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Preliminary Injunction Against Caterpillar Reversed, Plus Decisions In Criminal Matters

By FindLaw Staff on June 22, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Stone, No. 10-1618, the Sixth Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's decision to release five defendants, belonging to a paramilitary organization known as the Michigan Hutaree, on bail pending their trial for conspiracy to levy war against or to oppose by force the authority of the United States government related offenses.  In reversing the district court's decision, the court held that each defendant poses a danger to the community and no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community.  

US v. Christman, No. 08-4474, concerned a challenge to the district court's re-sentencing of defendant, convicted of possessing child pornography, to five days in prison and fifteen years of supervised release, from his original sentence of 57 months in prison.  In vacating the sentence, the court held that the district court abused its discretion in weighing several factors so heavily in favor of mitigation.  The court also held that the sentence was substantively unreasonable for failing to provide enough reasoning of the section 3553(a) factors to provide for meaningful appellate reviewm as is the complete lack of explanation for the drastic change in the sentence.  On remand, the case is to be assigned to a different judge for re-sentencing.     

Winnett v. Caterpillar, Inc., No. 08-6236, concerned an interlocutory appeal brought by Caterpillar from the district court's decision preliminarily enjoining the company to provide a subclass of 275 plaintiffs who retired from a Caterpillar subsidiary between 1992 and 1998 with "lifetime cost-free retiree health care." In reversing the preliminary injunction, the court held that the statute of limitations bars the claims of this subclass because the the claim accrued at least by 1998 when the union and the company reached a new labor agreement that altered the healthcare benefits available to retirees.     

Miller v. Stovall, No. 08-2267, concerned a district court's conditional grant of a writ of habeas corpus to a defendant serving a life sentence for second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of her husband.  In affirming, the court held that the defendant's lover's suicide note, implicating defendant in the crime, was testimonial under Crawford and its admission violated the Confrontation Clause, and the State has waived the harmless-error argument.     

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