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In 1999, Villanueva was indicted for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). The indictment alleged two prior convictions for narcotics violations, a third for first-degree assault, Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a‐59(a), and a fourth for assault on an officer. After a jury found Villanueva guilty, a presentence report recommended sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e) minimum 15-year sentence provision. The report reflected that the first-degree assault conviction resulted from Villanueva’s firing a gun three or four times and hitting his victim in the shoulder and calculated a Guidelines range of 262‐327 months. The court concluded that each of the narcotics convictions was a “serious drug offense” and at least one of the assault convictions was a “violent felony” under ACCA without specifying whether the elements clause or the residual clause of ACCA applied. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the “residual clause” of the ACCA was unconstitutionally vague. In 2016, the district court vacated Villanueva’s sentence and sentenced him to time served. The Second Circuit disagreed and remanded, finding that the Connecticut statute, analyzed under the so‐called “modified categorical approach,” has as an element, the use of “physical force” as federal law uses in defining “violent felony.” View "Villanueva v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The district court rejected Plaintiffs’ claim that New York’s ban on gravity knives was void for vagueness under the Due Process Clause as applied to “[k]nives that are designed to resist opening from their folded and closed position,” or common folding knives. New York law defines a gravity knife as a knife that can be opened to a locked position with a one‐handed flick of the wrist; Plaintiffs argued that the wrist‐flick test is so indeterminate that ordinary people cannot reliably identify legal knives. The Second Circuit affirmed. Because plaintiffs’ claim would, if successful, effectively preclude all enforcement of the statute, and because plaintiffs sought to prove their claim chiefly with hypothetical examples of unfair prosecutions that are divorced from their individual facts and circumstances, the court deemed it a facial challenge. Plaintiffs were required to show that the gravity knife law is invalid in all applications, including as it was enforced against them in three prior proceedings. They did not meet their burden under this strict standard. View "Copeland v. Vance" on Justia Law

Posted in: Constitutional Law

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New York authorities arrested Olmeda for attempted murder, attempted assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. Olmeda had two firearms in his possession. Later searches of his home and storage locker revealed more than 20 additional firearms. While state proceedings were ongoing, a federal grand jury indicted Olmeda as a felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), and for possession of unregistered firearms, 26 U.S.C. 5845, 5861(d). Olmeda pleaded guilty to the six federal counts. The government argued that Olmeda should receive a four‐level enhancement under U.S.S.G. 2K2.1(b)(6) because he used one of the firearms in connection with another felony offense—the altercation with the New York police officers (relevant conduct enhancement). Olmeda asked that his federal sentence be concurrent with any term of imprisonment for the pending state charges, citing U.S.S.G. 5G1.3. The court declined to order a concurrent sentence, then held a “Fatico hearing” and concluded that the government had proven the state offenses for the relevant conduct enhancement by a preponderance of the evidence. The district court applied that increase and calculated a Guidelines range of 121-151 months, and sentenced him to 151 months. Olmeda had not yet been convicted in state court. The Second Circuit vacated. Section 5G1.3(c) applies where state charges for relevant conduct are pending at the time of the federal sentencing. View "United States v. Olmeda" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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New York law provides that a court may order that a person who has information material to a criminal proceeding be detained to secure her attendance at the proceeding, N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law 620.10–50. In 2008, McKinnies, a New York Police Officer, was under investigation for potential insurance fraud. McKinnies’ car, which she had reported stolen, had turned up in a “chop shop” covertly run by the NYPD. McKinnies stated her friend “Alexandra Griffin” was the last person to drive her car. But “Alexandra Griffin” stated that she had never been given the vehicle, did not have a driver’s license, and that her surname was Simon. Her real name is Dormoy, she is Simon's daughter. Simon was twice taken to the precinct and held for a total of 18 hours over two days. Simon sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming false arrest and imprisonment. Simon alleged that the warrant, on its face, directed officers to bring Simon to court at a fixed date and time for a hearing to determine whether she should be detained as a material witness. Simon was never presented to the court. The district court held that the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity and granted summary judgment in their favor. The Second Circuit vacated and remanded. With the facts taken in the light most favorable to Simon, the defendants violated Simon’s clearly established Fourth Amendment rights and are not entitled to qualified immunity. View "Simon v. City of New York" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal of a securities action based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In this case, the district court concluded that plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege a "domestic transaction" under section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The court held, however, that plaintiffs plausibly alleged a domestic transaction cognizable under section 10(b) because the agreement at issue was entered into in New York and irrevocable liability was incurred in the United States. The court rejected the argument that the areement was so predominately foreign as to be impermissibly extraterritorial. Therefore, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Giunta v. Dingman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute various quantities of cocaine base and cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics trafficking crime, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. The court rejected defendant's arguments and, in this opinion, held that the district court did not err in refusing to suppress evidence seized from a car parked in the common parking lot of a multi‐family building where the vehicle search was warrantless but supported by probable cause. Remaining arguments were resolved by a simultaneously issued summary order. View "United States v. Jones" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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On a second appeal following resentencing, the Second Circuit vacated defendant's 300 month sentence for production of child pornography and receipt of child pornography. The court held that the district court did not sufficiently address on remand deficiencies in the district court's analysis. The district court failed to comply with the mandate rule when it ordered no downward departure on either of the grounds specifically identified in the court's summary order as grounds for significant downward departures. The court remanded for resentencing and assigned the matter to a different judge where the district court noted on the record her continuing disagreement with the court and informed the court that "it would probably be better for judicial economy if another judge sentence for a third time." View "United States v. Sawyer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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A maritime lien may be asserted by an entity when that entity contracts with a vessel's owner, charterer, or other statutorily-authorized person for the provision of necessaries and the necessaries are supplied pursuant to that agreement even if by another party. This appeal arose from competing maritime lien claims arising from the delivery of fuel to a vessel between the assignee of a maritime fuel contract supplier and the physical supplier. The district court denied both maritime liens sua sponte and entered summary judgment for the vessel. At issue was which parties were entitled to the maritime lien under the Commercial Instruments and Maritime Liens Act (CIMLA), 46 U.S.C. 31301 et seq. The Second Circuit held that an entity such as O.W. Denmark, which agreed to supply necessaries and then contracts with one or more intermediaries to supply them, can itself be deemed to have "provided" necessaries under CIMLA. Therefore, ING, as O.W. Denmark's purported assignee, was entitled to assert a maritime lien against the vessel because O.W. Denmark could assert such a lien. The court also held that an unsecured entity such as CEPSA was not entitled to a maritime lien for the bunkers it supplied, or in the alternative, a recovery based upon equitable principles. Finally, the district court erred when it sua sponte granted summary judgment for the vessel. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "ING Bank N.V. v. M/V TEMARA" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenged the district court's dismissal of her petition asserting a third party interest in certain accounts preliminarily forfeited in the underlying criminal proceedings against her husband, Paul M. Daugerdas. The Second Circuit held that the petition did not currently contain sufficient plausible allegations to sustain her position, but pleading additional facts would not necessarily be futile. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's order because denying petitioner the ability to assert the argument she raised here could potentially permit the government to deprive her of her own property without due process of law. View "United States v. Daugerdas" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Petitioner challenged the district court's dismissal of her petition asserting a third party interest in certain accounts preliminarily forfeited in the underlying criminal proceedings against her husband, Paul M. Daugerdas. The Second Circuit held that the petition did not currently contain sufficient plausible allegations to sustain her position, but pleading additional facts would not necessarily be futile. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's order because denying petitioner the ability to assert the argument she raised here could potentially permit the government to deprive her of her own property without due process of law. View "United States v. Daugerdas" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure