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Criminal and Civil Rights Matters

By FindLaw Staff on February 25, 2010 10:03 AM

The Eleventh Circuit decided two criminal matters and one civil rights case.

In US v. Phillips, No. 08-17248, the Eleventh Circuit vacated defendant's drug and firearm possession sentence, holding that, under 18 U.S.C. section 3582(c) and Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(a), the district court on January 26, 2009 did not have jurisdiction after seven days had passed to modify and vacate defendant's 324-month sentence imposed on December 5, 2008.

In US v. Whitson, No. 09-10521, the court of appeals vacated defendant's cocaine importation sentence on the ground that defendant's prior conviction for non-overt act criminal conspiracy was not a "crime of violence," in light of Begay v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 1581 (2008), under U.S.S.G. section 4B1.1.

Coffin v. Brandau, No. 08-14538, involved an action based on defendant-officers' alleged warrantless entry into plaintiffs' garage, and one plaintiff's arrest, in violation of plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendants, holding that plaintiffs' garage was not included within the unambiguous physical dimensions of an individual's home, and it was not clear that it fell into the category of curtilage.

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