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A fully nude strip club filed suit challenging the administrative action the city had taken against the club, the laws authorizing that action, and ordinances the city later enacted that regulated the fully nude strip club business. The district court dismissed all sixteen claims. The Eleventh Circuit held that counts III through VI failed to state claims and that one of the remaining claims was not ripe. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of one more of those claims because the club lacked standing to pursue it. However, the court held that the eight remaining appealed claims were ripe for the district court's review. In this case, counts XIII, XIV, and XV assert that the Ordinance was preempted by state and federal law; further factual development cannot assist in resolution of these facial challenges, which raise purely legal issues; and no institutional concerns of the court or the city render the issues unfit for review. Furthermore, the club's as-applied challenges, asserting an unconstitutional burden and tax on speech, an equal protection violation, and a contract clause violation, required no more factual development to be ripe for review. Finally, count XVI, challenging the ordinance under the Fourth Amendment, was also fit for review. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in part. View "Club Madonna, Inc. v. City of Miami Beach" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's order denying defendant's motion to suppress. Police officers investigating a domestic disturbance confiscated a suspect's cell phone and held it for two days before eventually obtaining a warrant to search it. The court held that the seizure was not justified on the ground that the officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that the phone's owner was engaged in criminal wrongdoing and thus this was not a permissible Terry stop. However, the court held that the officers had probable cause to believe not only that the phone's owner had committed a crime and that the phone contained evidence of that crime, but also that the suspect would likely destroy that evidence before they could procure a warrant. View "United States v. Babcock" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Petitioner sought review of a 2016 order entered by the Commission denying his motion to set aside a 1992 default judgment order requiring him to pay reparations plus interest to June and Louie Stidham for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. The Eleventh Circuit granted respondents' motion to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction and dismissed the petition for want of jurisdiction. The court held that, taken together, the statutory text, context, and legislative history are a "clear statement" of congressional intent that the bond requirement in 7 U.S.C. 18(e) is jurisdictional. Therefore, the petition for review must be dismissed because petitioner failed to post the bond. View "Word v. U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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The Eleventh Circuit vacated the district court's order denying the IRS injunctive relief and remanded for further proceedings. The IRS sought a preliminary injunction against a serial employment-tax delinquent to ensure that it gets its due as taxes continue to pile up. Determining that the case was not moot, the court held that neither the adequate-remedy-at-law requirement nor Rule 65(d) should have precluded injunctive relief on the facts here. The court reasoned that the IRS's ability to sit on its hands until defendants fail to pay their taxes again and only then bring an action for money damages did not qualify as an adequate legal remedy. Therefore, the district court erred in applying a categorical rule that because tax liability may be calculated and sought in an action for damages, it necessarily precludes injunctive relief under section 7402(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Furthermore, this case did not raise the sort of fair notice concerns that Rule 65(d) was designed to address. View "United States v. Askins & Miller Orthopaedics, P.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's emergency motion for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or stay of execution. Plaintiff was convicted of murder and sentenced to death 30 years ago. The court denied plaintiff's motion for a stay of execution, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to stay plaintiff's execution on account of his three method of execution claims where he engaged in inexcusable delay in bringing the claims, which is enough to deny him the equitable remedy of a stay. Furthermore, the district court properly held that each of his claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. The court also held that the district court properly concluded that plaintiff's public records and witness claims were barred by res judicata. View "Long v. Secretary, Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a petition for habeas relief. The district court granted petitioner a certificate of appealability (COA) on whether he is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for the death penalty under Atkins v. Virginia, and the court granted petitioner's request to expand the COA to include a Batson challenge. The court held that the Supreme Court's recent holding in Moore v. Texas did not apply retroactively to petitioner's intellectual disability claim, and that the state court's denial of his intellectual disability claim was not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law. In this case, the state court considered petitioner's ability to conceal his crime, ability to take care of his mother, and his scores on certain mathematics and reading tests as adaptive strengths that outweighed his apparent deficits. The court held that this approach was acceptable at the time. The court also held that the state court's denial of petitioner's claims that the prosecutor at his state trial struck jurors on the basis of gender and national origin in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments was not contrary to Batson v. Kentucky and its progeny, an unreasonable application of Batson, or an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented to the state courts. View "Smith v. Commissioner, Alabama Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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PlayNation filed suit against Velez for trademark infringement over the use of the Gorilla Gym mark and the district court entered judgment for PlayNation. The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court did not clearly err in holding that Velez infringed on PlayNation's trademark, and in cancelling Velex's trademark registration on that basis. However, the district court abused its discretion in holding that PlayNation was entitled to an accounting of Velex's profits due to willful infringement based solely on Velex's continued lawful use of its mark after Velex was served with the complaint. Therefore, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded in part. View "PlayNation Play Systems, Inc. v. Velex Corp." on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion to vacate. Petitioner, a Bahamian boat captain, pointed a firearm at passengers on the boat whom he had agreed to smuggle into the United States. When the passengers said they could not swim, he forced them to jump, or pushed them, from his boat into deep water off the coast of Florida where three of them drowned. The court held that petitioner's two federal second degree murder convictions qualify as crimes of violence under both 18 U.S.C. 924(c)'s residual clause because it involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another and elements clause because a federal second degree murder offense is not materially different from Florida’s second-degree murder offense. View "Thompson v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In this fraudulent transfer case, plaintiffs filed suit in the Georgia district court to recover a judgment obtained in a Kentucky district court against a defendant who had colluded with his former wife to fraudulently transfer his assets to her as part of a divorce settlement. A jury returned a favor for plaintiffs. After ruling on justiciability issues, the Eleventh Circuit held that the district court did not err by awarding plaintiffs in an amount of $1,478,489; the district court did not err by instructing the jury on the burden of proof under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act (UFTA), because the correct burden was a preponderance of the evidence, rather than the heightened standard of clear and convincing evidence; and the absence of compensatory damages did not preclude the award of punitive damages. However, because plaintiffs' claim did not include the punitive damages awarded against defendant, the Georgia judgment was reversed to the extent it allowed plaintiffs to recover those damages from the ex-wife. Finally, the court held that plaintiffs were not entitled to any prejudgment interest under Georgia law because its claim was not previously liquidated to the ex-wife. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. View "Alliant Tax Credit 31, Inc. v. Murphy" on Justia Law

Posted in: White Collar Crime

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions for possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1029(a)(3) and aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1028A(a)(1). At issue was whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction over a criminal case to accept a guilty plea where the indictment charges a violation of a valid federal criminal statute and sets forth the interstate commerce element of the crime; the factual proffer for the guilty plea states the government at trial would prove that the defendant's conduct affected interstate commerce; but the factual proffer does not contain any underlying facts explaining how the interstate commerce nexus was satisfied. The court held that the interstate commerce element in section 1029(a)(3) is not "jurisdictional" in the sense of bearing on whether the district court has subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate a case, and thus the government's alleged failure to prove sufficiently the interstate commerce nexus does not deprive the district court of its subject matter jurisdiction over defendant's criminal case. Therefore, in this instance, whether the government proved the interstate commerce nexus or failed to prove it, the district court still had subject matter jurisdiction over defendant's case and her conviction under section 1029(a)(3). View "United States v. Yero Grimon" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law