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Decisions In Criminal, Immigration, Bankruptcy & Civil Rights Matters

By FindLaw Staff on July 30, 2010 7:18 PM

US v. Olmeda-Garcia, 09-3042, In a prosecution of defendant for illegal re-entry into the United States, district court's imposition of a 64-month sentence is affirmed as the only potential error defendant identified is the district court's silence with respect to a possible disparity that could arise between defendant's sentence and those available to defendants in other districts, and here, defendant did not adequately develop this argument and the district court was entitled to hand down an otherwise procedurally and substantively sound sentence without discussing the point.

US v. Diaz-Gaudarama, 09-4048, concerned a challenge to the district court's refusal to credit defendant with a two-point reduction for acceptance of responsibility in a prosecution of defendant for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana.  In affirming the denial, the court held that defendant is not entitled to a reduction in his advisory guideline range for acceptance of responsibility, given defendant's attempt to avoid criminal responsibility for his actions, the absence of statements by defendant reflecting remorse for his crime, and the last-minute nature of his attempt to plead guilty.

Mosley v. City of Chicago, 09-3598, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in plaintiff's section 1983 suit against the City of Chicago and several of its police officers, arising from his arrest and prosecution for murder, of which he was acquitted at trial after approximately five years in jail.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that there is no evidence in the record that the officers withheld any materially favorable piece of evidence, and even assuming that a Brady violation could occur when a trial ends in acquittal, this claim cannot rise to the level described in Bielanski v. County of Kane, 550 F.3d 632 (7th Cir. 2008).  The court also held that the district court did not err in concluding that the defendants had probable cause to press forward with the prosecution and therefore plaintiff could not maintain a claim for malicious prosecution, nor in granting summary judgment on plaintiff's civil conspiracy claim.

Louis & Karen Metro Family, LLC v. Lawrence Conservancy Dist., 09-2418, concerned a plaintiff's breach of contract suit against a city and a conservancy district, claiming that the defendants breached their option contract to acquire land.  In affirming in part, the court held that the district court correctly concluded that a breach occurred as the defendants' failure to allow the plaintiffs to exercise the option within 18 months of the decision to cancel the flood control project was a breach of the contract.  Court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in deciding to invoke the equitable remedy of reformation.  However, the district court's order of reformation of an option contract to extend the date by which the option could be exercised in denying plaintiffs' request for money damages is vacated and remanded as the closest that one can come to making plaintiff whole for the shortfall in compensation is to determine how much it lost at the moment that the option became impossible to exercise.

Kovacs v. US, 09-3328, concerned a challenge to the district court's order affirming the bankruptcy court's dismissal of plaintiff's claim for lack of jurisdiction in a taxpayer's suit against the United States seeking to recover damages resulting from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), claiming violation of the discharge injunction provided by section 524 of the Bankruptcy Code, arising from an Offer and Compromise (OIC) that she entered into with the IRS to resolve her tax liabilities for tax years 1990 through 1995.  In affirming in part, the court held that, due to the unequivocal exclusivity provision of 26 U.S.C. section 7433, the district court did not err in determining that plaintiff must comply with the jurisdictional provisions of section 7433 prior to recovery for a willful violation of the discharge injunction.  The court also held that the district court did not err in holding that plaintiff's cause of action with respect to IRS's July 8, 2002 collection effort is time-barred. However, the court reversed in part and remanded as, the district court erred in holding that plaintiff's claim with respect to IRS's September 8, 2003 and September 18, 2003 violations was time-barred.

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