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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Civil Rights – Foster Child – Sexual Abuse History – Social Worker Immunity (access required)

The 4th Circuit says “deliberate indifference” by social workers to a child’s welfare may lead to liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; because this is a new standard, the defendant social worker in this case has qualified immunity from a ...

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Criminal – Sentencing – Felon In Possession – ‘Crime Of Violence’ – N.C. Law (access required)

The 4th Circuit upholds defendant’s sentence for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, which the district court calculated by counting his prior North Carolina conviction for larceny from the person as a “crime of violence” under the federal ...

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Criminal – Crack Cocaine Possession – Traffic Stop (access required)

An officer did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when, after smelling and possibly observing marijuana when he stopped a Mercury sedan with multiple windshield cracks, the officer asked defendant passenger to step out of the car and found drugs ...

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Criminal – Sentencing – ACCA – Predicate Offense – S.C. Law (access required)

The 4th Circuit says that “under no circumstance is a violation of South Carolina’s blue light statute a violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act, and the court vacates a defendant’s sentence enhanced under the ACCA for predicate offenses ...

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Immigration – Withholding Of Removal – ‘Serious Crime’ – Military Technology Export (access required)

The 4th Circuit says the Board of Immigration Appeals may determine on a case-by-case basis that a non-aggravated felony is a “particularly serious crime” for purposes of asylum, and the court rejects a Chinese citizen’s application for withholding of removal ...

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Criminal – Supervised Release – Revocation (access required)

A defendant’s 18-month sentence after revocation of his supervised release, for battery, obstruction and methamphetamine possession, is vacated by the 4th Circuit because of the district court’s failure to explain its chosen sentence was plainly unreasonable. A court need not ...

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Criminal – Grand Jury Subpoena – Civil Contempt – Corporate Documents (access required)

A group of corporations suspected of financing terrorist activity that refused to turn over documents pursuant to a grand jury subpoena has findings of civil contempt upheld by the 4th Circuit. The twelve interrelated corporations in this case refused to ...

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Civil Procedure – Misnomer – Name – Service Of Process (access required)

An Albemarle County Circuit Court says a plaintiff who attempted service on “Maggie Walker” cannot pursue her suit for injuries against “Ann Margaret Walker,” even though the plaintiff’s complaint identified the right defendant driver, vehicle and date of the incident. ...

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Drug company must turn over e-mails

An Abingdon U.S. District Court has ordered Abbott Laboratories to turn over e-mails of current and former top executives in a government investigation of health care fraud. Abbott is under investigation for off-label marketing of its drug Depakote, approved by ...

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