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Civil Rights and Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on March 11, 2010 11:45 AM

US v. Awad, No. 07-4483, involved defendants' appeal from an order of criminal forfeiture against defendants pursuant to 21 U.S.C. section 853.  The court of appeals affirmed the order, on the ground that section 853 permitted imposition of a money judgment on a defendant who possesses no assets at the time of sentencing.

Huth v. Haslun, No. 08-2203, concerned an action claiming that defendants, who were employees of the New York State Thruway Authority, violated plaintiff's rights under the First Amendment by initiating disciplinary proceedings against her resulting in her demotion.  The court of appeals reversed the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity, holding that 1) the conduct that resulted in plaintiff's demotion did not qualify as speech protected from retaliation by the First Amendment; and 2) plaintiff could not assert a claim on behalf of her coworker because that coworker suffered no infringement of her own constitutional rights.

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