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SAMARITAN NEWSLETTER 1-17-2024

The Law Office of Tom Norrid

SAMARITAN PROJECTS LLC

P.O. Box 9244

Springfield, MO 65801-9244

 

The SAMARITAN-PROJECTS prepares post-conviction and compassionate release motions along with appeals under the direction of Attorney Tom Norrid. The Samaritan-Projects’ newsletter reports every winning district court and court of appeals case for the week in review. These cases will not be on the BOP LEXIS computer for 4 to 6 weeks. The Project charges reasonable rates to retrieve cases, documents, docket sheets, transcripts, etc., from PACER. If you want to order documents, call Lexandria at 417 771 0736. Have your friends place the Project on Corrlinks so they can receive the Newsletter. Have your family check our website – SAMARITANPROJECTS.COM. This newsletter is published on our WEBSITE and available for review by your family and friends.

 

The “SAMARITAN PROJECTS COMPASSIONATE RELEASE ISSUES AND CITATIONS MANUAL” is available. The Manual contains all the winning issues and supporting cases on compassionate release. To keep it simple, the book is approximately 190 pages and sent priority legal mail. The cost is $75.00. To order, have your outside contact call Eddie at 417 818 1938 or Rusty at 417 901 3000, or BP-199 the Project.

 

CR.RIS/MEDICAL. The District of Maryland granted a CR.RIS in United States v. Michael Eggleston, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6457 (D. Md. Jan. 12, 2024). On Oct. 28, 2015, the defendant was indicted and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of 18 USC 922(g)(1). A Superseding Information was filed on April 21, 2016, charging the defendant with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and ethylone in violation of 21 USC 841(a)(1) (Count One), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 USC 924(c) (Count Two). The defendant entered a plea of guilty on May 19, 2016, to Counts One and Two of the Superseding Information. In the Plea Agreement, tendered pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 11(c)(1)(C), the parties agreed to a sentence of 60 months to Count One and 60 months consecutive as to Count Two for a total sentence of 120 months. The court found defendant suffers from both asthma and obesity. The defendant has a body mass index ("BMI") of approximately 30.9. The court determined defendant had established an extraordinary and compelling reason for compassionate release. The court reduced the defendant’s sentence to time served.

 

CR.RIS/DISPARITY/REHABILITATION. The District of Maryland granted in part a CR.RIS motion in United States v. Gary Howard, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4914 (D. Md. Jan. 10, 2024). Howard entered a plea of guilty on June 23, 2014, to the offenses of interference with commerce by robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 USC 1951(a), and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence in violation of 18 USC 924(c). He was also charged as an aider and abetter under 18 USC 2. The plea was tendered pursuant to a Plea Agreement. At sentencing on Sept. 2, 2014, he was sentenced to 151 months for the Hobbs Act robbery and 84 months consecutive for his conviction under 18 USC  924(c), for a total sentence of 235 months. The court granted the Motion in part. The court reduced the defendant's sentence for Hobbs Act robbery from 151 months to 130 months. Defendant's sentence under 18 USC 924(c) remained unchanged. Howard argued that there are three extraordinary and compelling reasons for compassionate release: the disparity between his sentence and the sentences his co-defendants received; the fact that, if sentenced today, he would not be designated a Career Offender; and his rehabilitation while incarcerated. The court determined that Howard demonstrated an extraordinary and compelling reason for relief and the court must consider whether a sentence reduction is consistent with the sentencing factors under 18 USC 3553(a). In the court’s view the sentencing factors favored a modest reduction of defendant's sentence as to the Hobbs Act robbery conviction and reduced his sentence from 151 months to 130 months in conformance with the bottom of the actual Guidelines. This resulted in a total sentence of 214 months.

 

CR.RIS/FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES. The Northern District of Ohio granted a CR.RIS motion in United States v. Brendan Bennett, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3204 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 8, 2024). Bennett is currently serving a 46-month sentence at Elkton FCI. In Jan. 2021, Bennett plead guilty to three counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Bennett's charges relate to his 2017 drug distribution activity. Bennett filed his first compassionate release motion on June 1, 2023. In that motion, Bennett argued that his family's circumstances, particularly his mother's poor health, are extraordinary and compelling circumstances warranting compassionate release. On Nov. 9, 2023, Bennett filed an additional motion to reduce his sentence under the new Sentencing Guidelines amendments. On Dec. 26, 2023, Bennett filed a supplement to his Nov. 9, 2023 motion. Each of these supplements provided updates in regards to his mother's deteriorating health. In relevant part USSG 1B1.13(b)(3)(C) now provides that extraordinary and compelling reasons exist when the defendant's parent is incapacitated, and the defendant is the only available caregiver for their parent. Bennett has shown the court that his mother, Linda Bennett, is incapacitated and he is Linda's only available caregiver. The court reduced the defendant’s sentence to time served.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Sherry R. Heitman, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6296 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 11, 2024). The parties agreed that defendant is eligible for a reduction under Part B of Amendment 821, which added USSC 4C1.1 (2023) to alter offense level calculations for some offenders with no criminal history points. Under Amendment 821 the defendant's offense level was reduced from 29 to 27. The result being is that her guideline sentencing range was lowered. The court considered this lowered range and the parties agreed a sentence reduction from 87 months to 49 months on all counts of conviction was appropriate. The Court agreed for the reasons set forth in the motion. The Court granted the motion, and reduced defendant's sentence from 87 months to 49 months or "time served," whichever is longer effective Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Marshall Rosenberger, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6282 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 11, 2024). The parties agreed that the defendant was eligible for a reduction under Part A of Amendment 821 which amended USSG 4A1.1(e) (2023), and concerns criminal history points awarded because a defendant was under a criminal sentence when he committed his present offense of conviction ("status points"). Under Amendment 821 the defendant's 2 status points were reduced to 0 status points, and his criminal history category was reduced from IV to III. The result being his guideline sentencing range was lowered. The court considered the lowered range and the parties agreed a sentence reduction from 108 months to 92 months was appropriate. The Court agreed for the reasons set forth in the motion. Accordingly, the Court granted the motion and reduced the defendant's sentence from 108 months to 92 months or "time served," whichever is longer, effective Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Phillip Webb, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6291 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 11, 2024). The parties agreed that defendant was eligible for a reduction of sentence under Part A of Amendment 821 which amended USSG 4A1.1(e), and concerns criminal history points awarded because a defendant was under a criminal sentence when he committed his present offense of conviction ("status points"). In a judgment dated July 28, 2014, the defendant was sentenced to 92 months on Count 1 (Bank Robbery), Count 3 (Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base), and Count 4 (Felon in Possession of a Firearm), to run consecutive to the mandatory minimum sentence of 84 months on Count 2 (Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence), for a total of 181 months. In the presentence report, the defendant was assessed +2 status points for committing the offenses while he was on parole for another offense. At sentencing, defendant's total offense level was 28 and his criminal history points were 5, and his criminal history category was III. As to Counts 1, 3, and 4, defendant's advisory guideline range was 97-121 months. Count 2, however, carried a mandatory consecutive 84-month sentence. As a result, the defendant's advisory guideline range for all counts was 181 to 205 months. In light of the lowered advisory guideline range, the parties agreed a sentence reduction from 181 months to 171 months was proper. The court imposed a new sentence of 171 months to be effective Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Robbie Wade, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5545 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 10, 2024). The defendant filed a Motion for Reduced Sentence Pursuant to 18 USC 3582(c)(2). Wade sought a reduction of sentence from 128 months to 126 months pursuant to 18 USC 3582(c), and Part A of Amendment 821 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. In Part A of Amendment 821, the Sentencing Commission altered the "status points" provision regarding criminal history which now appears in USSG 4A1.1(e). Under the amended provision, a defendant who has 7 or more criminal history points, and who committed the offense of conviction while under any criminal justice sentence received 1 status point. A defendant who had 6 or less criminal history points, and who committed the offense of conviction while under any criminal justice sentence receives no status points. Under Part A of Amendment 821, the defendant would now only receive one status point, not two, which would reduce his criminal history category, and would result in a lower advisory guideline range. The parties submitted that a reduction from 128 months to 126 months would be appropriate. The changes apply retroactively although a court may not order the release of a defendant prior to before Feb.1, 2024. The Court granted the defendant’s motion and ordered his sentence be reduced to a term of 126 months.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Derron Smith-Johnson, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5547 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 10, 2024). Smith-Johnson was eligible for a reduction under Part A of Amendment 821 which amended USSG 4A1.1(e) (2023), and concerns criminal history points ("status points") awarded because the defendant was under a criminal sentence when he committed the present offense of conviction. Smith-Johnson's total offense level at sentencing was 23, and his criminal history category was VI which provided for a guideline range between 92 and 115 months. There was a 20-year mandatory minimum. The Court imposed a sentence of 104 months-in the middle of the guideline range. Under Amendment 821 Smith-Johnson's criminal history category is reduced from VI to V. Thus, the guideline sentencing range was lowered to a range of 84 to 105 months. With this lowered the guideline range, the parties agreed that a sentence reduction from 104 to 95 months was appropriate. Upon the Court’s consideration of the defendant's motion under 18 USC 3582(c)(2) for a reduction of sentence pursuant to Part A of Amendment 821 to the Sentencing Guidelines, and considering the policy statement set forth at USSG 1B1.10, and the sentencing factors set forth in 18 USC 3553(a), the Court granted Smith Johnson's motion and ordered his sentence be reduced to a term of 95 months. This Order shall take effect on Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. David Purcell, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3962 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2024). The parties agreed that the defendant was eligible for a reduction of sentence under Part A of Amendment 821 which amended USSG 4A1.1(e), and concerned criminal history points awarded because a defendant was under a criminal sentence when he committed his present offense of conviction ("status points"). In this case under the retroactive amendment to USSG 4A1.1, defendant's criminal history category was reduced from III to II which resulted in a lower advisory guideline range of 97 to 121 months. The defendant noted these calculations match those of the U.S. Probation Office's calculations. In light of the lower advisory guideline range. the parties agreed that a sentence reduction from 108 months to 97 months was proper. The Court agreed for the reasons set forth in the Motion and Response. The Court granted the Motion and reduced the defendant's sentence from 108 months to 97 months on both Counts I and II, to run concurrently effective Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Nehemias Rodriguez, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5549 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 10, 2024). In Part A of Amendment 821, the Sentencing Commission altered the "status points" provision regarding criminal history which now appear in USSG 4A1.1(e). Under the amended provision, a defendant who has 7 or more criminal history points and who committed the present offense of conviction while under any criminal justice sentence receives 1 status point. A defendant who has 6 or less criminal history points, and who committed the present offense of conviction while he was under any criminal justice sentence receives no status points. The changes apply retroactively although a court may not order the release of a defendant to occur before Feb. 1, 2024. Under Part A of Amendment 821 Rodriguez would receive zero status points, not two, which will reduce his criminal history category, and result in a lower advisory guideline range. Rodriguez's current sentence is 77 months with a projected release date of Feb. 2, 2024. Ultimately, Rodriguez would be released one day early and immediately begin his term of supervised release. As such, Rodriguez asserted that a reduction to time served (69 months) is appropriate and the Court agreed. Upon consideration of Rodriguez's motion under 18 USC 3582(c)(2) for a reduction of sentence pursuant to Part A of Amendment 821 to the Sentencing Guidelines, and considering the policy statement set forth at USSG 1B1.10 along with the sentencing factors set forth in 18 USC 3553(a), the Court granted Rodriguez's motion and ordered his sentence be reduced to a term of time served. This Order shall take effect on Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Leonardo Hernandez, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5550 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 10, 2024). The parties agreed that the defendant was eligible for a reduction of sentence under Part B of Amendment 821. Part B of Amendment 821 added USSG 4C1.1 (2023), which altered criminal history calculations for some offenders with no criminal history points. Specifically, USSG 4C1.1 (2023), provides that if a defendant has accumulated no criminal history points and his offense did not involve specified aggravating factors, his offense level would be reduced by 2 points. Part B of Amendment 821 is retroactive but does not become effective until Feb. 1, 2024. On Aug. 23, 2023, the defendant was sentenced to serve a term of 70 months. The defendant's total offense level at sentencing was 27, and his criminal history category was 1, which provided for a sentencing range of between 70 and 87 months. The retroactive amendment to USSG 4C1.1 will reduced defendant's offense level from 27 to 25 which results in a lower advisory guideline sentencing range of 57 to 71 months. In light of all the above, the parties agreed that a reduction to 57 months was an proportionate reduction in his sentence from the original sentence imposed. The Court granted the Motion and reduced the defendant's sentence from 70 months to 57 months which will become effective on Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Eastern District of Kentucky granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Eliezer Jimenez, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3527 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 8, 2024). Jimenez plead guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering in violation of 18 USC 1956(h). On Oct. 18, 2019, the defendant was sentenced to 87 months based on a total offense level of 25, and criminal history category of III, which produced an advisory guidelines range of 78 to 87 months. Amendment 821 to the Sentencing Guidelines (Part A) now eliminates the imposition of "status points" for defendants like Jimenez who have six or fewer criminal history points. USSG 4A1.1 (Nov. 1, 2023). Pursuant to the guidelines amendment which may apply retroactively Jimenez's recalculated guidelines range is 63 to 78 months. The Court agreed with the Government’s assessment, and found that the recommended sentence reduction for the defendant to 78 months was sufficient but not longer than necessary to satisfy the purposes set forth in 18 USC 3553(a). The defendant’s sentence was reduced to 78 months.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of Illinois granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Eugene Johnson, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4759 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 9, 2024). The parties agreed that the defendant was eligible for a reduction of sentence under Part A of Amendment 821 which amended USSG 4A1.1(e) (2023), and concerns criminal history points ("status points") awarded because a defendant was under a criminal sentence when he committed his offense of conviction. Johnson's total offense level at sentencing was 25, and his criminal history category was I, which provided for a sentencing range of between 57 and 71 months. The Court imposed a sentence of 57 months concurrent on Counts 1 and 2 at the low end of the Guidelines range. Pursuant to Amendment 821 in conjunction with Johnson's criminal history score of zero, his total offense level can be reduced from 25 to 23, resulting in a lower advisory guideline range of 46 to 57 months. Considering this lowered range, the parties have agreed that a sentence reduction from 57 months to 46 months on all counts of conviction was appropriate. The Court agreed for the reasons set forth in the Motion. Accordingly, the Court granted the motion and reduced the defendant's sentence from 57 months to 46 months on both counts to run concurrently which becomes effective Feb. 1, 2024.

 

AMENDMENT 821. The Southern District of California granted a Amendment 821 motion in United States v. Julian Mondragon-Hernandez, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4641 (S.D. Calif. Jan. 8, 2024). On Jan. 2, 2024, the parties filed a joint motion for a sentence reduction pursuant to 18 USC 3582(c)(2), and USSG Amendment 821 (2023). In the joint motion, the parties requested that the defendant's sentence as to Counts 1 and 2 be reduced from 168 months to 151 months. The parties supported their request with a sentencing summary chart which recalculated defendant's guidelines under Amendment 821 and USSG 1B1.10. For good cause shown, the Court granted the joint motion and reduced the defendant’s sentence as to Counts 1 and 2 to 151 months.

 

APPEAL/SENTENCE/TAYLOR. The Fourth Circuit vacated and remanded for resentencing United States v. Paul Chance, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 856 (4th Cir. Jan. 12, 2024). At oral argument, the Government moved to vacate Chance’s conviction on Count 9 of the Second Superseding Indictment in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Taylor, 142 S. Ct. 2015 (2022); and remand for resentencing on the remaining counts. Chance consented to the Government’s oral motion. Upon consideration of the Government’s motion, the Court granted the Government’s motion and vacated the conviction on Count 9 as well as vacated Chance’s sentence and remanded the case to the district court for resentencing on all the remaining counts.

 

APPEAL/SENTENCE. The Fourth Circuit remanded for resentencing United States v. Reggie Pettus, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 471 (4th Cir. Jan. 8, 2024). Pettus pled guilty to possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony. The controversy revolves around the sentencing of Pettus by the Western District of North Carolina. Pettus challenged his sentence on four grounds. The Fourth Circuit found one of his challenges to be meritorious, leading to the vacating of the district court’s judgment and remanding the case for resentencing. The main issue of discussion in the appeal was the district court's application of an obstruction of justice enhancement to Pettus's sentence. The Fourth Circuit concluded that the district court did not provide a sufficient explanation for its rationale for applying the enhancement leaving the appellate court unable to conduct a meaningful review. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded the case for resentencing with a clear rationale for any applied enhancements. The court also addressed other issues that may arise during resentencing, including the application of a robbery cross-reference and objections to the proposed conditions of supervised release which should be addressed at resentencing.

 

APPEAL/SENTENCE. The Fourth Circuit vacated and remanded United States v. Juan Ortiz-Orellana, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 660 (4th Cir. Jan. 10, 2024). The case involves defendants Juan Alberto Ortiz-Orellana and Minor Perez-Chach, who were convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering statute (VICAR). Ortiz and Perez were part of a gang known as MS-13, and they were separately charged with murders relating to their involvement in the gang in Maryland. Ortiz was also convicted of VICAR conspiracy to commit murder, discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and murder resulting from the same crime. Perez, on the other hand, was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Both defendants appealed their convictions and sentences. The Fourth Circuit held that the Government seizure of historical cell site location information (CSLI) without a warrant did not violate the defendants' Fourth Amendment rights due to the good faith exception. The court also upheld the use of summary exhibits and denied the defendants' claim that their sentences were substantially unreasonable. The court agreed with Ortiz that his firearm convictions must be vacated because the underlying offenses for each VICAR count could not qualify as a "crime of violence" after a recent ruling. The court also rejected Ortiz's claim that his RICO and VICAR convictions violated the Double Jeopardy Clause. As a result, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded the case for resentencing on certain counts.

 

APPEAL/SENTENCING PACKAGE. The Eleventh Circuit vacated and remanded United States v. Untarius Alexander, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 472 (11th Cir. Jan. 8, 2024). Alexander appealed following his convictions for conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery (Count 1), attempted Hobbs Act robbery (Count 2), and brandishing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (Count 3). The Government moved for summary reversal arguing that the court should vacate Alexander’s conviction and sentence as to Count 3—the count associated with Alexander’s attempted Hobbs Act robbery. The Government also contends that the court should vacate the district court’s sentences as to the other two counts and order a de novo resentencing under the “sentencing-package” doctrine. The court agreed. Significantly, the Supreme Court decided United States v. Taylor, 142 S.Ct. 2015 (2022), in June 2022, while Alexander’s appeal was pending. In that case, Justice Gorsuch’s majority resolved a circuit split and held that attempted Hobbs Act robbery did not qualify as a predicate “crime of violence” under 924(c)(3)(A)’s “elements clause,” which “cover[ed] offenses that [had] as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another.” Taylor, 142 S.Ct. at 2019. At the outset, the Court noted that, under the applicable categorical approach, the facts of a particular defendant’s case were immaterial because the “only relevant question [was] whether the federal felony at issue always require[d] the government to prove—beyond a reasonable doubt, as an element of its case—the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force.” 142 S.Ct. at 2020. The “sentencing-package” doctrine is a judicial practice that permits a district court to resentence a defendant on all counts of conviction where one of the counts of conviction is vacated, either through direct appeal or a 2255 proceeding. United States v. Fowler, 749 F.3d 1010, 1015–16 (11th Cir. 2014). “[W]hen a conviction on one or more of the component counts is vacated for good, the district court should be free to reconstruct the sentencing package . . . to ensure that the overall sentence remains consistent with the guidelines, the 18 USC 3553(a) factors, and the court’s view concerning the proper sentence in light of all the circumstances.” Id. At

resentencing, “[t]he sentence package that has been unpackaged by a reversal is to be repackaged at resentencing using the guidelines and the 3553(a) factors.” 749 F.3d at 1016.

 

APPEAL/SENTENCING ENHANCEMENT. The Sixth Circuit remanded United States v. Derrick Brooks, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 805 (6th Cir. Jan. 10, 2024). Brooks pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, and the court imposed a 110-month prison sentence. On appeal, Brooks asserted the district court erroneously applied a sentencing enhancement for reckless endangerment during flight and that it relied on a mistaken belief concerning its imposition of a sentence concurrent to his undischarged state sentences. The court affirmed in part, and remanded in part. Brooks challenged the district court’s application of the reckless-endangerment enhancement under USSG 3C1.2, which applies when “the defendant recklessly create[s] a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person in the course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer.” The enhancement is proper when the Government establishes that a defendant “(1) recklessly, (2) created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury, (3) to another person, (4) in the course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer, (5) and that this conduct ‘occurred during the commission of the offense of conviction, in preparation for that offense, or in the course of attempting to avoid detection or responsibility for that offense.’” “Reckless,” in this context, means “a situation in which the defendant was aware of the risk created by his conduct and the risk was of such a nature and degree that to disregard that risk constituted a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in such a situation.” USSG 2A1.4 cmt. n.1; see USSG 3C1.2 cmt. n.2 (cross-referencing 2A1.4 cmt. n.1). The Court found the defendant did not create such a risk, and ordered that he be resentenced.

 

APPEAL/1983/FALSE ARREST. The Eleventh Circuit reinstated the jury verdict in Kenneth Bailey v. Shawn Swindell, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS  517 (11th Cir. Jan. 8, 2024). This case revolves around Kenneth Bailey's lawsuit against Deputy Shawn Swindell which claimed that Swindell violated his civil rights when he tackled Bailey through the door of Bailey's parents home, and arrested him without a warrant or exigent circumstances. Bailey's suit was filed pursuant to 42 USC 1983. The Northern District of Florida initially granted summary judgment in favor of Swindell based on qualified immunity. However, the Eleventh Circuit reversed this decision and concluded that Swindell violated clearly established law when he entered Bailey's parents home to arrest him without a warrant or exigent circumstances, and he was therefore not entitled to qualified immunity. On remand, the case went to trial and the jury returned a verdict for Bailey which awarded him $625,000 for his injuries. However, the district court later granted Swindell's motion for judgment as a matter of law and set aside the jury's verdict. Bailey appealed this decision. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's grant of judgment as a matter of law. The appellate court found that the jury's factual findings, including that the arrest was initiated outside the home, but no exigent circumstances existed allowing for a warrantless entry into the home should have been used by the district court in making its legal conclusions about qualified immunity. The court emphasized that it was clearly established that an officer violates the Constitution by initiating an arrest outside of a home and then entering the home without a warrant to complete the arrest in the absence of exigent circumstances. Therefore, Swindell was not entitled to qualified immunity, and the jury's verdict in favor of Bailey should be reinstated.

 

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