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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for possession and transportation of child pornography. The court held that the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find that venue was proper in the Middle District of Florida as to the possession count, and the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal; the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion to dismiss the possession count for improper venue; and the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion to sever the possession count from the transportation count. View "United States v. Little" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence of 48 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court held that defendant's prior Florida conviction for felony fleeing to elude remained a crime of violence under USSG 2K2.1(a)(4)(A) at the time he was sentenced. View "United States v. Martin" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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A firearm may be counted under USSG 2K2.1(b)(1) if state law prohibited defendant from possessing it, even if federal law did not. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's within-Guidelines sentence of 80 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon. The court held that the district court did not err by applying a four-level sentencing enhancement under USSG 2K2.1(b)(1)(B) for the unlawful possession of a firearm because the offense involved eight to twenty-four firearms. The court explained that, by its terms, application note 5 to section 2K2.1 requires only that defendant's possession of each pistol be "unlawful," not that it be unlawful under federal law. In this case, Florida law clearly prohibited defendant from possessing the eighth firearm. View "United States v. Gill" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of petitioner's 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus. The court held that the district court erred by conducting de novo review. The state court's denial of petitioner's Brady claim was entitled to deference under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the state court's denial was neither an unreasonable determination of the facts nor an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law. View "Rimmer v. Secretary, FL Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, representatives of the estates of decedents who perished in a plan crash in Nigeria, appealed the district court's dismissal of their claims based upon the doctrine of forum non conveniens and denial of their motion for relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the judgment, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in either dismissing the claims or denying the Rule 60(b) motion. In this case, the district court did not abuse its discretion either in determining that the public factors also weighed in favor of dismissal or in its overall analysis under the forum non conveniens doctrine and conclusion that dismissal of the foreign decedents' claims was warranted. In regard to the denial of the Rule 60(b) motion, the district court did not apply the law in an incorrect or unreasonable manner in deciding that the procedural posture did not warrant the requested relief. Furthermore, there was no reason to believe that defendant would contest liability in Nigeria and thus there was no reason to disturb the district court's denial of reconsideration on this ground. View "Kolawole v. Sellers" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, employed as a police officer with the city, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging violation of his First Amendment rights when the city and the mayor arranged for plaintiff's termination based on plaintiff's support of a purported political enemy. The Eleventh Circuit reversed summary judgment for defendants and held that plaintiff did not voluntarily leave his employment with the city but rather was effectively terminated. Because a reasonable jury could conclude that plaintiff's resignation was not a product of his free will, plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to establish that he suffered an adverse employment action when his employment with the city ended abruptly. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Rodriguez v. City of Doral" on Justia Law

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Defendant pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and an armed career criminal and was sentenced in 2010. In 2011, a Florida court sentenced defendant for robbery and kidnappingn offenses. In 2016, the district court vacated defendant's federal sentence and conducted a full resentence. The district court added three criminal history points for defendant's 2011 Florida sentence because it was a "prior sentence" when the district court sentenced him. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed and held that when a court vacates a sentence, that sentence becomes void in its entirety, so the term "prior sentence" includes a state sentence imposed before resentencing. The court also held that circuit precedent foreclosed defendant's request to vacate his sentence on the ground that another of his prior convictions, for Florida armed robbery in 1999, was not a crime of violence. View "United States v. Burke" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In 2007, plaintiff filed with the EEOC a charge of race and disability discrimination against her employer, the school board. In 2009, the Commission dismissed the charge and provided her notice of her right to sue within 90 days, but plaintiff failed to file within that period. Instead, in 2011, plaintiff filed a request for reconsideration with the Commission, which then vacated the dismissal of her first charge. The DOJ then granted plaintiff's request for a new notice of her right to sue about the same allegations of discrimination, and she filed suit within 90 days of the second notice. The district court then dismissed the complaint as untimely. The Fourth Circuit affirmed, holding that the Commission lacked the authority to issue the second notice of the right to sue and thus plaintiff failed to establish she was entitled to equitable tolling. View "Stamper v. Duval County School Board" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit held, in this international arbitration dispute, that questions of arbitral venue, even those arising in international arbitration, are presumptively for the arbitrator to decide. Because the arbitrator in this case arguably interpreted the arbitral-venue provision at issue, the court deferred to that interpretation. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's confirmation of the arbitral award finding venue proper in Atlanta and Profimex liable on OAD's defamation counterclaim. View "Bamberger Rosenheim, Ltd. v. OA Development, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence after he pleaded guilty to five counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and drug-related offenses. The court held that defendant's prior Florida conviction of principal to attempted manufacture of a controlled substance, Fla. Stat. 777.011, qualified as a controlled substance offense under USSG 4B1.2(b). The court also held that defendant failed to prove that the government engaged in sentencing factor manipulation when it arranged multiple transactions in a sting operation. View "United States v. Lange" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law