Munn v. City of Ocean Springs, MS

Plaintiff, owner of a bar and nightclub, filed suit challenging the noise ordinance of Ocean Springs, arguing that the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague. The court focused on the language of the ordinance that prohibits noise that "annoys... a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities." The court concluded that this language imposed an admittedly objective standard of conduct in its enforcement. Therefore, the court held that the ordinance sets an explicitly objective standard in accordance with Supreme Court precedent, and therefore it is not unconstitutionally vague. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Munn v. City of Ocean Springs, MS" on Justia Law

United States v. Juarez-Velasquez

Defendant appealed the district court's revocation of his supervised release, arguing that his supervised release expired prior to the date the United States Probation Office petitioned the district court for revocation - thereby divesting the district court of jurisdiction over his supervised release. The court concluded that defendant's term of pretrial detention did not toll his supervised release where neither period of detention was in connection with a conviction and the immigration detainer imposed during defendant's Texas pretrial detention was an administrative hold that did not amount to imprisonment in connection with a conviction for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 3624(e). Therefore, the court held that the district court did not have jurisdiction to revoke defendant's supervised release. The court vacated the revocation and the sentence imposed. View "United States v. Juarez-Velasquez" on Justia Law

Forte, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart rented space to optometrists using a standard lease agreement requiring optometrists to make representations in their leases of the projected number of hours their offices would remain open. A jury found Wal-Mart liable for setting or attempting to influence office hours of an optometrist in violation of the Texas Optometry Act. Tex. Occ. Code 351.408. The district court subsequently remitted the jury's award of almost $4 million in civil penalties and plaintiffs accepted remittitur. Wal-Mart appealed. The court affirmed the district court's judgment regarding Wal-Mart's liability; reversed and vacated the district court's judgment regarding damages where the district court erred in applying Chapter 41's, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 41.001(5), lower damage cap exception; and remanded. View "Forte, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc." on Justia Law

United States v. Rosbottom, Jr.

Defendants Rosbottom and Kisla appealed their convictions for various charges related to their concealment of assets in connection with property of Rosbottom's that was not disclosed in his bankruptcy proceedings. The court concluded that defendants waived their juror challenge by failing to comply with the requirements of the Jury Selection Act, 28 U.S.C. 1867(d); any error in the district court's limitation of further questioning into the Chapter 11 trustee's alleged bias was harmless; the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant of the charges; there was no plain error in the district court's restitution award and the court rejected Rosbottom's arguments claiming otherwise; and Rosbottom's sentence was not procedurally unreasonable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Rosbottom, Jr." on Justia Law

Rodriguez-Benitez v. Holder, Jr.

Petitioner, born in Mexico, appealed the BIA's decision affirming the denial of his application for cancellation of removal for victims of domestic violence. The IJ found petitioner ineligible for relief due to a prior narcotics conviction. The court concluded that the government was not required to charge petitioner's narcotics conviction in the notice to appear for that conviction to serve as a ground of inadmissibility for Special Rule Cancellation; the BIA did not err in concluding that the IJ lacked authority to waive petitioner's narcotics-related grounds of inadmissibility; and petitioner's marijuana conviction makes him inadmissible under INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II), which is a disqualifying ground for Special Rule Cancellation of Removal for victims of domestic violence. Accordingly, the court dismissed the petition for review. View "Rodriguez-Benitez v. Holder, Jr." on Justia Law

Catholic Leadership Coalition v. Reisman

Plaintiffs, three general-purpose political committees and one nonprofit corporation, raised facial and as-applied First Amendment challenges general-purpose committee regulations. Plaintiffs challenged the treasurer-appointment requirement, the ten-contributor requirement, and the 60-day, 500 dollar contribution and expenditure limit. Some plaintiffs also raised a First Amendment challenge to the corporate contribution ban as-applied to a proposed contribution of an email contact list from the nonprofit corporation to the general-purpose committee. As a preliminary matter, the court concluded that plaintiffs can invoke the disputes capable of repetition, yet evading review exception to mootness and the court had jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The court held that the treasurer-appointment requirement and the corporate contribution ban are constitutional. The court concluded, however, that the 60-day, 500 dollar contribution and expenditure limit as well as the ten-contributor requirement are facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed and rendered in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Catholic Leadership Coalition v. Reisman" on Justia Law

Breton Energy, L.L.C., et al. v. Mariner Energy Resources, Inc., et al.

Plaintiffs filed suit against defendants, the owners and operators of a neighboring mineral lease, alleging that defendants committed "unlawful drainage" in violation of federal and Louisiana law. The district court subsequently dismissed the Second Amended Complaint (SAC) under Rule 12(b)(6). The court concluded that the SAC stated a claim for waste against Defendant IP, the company that allegedly perforated a hydrocarbon reservoir named the K-1 sands. The court concluded, however, that the SAC insufficiently alleged that the non-perforating defendants committed waste. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. View "Breton Energy, L.L.C., et al. v. Mariner Energy Resources, Inc., et al." on Justia Law

United States v. Bernard

Defendants Bernard and Vialva were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death after planning a robbery and carjacking and killing two victims. Defendants subsequently sought certificates of appealability (COAs) under 28 U.S.C. 2253(c)(2). The court rejected defendants' numerous claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, Brady violations, cumulative error, and violations of the Fifth and Eighth Amendment. Accordingly, the court denied defendants' motions for COAs. View "United States v. Bernard" on Justia Law

United States ex rel Parikh

Relators filed suit under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that appellants committed numerous FCA violations concerning improper incentives for patient referrals. Assuming arguendo that qualified immunity is an available defense, the court held on the merits that appellants are not entitled to qualified immunity against these FCA claims where relators sufficiently pleaded that appellants violated the FCA and the courses of conduct allegedly taken by appellants were objectively unreasonable in light of clearly established law. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's denial of appellants' motion to dismiss. View "United States ex rel Parikh" on Justia Law

United States v. Nava

Defendant challenged his sentence after pleading guilty to illegal reentry after deportation. The court concluded that the district court's order to run the illegal reentry sentence consecutively with a pending federal sentence was clear and obvious error. However, the court affirmed the sentence because defendant failed to demonstrate that the error seriously affected the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings. View "United States v. Nava" on Justia Law