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Fla. Stat. 95.231, which operates to cure certain defective deeds after the passage of five years, applies to a parcel on which the United States has asserted a federal estate-tax lien. The Eleventh Circuit held that section 95.231(1) cured the deed by operation of law in December 2003, and the property was at that point validly transferred to the trust. Furthermore, the court held that United States v. Summerlin, 310 U.S. 414, 416 (1940), was inapplicable here because, by the time the United States asserted its tax lien, the property no longer remained in the estate. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the United States' foreclosure claim and remanded for further proceedings. View "Saccullo v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence found in the search of his vehicle. The court held that the rapidly blinking turn signal provided reasonable suspicion to stop the car where state law required turn signals to be in good working condition. However, under Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1609 (2015), the patrolman did unlawfully prolong the stop. The court held that the patrolman's actions were nonetheless permitted under binding case law at the time and thus the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied in this case. View "United States v. Campbell" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of petitioner's authorized successive 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence. The court held that, given the holding in Ovalles v. United States, 905 F.3d 1231 (11th Cir. 2018) (en banc), that 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(3)(B)'s residual clause is not unconstitutionally vague, a Johnson- or Dimaya-based vagueness challenge to section 924(c)'s residual clause cannot satisfy section 2255(h)(2)'s "new rule of constitutional law" requirement. Likewise, the court held that any challenge petitioner might raise to the district court's use of the categorical approach and its application of section 924(c)(3)(B)'s residual clause in his case would not satisfy section 2255(h) either, as such a claim would be statutory in nature. View "Solomon v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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A limited liability company that made preliminary plans to operate a methadone clinic filed suit against Georgia officials after two Georgia laws temporarily suspended the issuance of new licenses for narcotic-treatment facilities and imposed additional licensing requirements for future facilities. The Eleventh Circuit held that the company's request for declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the temporary moratorium was moot. The court also held that the company failed to establish direct standing and third-party standing to assert the injuries of its prospective clients. Accordingly, the court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. View "Aaron Private Clinic Management LLC v. Berry" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit granted a petition requesting panel rehearing, vacated its earlier opinion, and issued this opinion in its place. The court affirmed the district court's denial of a petition for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. 2254. The court affirmed and held that petitioner failed to show that had his trial counsel used all of the impeachment material during the guilt phase of his trial, every fairminded jurist would conclude that there was a "substantial, not just conceivable," likelihood that the result of his trial would have been different. Therefore, the state trial court's prejudice determination was not unreasonable. The court also held that, even considering any purported cumulative effect from the admission of the food stamps and cocaine citation and trial counsel's failure to present the impeachment evidence, a fairminded jurist could still conclude that it was insufficient to undermine his confidence in petitioner's trial. View "Meders v. Warden, Georgia Diagnostic Prison" on Justia Law

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Debtor Walter Energy petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sought to sell substantially all of its assets as a going concern. The bankruptcy court exercised its authority under the Retiree Benefits Bankruptcy Protection Act of 1988 (RBBPA) and terminated Walter Energy's obligation to pay premiums. The Funds appealed to the district court, which affirmed the bankruptcy court's judgment. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed, and held that the bankruptcy court had the authority to modify the premiums that Walter Energy owed the Funds. The panel held that the RBBPA authorized the bankruptcy court to terminate Walter Energy’s obligation to pay premiums, even though the premiums were imposed by statute and Walter Energy was pursuing liquidation under Chapter 11, not a classic reorganization. View "United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund v. Toffel" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and seven others, filed suit alleging that a Walker County Sheriff's deputy arrested them without a warrant for undisclosed crimes, that they were detained in the county jail, and that they were denied a judicial determination on whether probable cause supported their arrests in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Circuit vacated the district court's judgment, holding that it could not identify from the allegations of the complaint, answer, or motion to dismiss, which of the magistrates purportedly denied plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights. Therefore, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Colburn v. Odom" on Justia Law

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A county school board may require all applicants for substitute teacher positions to submit to and pass a drug test as a condition of employment. The Eleventh Circuit held that the school board may, without any suspicion of wrongdoing, collect and search -- by testing -- the urine of all prospective substitute teachers. Because the school board has a sufficiently compelling interest in screening its prospective teachers to justify this invasion of the privacy rights of job applicants, the court held that the school board did not violate the constitutional mandate barring unreasonable searches and seizures. The court recognized that ensuring the safety of millions of schoolchildren in the mandatory supervision and care of the state, and ensuring and impressing a drug-free environment in our classrooms, were compelling concerns. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction because plaintiff failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits. View "Friedenberg v. School Board of Palm Beach County" on Justia Law

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The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, in conducting child-protective investigations under a grant agreement with the Florida Department of Children and Families, does not act as an arm of the state entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. Plaintiff filed suit against the Sheriff's Office and others, alleging claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and 42 U.S.C. 1983 for infringement of her rights under the Fourteenth Amendment after her disabled child was taken from her custody based on claims of neglect. The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court correctly denied the Sheriff's Office summary judgment on its sovereign immunity defense. Although it unquestionably had jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine to review the question of Eleventh Amendment immunity, the court declined to exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over the parties' remaining issues. View "Freyre v. Chronister" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against CNN for publishing a series of allegedly defamatory news reports about him and the medical center he administered. The district court denied CNN's motion to strike the complaint under the Georgia anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) statute. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part, holding that the motion-to-strike procedure of the Georgia anti-SLAPP statute, O.C.G.A. 9-11-11.1, does not apply in federal court. The court dismissed in part, holding that it lacked pendent appellate jurisdiction to review the denial of the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. View "Carbone v. Cable News Network, Inc." on Justia Law