Articles Posted in U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

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In 2009, Lumbard was arrested by Michigan authorities on warrants charging breaking and entering, destruction of a building, and larceny. He was released on a $100,000 bond. Other outstanding warrants charged aggravated battery, obstruction of justice, receiving stolen property, and more. Eluding capture on the other warrants, Lumbard paid Cheesebrew $500 for his birth date, social security number, and information about his place of birth and his parents. Lumbard used the information to obtain a driver’s license, a copy of Cheesebrew’s birth certificate, and a passport. He traveled to Tokyo, Thailand, and Burma after attempting to stage a “suicide.” Lumbard was eventually located and, during transport, attempted to stab a Burmese officer in order to be charged in Burma, which would have prevented extradition. He entered a conditional guilty plea to falsely representing information in an application for a passport and knowingly providing false identifying documents, 18 U.S.C. 1542 and using the name, social security number, date of birth, and driver’s license of another person to obtain a passport, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1) and (c)(7), (aggravated identity theft). The Sixth Circuit affirmed, holding that a purchase of identification can constitute aggravated identity theft. View "United States v. Lumbard" on Justia Law

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In 2000 an “incident” occurred on the ice of a professional hockey game in Switzerland between Miller and McKim. McKim was injured. Swiss courts filed criminal charges against Miller. McKim’s insurer and hockey club filed suit against Miller, and two civil judgments were entered against Miller. Miller left Switzerland before the judgments were finalized and informed his hockey team and its insurer (Winterthur) that he no longer had the financial means to defend the litigation. In 2005, a document was submitted to Miller in Michigan from Winterthur that acknowledged its responsibility for the costs of criminal and civil judgments and proceedings pending in Zurich and previous attorneys’ fees. In 2010, McKim’s team and insurer submitted demands for payment to Miller from the Swiss judgment. Miller, claiming reliance, submitted the demands to Winterthur, which declined to pay the judgments in full. Miller brought suit in Michigan, seeking contractual damages and enforcement of the terms of the 2005 document. The district court granted Winterthur’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. Miller had established a basis for personal jurisdiction under Michigan’s long-arm statute, but the requirements of constitutional due process were not met. View "Miller v. AXA Winterthur Ins. Co." on Justia Law

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Defendant, a Russian citizen, attended graduate school and owns real property, vehicles, and bank accounts in Ohio. He spends some time in Ohio each year, ranging from 40 days in 2007 to a total of 17 days in 2008–2009. He visits under a tourist visa and does not have an Ohio driver's license. After going to Russia to take part in a business venture with defendant, plaintiff filed suit in Ohio. The contract had no connection to the state. The trial court dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, noting that defendant was not served with process in a manner that automatically confers personal jurisdiction. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, finding that notions of fair play and substantial justice weigh against jurisdiction in Ohio. The court quoted a Russian proverb, “If you’re afraid of wolves, don’t go into the forest” that could be read, “If you’re afraid of the Russian legal system, don't do business in Russia.” View "Conn v. Zakharov" on Justia Law

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Defendant was discharged from the U.S. Army due to a personality disorder. He was later charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, 18 U.S.C. 3261(a), and sentenced, by a federal district court, to life in prison for participating in a sexual assault and multiple murders while stationed in Iraq. Co-conspirators, still on active duty and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 802(a)(1), were tried by courts-martial and each sentenced to between 90 and 110 years imprisonment; they are eligible for parole in ten years. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, first noting that Iraq could not prosecute the defendant and that prosecution in the U.S. did not violate international law. The Army completed a valid discharge of defendant, so that he was no longer subject to courts-martial. His trial under MEJA did not violate the separation-of-powers principle or his due process or equal protection rights. Defendant was no longer similarly situated with his co-conspirators when charges were filed. View "United States v. Green" on Justia Law

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Prior to defendant's trial for shipping telecommunications and navigation equipment to Iraq, in violation of an embargo (Executive Order 12722) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the district court denied a motion to suppress; granted a protective order to prevent disclosure of certain confidential documents to the defense; and excluded testimony from a defense witness. Following conviction, the the district court found the sentencing range to be 188-235 months, but only imposed concurrent sentences of 72 months. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The motion to suppress was properly denied; the affidavit would have provided a sufficient basis to establish probable cause, even if defendant's desired changes had been made. The court properly imposed a sentencing enhancement for an offense involving national security, but improperly applied U.S.S.G 251.1(a)(2); as "invited error," it did not warrant reversal. No Brady violations occurred. Newly-discovered evidence was not exculpatory and did not advance a theory that the government approved and assisted with the shipments. View "United States v. Hanna" on Justia Law