Monday, August 27, 2018

Sandberg v. Englewood, Colorado, 2018 WL 1180971 (3/7/18) (Col.) (unpub'd) - In a § 1983 civil rights case, the 10th finds a Fourth Amendment violation, but denies relief. A concerned person saw Mr. Sandberg walking down the street with a pistol in a holster on his hip. For some reason, that person calls 911 and alleges Mr. Sandberg might be involved in "some form of workplace violence." Officers find Mr. Sandberg at an auto repair shop. The officers draw their weapons,confront Mr. Sandberg, search him and take his pistol, holster and bullets. The officers learn the shop's owner had given Mr. Sandberg permission to wear his pistol in the shop as long as he didn't remove the gun from its holster. Eventually the officers contact the 911 caller and learn there was no basis to believe Mr. Sandberg was involved in workplace violence or anything else illegal. Nonetheless, the officers continued to detain Mr. Sandberg while trying to figure out what to charge him with. They detained him for about 4 hours. The officers gave him a summons for disorderly conduct. That charge was eventually dismissed. The officers kept Mr. Sandberg's property for five months. The 10th thinks the initial detention was okay. The "workplace violence" allegation was enough. But, after the officers talked to the 911 caller, there was no reasonable suspicion to detain Mr. Sandberg. Even a brief extension after talking to the 911 caller violated the Fourth Amendment. But the 10th lets the officers off the hook by virtue of qualified immunity. It wasn't clearly established, the 10th rules, that the officers were wrong because of the lack of case law with facts like those in this case.

U.S. v. Sarracino, 724 F. App'x 673 (3/9/18) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - The 10th holds federal second-degree murder and New Mexico manslaughter are crimes of violence under USSG § 4B1.1. Reckless crimes and crimes that could involve indirect force satisfy the elements clause.

U.S. v. McFarland, 726 F. App'x 709 (3/9/18) (okl.) (unpub'd) - On mootness grounds, the 10th dismisses Mr. McFarland's attempt to challenge the magistrate judge's refusal to require the government to present witness for cross-examination at the preliminary, supervised-release-revocation hearing. Mr. McFarland was able to cross witnesses regarding his violation of various state laws at the final revocation hearing. To avoid getting mooted out he had to show he would be subjected to the same alleged constitutional violation. But he could not show he would again face a supervised release revocation proceeding.