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Tag Archives: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

4th Cir.: Free expression not chilled by school’s initial inquiry (access required)

A university did not restrict or chill students’ speech by seeking their response to complaints that they had harassed others. The students, who’d sought and obtained university approval for a campus “Free Speech Event,” met with an official to discuss ...

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4th Cir.: Sentence-reduction motion was in feds’ discretion (access required)

By the unambiguous terms of a plea agreement, the government had discretion to determine whether the defendant had complied with his obligation under the agreement to give full and complete testimony when asked. Given this discretion, it was not required ...

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4th Cir.: No late substitute for unconstitutional predicate (access required)

After U.S. Supreme Court precedent invalidated one of the defendant’s three predicate convictions mandating a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, his sentence could not be sustained by a “substitute” conviction that appeared on his pre-sentence report but ...

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4th Cir.: Longtime resident removable based on old drug offense (access required)

After a trip to his native U.K., a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. was denied admission upon his return, based on a seven-year-old conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. His removal order was ...

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4th Cir.: Coin collectors’ quest to ease import restrictions fails (access required)

A numismatics lobbying group that intentionally imported ancient coins under international trade restrictions was unsuccessful in challenging forfeiture of the coins. Abuse of discretion is the appropriate standard for reviewing lower-court decisions to strike pleadings. Background In 1970, the U.S. ...

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4th Cir.: “Habitual drunkard” interdiction laws upheld (access required)

A district court properly dismissed constitutional challenges to Virginia’s civil interdiction process, which can lead to criminal penalties for possession, consumption, or purchase of alcoholic beverages by individuals subject to a civil interdiction order. Background Virginia regulates the consumption, purchase, ...

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4th Cir.: Homestead had no notice of ice near walkway fountain (access required)

A guest at the Omni Homestead did not demonstrate that the hotel had either actual notice of ice she slipped on or constructive notice, based on the hazardous condition allegedly caused by operating the outdoor fountain in sub-freezing conditions. Background ...

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4th Cir.: State water agencies’ review of pipeline effects was sound (access required)

Based on thorough analysis by Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, the state Water Control Board had a sufficient basis to certify reasonable assurance that the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project – and the restrictions and protective measures it included – would ...

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4th Cir.: Juror’s voir dire omission demands further inquiry (access required)

In a habeas challenge brought by a defendant on death row for the murder of a Norfolk law enforcement officer, an evidentiary hearing is necessary to determine whether juror bias tainted the conviction. Despite a straightforward inquiry by trial counsel, ...

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