Supreme Court amends Appellate Rules on content and docketing of notices of appeal
Criminal Procedural Rules Committee
The information below is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest.
The House is scheduled for a non-voting session on Monday. The Senate is not scheduled to meet this week.
The House passed House Bill 440, amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) in criminal history record information, further providing for expungement, for petition for limited access, for clean slate limited access and for effects of expunged records and records subject to limited access; and, in administration of justice, further providing for attachment and summary punishment for contempts. (201-0). HB 440 now heads to the Governor for his action.
The Senate passed Senate Bill 976, amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure), in jurisdiction of appellate courts, providing for commerce court program; and, in organization and jurisdiction of courts of common pleas, further providing for problem-solving courts and providing for commerce courts. SB 976 now heads to the Governor for his action. (47-0).
The Senate passed Senate Bill 1281, amending Title 75 (Vehicles), in licensing of drivers, further providing for schedule of convictions and points; in rules of the road in general, further providing for duty of driver in emergency response areas; and, in offenses in general, further providing for the offenses of homicide by vehicle and of aggravated assault by vehicle. (47-0). SB 1281 now heads to the Governor for his action.
The Senate passed House Bill 1662, amending the Methadone Death and Incident Review Act, further providing for title of act, for short title, for definitions, for establishment of Methadone Death and Incident Review Team, for team duties, for duties of coroner and medical examiner, for review procedures and for confidentiality. (48-0). HB 1662 now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.
The Senate passed House Bill 616, amending the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, further providing for schedules of controlled substances. (49-0). HB 616 now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.
The Senate passed House Bill 1538, amending Title 61 (Prisons and Parole) in Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, further providing for parole procedure. (46-3) HB 1538 now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.
The Senate passed House Bill 2175, amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in organization and jurisdiction of courts of common pleas, further providing for courts of common pleas; and, in depositions and witnesses, further providing for expert testimony in certain criminal proceedings. (47-0). HB 2175 now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.
The Senate passed House Bill 2296, amending Title 75 (Vehicles), in general provisions, further providing for definitions; in licensing of drivers, further providing for learners’ permits, for examination of applicant for driver’s license and for restrictions on drivers’ licenses; in commercial drivers, further providing for notification requirements for drivers, for requirement for commercial driver’s license, for commercial driver’s license qualification standards and for disqualification; and in fees, further providing for exemption of persons, entities and vehicles from fees. (47-0). HB 2296 now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.
The Senate passed House Bill 2370, amending Title 57 (Notaries Public) to permit the electronic notarization of documents. (48-0). HB 2370 now heads back to the House for a concurrence vote.
The House passed House Bill 2478, amending Title 75 (Vehicle Code) to allow a civil penalty in lieu of a license suspension for driving without insurance. (201-1) HB 2478 now heads to the Senate for their consideration.
Headlines from politicspa.com
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. residents with court debt could have their records automatically sealed under new bill
WHYY Newsworks: Philly’s new legal strategy to bypass the state and enact gun laws
Patriot News: Bill protecting young sexual assault victims from being re-victimized on its way to the governor
AP: Justices review priest abuse lawsuit’s ruling on time limits
|THE BEST OF THE MARSHALL PROJECT|
Corrections officials make it difficult for prisoners to apply for their stimulus checks. A federal judge last month ruled that prisoners, too, are eligible to receive those $1,200 economic stimulus checks so many others received as part of the CARES Act. But corrections officials in several jurisdictions have reportedly made it difficult for prisoners to get access to the forms they must complete to apply for the money. They’ve allegedly blocked advocate emails containing instructions on how to fill out the forms and confiscated applications in mailrooms. In collaboration with NBC News, Keri Blakinger and Joseph Neff have our story.
Shame is ever-present when you’re sitting in a cell. Demetrius A. Buckley wondered where he fit in the Black diaspora: kicked out of his home at the age of 14 and now serving a prison term for second-degree murder, he tried to find positivity and worth in his one good friend and himself. That all changed when his friend died. “Soon it’s nighttime and I can’t sleep,” Buckley wrote in the latest installment of our Life Inside series. “I add to my list of what “my kind” is: Black, useless, incarcerated, no family, and now, no friends. If I ever make it out of prison, I might just be one of a kind.”
Two new things from The Marshall Project. Introducing “The System,” a limited-run online newsletter designed to help readers better understand our criminal justice system. Subscribe to learn the differences between prisons and jails, the meaning and limitations of cash bail, and more. We also introduce our “Ballots Behind Bars” Twitter account, in which we hear from some of the incarcerated people across the country we surveyed recently about criminal justice reform and the election.
Over 152,000 state and federal prisoners have tested positive for the coronavirus, over 1,275 have died, and last week saw a steep increase in the number of prison employees with known positives. In collaboration with the Associated Press here is our updated tracker.
|THE BEST OF THE REST|
Criminal justice stories from around the web as selected by our staff.
In a probing personal essay, retired pastor and criminal-justice advocate Elder G. Yusef Qualls makes an impassioned call for grace on behalf of Kyle Rittenhouse. Most readers will recognize Rittenhouse as the Michigan teenager who traveled to police protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin and killed two people with an AR-15. The self-styled vigilante, who is currently in juvenile detention awaiting trial, claimed he was there to protect businesses from looting. Qualls compares Rittenhouse to the story of his own son, a Black boy in Detroit who was convicted as an accomplice to murder during a home invasion at the same age of 17. Watching his own son’s growth from an impulsive decision made in the fog of adolescence, Qualls asks us to consider that years from now, Rittenhouse, like his own son, “may become someone unrecognizable from his 17-year-old self.” —Jamiles Lartey
After police tear-gassed him at a protest in Portland this June, Christopher Howell set out to build a facial recognition tool that could identify police officers, even if they aren’t wearing name tags. Four months later, Howell told New York Times’ Kashmir Hill that his program can identify 20 percent of police officers in Portland. Turns out, Howell is not alone. Police departments have been using controversial facial recognition programs and government ID photos to identify criminals. But as machine-learning models, such as Google’s TensorFlow, lower the barrier entry of building something similar, and as social media platforms like Facebook make it easy to find photos, people around the world are turning the tables and developing tools to hold law enforcement accountable. —Weihua Li
Michael Hall at Texas Monthly once again has an enraging tale of the injustice in the Lone Star State’s criminal legal system. It’s the story of Lydell Grant, a Houston man convicted of murder based largely on identifications from eyewitnesses. The aspiring rapper took his case to trial and lost– but years after he went to prison, a legal team discovered that DNA evidence pointed to another man. The mistake was so certain that prosecutors and a local judge backed his exoneration, and even the police chief apologized to Grant and his family. He only needed the state appeals court to agree in order to go free and get compensation for his time in prison. Unfortunately, that court was the notoriously unmerciful Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This meticulously researched long-read packs in an unexpectedly fascinating history of the court widely reviled by defense attorneys and prisoners, and explains how the state’s highest criminal appeals court wasn’t always so unforgiving. —Keri Blakinger
SCOTUSblog: Petitions of the Week by Andrew Hamm
This week we highlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to decide, among other things, the filing deadline for attorneys’ fees under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and whether Georgia’s burglary statute qualifies as a prior conviction under the Armed Career Criminal Act.
Richardson v. Omaha School District concerns the deadline that parents face in seeking to recoup their attorneys’ fees after prevailing in administrative proceedings under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The IDEA offers states federal funds in return for providing a “free appropriate public education” for all students with disabilities. The IDEA also allows parents to initiate a “due process hearing” before a state or local IDEA hearing officer in order to enforce that promise. Parents who are “aggrieved” after these administrative proceedings have 90 days to seek judicial review, unless state law provides otherwise. Parents who prevail in the administrative proceedings may seek attorneys’ fees – but the statute does not specify any filing deadline. Courts divide over the proper deadline. Some circuits consider the fees as ancillary to the underlying educational dispute. They borrow the deadline for judicial review of IDEA administrative merits decisions, which in different states ranges from one to four months. Other circuits consider the fees as independent actions; they apply deadlines that apply for statutory violations, which could be years. In this case, Chad and Tonya Richardson waited months after the administrative decision before seeking attorneys’ fees – because, their petition claims, they were preoccupied with concerns that their child was being bulled. Their action came too late in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which requires the shorter deadline. In their petition, the Richardsons ask the Supreme Court to review the 8th Circuit’s decision and adopt the longer deadline.
Avery v. United States addresses how courts should analyze state crimes for purposes of sentencing enhancements. The Armed Career Criminal Act requires a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for someone convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm who has three previous convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense. The statute includes within the definition of “violent felony” a burglary that is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. The Supreme Court has said that “burglary” in the ACCA refers to its generic version, not to all possible variants of burglary. In 2005, James Avery received a sentencing enhancement under the ACCA for being a felon in possession of a firearm with three qualifying prior convictions, including a Georgia burglary conviction. On appeal, Avery argued that the Georgia burglary statute is broader than the generic definition of burglary and therefore does not qualify as a prior conviction for the ACCA. In Georgia, one can burglarize multiple places, including “the dwelling house of another or any building, vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, watercraft, or other such structure designed for use as the dwelling of another, or … any other building, railroad car, aircraft, or any room or any part thereof.” Avery argues that this list of places expands beyond generic burglary. At issue is whether the various places constitute elements of separates crimes of burglary, or are examples of one overbroad burglary crime. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit followed the former approach, and it determined that Avery’s burglary of a building and liquor storage room fell within a generic definition of burglary. However, the 11th Circuit acknowledged that other circuits have come out differently. Avery asks the justices to review the 11th Circuit’s decision.
These and other petitions of the week are below:
Carey v. Throwe
Issues: (1) Whether a qualified retired law enforcement officer who meets the statutory requirements to carry a weapon under the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act has an enforceable right under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and (2) whether social media posts “outing” a police officer’s misogynistic behavior and his making light of gun violence and gun control, raises an issue of public concern as a matter of law.
Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Gilead Sciences Inc.
Issues: (1) Whether, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held, a genus claim is not enabled “as a matter of law” if it encompasses a large number of compounds — or whether, as the Supreme Court has recognized, enablement is a context-specific jury question; and (2) whether, as the Federal Circuit has held, 35 U.S.C. § 112(a) contains a separate “possession” requirement — or whether, as the statute provides, Section 112(a) sets forth a single substantive requirement of “a written description of the invention” sufficient “to enable any person skilled in the art … to make and use the same.”
Guam v. United States
Issues: (1) Whether a settlement that is not under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act can trigger a contribution claim under CERCLA Section 113(f)(3)(B); and (2) whether a settlement that expressly disclaims any liability determination and leaves the settling party exposed to future liability can trigger a contribution claim under CERCLA Section 113(f)(3)(B).
Avery v. United States
Issue: Whether a state burglary statute that disjunctively lists places that may be burgled under the statute is divisible for purposes of a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, even though the statutory list is not exclusive and does not require the jury to agree that the defendant burgled any particular listed place.
Richardson v. Omaha School District
Issue: Whether, for attorneys’ fees actions under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, courts should borrow years-long state statutes of limitations because fees actions are analogous to independent lawsuits separate from the underlying merits of the IDEA administrative proceedings, or, in contrast, courts should borrow far shorter periods designed for judicial review of IDEA administrative merits decisions because fees actions are merely ancillary to the underlying educational dispute.
City of Miami Gardens, Florida v. Wells Fargo & Co.
Issue: Whether, by raising standing sua sponte at oral argument in an appeal concerning a partial summary-judgment decision focused solely on the statute of limitations and when discovery was limited to that purpose, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit’s decision dismissing this case conflicts with the Supreme Court’s binding precedent in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and violates due process in conflict with decisions of the Supreme Court and sister circuits.
Lee v. Ohio Education Association
Issues: (1) Whether 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides a “good-faith defense” to private entities who violate another’s constitutional rights before the courts have clearly established the illegality of their conduct; and (2) whether the defenses of qualified immunity or “good faith” allow a defendant who takes another person’s money or property in violation of the Constitution — but in reliance on a statute or court ruling that purported to authorize its conduct and is only later declared unconstitutional — to keep that money or property when the owner sues for its return.
Huntress v. United States
Issues: (1) Whether the discretionary-function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act’s waiver of sovereign immunity for United States employees’ negligent or wrongful conduct nullifies the law-enforcement proviso that clarifies the act’s provisions “shall apply to any claim” for “abuse of process[ ] or malicious prosecution” (as four circuits have now held), limits that proviso (as one circuit has held) or yields to it (as one circuit has held); and (2) whether the discretionary-function exemption applies when government officials act outside their jurisdiction.
Posted in Carey v. Throwe, Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Gilead Sciences Inc., Guam v. U.S., Avery v. U.S., Richardson v. Omaha School District, City of Miami Gardens, Florida v. Wells Fargo & Co., Lee v. Ohio Education Association, Huntress v. U.S., Featured, Cases in the Pipeline
Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Petitions of the week: Deadlines for attorneys’ fees, the elements of burglary and more, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 23, 2020, 3:42 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/10/petitions-of-the-week-deadlines-for-attorneys-fees-the-elements-of-burglary-and-more/
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President, born October 27, 1858. Click for article from whitehouse.gov.