U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

June 2013 Archives

Disgraced Mayor Kilpatrick Asks For More Ice in Prison

Ex-mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick complained to the Sixth Circuit on Monday that the lack of ice was impairing his physical therapy for his knee.

These “spartan conditions” were the genesis of an appeal to the court to be released on bond while he awaits sentencing in his federal corruption case, reports The Detroit News.

Kilpatrick is awaiting sentencing on racketeering and corruption charges, but he may have an argument about medical care.

Federal Judge Denies Death Row Request for MRI

Death row inmate David Eugene Matthews was denied his request on Friday to have court funds pay for an MRI in preparation for a clemency petition, leaving him that much closer to execution.

Federal Judge John G. Heyburn II of the Sixth District's Western District of Kentucky determined that Matthew's petition for MRI money was "not a proper use of federal funds" for the 64-year-old, reports The Associated Press.

What does this new ruling mean for the second-longest serving death row inmate?

Happy 50th Brady: Not Disclosing Evidence Leads to New Trial

Exculpatory evidence held by prosecutors must, must, must be disclosed to defendants under Brady v. Maryland, a now 50-year-old case, under threat of having the whole trial thrown out.

That’s exactly what happened in the Sixth Circuit’s decision on Thursday, which dealt with a Tennessee prosecutor who did not release to a drug convict, Abel Martinez Tavera, evidence of the prosecutor’s conversations with a co-defendant during plea negotiations.

This exculpatory evidence caused the Sixth Circuit to remand the case for retrial, and smart prosecutors should take heed of their opinion.

Merrill Lynch IRA Account Still Exempt From Bankruptcy

Your employee IRA accounts are still safe under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, according to a decision by the Sixth Circuit on Monday.

The Daley v. Mostoller Court reaffirmed common knowledge in bankruptcy practice, that individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are “off limits from tax collectors and creditors in bankruptcy,” unless they’ve been used in a prohibited way.

What does the Sixth Circuit consider a prohibited use of an IRA?

6th Circuit Allows Taser Suit Against Cleveland Cop

Retired patrolman Jim Simone didn't get any help from the Sixth Circuit, as the court ruled Wednesday to affirm the lower court's denial of summary judgment in a civil rights suit against the Cleveland cop.

The case involves Simone using a stun gun on a suspect, Rafael Correa, who he suspected of having a gun, despite the Correa's compliance with the officer during the arrest, reports The Plain Dealer. The Sixth Circuit also took some time to elucidate some fun facts about Tasers and police procedure before booting Simone back down to the district court.

6th Circuit to Black Lung Claimants: Make it Quick

The Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) of 1973 provides monthly assistance and medical benefits to black lung sufferers ... if they've applied in time that is.

In a decision Monday in Peabody Coal Company v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, et al. ("Brigance"), the Sixth Circuit stated that the statute of limitations for filing a claim under the BLBA properly began to run after a medical report informed a suffering former miner that he had pneumoconiosis (black lung).

Independent Dog Sniff Evidence Not Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

Dog sniffs often lead to the most damning evidence in a drug case, and getting that evidence suppressed can be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal or plea bargain for many defense attorneys.

Although the metaphor may grow on you (ka-wink!), the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine is still alive and well, but the Sixth Circuit refuses to extend its toxic branch to certain dog sniff cases.

Illegal Immigrants with TPS Can Get Green Cards: 6th Circuit

In a decision Tuesday issued by the 6th Circuit, the Court determined that illegal immigrants with Temporary Permanent Status (TPS) can apply for permanent resident status under federal law.

The Flores, et al. v. USCIS, et al. decision takes a defiant stab at the “archaic and convoluted state of our current immigration system” by offering a plain reading of federal immigration statutes that seems perfectly reasonable despite USCIS policy.

$5M Award Upheld for Coach in Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

Counterfeit sellers are not the only ones on the hook for trademark infringement. The facilitators like flea markets operators are also liable, according to the Sixth Circuit.

The Sixth Circuit upheld a jury award to Coach of over $5 million for trademark infringement. A Memphis flea market operator was held contributorialy liable for its vendors who sold counterfeit Coach products violating trademarks. The jury awarded Coach $240,000 per mark for a total of 21 infringed marks.