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Judge Allyson K. Duncan

May 22, 2019

School’s accreditation loss did not violate due process rights

Where a decision to revoke a school’s accreditation after the school failed to meet graduation rate requirements relied on a recommendation made by a team that included the president of a competing school, the level of competition between the schools was not sufficiently direct for the president’s presence on the team to create a due […]

May 22, 2019

Creditor could garnish accounts to collect on contempt order

A plaintiff was entitled to collect on a contempt award against a national business franchise by garnishing two bank accounts in the franchise’s name because the current owner of the franchise failed to establish that it had actually loaned money to the franchise and thereby acquired a valid, superior interest in the accounts. Background David […]

Apr 10, 2019

Decision on prisoner’s custody of child needed review

Where an immigration judge determined that an imprisoned father did not have physical custody of his child for purposes of the Child Citizenship Act, that decision should have been reviewed de novo by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Background Howard Egba Duncan Jr. is a legal permanent resident of the United States who was born […]

Feb 23, 2019

Tax payment agreement a consumer credit transaction

The agreement between the taxpayer and a third-party to finance the payment of property taxes owed on his residential home was a consumer credit transaction and the taxpayer had standing to bring claims for violations of federal statutes where the terms of the agreement create a realistic danger that the party will suffer the precise […]

Feb 15, 2019

Application of enhancement did not change the sentence imposed

Any error resulting from the district court’s application of a sentencing enhancement for career offenders was harmless because, even if the enhancement was not applied, the court would have imposed the same sentence and that sentence would have been reasonable. Background Appellant Randy Lee Carney pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution and possession with […]

Feb 15, 2019 entitled to trademark

Where the government failed to demonstrate that was a generic term that could not be trademarked, and demonstrated that the descriptive term has gained a secondary meaning, the website is entitled to a trademark. Background operates a website on which customers can book travel and hotel accommodations. It has used the name […]

Feb 15, 2019

Strip search of passenger did not violate the Fourth Amendment

Despite being conducted in a public area, an officer’s strip search of the passenger of a car stopped for a traffic violation did not violate the passenger’s Fourth Amendment rights because the search was limited in scope and manner and there was a reasonable justification for the officer’s conduct. Background On the night of April […]

Feb 10, 2019

Defendants’ appeal based on immunity is premature

Defendants who collected fines imposed in traffic and misdemeanor cases in municipal court were sued for overseeing and enforcing policies and practices that allegedly violated plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. The defendants could not immediately appeal the denial of their pre-discovery immunity motion because resolution of that motion turned on facts that needed to be developed during [&helli[...]

Feb 5, 2019

Pamlico Sound bridge clears another hurdle

In upholding the granting of summary judgment to the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, the court rejected claims by Outer Banks residents that the agencies violated federal laws in approving the Pamlico Sound bridge. Background Save Our Sound OBX Inc. and its members, residents and vacationers from North Carolina’s Outer […]

Jan 19, 2019

Defendant can’t get relief on property to hire counsel

Although a man charged with fraudulently procuring and laundering funds argued that he needed relief from restraints on his real properties in order to retain counsel of his choice, the district court did not err in maintaining the restraints because there is probable cause that defendant used fraudulently obtained and laundered funds to make mortgage […]

Jan 19, 2019

Airline can be sued for retaliation under False Claims Act

Because an aviation maintenance technician’s complaint failed to plead facts sufficient to infer that United Airlines presented false invoices to the federal government for payment, the district court correctly dismissed two claims under the False Claims Act. However, because the complaint sufficiently pleaded all elements of an FCA retaliation claim, the district court erred in […]

Jan 18, 2019

Lawyer’s home, assets subject to forfeiture

A lawyer charged with helping his wife plunder money from the campaign chest of a Virginia state senator and two other organizations cannot shield his two homes from possible forfeiture, a federal appeals court ruled last month. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the properties are forfeitable because there is probable cause that […]

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