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Tag Archives: Constitutional

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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WDVA: Jail employee owes inmate $700k+ for sexual assaults (access required)

In a § 1983 action by a former jail inmate, default judgment was granted against a jail employee who failed to appear despite being properly served. The court found that the employee sexually assaulted and raped the inmate and, after ...

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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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SCV: Church merger raised issues of contract, not religion (access required)

A circuit court had jurisdiction to decide a merger dispute between two churches. Resolution centered on the parties’ merger agreement, not their religious doctrines or other ecclesiastical questions. Background After falling behind on its mortgage payments, Pure Presbyterian Church of ...

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EDVA: Hate-crime law unconstitutional as applied to Amazon worker (access required)

An Amazon warehouse employee who beat up a coworker based on the victim’s sexual orientation couldn’t be convicted of a federal hate crime, though the jury delivered a guilty verdict. The act didn’t affect interstate commerce and, thus, was outside ...

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EDVA: Voter intimidation, defamation claims survive dismissal (access required)

Two publications purporting to reveal widespread voter fraud have given rise to a viable lawsuit. The published materials (called Alien Invasion I and II) allegedly reported falsely that specific individuals, identified by name and other personal information, had registered and/or voted illegally in ...

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SCV: Miranda warning written in Spanish was effective (access required)

Evidence was sufficient to conclude that a Spanish-speaking defendant waived his Miranda rights prior to a police interview. He was given the written warning in Spanish, asked by an interpreter if he understood it, and read it back to officers. Background Detective ...

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CAV: News article on prior trial not testimonial; admissible (access required)

At a defendant’s probation revocation hearing, the circuit court properly admitted information about the defendant’s most recent convictions as reported in a news article read by the prosecutor. The article was written to inform the public, not in anticipation of ...

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SCV: Totality of circumstances justified vehicle search (access required)

When the search of a driver who’d appeared nervous and fidgety produced a digital scale with apparent cocaine residue on it, the circumstances supported probable cause for officers to search his vehicle, where they found drugs and a handgun. Background ...

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EDVA: Devices reasonably seized from Manafort condo (access required)

A warrant to search Paul Manafort’s Alexandria condo and to seize various electronic devices and media related to his bank and tax fraud offenses was constitutional on its face and constitutionally executed. Background At issue in this multi-count bank and ...

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