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Tag Archives: Constitutional

Va. Cir.: Marijuana odor not supported by body cam footage (access required)

Officers’ recollection that a strong marijuana odor emanated from a vehicle wasn’t consistent with video of their search: The car doors were closed, the marijuana discovered was raw and enclosed, and the officers never mentioned the odor before the search. ...

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4th Cir.: Imprisonment not sufficient to appoint counsel (access required)

The district court did not err in dismissing an inmate’s Eighth Amendment claims or in declining to appoint counsel, but remand is necessary because the lower court failed to address the plaintiff’s state-law medical malpractice claims. Background Plaintiff Steven Banks ...

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4th Cir.: Shooting suicidal man was excessive force (access required)

An officer violated the Fourth Amendment in shooting a suicidal man who had a knife but was threatening only himself. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity, but the unconstitutionality of his actions is clearly established as of the date ...

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4th Cir.: High defamation standard applies to school board employee (access required)

Based on her responsibilities as set forth in the Virginia Code, a school board’s Director of Budget & Finance was a “public official” who had to show actual malice to prove that a TV news station defamed her. She failed ...

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EDVA: Court won’t seal trial records containing proprietary info (access required)

A company waived the confidentiality of its business information presented at trial. First Amendment principles and the company’s failure to follow Local Rule 5(C) also weighed against sealing the records. Background In this products liability action, a jury trial was ...

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4th Cir.: Data breach victims have standing for contract claims (access required)

After credit cards were fraudulently opened in their names, a class of optometrists alleged an injury in fact traceable to their professional organization. Background In July 2016, optometrists across the nation noticed that Chase Amazon Visa credit card accounts had ...

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Va. Cir.: Applying new SCOTUS precedent, rear driveway was within curtilage (access required)

Applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Collins v. Virginia, a warrantless arrest in an area of the suspect’s driveway beyond the walkway to the front door was within the home’s curtilage and, thus, improper under the Fourth Amendment. ...

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EDVA: Officers face trial over eviction confusion (access required)

After taking a homebuyer’s account of foreclosure purchase at face value, a sheriff and his subordinates may go to trial for events that transpired when they accompanied her to the home to remove the previous owners. Background Plaintiffs James and ...

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CAV: Terry stop resistance supported probable cause (access required)

The trial court erred in granting the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. His resistance to the efforts to handcuff him provided probable cause to arrest for obstruction of justice, thereby legitimizing the search of his person and the bundle he ...

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