that 1) defendant was previously convicted of crimes that were punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, thereby exposing him to an enhanced sentence; and 2) the determination of whether defendant has two prior felony convictions for purposes of U.S.S.G. section 4B1.1 was a question of federal law, and thus did not affect defendant's prior state conviction.

Medicine Shoppe Int'l., Inc. v. Turner Invs., Inc., No. 09-2179, involved an appeal from an arbitral award in an action alleging a violation of a franchise agreement.  The Eighth Circuit affirmed the confirmation of the award on the ground that defendants did not allege any corruption, fraud, impartiality or an abuse of power--the grounds recognized by the Federal Arbitration Act for vacating an award.

Sensient Techs. Corp. v. SensoryEffects Flavor Co., No. 09-2686, concerned a trademark infringement action.  The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendant on the grounds that 1) plaintiff failed to show evidence of any sale or transport of any goods bearing the allegedly infringed mark; 2) no reasonable jury could find a likelihood of confusion between the two competing marks; and 3) plaintiff's Missouri law claim failed because the marks were not sufficiently similar under the "sight, sound, and meaning" test.

In US v. McCarty, No. 09-2977, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, on the grounds that 1) an arresting officer's suspicion was reasonably warranted and he was justified in expanding the traffic stop to ask defendant about the presence of drugs in the car; and 2) it was permissible for the officer to ask defendant basic investigatory questions at the time of the traffic stop and to expand the scope of these questions in light of his reasonable suspicions; and 3) defendant's plea agreement included a waiver of his right to appeal any non-jurisdictional issues.

In US v. Simons, No. 09-2142, the court of appeals affirmed in part defendant's sentence for failing to register as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), on the grounds that ) the court questioned whether defendant's self-reported manic-depressive disorder, coupled with an application to revoke his suspended sentence in Oklahoma due, at least in part, to dishonesty about his alcohol use, was sufficient to justify a 20-year ban on using or possessing alcohol, but even assuming the district court erred in imposing this special condition, it did not rise to the level of plain error; and 2) given the defendant's history of sexually abusing minors, and the fact that he could get permission from his probation officer to come within 500 feet of places used primarily by children, the prohibition on coming within 500 feet of a playground was proper.  However, the court of appeals reversed in part on the ground that the district court's prohibition on possessing any material that depicted nudity was overbroad.

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