Weekly Case Digests October 28, 2019 November 1, 2019.

 
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7th Circuit Digests

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States v. Cordell Collins

Case No.: 18-3011

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

Focus: Jurisdiction Sentencing

Cordell Collins appeals several conditions he must abide by while on supervised release. The first condition he challenges requires him to stay in the "jurisdiction," but the district court's written judgment does not match its oral pronouncement of the condition and its definition at sentencing. Collins did not object to the other two conditions he now disputes when the district court gave him the opportunity to; rather, he agreed to them, therefore waiving his arguments on appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's judgment in all respects except for its use of the word "jurisdiction" in its written judgment. With respect to that condition, we remand with instructions for the district court to amend its written judgment to substitute the term "federal judicial district" for the word "jurisdiction."

Affirmed in part. Remanded with instructions.

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Anthony Loren Gardner

Case No.: 18-1731

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

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines

Anthony Gardner was arrested after firing a gun at two vehicles thought to be driven by rival gang members. He pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon. The district judge imposed an above-Guidelines sentence based in part on Gardner's use of violence in a prior burglary.

On appeal Gardner argues procedural error. He insists that the so-called "categorical approach," with all its doctrinal arcana and limitations, applies when a judge exercises Booker discretion to impose an above-Guidelines sentence based on a defendant's aggravating conduct in a prior crime. Not so. The sentencing judge may consider aggravating circumstances in a defendant's criminal record without the constraints imposed by the categorical approach that usually applies to statutory sentencing enhancements and the determination of offense-level increases and criminal-history points under the Sentencing Guidelines. Gardner also argues that the judge inadequately addressed his mental-health challenges and relied on inaccurate information in the presentence report. These arguments are waived and forfeited, respectively, and the forfeited argument does not involve a plain error. We affirm.

Affirmed

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: John Vergara, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al.

Case No.: 18-1266

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

Focus: Equitable Estoppel

John Vergara, Carlos Ruiz, and Jose Garcia filed a civil-rights lawsuit against the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Officers John Dal Ponte, Boonserm Srisuch, and Perry Nigro. The defendants moved to dismiss the suit as untimely. The plaintiffs asked the district judge to equitably estop the defendants from raising the limitations defense, claiming that the officers intimidated them into silence.

The judge dismissed the suit in a minute order saying she would later file an opinion explaining her reasons. The promised opinion came almost two years later, and the plaintiffs then appealed. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure, however, entry of judgment for appeal purposes occurred 150 days after the judge's minute order, see FED. R. APP. P. 4(a)(7)(A), and the 30-day time to file a notice of appeal ran from that date, see Walker v. Weatherspoon, 900 F.3d 354, 356 (7th Cir. 2018). The appeal was therefore woefully late.

The defendants noted the untimeliness problem in their docketing statement, but this filing too was quite late. Our circuit's rules require the appellee to identify errors in the appellant's docketing statement within 14 days. 7TH CIR. R. 3(c)(1); see Hamer v. Neighborhood Hous. Servs. of Chi., 897 F.3d 835, 839 (7th Cir. 2018). The defendants missed that deadline by about six months.

After disentangling this procedural web, we decline to dismiss the appeal. The defendants' objection to the Rule 4(a) violation came too late under Circuit Rule 3(c)(1). But the suit is untimely, and our precedent forecloses the plaintiffs' equitable estoppel theory. We affirm.

Affirmed

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Michael Daniels v. United...

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