Thursday, October 08, 2015

Unpublished Decisions

Cordero v. Froats, 2015 WL 5147691 (9/2/15) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - The 10th lets stand denial of summary judgment to the officers and the city of Las Cruces, NM. The estate for Mr. Montes presented statements of witnesses who say officers shot Mr. Montes while he was handcuffed, unarmed and fleeing. The officers quite reasonably conceded that, if the witnesses were accurate, they would not be entitled to qualified immunity. But they argued audio and video recordings and physical evidence totally undermined those witnesses and show Mr. Montes fired a handgun at the officers before they returned fire. The 10th acknowledges the evidence strongly supports the officers' version. But, the 10th rules, that evidence doesn't "blatantly contradict" the plaintiff's witnesses. The video does not clearly show Mr. Montes holding a gun. So the 10th says summary judgment is not appropriate. It should be up to a jury to decide.

Sweets v. Martin, 2015 WL 5106319 (9/1/15) (Wyo.
) (unpub'd) - The 10th concludes Mr. Sweets' notice of appeal was untimely because he did not allege that he used the prison's legal mail system or such a system was not available. As a consequence, the prisoner-mail-box rule does not apply. The 10th considers the notice of appeal to have been filed when it got to the court, which was after the deadline, not when it was mailed, which was before the deadline.

Allen v. Falk, 2015 WL 5090887 (8/31/15) (Col.) (unpub'd
) - It was okay for the prison to require sex-offender prisoners to submit to a polygraph and admit their full sexual history as part of sex-offender treatment, without regard for their Fifth Amendment stake in avoiding self-incrimination. Restrictions on a prisoners' constitutional rights are fine as long as they are reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. The polygraph requirements are so related, says the 10th.

Davis v. McCollum, 2015 WL 5011710 (8/25/15) (Okl.)
(unpub'd) - The 10th denies habeas relief sought under Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012). The 10th says, while Miller prohibited mandatory life without parole (LWOP) for juveniles, it has nothing to say, at least in the ยง 2254 context, about non-mandatory LWOP sentencing schemes. The 10th rejects Mr. Davis's attempt to extend Miller to impose certain requirements to consider the juvenile's youth in determining the sentence. Under AEDPA's stringent, relief-preclusion standards, if you have to extend a Supreme Court case's principles to a different circumstance you're out of luck.