Xyngular v Schenkel v Revak et al.

Schenkel appealed the dismissal sanction imposed for pre-litigation conduct. The panel affirmed. It held that federal courts have inherent power to sanction bad faith conduct that abuses the judicial process, that conduct prior to litigation can provide the factual basis for such sanctions, Schenkel’s conduct was independent of the contract dispute in the underlying case and this decision is consistent with those of other circuits in similar circumstances. It held that in imposing sanctions in this context, the clear and convincing standard applies and held that standard was met here as Schenkel willfully in bad faith obtained documents belonging to Xyngular and other opponents n this litigation without using proper procedures which deprived the opponents of the protections of the discovery process and held the district court properly applied the relevant factors to conclude dismissal was proper here.

United States v Washington

Washington appealed the denial of his motion to vacate his enhanced sentence. The panel affirmed. It refused to extend the rule that a general verdict must be set aside if any of the grounds sustaining it is unconstitutional as reviewing courts in the sentencing context have the background legal environment and presentence report and other legal documents before the sentencing court to permit analysis. It held that defendants challenging their sentence under the Johnson residual clause decision bear the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that their sentence was imposed under that clause noting it joined two other circuits in so holding. It held that the record did not support a finding of residual clause reliance as the legal environment at the time of sentencing supported an elements based inclusion of Washington’s burglary and pointing a weapon convictions as crimes of violence.

United States v Hammond

Hammond appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. The panel, 2-1, affirmed. The majority held that the officer here had reasonable suspicion that Hammond was armed as Hammond had been arrested recently on weapons charges, was in the same car seized in connection with his arrest, was suspected in another weapons case, was a listed member of the Cripps gang, and was observed in the car wearing Cripps attire and the apt down which discovered the firearm here was lawful. Phillips dissented arguing that there was no objective risk of danger on these facts as the car was pulled over for a minor violation, the driver was not considered a danger, Hammond was courteous, cooperative, and compliant and the traffic stop took place in a well-lit busy intersection right by the police department and other business buildings. He argued this case would authorize pat downs for gang members with criminal records now as the majority did not consider the dangerousness factors and thus allowed the pat down without looking at the totality of the circumstances.

Dirty Boyz Sanitation Service, Inc. v City of Rawlins, Wyoming

Dirty Boyz appealed summary judgment to City on its contract clause and preemption claims against a City ordinance requiring garbage collected within City to go to a City owned transfer station. The panel affirmed. It held the contract clause claim failed as the ordnance did not change the agreement between Dirty Boyz and City as the agreement was silent on where garbage collected when the City landfill was unavailable should be taken, did not grant Dirty Boyz a right to take the garbage wherever it wanted, there we no implicit right to take the garbage wherever Dirty Boyz wanted and the ordinance did not shed light on the parties understanding of the agreement as of the date it was signed. It affirmed on preemption as the legislative history of 49 USC 14501(c)(1) demonstrates transport of garbage is not covered and even if it were the restriction here is too far removed from the purpose of deregulating fright hauling and the impact on garbage haulers prices routes and services is tenuous at best.

Fassbender v Correct Care Solutions, LLC

Fassbender appealed summary judgment to Solutions in her pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment case. The panel affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part. It held that comments by Fassbender’s supervisor that she had too many pregnant employees was not direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination as there was no connection between the statements and Fassbender’s termination. It held there was a jury question on whether Solution’s reason for firing Fassbender was pretextual under the totality of the circumstances including the supervisor’s comments which showed hostility or frustration with pregnant employees, the supervisor made the decision to terminate, the supervisor displayed evidence of guilt in dying making eh comments after telling her own supervisors that she did make them and was told to be more careful about making such statements in the future, the shifting explanations for why Fassbender was terminated, the supervisor’s failure to follow procedures by submitting a narrative of why Fassbender was terminated and the fact that Fassbender followed to the letter Solutions instructions when another inmate gave her a letter and was terminated anyway. It affirmed on the sexual harassment claim as no jury could find one disturbing letter from an inmate to meet eth standard for sexual harassment and thus there could be no retaliation claim.

United States v Kahn

Kahn sought review of the district court’s denial of his motion for a hearing to get seized assets back. The panel reversed and remanded holding that the best reading of the circuit’s Jones precedent is to allow defendants a hearing when the assets at issue are needed to give the defendant sufficient to meet the necessities of life and to retain counsel, this is consistent with the decisions of other circuits and the cases relied upon by the government do not compel a different result.