Findlaw Caselaw Summaries: Constitutional Law. May 3-7, 2010.

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to All summaries are produced by Findlaw
May 3-7, 2010
U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 Estate of Oliva v. Dep’t of Law & Pub. Safety , No. 09-2082 In an action by the estate of a now deceased state trooper who committed suicide, claiming harassment by numerous individuals connected with the State Police for his objections to what he believed was a State Police practice to profile motorists when making traffic stops, a grant of summary judgment to defendants and denial of plaintiff’s leave to amend his complaint is affirmed as plaintiff is not entitled to relief as he has failed to establish that his section 1981, 1985(3) and other various statutory causes of action can be sustained according to their requirements or establish that the district court abused its discretion in denying him leave to amend his complaint. …

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 Dique v. New Jersey State Police, No. 05-1159 In plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment claim for selective-enforcement, arising from his 1990 traffic stop that led to his conviction for drug related offenses which was vacated in 2002 on the ground that colorable issues of racial profiling existed at the time of the arrest, district court’s dismissal of the claim as time barred is affirmed where: 1) under Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384 (2007), in a case of selective-enforcement, it will no longer be required that the complainant have been convicted and have had that conviction reversed, expunged or invalidated, and the statute of limitations begins to run at the time the claimant becomes detained pursuant to legal process; and 2) plaintiff asserted his selective-enforcement claim over two years after July 2001, when his attorney became aware of the extensive documents describing the State’s pervasive selective enforcement practices, that plaintiff discovered, or by exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered that h! e might have a basis for an actionable claim. .

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 Flanory v. Bonn , No. 09-1161 In a pro se prisoner’s section 1983 suit against various prison officials and others claiming violation of his Eighth Amendment right, dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim is reversed and remanded as plaintiff has made allegations which satisfy the objective and subjective components required for an Eighth Amendment violation as he has alleged that he was completely denied certain hygiene items and that he specifically was without toothpaste for a period of 337 days, and he also alleged that defendants were aware that he was without toothpaste and were deliberately indifferent to his hygiene needs.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Thomas v. Cook County, No. 08-2232 In plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a county, county sheriff, and correctional officers, arising from her son’s death of pneumococcal meningitis less than a week later following his detention at the county jail, judgment of the district court is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) district court’s denial of the officers’ and county’s motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial are affirmed as the jury had sufficient evidence to impose liability against the officers for their deliberate indifference to the detainee’s medical needs and evidence was sufficient for a reasonable jury to conclude that the county had a widespread policy of disregarding detainees’ medical requests; 2) however, judgment denying the sheriff’s motion is reversed as there is insufficient evidence to hold the sheriff liable as the causal connection between the sheriff’s policies and practices and detainee’s death is tenuous in light of the jury’s finding that in! dividual correctional officers deliberately disregarded his medical needs; 3) absence of sheriff’s liability does not affect the jury’s compensatory damage award as the parties are jointly and severally liable for the entire award; 4) the $4 million-plus damage award for constitutional violations that resulted in death is not excessive; and 5) none of the defendants’ evidentiary challenges warrant a reversal.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Goudy v. Basinger, No. 08-3679 District court’s denial of defendant’s petition for habeas relief is reversed and remanded where: 1) the Court of Appeals of Indiana unreasonably applied federal law when it determined that prior statements of identification by witnesses the government suppressed did not create a reasonable probability of a different result in defendant’s trial; and 2) because the Brady error alone denied defendant a fair trial, the question of whether he also was denied the effective assistance of counsel need not be reached.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 Berry v. Peterman, No. 09-3557 In an inmate’s 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a nurse, a doctor and jail administrator for violating his Eighth Amendment right for refusing to refer him to a dentist for a serious toothache, district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) district court’s conclusion that plaintiff has raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he exhausted his administrative remedies is proper; 2) district court correctly held that plaintiff suffered a serious medical condition and that the jail administrator is entitled to summary judgment because he was not deliberately indifferent to plaintiff’s situation; but 3) plaintiff has offered sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could infer that the doctor and nurse acted with deliberate indifference toward his condition by persisting in an easy but ineffective course of treatment that subjected him to two months of serious but avoidable pain.

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 Wragg v. Village of Thornton , No. 08-3766 In a sixteen-year-old’s 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a village and individual defendants, alleging his substantive due process rights were violated by the defendants’ deliberate retention of a fire chief, who molested him, despite knowledge of his prior improprieties with other minors, summary judgment in favor of the defendants is affirmed where: 1) the village is not liable for retaining the fire chief because a quorum of the village’s board of trustees had no knowledge of his prior sexual misconduct; and 2) plaintiff presented insufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find that the president knew that retaining the fire chief posed a substantial risk to plaintiff.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Khatib v. Cty. of Orange, No. 08-56423 In an action alleging a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) because correctional officers required plaintiff, against her Muslim religious beliefs and practice, to remove her hijab, or headscarf, in public, the dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where a courthouse holding cell was not an “institution” as defined by RLUIPA.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 Florer v. Congregation Pidyon Shevuyim, No. 07-35866 In an action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act claiming that defendants improperly denied or substantially burdened plaintiff-prisoner’s access to Jewish religious materials and services, summary judgment for defendants is reversed where there was a genuine issue as to whether defendants were willful participants in joint action with prison officials to determine eligibility for access to Jewish materials and services, for purposes of acting under color of state law.

U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 Penley v. Eslinger, No. 09-13092 In a civil rights action alleging excessive force by police, summary judgment for defendant-officers is affirmed where the decedent’s act of bringing a firearm to school, threatening the lives of others, and refusing to comply with officers’ commands to drop the weapon were undoubtedly serious crimes, and thus the officer who shot the decedent reasonably believed he was in danger.

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 Newdow v. Roberts, No. 09-5126 In a constitutional challenge to religious elements of the presidential inaugural ceremony, the dismissal of the action is affirmed where plaintiffs’ claims regarding the 2009 inaugural ceremony were moot and plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the 2013 and 2017 inaugurations.

U.S. Fed. Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Bright v. US , No. 09-5048 In a putative class action lawsuit, brought by landowners seeking compensation under the Fifth Amendment pursuant to the Tucker Act for the alleged taking of their property interests under the National Trail Systems Act, 16 U.S.C. sections 1241-1251, the United States Court of Federal Claims’ dismissal of the second amended complaint as to all named plaintiff except as to one is reversed and remanded as, when a class action complaint is filed in the Court of Federal Claims and class certification is sought prior to expiration of the section 2501 limitations period, the limitations period is tolled, and the limitations period is tolled during the period the court allows potential class members to opt int to the class.

California Appellate Districts, May 06, 2010 People v. Traugott, No. E046884 Conviction of defendant for possession of methamphetamine for sale and two related misdemeanor drug crimes is reversed as defendant’s state constitutional right to a unanimous 12-person verdict was violated and thus valid verdicts were not returned

Contact Information