U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

July 2011 Archives

Released Prisoner's Jail Sentence Appeal Moot

Be careful what you petition for.

David Rhodes was convicted on drug-related charges in 1993, and sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment and ten years' supervised release. In 2010, Rhodes filed a petition challenging the Federal Bureau of Prisons' calculation of his sentence. The district court dismissed the petition as moot. Why? Because Rhodes was no longer in prison.

Rhodes' petition failed on redressability. Federal law allows a court to terminate a term of supervised release after one year, but Rhodes challenged the jail sentence he served in the past, not the supervised release he is currently serving.

Tenth Says Motel Room Occupants Give Valid Consent to Search

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that police officers may search a motel room if an occupant of the room gives permission.

Oklahoma City police received an anonymous tip in January 2008, that a robber named George Livingston was staying at a local motel. When the police arrived at Livingston's motel room, a man named Angel Rivera opened the door and told the police that the room was not his, but that he had been staying there for at least two days. Rivera said that Livingston was in the back bedroom with his girlfriend and consented to let the officers enter the room.

HUD Employee's Conviction Upheld for Falsifying Timesheets

A note to government employees: Don’t falsify your timesheets — you could be facing jail time.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a conviction in exactly such a case. Courthouse News Service reports that the appeals court has upheld a conviction in the case of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where the employee, Herman Ransom, falsified his time sheets in order to play tennis and gamble during work hours. He was supposed to be working as a manager.

10th Circuit Weighs in on Utah Decisions on Polygamous Sect

With the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals weighing in on cases involving a polygamous sect in Utah, the Utah Supreme Court will have to wait it out before ruling on the two cases.

Both of the cases involve the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. One case deals with the legal authority of certain sect members within the greater legal dispute, whereas the other case deals with the disqualification of the Church’s attorney, Rod Parker, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.