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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence after he was convicted of stalking his victim for seven years. The district court appropriately applied a two-level sentencing enhancement for threatened use of a dangerous weapon under USSG 2A6.2(a), (b)(1)(D)‐(E), and thus defendant's sentence was not procedurally unreasonable. The court also held that defendant's 37 month sentence was substantively reasonable where the district court considered the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors and appropriately accounted for the severity and duration of defendant's conduct and the extent of the harm inflicted on the victim. View "United States v. Yilmaz" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiffs appealed the district court's holding that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) preempted a two-tiered security bond provision contained in New York City Local Law 62 for the Year 2015, entitled the Car Wash Accountability Law. The law reduced the required bond amount when an applicant seeking a license to operate a car wash in New York City was a party to a collective bargaining agreement providing certain protections. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's order, holding that the district court erred in granting summary judgment on federal preemption prior to the completion of discovery. Accordingly, the court remanded the case so that the parties could take discovery. View "Association of Car Wash Owners Inc. v. City of New York" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the plan administrator for Xerox under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) for denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty. The Second Circuit held that plaintiff's denial of benefits claim was untimely and that the administrator, not plaintiff, was entitled to summary judgment on the fiduciary duty claim. The court held that a litigant may not bring a denial‐of‐benefits claim under ERISA when the limitations period is six years and his claim accrued twelve years before he sued. The court also held that Frommert v. Conkright, 433 F.3d 254 (2d Cir. 2006), did not order the plan administrator not to apply the so‐called "phantom account offset" to plan participants who did not bring timely denial of benefits claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for directions to enter judgment for the administrator and the Xerox Plan. View "Testa v. Becker" on Justia Law

Posted in: ERISA

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment and held that the district court did not improperly delegate its judicial authority to the United States Probation Office when it ordered as a special condition of supervised release that defendant submit to mental health and substance abuse testing and evaluation and follow "any treatment recommendations." The court also held that defendant's sentence was not procedurally unreasonable where the district court applied an official victim enhancement under USSG 3A1.2(c)(1), and declined to grant a downward departure under USSG 5K2.23. View "United States v. Young" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Defendants appealed the district court's judgment for plaintiffs, finding copyright infringement. Defendants created an Internet platform designed to enable the lawful resale, under the first sale doctrine, of lawfully purchased digital music files, and had hosted resales of such files on the platform. The Second Circuit held that defendants infringed plaintiffs' exclusive rights under 17 U.S.C. 106(1) to reproduce their copyrighted works. In this case, the operation of ReDigi version 1.0 in effectuating a resale resulted in the making of at least one unauthorized reproduction. Such unauthorized reproduction violated the right holder's exclusive reproduction rights under section 106(1) and was not excused as fair use. The court declined to make a decision as to whether ReDigi also infringed plaintiffs' exclusive rights under 17 U.S.C. 106(3) to distribute their works. View "Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc." on Justia Law

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Consumers who purchased Cheez‐It crackers labeled "whole grain" or "made with whole grain," filed a class action complaint against Kellogg, alleging that the whole grain labels were false and misleading in violation of New York and California consumer protection laws. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Second Circuit vacated, holding that the district court erred in dismissing plaintiffs' complaint because, under the proper standards for reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), plaintiffs plausibly alleged that the whole grain labels would lead a reasonable consumer to believe, incorrectly, that the grain in whole grain Cheez‐Its was wholly or predominantly whole grain. In this case, the whole grain claims failed to communicate that the quantity of enriched white flour exceeded the quantity of whole grain. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Mantikas v. Kellogg Company" on Justia Law

Posted in: Consumer Law

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 action, alleging that their constitutional rights were violated when they were coerced by New York City officials into signing settlement agreements waiving various constitutional rights in order to avoid eviction from their businesses and residences. The district court held that it lacked jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine because the settlement agreements were "so-ordered" by judges in the state-court system. The court held that the district court's Rooker-Feldman ruling was erroneous because plaintiffs' alleged injuries were merely ratified by the state-court judgments rather than caused by them. In this case, plaintiffs were attempting to remedy an alleged injury caused when, prior to any judicial action, they were coerced to settle, not an injury that flowed from a state-court judgment. Accordingly, the court remanded to the district court for further proceedings. View "Cho v. City of New York" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Guided by its recent decision in United States v. Townsend, 897 F.3d 66 (2d Cir. 2018), the Second Circuit concluded that the phrase "controlled substance" as used in the 2014 Guidelines' definition of "felony drug trafficking offense" refers exclusively to those substances controlled under federal law. The court also held that the Arizona statute that defendant was convicted of was broader than corresponding federal law because it included substances not listed by the federal Controlled Substances Act. In this case, defendant's Arizona conviction did not qualify as a felony trafficking offense under USSG 2L1.2. Therefore, the district court procedurally erred in sentencing defendant. The court vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing. View "United States v. Guerrero" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiffs appealed the district court's dismissal of their action against fiduciaries of IBM's employee stock option plan (ESOP), claiming that defendants violated their duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to manage the ESOP's assets prudently. The Second Circuit reversed the district court's judgment against plaintiffs, holding that plaintiffs plausibly pleaded a duty‐of‐prudence claim even under the stricter "could not have concluded" test used by the district court. In this case, a prudent fiduciary in the Plan defendants' position could not have concluded that corrective disclosure would do more harm than good. View "Jander v. International" on Justia Law

Posted in: ERISA

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the Fund's claims against the DOE for delinquent withdrawal liability payments under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Agreements Act (MPPAA). The court held that the DOE had no obligation to contribute to the Fund under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) nor its transportation contracts that would render it an employer for the purposes of the MPPAA. Furthermore, the Fund did not adequately plead that the DOE and each of the Contractors were a single employer, and thus the DOE was not bound by the contractors' CBAs as a single employer. Finally, the DOE had no obligation to contribute under 29 U.S.C. 1392(a)(1) and (a)(2). View "Division 1181 A.T.U -- New York Employees Pension Fund v. City of New York Department of Education" on Justia Law