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Jones observes Islamic dietary restrictions, which forbid the consumption of certain foods and require that others be prepared in accordance with Islamic law (halal). There is overlap in halal and Jewish kosher requirements. Some Muslims—including Jones—find kosher food acceptable. The Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) formerly provided kosher meal trays, with kosher meat, to inmates who requested them. The cost increased. DOC stopped offering the kosher trays and put those inmates on a vegan diet. Inmates seeking kosher food successfully sued the DOC under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. 2000cc. DOC built kosher kitchens at some facilities and moved as many kosher inmates into those facilities as possible. Inmates who could not be moved continued to receive kosher trays. Inmates (including Jones) in a facility with a kosher kitchen had to eat the food prepared there, which is vegetarian. While many Jewish and Muslim inmates find that diet acceptable, Jones does not. Jones's sect believes that the Qur’an commands him to eat meat regularly. DOC refused his request for kosher trays with meat. The Seventh Circuit held that Indiana’s refusal to provide Jones with meat substantially burdens his exercise of religion under RLUIPA, rejecting the DOC’s argument that he could purchase halal meat at the prison commissary. The state cannot demand that Jones, uniquely among inmates, empty his account and forgo purchasing hygiene products to avoid a diet that violates his religious beliefs. View "Jones v. Carter" on Justia Law

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Henderson was indicted for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and two related firearms offenses. In accordance with the Marshals Service’s policy in the Springfield Division, Henderson appeared in court for arraignment encircled by four security officers and shackled with leg irons and handcuffs connected to a waist chain. His attorney moved to have him unshackled except for the leg irons for the remainder of the arraignment and at all future pretrial hearings. Counsel argued that routine shackling in court violates the accused’s right to due process and asked the judge to hold a hearing to determine whether Henderson posed an individualized risk to justify the use of full restraints. The judge denied the request, deferring to the Marshals Service’s policy of using full restraints on prisoners at every nonjury court appearance. The Seventh Circuit dismissed an appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the collateral-order doctrine does not apply; due process shackling claims may be effectively reviewed on appeal from a final judgment. The court declined to reframe the appeal as a petition for a writ of mandamus. View "United States v. Henderson" on Justia Law

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DEA agents, with an arrest warrant for Terry, waited for him to return from taking his son to school, arrested him when he got out of his car, and took him in for questioning. Other agents knocked on Terry’s apartment door. A woman answered, wearing a bathrobe. The agents identified themselves, explained that they had arrested Terry, and asked to enter. They did not ask the woman who she was or whether she lived at the apartment. She let them in, signed a consent form, and the search began. The woman then identified herself as the mother of Terry’s son, explaining that her son lived at Terry’s apartment, but she did not. Agents continued the search. At the field office, Terry refused to sign an advice‐of‐rights form, citing his previous experience with law enforcement but stated “he was willing to talk” and made incriminating statements about his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin. The Seventh Circuit reversed the denial of his motion to suppress. It is not reasonable for officers to assume that a woman who answers the door in a bathrobe has authority to consent to a search of a male suspect’s residence. Terry’s education, sophistication, and familiarity with the criminal justice system provide sufficient evidence that he understood his rights when the agents read them to him and his willingness to speak was a “course of conduct indicating waiver,” notwithstanding his refusal to sign the form. View "United States v. Terry" on Justia Law

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Spiegel has lived in a Wilmette condominium building for 22 years. In 2015, the McClintics bought a unit in the building. The McClintics, apparently in violation of association rules, do not live in the building but use the building pool almost daily. To document the violations, Spiegel photographed and filmed them. Corrine McClintic filed police reports. Spiegel was not arrested but officers threatened him with arrest for disorderly conduct if his conduct persists. Spiegel sued Corrine and the Village, arguing that they conspired to violate his constitutional rights and that Corrine intruded upon his seclusion, in violation of Illinois law, by photographing the interior of his condominium. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of his complaint. Spiegel has not identified a constitutional violation or shown that he suffered damages from the alleged intrusion upon his seclusion. The mere act of filing false police reports is not actionable under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and it is unclear whether McClintic’s reports contained falsehoods. Spiegel’s claim that the officers refused to listen to his explanations for why his conduct was lawful is not enough to establish a conspiracy. Spiegel has not plausibly alleged an express Wilmette policy to enforce the disorderly conduct ordinance unconstitutionally. He merely alleges that officers received reports of a disturbance and advised an apparent provocateur to stop his surveillance. View "Spiegel v. McClintic" on Justia Law

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Adkinson and others robbed an Indiana T-Mobile phone store and a Kentucky Verizon store at gunpoint. They later robbed nine additional stores. During its investigation, T-Mobile pulled data from cell sites near two victim stores and determined that only one T-Mobile phone was near both robberies; Adkinson was an authorized user on that account. T-Mobile determined where Adkinson’s phone traveled and voluntarily gave the data to the FBI, which used the information to obtain a court order under the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2703, granting the FBI access to additional cell-site data. Adkinson unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence obtained without a warrant. The court ruled that T-Mobile was not the government’s agent and, in his user agreement, Adkinson consented to T-Mobile’s cooperation with the government. Adkinson did not timely file a change of venue motion. On the morning of trial, seeing only one African-American prospective juror, Adkinson moved to transfer the case to a venue with “a better pool of African Americans.” Convicted of robbery, brandishing a firearm to further a crime of violence, and conspiracy to commit those crimes, Adkinson was sentenced to 346 months’ imprisonment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The Constitution does not entitle a defendant to a venire of any particular racial makeup and federal law authorized the government to prosecute Adkinson in any district where he offended. The government’s mere receipt of T-Mobile’s data is not a ratification of T-Mobile’s conduct. View "United States v. Adkinson" on Justia Law

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ARC, a distributor of compressed gases, sold its assets to American. Because ARC leased asset cylinders to customers, it was not immediately able to identify the number of cylinders included in the purchase; the Agreement estimated 6,500 cylinders and provided that American would hold back $150,000 for 180 days to protect against a shortage of up to 1,200 cylinders, at $125 per cylinder. When American began billing the customers it acquired, it learned that many of them paid only to have cylinders refilled but did not pay rent on the cylinders they used. An audit revealed that ARC owned and transferred 4,663 asset cylinders--1,837 cylinders short of the 6,500 promised. In an ensuing breach of contract suit, ARC argued that American breached the contract because it did not complete its audit within the specified 180-day period. The district court disagreed, concluding that ARC extended that deadline and that, because only 4,663 cylinders were delivered, ARC was never entitled to receive any portion of the Cylinder Deferred Payment. The court granted American’s counterclaim for breach of contract, holding that American was entitled to the entire $150,000 and to recover $125 for each cylinder it failed to receive under the threshold of 5,300. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Because ARC was not entitled to any of the Cylinder Deferred Payment in that it provided less than the 5,300 cylinders, it could not have been damaged by the delay in completing the audit. View "ARC Welding Supply, Co. Inc. v. American Welding & Gas, Inc." on Justia Law

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Scabby the Rat is a giant, inflatable balloon that is associated with labor disputes. After the Union learned that a masonry company working at Kolosso Toyota in Grand Chute, was not paying area standard wages, it engaged in informational picketing and to set up a 12-foot Scabby in the median across from the dealer, along the frontage road for a major local thoroughfare. The Code Enforcement Officer required that the Union remove Scabby as violating the Sign Ordinance. The Union filed suit, arguing that the ordinance distinguished among signs based on content. The district court rejected the suit on summary judgment. The Town amended its Code. On remand, the district court held that the case was not moot because the Union was seeking damages for having to use greater resources to maintain the protest. The court noted that the likelihood of recurrence theory was not available because of the Code amendment and rejected the claims on the merits. The Seventh Circuit agreed that claims based on the former ordinance were not moot, despite the fact that construction was complete and that ordinance did not discriminate on the basis of content. It was narrowly tailored to meet its stated purpose—banning anything on the public right-of-way that might obstruct vision or distract passing drivers. Whatever dispute may exist over the new law is not ripe. View "Construction and General Laborers' Union Number 330 v. Town of Grand Chute" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, 39 former employees of Infinium Capital, voluntarily converted loans they had made to their employer under the company’s Employee Capital Pool program into equity in the company. A year later their redemption rights were suspended; six months after that, they were told their investments were worthless. Plaintiffs filed suit against Infinium, the holding company that owned Infinium, and members of senior management, asserting claims for federal securities fraud and state law claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal, with prejudice, of their fifth amended complaint for failure to state a claim. Reliance is an element of fraud and each plaintiff entered into a written agreement that contained ample cautionary language about the risks associated with the investment. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) provides that a party alleging fraud or mistake “must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake,” although “[m]alice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person’s mind may be alleged generally.” Plaintiffs failed to identify the speakers of alleged misrepresentations with adequate particularity, failed to adequately plead scienter, and failed to plead a duty to speak. View "Cornielsen v. Infinium Capital Management, LLC" on Justia Law

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Pro-life “sidewalk counselors” sued to enjoin Chicago’s “bubble zone” ordinance, which bars them from approaching within eight feet of a person within 50 feet of an abortion clinic if their purpose is to engage in counseling, education, leafletting, handbilling, or protest. They argued that the floating bubble zone was a facially unconstitutional content-based restriction on the freedom of speech. The district judge dismissed the claim, relying on the Supreme Court’s 2000 decision (Hill), which upheld a nearly identical Colorado law against a similar First Amendment challenge. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Abortion clinic buffer-zone laws “impose serious burdens” on core speech rights but under Hill, a floating bubble zone is not considered a content-based restriction on speech and is not subject to strict judicial scrutiny. The ordinance is classified as a content-neutral “time, place, or manner” restriction and is tested under the intermediate standard of scrutiny;Hill held that the governmental interests at stake—preserving clinic access and protecting patients from unwanted speech—are significant, and an 8-foot no-approach zone around clinic entrances is a narrowly tailored means to address those interests. The court noted that Hill’s content-neutrality holding is hard to reconcile with subsequent Supreme Court decisions, but those decisions did not overrule Hill, so it remains binding. View "Price v. Chicago" on Justia Law

Posted in: Constitutional Law

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A confidential informant bought cocaine from Yarber on four separate occasions near the same Champaign intersection while police watched. Each time, Yarber drove a white Dodge Charger, which was registered to his girlfriend. Immediately following two buys, Yarber drove to his girlfriend’s apartment. Police surveilled the apartment three other times and saw the Charger parked in front. Once they saw Yarber exit the Charger and go inside the apartment. Police obtained a warrant, authorizing the police to search the apartment for drugs, drug paraphernalia, and suspected proceeds from drug transactions. Nowhere did the affidavit state that Yarber lived at the apartment or that he stayed there overnight. It referred to an Urbana apartment as Yarber’s “residence.” Yarber moved to suppress evidence discovered during the search of the Champaign apartment, arguing that, failing to establish a nexus between the drug dealing and the apartment, the affidavit failed to establish probable cause. After the court denied his motion, Yarber pleaded guilty to drug possession with the intent to distribute and to possession of a firearm by a felon; he was convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and sentenced to 420 months’ imprisonment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The warrant contained other facts sufficient to establish probable cause and, in any event, the police acted in good faith. View "United States v. Yarber" on Justia Law