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Decisions In Criminal, Labor, and Bankruptcy Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on July 23, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

US v. Allen, 09-5178, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to reduce and modify his sentence for his convictions for possession and intent to distribute over five grams of cocaine base and other related crimes.  In affirming the denial, the court held that the district court properly concluded that it lacked the authority in proceedings under section 3582(c)(2) to sentence the defendant below the bottom of the amended Guidelines range or to entertain a challenge under Booker to the court's calculation of the original Guideline range.

Merritt v. Int'l Ass'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, 09-1563, concerned a labor suit brought by Northwest Airlines Quality Service Agents (QSAs) against a labor organization and others, claiming that between 2000 and 2006 defendants breached their duty of fair representation relating to the negotiation and administration of contracts on behalf of QSA employees and in handling their dues-objector status requests.  In affirming the district court's grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment and an order issuing Rule 11 sanctions against the plaintiffs' counsel for failing to adequately investigate the law and facts before filing their complaint, the court held that the mere fact that the plaintiffs were a minority group within their union organization and were adversely affected by the actions of the union does not establish that the union acted with hostile or discriminatory intent.  Court also held that the plaintiffs have failed to submit any evidence that the defendant improperly handled the dues-objector status requests; and 3) Rule 11 sanctions were properly imposed.

In re: Darrohn, 09-5499, concerned the bankruptcy court's calculation of the debtors' projected disposable income in approving the proposed plan in Chapter 13 proceedings.  In reversing and remanding in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Hamilton v. Lanning, --S.Ct.---, 78 U.S.L.W. 4518, 2010 WL 2243704 (No. 08-998 June 7, 2010), the court held that the bankruptcy court erred when it determined that it was required to use the income calculated on Form B22C, which was derived from the six-month look-back formula, rather than debtors' current monthly income.  Court also held that the bankruptcy court erred in failing to account for the debtors' intent to surrender properties securing the mortgages in considering reasonable necessary monthly expenses.

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