Briefing Law Cases
1. Case: Michael Anthony Carter V. Commonwealth Of Virginia
Record No. 040939; Supreme Court of Virginia; 42 Va. App. 681; 594 S.E.2d 284 January 2005
Facts: Officer O'Donnell officer made a traffic stop for speeding in a car. While O'Donnell and driver were talking, Carter, on the passenger side, made a sudden movement with his right arm in a shape of a gun, moving it up and across his body, and said pow.
Issue: Did Carter have the requisite intent for assault?
Decision: The reviewing court affirmed. The statute was an assault with sufficient intent.
Reason: The reviewing court found that well-founded fear or apprehension of harm, combined with an intent to instill that fear, was sufficient to support a conviction for common law assault. Therefore, the present ability to inflict harm was not required.
2. Case: Richard J. Rennell, Jr. And R.E. Fund Management Group, Llc, Plaintiffs V. Randall K. Rowe, Et Al., Defendants
No. 10-1388; United States Court Of Appeals for The Seventh Circuit; 635 F.3d 1008; March 2011
Facts: Richard Rennell and Randall Rowe ran a company that managed manufactured-housing communities. Rowe bought out Rennell's interest in the joint venture. At the time, Rowe told Rennell that he was terminating the joint venture and essentially offered Rennell either take approximately $300,000 and walk away, or walk away with nothing. Rennell took the money, but he was not pleased. He and his company, R.E. Fund responded with this lawsuit against Rowe, and his existing company, Green Courte, and Green Courte's managers, Stephen Wheeler and James Goldman. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division dismissed the action. Plaintiffs appealed.
Issue: Did defendant's actions in terminating the joint venture amounted to extortion?
Decision: The court affirmed, concluding that Rowe's conduct did not meet the definition of extortion.
Reason: The court stated that when a defendant had a claim of right to property and exerted economic pressure to obtain that property, that conduct was not extortion and no violation had occurred. The individual defendant did have a right, under the parties' property-management agreements, to terminate without cause, and once he did that, he also had a right to terminate the joint-venture agreement.
3. Case: Randall Johnson V. State Of Mississippi
No. 91-KA-0262; Supreme Court of Mississippi; 626 So. 2d 631; November 1993
Facts: Johnson was living with Mary Smith and her two children, Ann and a brother. Ann reported that he had licked her breasts and performed oral sex on her. An examining physician testified that the girl's vaginal area was red and irritated. Ann denied the defendant penetrated her with his penis. Johnson challenged the judgment of the Circuit Court of Lauderdale County (Mississippi), which convicted him of sexual battery and recidivism.
Issue: Did Johnson's conduct is sufficient proof of sexual penetration?
Decision: The court affirmed defendant's convictions.
Reason: The court held that "sexual penetration" under Mississippi Code of 1972 was defined to include "cunnilingus," which included stimulation by the tongue or lips of any part of a woman's genitalia and did not require actual penetration. A contact between a person's mouth and the genital opening of a woman was the equivalent of "sexual penetration."
4. Case: State of Utah v. Jennete Killpack
No. 20060040; Supreme Court of Utah; 2008 UT 49; 191 P.3d 17; 609 Utah Adv. Rep. 3 July 2008
Facts: Killpack forced her adopted daughter Cassandra to drink water as a punishment and as part of a reasonable treatment program to cure the victim's Reactive Attachment Disorder. She was rushed to the hospital when she lost consciousness. Medical experts testified that, based on the amount of water in her system at the time of death, Cassandra had been forced to drink 4 quarts of water. Killpack appeals her conviction for child abuse homicide by the Fourth District Court.
Issue: Did Killpack's reckless actions an element for child abuse homicide?
Decision: The Supreme Court affirmed the defendant's conviction and sentence.
Reason: It was proved that Killpack's reckless actions resulted to the victim's death. Also, there was no evidence on which a jury could have relied to find that a reasonable parent would have used the extreme amount of water defendant forced into her daughter to treat her Reactive Attachment Disorder.
5. Case: United States Of America, Appellee, V. Lance Samaria, Eric Rondell Glover, Defendants, Frank Elaiho, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket No. 00-1244; United States Court Of Appeals for The Second Circuit; 239 F.3d 228 January 2001
Facts: Using the stolen credit card numbers, Samaria and Glover phone in orders for expensive computer equipment directed that the merchandise be sent to their rented mailboxes. After one mail-order computer company detected evidence of fraud, it contacted the United States Secret Service, which commenced an investigation. During the surveillance, the Secret Service agents observed two occasions that Samaria and Glover used Elaiho's car in transporting the ordered boxes from a rented mailbox, which Elaiho served as the driver at one time. Samaria, Glover, and Elaiho were convicted of conspiracy to receive or possess stolen property and credit card fraud. Elaiho appealed his case.
Issue: Did the government offered sufficient evidence to prove that Elaiho was guilty of the conspiracy charges?
Decision: The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of the defendant on all counts where the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction.
Reason: The court finds that the evidence is insufficient to prove that Elaiho knowingly and intentionally participated in the crimes charged. The court held the government failed to establish that Elaiho knew that the boxes he helped to transport contained stolen goods and that his actions were motivated by an intent to further the receipt or possession of stolen goods. The court added that the evidence did not support the inference that Elaiho knew that the contents of the boxes had been purchased using stolen credit card numbers, that he intended to defraud the credit cards holders, or that he conspired or aided and abetted others in doing so.
6. Case: Ronald D. Reher, Plaintiff-Appellant, V. Frank Vivo, Marilyn Gabinski, Defendants-Appellees
No. 10-2180, United States Court Of Appeals For The Seventh Circuit, 656 F.3d 772; September 2011
Facts: An angry crowd, including his ex-girlfriend and estranged daughter, accused Reher of videotaping their children in a public park. Police officers Marilyn Gabinski and Frank Vivo arrested Reher for disorderly conduct. The charges were eventually dropped and Reher sued the officers, claiming they arrested him without probable cause in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the officers. Reher now appeals.
Issue: Did Gabinski and Vivo arrest have no probably cause?
Decision: The appellate court affirmed the district court's judgment.
Reason: The court finds that Gabinski and Vivo had probable cause to arrest Reher. Gabinski are aware of the domestic violence history of Reher with his ex-girlfriend. Vivo was faced with the circumstance to believe that Reher was the cause of the angry crowd. The probable cause believed by the officers is adequate to lead the arrest.
7. Case: State, Respondent, v. Duda, Appellant
No. State 100, Supreme Court of Wisconsin, 60 Wis. 2d 431; 210 N.W.2d 763; October 1973
Facts: Duda challenged the denial of a motion to dismiss because the State failed to prove intent, and he argued that the State could not amend the complaint after verdict to change a bribery charge to a solicitation of perjury charge. Duda, a bartender, help an underage customer who was arrested, come up with a false story that states the latter works at the bar. Duda provided the student with a false paycheck to support her claim.
Issue: Did the trial court err in refusing to grant the defendant's motion to dismiss for the reason that the state had failed to prove the intent? Can the complaint be deemed amended, after verdict?
Decision: The conviction of defendant was reversed on appeal.
Reason: The court finds that the intent to influence is lacking. Duda gave the check to the student not with an attempt to induce her to refrain from testifying against defendant but to support the false employment story. Wisconsin Code allowed for amendment, including after the verdict. However, the court held that this applied to technical amendments and not the substantive charge.
8. Case: Mercedes Duvallon, Appellant V. District Of Columbia, Appellee
No. 83-1468; District of Columbia Court of Appeals; 515 A.2d 724; October 1986
Facts: Duvallon appealed a judgment from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia finding her guilty of indecent exposure. She argued that the statute under which she was convicted did not prohibit the conduct in which she engaged. Duvallon protested in front of the United States Supreme Court building wearing only a cardboard that covered her body from the neck to below her knees, and little or nothing else.
Issue: Did Duvallon's buttock exposure an element for indecent exposure?
Decision: The court reversed the judgment.
Reason: The exposed parts are buttocks and back, the sides of her body, including the sides of her breasts. Under historical definitions, indecent exposure required the purposeful exposure of the genitalia, which in the case of Duvallon did not occur.
9. Case:State Of Tennessee V. Roy D. Nelson
No. E1997-00021-Sc-R11-Cd; Supreme Court Of Tennessee, Eastern Section, At Knoxville; 23 S.W.3d 270; May 2000
Facts: Nelson was convicted of aggravated arson. Appellany sought review of the decision of the Criminal Court for Washington County (Tennessee).
Issue: Nelson started a fire in his wife's basement. He sustained burns in the fire. Nelson was convicted for aggravated arson as he suffered serious bodily injury, thus triggering application of the aggravated arson statute. The appellant challenged arguing that the aggravated arson statute applied only when someone other than the arsonist sustained injury.
Decision: The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court
Reason: Aggravated arson statute includes not only victims of aggravated arson but also the perpetrator of the act of arson. Nelson suffered second and third degree burns, thus triggering application of the aggravated arson statute.
10. Case: The People of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Roy Coleman, Appellant
Court of Appeals of New York; 74 N.Y.2d 381; 547 N.E.2d 69; 547 N.Y.S.2d 814; October 1989
Facts: Coleman mistook a 24-year old undercover female police officer as a 15-year old runaway and encouraged her to engage in prostitution and proposed to act as her pimp. Defendant was convicted of attempted promotion of prostitution in the second degree as well as grand larceny, which were affirmed on direct appeal. Defendant sought further judicial review.
Issue: Did Coleman have the propriety for promoting prostitution?
Decision: The court affirmed.
Reason: The court reviewed the record and concluded that defendant did all that was necessary to complete the crime of promoting prostitution in the second degree and would have been guilty of the completed crime if the attendant circumstances had been as he believed them to be, that is, if the officer had been 15 instead of 24.