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In 2013, Philadelphia police found drugs and a gun in an apartment that they thought was Randall’s. They arrested Randall. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office charged him but dropped all the charges in August 2015. When he was arrested in Philadelphia, he was already on probation in New Jersey and Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Hearing about his arrest, both jurisdictions issued detainers for him. After dropping the charges, Pennsylvania released Randall into New Jersey’s custody. He remained in custody, first in New Jersey and then in Delaware County, until December 24, 2015. On December 26, 2017, Randall sued the Philadelphia Law Department and the police officers who had arrested him under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court dismissed Randall’s claims as time-barred. The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting Randall’s “continuing-violation” argument. Section 1983 borrows the underlying state’s statute of limitations for personal-injury torts. In Pennsylvania, that period is two years. When a Section 1983 claim accrues is a matter of federal law, under which a malicious-prosecution claim accrues when criminal proceedings end in the plaintiff’s favor. For Randall, that happened in August 2015, so he had until August 2017 to file his suit unless something tolled the statute of limitations. The continuing-violation doctrine focuses on continuing acts, not continuing injury. No Philadelphia defendant detained Randall beyond August 2015. View "Randall v. Philadelphia Law Department" on Justia Law

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Nita and her husband, Kirtish, pled guilty to defrauding Medicare (18 U.S.C. 1347), based on having forged physicians’ signatures on diagnostic reports and having conducted diagnostic testing without the required physician supervision. The government then brought this civil action for the same fraudulent schemes against Nita, Nita’s healthcare company (Heart Solution), Kirtish, and Kirtish’s healthcare company (Biosound). The district court granted the government summary judgment, relying on the convictions and plea colloquies in the criminal case, essentially concluding that Nita had admitted to all elements and issues relevant to her civil liability. Nita and Heart Solution appealed. The Third Circuit affirmed Nita’s liability under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729(a)(1)(A) and for common law fraud but vacated findings that Heart Solution is estopped from contesting liability and damages for all claims and Nita is estopped from contesting liability and damages for the remaining common law claims. The district court failed to dissect the issues that were determined in the criminal case from those that were not, lumping together Nita and Heart Solution, even though Heart Solution was not involved in the criminal case. It also failed to disaggregate claims Medicare paid to Nita and Heart Solution from those paid to Kirtish and Biosound. The plea colloquy did not clarify ownership interests in the companies; who, specifically, made certain misrepresentations; nor whether one company was paid the entire amount or whether the payments were divided between the companies. View "Doe v. Heart Solution PC" on Justia Law

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In 2003-2008, Komis filed more than 60 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints while employed by OSHA. Allegedly in retaliation for those and other EEO complaints filed a decade earlier, Komis contends her employer created a hostile work environment in that her supervisors: denied her the ability to work regularly from home; shifted her job duties to include more clerical work; reassigned her; and failed to promote her to Assistant Regional Administrator, instead selecting attorney Russo, who improperly disciplined her in retaliation for making additional discrimination claims. In 2008, Komis received notice of OSHA’s decision to terminate her employment. Komis left OSHA and filed another EEO complaint, alleging constructive discharge. Komis sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-16(a), citing retaliation and retaliatory hostile work environment. The Sixth Circuit affirmed judgments in favor of the agency. The court held that federal employees may bring retaliation claims under Title VII but declined to consider whether the same standard governs federal- and private- sector retaliation claims, and what standard applies to a federal retaliatory hostile work environment claim, given the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway. Komis cannot prevail under any potentially applicable standard, so any error in the jury instructions was harmless. View "Komis v. Secretary United States Department of Labor" on Justia Law

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Kamal visited various J. Crew store, making credit card purchases. Each time, Kamal “received an electronically printed receipt,” which he retained, that “display[ed] the first six digits of [his] 6 credit card number as well as the last four digits.” The first six digits identify the issuing bank and card type. The receipts also identified his card issuer, Discover, by name. Kamal does not allege anyone (other than the cashier) saw his receipts. His identity was not stolen nor was his credit card number misappropriated. The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Kamal’s purported class action under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), which prohibits anyone who accepts credit or debit cards as payment from printing more than the last five digits of a customer’s credit card number on the receipt, 15 U.S.C. 1681c(g), for lack of Article III standing. Absent a sufficient degree of risk, J. Crew’s alleged violation of FACTA is “a bare procedural violation.” View "Kamal v. J. Crew Group, Inc." on Justia Law

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Madar was born in communist-ruled Czechoslovakia in 1964, entered the U.S. in 1991, and overstayed. He has litigated his legal status in the decades since his arrival. Madar sought a declaration that he is a U.S. citizen because his late father, Jozef, was a citizen, and his father’s citizenship transmitted to him. Madar’s paternal grandmother, Cikovsky, was born in 1906 in Ohio. As a teenager, she left the U.S. to settle in Czechoslovakia. She married there and gave birth to Jozef in 1940. Jozef never lived in the U.S., married a non-U.S. citizen in Czechoslovakia and had children there. Jozef knew of his mother’s American birth, but did not know that this might entitle him to citizenship. In his son’s immigration proceedings, Jozef swore in an affidavit that the political circumstances of post-war Czechoslovakia would have made compliance with requirements that foreign-born children of citizens be physically present in the U.S. for some amount of time to retain citizenship, difficult, if not impossible. The Third Circuit affirmed that even if Jozef had retained his citizenship under an equitable theory that excused his noncompliance with statutory physical presence requirements, he did not transmit that citizenship to his son. View "Madar v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

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A store owner and her son were forced to lie face down, their hands and mouths taped, while Thomas and Emmanuel stole one million dollars’ worth of jewelry. Miller waited outside in a getaway car, listening to a police scanner with Ayala in the front passenger seat. The men testified that Ayala paid for their plane tickets to St. Thomas; reserved and paid for their hotel rooms; and picked up and paid for the rental car. After the robbery, she paid for their work. Based on accomplice liability, Ayala was indicted for Hobbs Act robbery, 18 U.S.C. 1951; conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery; brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A); and first-degree robbery under Virgin Islands law. Ayala claimed that two men told her to participate in the robbery and that she only agreed because she feared for her life and for her brother, who was a cellmate of one of the men. The Third Circuit affirmed her conviction and sentence of 48 months of imprisonment on three counts, to run concurrently, and 84 months on Count Three to run consecutively. The court rejected arguments that the District Court of the Virgin Islands lacked jurisdiction to hear cases to which the United States is a party; that its judges are prohibited from serving beyond 10-year statutory terms; that Ayala’s convictions violated the Double Jeopardy Clause; and that the court erred in limiting her cross-examination and in permitting her to be shackled at sentencing. View "United States v. Ayala" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Reese was convicted of six counts each of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment, restitution, and three years of supervised release. Three weeks before the scheduled date of Reese’s trial, after more than 50 days had expired on Reese’s 70–day time limit under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. 3161-3174, the district court ordered a sua sponte continuance that postponed Reese’s trial by an additional 79 days, at least 71 of which were not automatically excluded under the Act. The order did not state a reason for the continuance other than to say it was “in accordance with the Court’s calendar” and that the delay in Reese’s trial would be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act because “[t]his Court finds that the ends of justice served by this order outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial." The Third Circuit vacated Reese’s conviction and remanded for dismissal of the indictment; the district court should, based on the Act, determine in the first instance whether the dismissal is with or without prejudice. View "United States v. Reese" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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On January 28, 2014, Williams, was charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school zone. Before Williams was arraigned, Williams’s counsel sought a competency hearing. Williams refused to participate in the court-ordered psychological examination. On June 11, the court ordered that Williams be transported to North Carolina for a psychological examination. On June 12, a grand jury returned an Indictment. On June 18, Williams was arraigned. Williams arrived in North Carolina on July 29. On October 31, a forensic psychologist submitted a report. On November 5, the court held a hearing, determined that Williams lacked competency to stand trial and committed Williams under 18 U.S.C. 4241(d). The government sought to involuntarily medicate Williams. On October 9, 2015, the court held a hearing. A physician testified that Williams was competent to stand trial. The court did not set a trial date; no pleadings were filed until December 2, when the government moved to exclude evidence regarding Williams’s competency.” On December 18, Williams moved to dismiss the Indictment under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. 3161–3174, which gives the government 70 days to bring a case to trial. The court required briefing but took no action. On July 15, 2016, Williams filed a second motion to dismiss. Three months later Williams sought mandamus relief. The district court then set a trial date. Williams conditionally pleaded guilty and was sentenced to “time served.” The Third Circuit vacated, with an order to dismiss the indictment. The 37 days between June 21 and July 29, 2014, are non-excludable; the government has not overcome the presumption that this delay in transporting Williams was unreasonable. The government conceded a 53-day period of non-excludable delay elapsed between October 9 and December 2, 2015. View "United States v. Williams" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Piasecki was convicted of 15 counts of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to three years’ probation. Pennsylvania sex offenders were then subject to “Megan’s Law” registration requirements. While Piasecki pursued appellate relief, that law expired and was replaced with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) to “bring the Commonwealth into substantial compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006,” which applied retroactively to Megan’s Law registrants. SORNA had increased registration and reporting requirements. Among other restrictions, Piasecki was required to register in-person every three months for the rest of his life and to appear, in-person, at a registration site if he were to change his name, address, employment, student status, phone number, or vehicle ownership. As a Tier III SORNA registrant, he could petition a court to exempt him from the requirements after 25 years. Piasecki was only subject to the SORNA restrictions when he filed his 28 U.S.C. 2254 habeas petition, challenging his conviction. His probation and conditions of supervision had expired. Reversing the district court, the Third Circuit held that Piasecki was “in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State Court,” as required for jurisdiction. SORNA’s registration requirements were sufficiently restrictive to constitute custody and were imposed pursuant to the state court judgment of sentence. View "Piasecki v. Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County" on Justia Law

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Sköld coined the name “Restoraderm” for a proprietary drug-delivery formulation that he developed for potential use in skin-care products. He entered into a 2001 letter of intent with CollaGenex, a skin-care company, stating that “[a]ll trademarks associated with the drug delivery system … shall be applied for and registered in the name of CollaGenex and be the exclusive property of CollaGenex.” Their 2002 contract reiterated those provisions and stated that termination of the agreement would not affect any vested rights. With Sköld’s cooperation, CollaGenex applied to register the Restoraderm mark. Under a 2004 Agreement, Sköld transferred Restoraderm patent rights and goodwill to CollaGenex, without mentioning trademark rights. After Galderma bought CollaGenex it used Restoraderm as a brand name on products employing other technologies. In 2009, Galderma terminated the 2004 Agreement, asserting that it owned the trade name and that Sköld should not use the name. Sköld markets products based on the original Restoraderm technology that do not bear the Restoraderm mark. Galderma’s Restoraderm product line has enjoyed international success. Sköld sued, alleging trademark infringement, false advertising, unfair competition, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Only Sköld’s unjust enrichment claim was successful. The Third Circuit reversed in part, absolving Galderma of liability. The 2004 agreement, rather than voiding CollaGenex’s ownership of the mark by implication, confirmed that CollaGenex owned the Restoraderm mark. Galderma succeeded to those vested rights. View "Skold v. Galderma Laboratories L.P." on Justia Law