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Milwaukee officers were patrolling an area known for drug trafficking, armed robberies, and gun violence. Around midnight, they saw Richmond walking toward them with his right hand in the “kangaroo” pocket on his T-shirt and saw “a significant bulge” in that pocket. After the officers passed Richmond in their marked squad, he changed direction, quickened his pace, crossed a lawn, and moved toward a front porch. Unknown to the officers, Richmond lived in the duplex. The officers parked, followed Richmond and, from 20-25 feet away, saw Richmond open the outer screen door, bend down, and place an object on the doorframe between the screen door and front door. They suspected Richmond hid a gun. Richmond closed the screen door and turned around. Richmond stated that he did not have a gun. Officers walked onto the porch, opened the screen door, and saw a handgun. Richmond confirmed he was a convicted felon, so they arrested and charged him under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). The Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress. The officers knew specific, articulable facts which, together, fostered their reasonable suspicion of “criminal activity.” Police may search an area strictly limited to that necessary for the discovery of weapons if they have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the investigation's subject may be able to gain access to a weapon to harm officers or others nearby. View "United States v. Richmond" on Justia Law

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Dr. Sheth, a cardiologist, admitted in a plea agreement that he engaged in a scheme to overbill government and private insurers by approximately $13 million, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1347. The scheme resulted in a loss to Medicare of about $9 million in payments for services Sheth did not render between 2002 and 2007, and a loss of about $4 million to private healthcare insurers for the same conduct. After the government detected the fraud, in June 2007, it initiated an administrative proceeding and seized funds from four Harris Bank accounts that the government believed were the proceeds of Sheth’s fraud. In his plea, Sheth agreed to forfeit $13 million in assets; the government would apply the proceeds of the forfeited property to any restitution judgment resulting from his conviction. Sheth disputed the valuation of some of the property applied to the restitution judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision as to the valuation of Seth’s real property but remanded for consideration of the application of $225,000 in interest that had accrued on the Harris accounts to the restitution judgment. View "United States v. Sheth" on Justia Law

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Sparre began working as a Norfolk locomotive engineer in 1999. In 2010, he reported a safety violation to the Federal Railroad Administration, which resulted in the assessment of an $8,000 civil penalty against Norfolk. In 2014, Norfolk terminated Sparre for excessively exceeding the speed limit while operating a locomotive. Sparre complained to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, alleging Norfolk fired him in retaliation for reporting the safety concern in 2010, which would violate the Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. 20109. OSHA dismissed Sparre’s complaint as without merit. Sparre requested a hearing before an administrative law judge. The parties engaged in years‐long, extensive discovery. In November 2017, the ALJ found there were no genuine issues of fact and granted Norfolk a summary decision. The decision, with instructions to petition for review, including the 14‐day timeline, was mailed to Sparre and his attorneys that same day. Thirty days later, Sparre appealed to the Board and filed a petition for judicial review. The Seventh Circuit remanded to the Board, which found that Sparre’s petition was untimely and he was not entitled to equitable tolling. Sparre filed a second appeal. The Seventh Circuit rejected the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Sparre failed to timely exhaust his administrative remedies before appealing. View "Sparre v. United States Department of Labor" on Justia Law

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Villa, a citizen of Mexico, originally entered the U.S. in 1988 without inspection. He adjusted his status to that of a lawful permanent resident in 1995. Approximately nine years later, he was convicted of possession of cocaine and sentenced to a year in prison. In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated removal proceedings under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because he had been convicted of an aggravated felony. The Notice listed an address for the hearing “on a date to be set,” and “at a time to be set.” The Immigration Court later served on him a Notice of the date and time. He appeared; the immigration judge entered an order of removal. Villa waived his right to appeal and was removed to Mexico. He reentered the U.S. sometime in 2007, on foot at an unspecified location. In 2018, DHS served him with a Notice of Intent/Decision to Reinstate Prior Order of Removal, 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(5), which stated that Villa could contest the determination that he was removable under the prior order by oral or written statement but that he was not entitled to a hearing. The Seventh Circuit dismissed his petition for review for lack of jurisdiction, rejecting an argument that the 2005 Order was void because it was entered ultra vires and that the 2005 proceedings were never properly initiated because the original “Notice” was legally deficient. View "Serrano v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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In 2011 Caterpillar made serious inquiries about the possible acquisition of a Chinese mining company and its wholly‐owned subsidiary (Siwei). Caterpillar completed that acquisition in June 2012. Only after the closing did Caterpillar gain access to Siwei’s physical inventory and find that Siwei had overstated its profits and improperly recognized revenue. Caterpillar took a $580 million goodwill impairment charge just months after the acquisition. Plaintiffs, Caterpillar shareholders, filed a shareholder derivative suit alleging that several former Caterpillar officers breached their fiduciary duties by failing to conduct an adequate investigation of the Siwei acquisition, which caused Caterpillar’s loss. They made an unsuccessful demand that the Caterpillar Board bring the litigation. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure adequately to allege that the Board wrongfully refused to pursue the Plaintiffs’ claim. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The Board’s decision not to litigate was protected by the “wide bounds of the business judgment rule.” The plaintiffs might come to a different conclusion about the strategic importance of the acquisition, the risk that litigation might cause disruption and excessive cost for Caterpillar, or the need to interview Siwei’s former CEO, but those types of business and investigative choices are exactly what the business judgment rule protects. View "Lowinger v. Oberhelman" on Justia Law

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Lopez-Aguilar went to the Indianapolis Marion County Courthouse for a hearing on a misdemeanor complaint charging him with driving without a license. Officers of the Sheriff’s Department informed him that an ICE officer had come to the courthouse earlier that day looking for him. He alleges that Sergeant Davis took him into custody. Later that day, Lopez-Aguilar appeared in traffic court and resolved his misdemeanor charge with no sentence of incarceration. Sergeant Davis nevertheless took Lopez-Aguilar into custody. He was transferred to ICE the next day. Neither federal nor state authorities charged Lopez-Aguilar with a crime; he did not appear before a judicial officer. ICE subsequently released him on his own recognizance. An unspecified “immigration case” against Lopez-Aguilar was pending when he sued county officials under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Following discovery, the parties settled the case. The district court approved the Stipulated Judgment over the objection of the federal government and denied Indiana’s motion to intervene to appeal. The Seventh Circuit reversed. The state’s motion to intervene was timely and fulfilled the necessary conditions for intervention of right. The district court was without jurisdiction to enter prospective injunctive relief. The Stipulated Judgment interferes directly and substantially with the use of state police power to cooperate with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration laws. View "Lopez-Aguilar v. Indiana" on Justia Law

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The district court found that Spectrum violated the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 2064(b)(3), when its subsidiary failed to timely report to the government a potentially hazardous defect in its Black & Decker SpaceMaker coffeemaker. In 2009, there were multiple complaints that the plastic handle on the coffeemaker’s carafe had broken. In one instance, the handle's failure caused a consumer to suffer a burn from the hot coffee in the carafe. Spectrum ordered design changes, but continued to sell the product and did not file a section 15(b) report with the Commission until April 2012. The court entered a permanent injunction, requiring Spectrum to adhere to its newly-implemented CPSA compliance practices and to retain an independent consultant to recommend additional modifications to those practices. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting Spectrum’s argument that the late-reporting claim was barred by the statute of limitations and that the court abused its discretion in awarding permanent injunctive relief, including the requirement that it engage the expert. Spectrum’s failure to report constituted a continuing violation that did not end until Spectrum finally submitted a report; the statute of limitations did not begin to run until 2012. Given the gravity of its failures and the delay in compliance, the district court justifiably concluded that there was a reasonable likelihood that Spectrum might again commit similar violations in the future. View "United States v. Spectrum Brands, Inc." on Justia Law

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T.L., a 15-year old, told S.B. that she had problems at home and was into drugs. S.B. took T.L. to Cosby’s Hammond, Indiana apartment. T.L. told Cosby that she was a 15-year old runaway. Cosby gave T.L. drugs and alcohol and told her that she had to repay him by prostituting herself. Cosby took pictures of T.L. and posted them on the website Backpage to find individuals who would pay for sex. Cosby did not show T.L’s face because she had been reported as missing. T.L. thereafter had sex with five individuals in Cosby’s apartment. Cosby drove T.L. to a Lansing, Illinois motel, where T.L. had sex with many individuals. Hammond police eventually found T.L. and arrested Cosby, who was charged with knowingly transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent that she engage in prostitution, 18 U.S.C. 2423(a). The court denied Cosby's request for a sixth continuance after the case had been pending for almost two and a half years and rejected Cosby’s to suppress evidence seized from his cell phone pursuant to a state warrant. He argued that the police exceeded the warrant’s scope by extracting, downloading, and reviewing the phone’s contents. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his conviction, upholding the denial of his continuance and suppression motions and of a motion for a mistrial based on allegedly false testimony. The court rejected an argument concerning failure to take appropriate precautions for a government witness’s dual-capacity testimony. View "United States v. Cosby" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Levitin, a Jewish surgeon of Russian descent, owns and operates a private medical practice. From 2000-2013, most of her revenue came from her work at Northwest Community Hospital, where she maintained practice privileges. In 2008 Levitin complained to Northwest that Dr. Conway, another surgeon, was harassing her, repeatedly criticizing her medical decisions, undermining her in front of her patients, and interrupting her in surgery. Northwest reprimanded Conway. Direct harassment stopped. Several doctors subsequently filed complaints concerning Levitin’s professional judgment. One refused to work with her. The chair of Northwest’s surgery department informed Levitin that he would begin proactively reviewing the surgeries she scheduled for potential issues and reviewed Levitin’s prior surgeries. He referred 31 cases to the Medical Executive Committee, which found that Levitin deviated from the appropriate standard of care in four cases and initially concluded that Levitin should receive quarterly reviews. The Committee reconvened following an incident in which Levitin operated on a patient without proper sedation and voted to terminate her practice privileges. Northwest’s Board of Directors terminated Levitin’s practice privileges. She filed suit, alleging antitrust claims, state-law claims, and a claim for employment discrimination based on sex, religion, and ethnicity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the rejection of her claims, finding that Levitin was not an employee. View "Levitin v. Northwest Community Hospital" on Justia Law

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Jozefyk applied for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income, claiming disability based on several conditions, including degenerative changes in his cervical spine, lumbar strain, obesity, affective disorder, and anxiety disorder. An ALJ denied benefits. The district court and Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting Jozefyk’s arguments that the ALJ did not establish a valid waiver of attorney representation before allowing Jozefyk to proceed pro se and that the residual functional capacity finding did not account for Jozefyk’s moderate limitations in concentration, persistence, or pace. Jozefyk was sent several Social Security Administration communications, including a publication entitled “Your Right to Representation,” explaining his right to an attorney, organizations that could help him find an attorney, the fee structure, and the benefits of representation. In his request for a hearing, Jozefyk certified: “I do not have a representative. I understand that I have a right to be represented and that if I need representation, the Social Security office or hearing office can give me a list of legal referral and service organizations to assist me in locating a representative.” The ALJ offered to continue the hearing to give Jozefyk more time to find an attorney, but Jozefyk again stated that he wanted to proceed. Jozefyk cited self-reported symptoms that doctors, including his own treating physician, could not confirm. View "Jozefyk v. Berryhill" on Justia Law

Posted in: Public Benefits