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Plaintiff filed a pro se action against MDT under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The district court concluded that MDT could not be sued in Florida and offered to allow plaintiff to amend his complaint to substitute the County in MDT's place, but plaintiff declined. The Eleventh Circuit held that MDT was the wrong party and the court could not now sub in the County on appeal. The court held that any further amendment of the complaint would be futile because plaintiff did not otherwise state a claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal. View "Silberman v. Miami Dade Transit" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Plaintiff filed suit alleging that officers violated his Fourth Amendment rights by employing excessive force in effecting his arrest and his Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. The Eleventh Circuit held that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity on the excessive force and deliberate indifference claims and vacated the district court's conclusion to the contrary. The court held that the officers' conduct in taking plaintiff to the ground and fist-striking him were objectively reasonable uses of force to get plaintiff to produce his hands for cuffing. In this case, plaintiff had just stabbed the victim in the throat and the officers had no way of being sure he was not still armed at the time, and plaintiff repeatedly failed to comply with instructions. The court also held that the officers were not deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical needs where the evidence demonstrated that he did not have a serious medical need. Rather, plaintiff's injuries were merely superficial and non-life threatening. View "Hinson v. Bias" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to one count of sexually exploiting a minor through the production of child pornography. The court held that defendant's sentence was not procedurally unreasonable and the district court did not abuse its discretion by applying a five-level sentencing enhancement under USSG 4B1.5(b)(1), because he engaged in a pattern of activity involving prohibited sexual conduct. The court also held that defendant's 240 month sentence was not substantively unreasonable where the district court considered the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors, ultimately determining that the nature of defendant's offense outweighed any age-related concerns. View "United States v. Fox" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of a petition for habeas relief and partial grant of summary judgment for the Government regarding petitioner's claim that USCIS should have exercised jurisdiction over his application for asylum. The court held that the improper inclusion of irrelevant documents in the administrative record and its subsequent supplementation with relevant documents did not prejudice petitioner and any errors on the part of the Government in this respect were harmless; USCIS's decision not to exercise jurisdiction over petitioner's asylum claim was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law; and petitioner's habeas petition was moot because he did not otherwise argue that any meaningful relief could be granted to him via a habeas petition. View "Salmeron-Salmeron v. Spivey" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), alleging that RoundPoint's motion to reschedule a foreclosure sale (as opposed to canceling it altogether) violated 12 C.F.R. 1024.41(g) of Regulation X. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's case and held that a motion to reschedule a previously ordered foreclosure sale is not a motion for order of sale. In this case, RoundPoint moved only to reschedule the foreclosure sale and thus RoundPoint did not violate Regulation X. Therefore, the court held that plaintiff failed to state a claim under section 1024.41(g) and that her claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also failed. View "Landau v. Roundpoint Mortgage Servicing Corp." on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the tax court's judgment in favor of the IRS in an action challenging the IRS's notice of deficiency. The court held that taxpayers waived their argument that the fraud exception was triggered only when the taxpayer intends to evade tax, not when the return preparer intends to evade tax. The court declined to exercise its discretion by not enforcing the waiver doctrine. Finally, the court held that the tax court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the return preparer's out-of-court statements. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the tax court. View "Finnegan v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction stemming from his involvement in a scheme to use a government-sponsored program to lure young women students from Kazakhstan to Florida by promising them clerical work in an office. The court rejected defendant's evidentiary challenges; held that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant of wire fraud and sex trafficking; the district court did not err in refusing to give defendant's requested jury instruction regarding the summer work travel program; and the district court did not err in giving the instruction for use of a facility for unlawful activity, for importation of an alien for immoral purpose, for the immunized witness, and for the missing witness instruction. The court also held that there was no prosecutorial misconduct; there were no errors providing a basis for reversal or new trial; and the district court did not err by applying the vulnerable victim enhancement. View "United States v. Cooper" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After plaintiff was injured on the job as a truck driver while picking up a shipment of corn at Spring Creek's facility in Georgia, he and his wife filed suit against Spring Creek. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Spring Creek, holding that the district court misapprehended controlling Georgia tort law which the court was Erie-bound to follow. In this case, the equal-or-superior-knowledge rule applied only to premises liability claims; the extent of plaintiff's prior knowledge of the hazard posed by the operation of the forklift, whatever that may have been, did not bar recovery from Spring Creek on the theory that it is liable for its employees' acts of negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior; and, if that rule did not apply, the assumption-of-risk defense could not defeat plaintiff's negligence claim on summary judgment under Georgia law. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Newcomb v. Spring Creek Cooler Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Four Colombian Departments filed an ex parte joint application under 28 U.S.C. 1782 to obtain discovery in aid of a foreign proceeding. Diageo intervened and appealed the district court's grant of the section 1782 application as to two of the departments. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of the ex parte joint application and held that the district court correctly decided the so-called "receptivity" factor by looking to evidence introduced by both sides and by granting the application of two of the departments. View "Department of Caldas v. Diageo PLC" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit granted Gerber's petition for panel rehearing and vacated its prior opinion, substituting the following opinion. In this insurance dispute case, the court held that Gerber, as assignee, lacked Article III standing to bring a declaratory judgment class action against GEICO in the absence of a claim for money damages or substantial likelihood that the insured would suffer a future injury. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's judgment because it had no jurisdiction to entertain this suit. The court instructed the district court to remand the case to the circuit court. View "A&M Gerber Chiropractic LLC v. GEICO General Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law