Margheim v Buljko

Buljko appealed the denial of her qualified immunity motion in Margheim’s malicious prosecution 1983 action. The panel reversed and remanded with instructions to grant the motion. It held that of the three cases inviting Margheim, he chose to base his claim on the last in time and Buljko cannot change the focus to the earliest case. It held that Buljko forfeited her argument that Margheim cannot prove the favorable termination element of his claim as a matter of law as she did not raise it below. However, the panel chose to address the issue because whether the element can be proven is a pure matter of law, considering the issue is consistent with the purposes of qualified immunity to prevent unnecessary trials, Margheim did not present any legal argument in opposition to the motion below and the district court in fact ruled in Margheim’s favor and the parties had a fair opportunity to address the issue on appeal. The panel held that Margheim cannot prove favorable termination of the last case in time as it was dismissed for technical reasons having to do with the lack of probable cause to issue an arrest warrant not a finding that there were no drugs on Margheim when he was arrested and thus there is no indication of innocence and this is fatal under circuit precedent. It rejected Margheim’s counterarguments as state malicious prosecution law is irrelevant here, the lack of probable cause to issue the warrant proves a difference element of his claim and wither another violation of the 4th Amendment could be proven is irrelevant to whether the malicious prosecution claim can be proven.

United States v Morgan

Morgan appealed the denial of his motion to suppress arguing his 4th Amendment rights were violated when he was ordered to get off his bicycle. The panel affirmed. It held that the officer here had probable cause to stop Morgan for riding his bicycle against traffic without a headlight, had the right to ask for identification and Morgan extended the time of the stop here by giving a false name, Morgan did not in fact get off his bicycle and thus no greater seizure occurred and in any event it was reasonable for the officer to order Morgan to get off his bike to minimize the risk of flight and that grabbing, tasering and handcuffing Morgan was reasonable as Morgan was stopped in a high crime area, disobeyed the order to get off his bike and disobeyed the order to keep his hands out of his pants pocket.

The Green Solution Retail, Inc. v United States

Retail appealed the dismissal of its suit seeking an injunction against investigation of its business records. The panel affirmed. It held that under circuit precedent, lawsuits attempting to stop activities leading up to and culminating in a tax assessment are barred by the anti-injunction act and the tax exclusion to the declaratory judgment act. It held this precedent has not been implicitly overruled by the United States Supreme Court Direct Marketing case as the language of the statute analyzed there is different from the anti-injunction act as the statute there is limited to suits that actually stop assessment, levy or collection of taxes while the anti-injunction act is aimed as suits with the purposes of stopping assessment or levy and three justices stated in the Direct Marketing case that the decision there did not apply in situations like this case. It finally held that the Internal Revenue Service is authorized to enforce the ban on certain deductions for the sale of controlled substances like the marijuana sold by Retail whether or not there is criminal investigation and disallowing deductions is not a penalty as deductions are grants of legislative grace.

United States v Alcorta

Alcorta appealed is drug conspiracy conviction arguing insufficient evidence. The panel affirmed. It held that the evidence introduced (including documents connecting Alcorta to a car where methamphetamine was found and texts and recorded conversations between Alcorta and other conspirators) was sufficient for a reasonable jury to convict. It also held that the recorded conversation among conspirators while some were in jail were properly admitted because the district court conducted hearings and found on the record the conversations were done among conspirators and determined the admitted conversations satisfied the conspiracy exception to the hearsay rule; the conversations were in furtherance of the conspiracy by arranging to avoid detection and arranging a further delivery; the jury was given limiting instructions as to some conversations and many of the items were not statements for purposes of the rule. It finally held there was some nonhearsay evidence connecting Alcorta to the conspiracy including the documents, his many calls to a coconspirator on the day of her arrest, his flight to Kansas City the day the methamphetamine was supposed to arrive and the various phone calls to two conspirators before their arrests.