Justia U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

By
Delgado, a citizen of Mexico, entered the U.S. without inspection three times, most recently in May 1999. In December 2009, he was convicted in Illinois state court of felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. In 2015, DHS initiated removal proceedings. More than seven years and three petitios later, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed an IJ’s denial of withholding of emoval, 8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3), and relief under the Convention Against Torture, 8 C.F.R. 1208.16(c). Delgado challenged aspects of the expedited removal process under 8 U.S.C. 1228(b) and a corresponding regulation and claimed that the Board committed various legal errors. The Seventh Circuit dismissed Delgado’s petition for review in part for lack of jurisdiction. Asylum is a form of discretionary relief in which “there is no liberty interest at stake.” The court denied the remainder of his arguments. The Board engaged in impermissible fact-finding, but the error was harmless. View "Delgado-Arteaga v. Sessions" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated:

By
After pleading guilty to three federal drug and money‐laundering offenses, Jimenes was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment and five years’ supervised release. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting Jimenes’s argument that his constitutional rights were violated by the use, for Sentencing Guidelines purposes, of a state misdemeanor conviction for driving with a suspended license that was obtained without the use of a Spanish interpreter. The district court reviewed the record of the conviction and was satisfied that enough informal translation took place to support a conclusion that his guilty plea was knowing. The court noted that the district court was not an appropriate forum for collateral attack of that conviction. View "United States v. Jimenes" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated:

By
On June 30, 2015, Dutcher announced on Facebook that he planned to assassinate President Obama. He then drove to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where the President was scheduled to speak on July 2. Once in La Crosse, Dutcher repeated his plan to a security guard, the police, the Secret Service, a nurse, a doctor, and the Secret Service together. Dutcher was convicted of two counts of threatening the President, 18 U.S.C. 871(a) and sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence and to jury instructionsthat it could find willfulness if the government proved Dutcher “either actually intended his statement to be a true threat, or that he knew that other people reasonably would view his statement as a true threat but he made the statement anyway.” View "United States v. Dutcher" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated:

By
In 1999, the Dribbens purchased a home from the Favres on 42 acres in a four‐parcel development near Saint Louis, Missouri. Davidson represented the Favres in that purchase. Davidson was also one of the developers and owned one parcel. The development has a 30‐acre artificial lake; the dam creating that lake is located on the Dribbens parcel. In a 2006 lawsuit, the Dribbens alleged that Davidson failed to disclose that the original owners/developers had never obtained a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which amounted to fraudulent concealment and consumer fraud. Davidson tendered the suit to Diamond State, which had issued her professional liability errors and omissions policy. In 2011, the Dribbens filed a second suit, alleging a pattern of harassment, intimidation, and interference with the Dribbens’ property rights by the Davidsons. Davidson tendered the 2011 lawsuit to Madison Mutual, which had provided her homeowner’s insurance and umbrella coverage. Diamond State refused to supply a defense to the 2011 litigation. Madison Mutual sought a declaratory judgment that Diamond State has breached its duty to defend in the 2011 suit and had a duty to reimburse Madison Mutual. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Diamond State. The 2011 suit does not potentially assert a claim that is plausibly within the Diamond State professional liability coverage. View "Madison Mutual Insurance Co. v. Diamond State Insurance Co." on Justia Law

By
Under the Illinois Public Relations Act, 5 ILCS 315, a union representing public employees collects dues from its members, but only “fair share” fees (a proportionate share of the costs of collective bargaining and contract administration) from non-member employees on whose behalf the union also negotiates. A 2015 suit sought to preclude such fees, arguing that the statute violated the First Amendment by compelling employees who disapprove of the union to contribute money. The Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal, noting that one of the plaintiffs has previously challenged the “fair share” provision in state court and that his claim is barred by claim preclusion. The court also noted the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, upholding, against a First Amendment challenge, a Michigan law that allowed a public employer, whose employees (public-school teachers) were represented by a union, to require those of its employees who did not join the union nevertheless to pay fees to it because they benefited from the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the employer. View "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees" on Justia Law

By
Simic received a ticket for driving while texting on her cell phone, in violation of a Chicago ordinance. Simic failed to pay the $100 ticket and the city took steps to collect a fine. Simic then sued, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and monetary damages greater than one million dollars. She alleged that Chicago’s cell phone ordinance violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause and the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause, plus several state-law claims, and sought class certification. The city non-suited its case against her. The district court denied Simic’s motion for an injunction. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, reasoning that Simic did not face any threat of irreparable harm and that it appears that Simic lacks Article III standing for the relief she seeks. The court directed the district court to consider dismissing Simic’s lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction. View "Simic v. City of Chicago" on Justia Law

By
In 2007, Shannon pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment and lifetime supervised release. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. In 2010, Shannon was released and began supervised release. In 2011, the district court found that Shannon had violated the conditions by possessing a web camera without previously notifying his probation officer, and sentenced Shannon to 28 days of incarceration. In 2015, the probation office notified the court that Shannon had temporarily uninstalled the monitoring software on his computer, viewed legal adult pornography, encrypted digital files, possessed external storage devices, and installed “scrubbing” software. The court found that Shannon had done so and was not compliant with his release conditions, but declined to revoke his supervised release. At a subsequent a modification hearing, the parties disputed Special Condition 2, intended to require Shannon to notify the probation office before using certain electronic devices. The district court reasoned that Condition 2 was “related to the offense of conviction which involves the sexual exploitation of minors from a computer in [Shannon’s] home and will protect the public. [Shannon’s] demonstrated non‐compliance with external storage devices indicates he is at a continued risk to reoffend.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding the condition justified. View "United States v. Shannon" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated:

By
Collins, a regular heavy drinker, had suffered alcohol withdrawal, and kept a bottle of Librium to treat withdrawal and anxiety. Collins had Librium with him when he was arrested for DUI. The jail physician, Dr. Al‐Shami, who approved Collins’s use of the Librium while in custody. Collins was taken to a cell; officers checked on him every 15 minutes. The next day Collins began to complain of shaking from alcohol withdrawal. He was given Librium and vitamins. By lunchtime, Collins was better and eating normally. In the afternoon, he began to complain again. A nurse called Dr. Al‐Shami, who ordered that Collins be given the normal treatment for alcohol withdrawal. After being treated for additional incidents, Collins was taken to the hospital. The examining physician concluded that Collins was not suffering from delirium tremens. Collins was returned to the jail. Collins continued to display strange behavior, interspersed with periods of normalcy. Officers continued to check on Collins every 15 minutes. Eventually, Collins was again taken to the hospital. Collins was hypothermic, had low blood pressure, and was suffering from dehydration, sepsis, and acute respiratory failure. He was in a medically‐induced coma for several days. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the defendants in Collins's suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, concluding that the level of care was reasonable. View "Collins v. Al-Shami" on Justia Law

By
While lifting a heavy door at his prison job in 2008, Cesal heard a “snap” in his back and felt pain in his leg and hip. He sought treatment from the prison’s medical staff but was dissatisfied with their response. He alleged that he received a three-year runaround, during which his pain was ignored, that the Clinical Director canceled Cesal’s insulin prescription in retaliation for Cesal’s filing a complaint about the inadequate care. Without the prescription, Cesal, an insulin-dependent diabetic, was unable to control his blood sugar and suffered additional pain and harm. He filed a second complaint with the prison about the insulin deprivation. Cesal, acting pro se, sued the Clinical Director and another Pekin physician. At the screening phase, 28 U.S.C. 1915A, the district court identified an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim and a First Amendment retaliation claim related to the withholding of insulin. The court granted the defendants summary judgment, reasoning that the statute of limitations had run and that, in any event, there was no question of material fact that would justify allowing his case to proceed. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, acknowledging that "Cesal’s allegations are troublesome," but noting important differences between ordinary, or even aggravated, medical malpractice, and an Eighth Amendment violation View "Cesal v. Molina" on Justia Law

By
Hazama, a U.S. citizen, is married to Ghneim, a citizen of the Palestinian Authority, currently residing there. Hoping to obtain a permanent resident visa for Ghneim, Hazama filed a Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS, which was approved in 2011. Ghneim still had to wait until a visa number became available and had to appear for an interview with a consular officer. Ghneim appeared for his interview at the Jerusalem Consulate in 2013. The officer denied the application, citing: the commission of a crime of moral turpitude, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I); previous removal from the U.S., section 1182(a)(9)(A)(ii); and unlawful presence in the U.S., section 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(II). Ghneim's petition for a waiver of the “previously removed” and “unlawful presence” grounds was denied. In 2015, an officer again denied Ghneim’s application, for having personally engaged in terrorist activities, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(i). The district court found that the consular official’s reliance on the terrorism provision satisfied all relevant legal standards. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting their mandamus petition. The Supreme Court has consistently recognized that unadmitted, nonresident aliens have no free-standing constitutional right to enter the U.S.. Congress delegated broad power to the Executive Branch to decide who will have the privilege of entering; courts generally have no authority to second-guess those decisions. View "Hazama v. Tillerson" on Justia Law
By
Posted in:
Updated: