Cressman v. Thompson

Cressman sued to enjoin the use of an image of an American Indian shooting an arrow into the sky on Oklahoma license plates as coerced endorsement of pantheism. The district court granted summary judgment to Thompson. The panel, with one judge concurring, affirmed. The majority held Cressman had standing as he had been threatened with prosecution and had to pay more for specialty plates and a claim of coerced speech on a license plate is cognizable. It held the image depicting a sculpture was not pure speech as Oklahoma was not trying to self-express the message of the sculpture. Instead, the image was part of a marketing campaign. The majority held the description of the image was not symbolic speech because the display of the image is not expressive in itself. Applying the reasonable observer analytic approach from establishment clause cases, the panel held the image was symbolic speech and is reasonably understood to mean Oklahoma’s history has been influenced by Native Americans. However, Cressman admits he agrees with this message and thus hos coerced speech claim necessarily fails. The concurrence argued that license plates are government speech and there was no coerced speech here as Cressman doesn’t find the Native American influence on Oklahoma history objectionable.

United States v Faust

Faust appealed his conviction under 18 USC 2422(b) for attempted online enticement of a minor arguing insufficient evidence and failure to charge specific intent. The panel affirmed. It held that 2422(b) only requires intent to persuade a minor to engage in sexual conduct and here Faust negotiated access to the minor, specific sex acts to occur, a price to be paid and a location for the rendezvous which is more than enough to sustain the conviction. As to the jury instruction, the panel reviewed for abuse of discretion as the government did not argue the issue was forfeited. It held there was no abuse of discretion because Faust’s theory of the case was legally irrelevant, the proposed instruction was vague and even condemned by a later version of the treatise Faust relies on rejects the proposed instruction and the jury charge as a whole adequately conveyed he law.

Martinez v Angel Exploration, LLC

Martinez sued Angel alleging negligent and intentional tort based on Angel’s failure to put a guard over the belts on an oil pump. The district court granted summary judgment to Angel. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It held that Martinez’s negligence per se claims were forfeited as they were not raised in the district court. It held the lack for a guard is open and obvious and there was no error in so finding nor was there error in ruling there was no evidence of knowledge of substantial certainty of injury and thus summary judgment on the intentional tort claim was correct. The panel reversed on the premises liability negligence claim holding Oklahoma law changed after the entry of summary judgment and a reasonably foreseeable injury can now provide a basis for liability when an open and obvious hazard exists particularly as Angel could have easily discovered the lack of a guard and Oklahoma law imposes a duty to discover hazards which can be reasonably discovered. The case was remanded for further proceedings on the premises liability claim.

United States v Sanders

The police department impounded Sanders’ car even though none of the criteria in the impoundment ordinance were applicable and it was legally parked in a private parking lot. Sanders moved to suppress drugs and paraphernalia found in during an inventory search. The district court granted the motion and the panel affirmed. After reviewing the case law of the Supreme Court, 10th Circuit and the conflicting approaches of the other circuits, the panel adopted the rule that an impoundment of a car on private property, not impeding traffic and not creating an imminent threat to the public is constitutional only if justified by a standardized policy and a nonpretextual community caretaking rationale. Applying here, the impoundment was improper as it was not guided by standardized criteria as the standards in the ordinance did not apply to private property and officers failed to offer Sanders the options to leave the car with a waiver for liability or have it towed by a private company and there were no limits on officer discretion to impound on private property. The impounding was also improper as there was no community caretaking justification as officers did not consult with the lot owner or allow sanders’ friend to arrange for the car to be taken away.

United States v Calhoun

Calhoun appealed the denial of his motion to quash indictment. The panel affirmed. It held there is no right to counsel at grand jury testimony stage and thus any misconduct at that stage did not violate a constitutional right. The panel also held that even if there was a right violated here, there was no prejudice as Calhoun received the plea deal he expected before testifying.

In re C.W. Mining Company (Jubber v SMC Electrical Products, Inc.)

Jubbers, as trustee, brought an adversarial action seeking return of payments made to SMC. The bankruptcy court granted summary judgment to SMC. The panel affirmed. The panel held that the ordinary course of business exception applies to first time transactions between parties so long as the transactions is in the normal course of business for both parties and terms are normal within eth context of the industry. Applying here, the panel held the sale of used mining equipment was in the ordinary course of business of Mining which mined and SMC which sold mining equipment and the transferred funds were made pursuant to the agreed payment schedule.