Weekly Case Digests October 7, 2019 October 11, 2019.

 
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Byline: Rick Benedict

7th Circuit Digests

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Todd R. Chazen v. Matthew Marske

Case No.: 18-3268

Officials: FLAUM, BARRETT, and SCUDDER, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines

A federal jury in Minnesota convicted Todd Chazen of possessing a firearm following a prior felony conviction. The district court then sentenced Chazen pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act, which mandates a minimum 15-year sentence for a defendant who unlawfully possesses a firearm and has three prior convictions for a serious drug offense or violent felony. After an unsuccessful direct appeal and petition for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C. 2255, Chazen turned to 28 U.S.C. 2241 and sought a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the application of a recent Supreme Court decision shows he no longer qualifies as an armed career criminal and is entitled to a lesser sentence. The district court agreed and granted habeas relief. We affirm.

Affirmed

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Stephen Linder v. United States of America

Case No.: 15-1501

Officials: EASTERBROOK, SYKES, and BRENNAN, Circuit Judges.

Focus: 6th Amendment Violation Confrontation Clause

While tracking down a fugitive, Deputy Marshal Stephen Linder interrogated the fugitive's father. Another deputy marshal later stated that he had seen Linder punch the father in the face. After an investigation by the Marshals Service and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Linder was indicted for federal felonies (witness tampering and using excessive force in violation of the father's civil rights). The Service put Linder on leave, and Darryl McPherson, the U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Illinois, instructed other deputies not to communicate with Linder or his lawyers without approval. Frustrated by this barrier to getting information from potential witnesses, Linder's lawyers asked the district court to dismiss the indictment as a sanction. That was done, see 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29641 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 5, 2013), the United States did not appeal, and Linder returned to work. He remains employed as a deputy marshal.

Linder's suit accuses the United States of two torts: malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress. His principal argument is that the discretionary function exemption of 2680(a) does not apply to suits for malicious prosecution. Linder asserts, no one has discretion to violate the Constitutionand, when dismissing the indictment, the district court stated that the no-contact-without-approval order violated the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. Congress might have chosen to provide financial relief to all persons who are charged with crime but never convicted. The Federal Tort Claims Act does not do this, however, and Linder has not claimed that he is entitled to relief under 28 U.S.C. 2513 and 1495, which apply to persons able to prove their innocence.

Affirmed

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Ernest A. Odei, et al. v. United States Department of Homeland Security, et al.

Case No.: 18-3105

Officials: FLAUM, EASTERBROOK, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Immigration Removal Order Jurisdiction

Ernest Odei traveled from his native Ghana to the United States in 2017 to meet with academic advisors and to perform missionary work. When he arrived in Chicago, border patrol agents barred his entry because he did not have the proper visa. After a short detention, immigration authorities gave Odei the option to withdraw his application for admission and return to Ghana. He chose to do so, but several months later he brought this lawsuit challenging the inadmissibility determination.

The district court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. 1252(a)(2)(A), which bars judicial review of any "order of removal pursuant to" the expedited removal procedure in 8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)(A)(i). Odei argues that the jurisdictional bar does not apply because it refers only to "order[s] of removal" and there was no order of removal here because he withdrew his application for admission. Under the relevant statutory definitions, however, an "order of removal" refers to both an order to remove as well as an order that an alien is removable. Odei is challenging the latter, so the jurisdictional bar applies.

Affirmed

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: David R. Camm v. Stanley O. Faith, et al.

Case No.: 18-1440

Officials: WOOD, Chief Judge, and SYKES and BARRETT, Circuit Judges.

Focus: 4th Amendment Violation Probable Cause

This case arises from a heinous triple murder that occurred almost 19 years ago in Georgetown, Indiana, a small town near the Kentucky border. The plaintiff is David Camm, a former state trooper who was twice convicted of the crimes but was acquitted after a third trial. He then filed this suit for damages for the years he spent in custody.

This lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 followed. The defendants are several investigators, two prosecutors, and Stites and his boss, who backed up his assistant's opinions. Camm alleges that the defendants willfully or recklessly made false statements in three probable-cause affidavits that led to his arrest and continued custody while he awaited trial and retrial. Though the parties and the district judge referred to this as a claim for malicious prosecution, we've since explained that "malicious prosecution" is the wrong label. It's a Fourth Amendment claim for wrongful arrest and detention. The suit also raises a claim of evidence suppression in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).

This lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 followed. The defendants are several investigators, two prosecutors, and Stites and his boss, who backed up his assistant's opinions. Camm alleges that the defendants willfully or recklessly made false statements in three probable-cause affidavits that led to his arrest and continued custody while he awaited trial and retrial. Though the parties and the district judge referred to this as a claim for malicious prosecution, we've since explained that "malicious prosecution" is the wrong label. It's a Fourth Amendment claim for wrongful arrest and detention. The suit...

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