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Federal New Releases

New Releases
from Federal Courts

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Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Habeas corpus -- Second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct federal sentence -- Habeas petitioner, who received a 60-month consecutive sentence for using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), is not entitled to leave to file second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal sentence based on Johnson v. United States, because he failed to make a prima facie showing that his proposed claim meets the statutory criteria for second or successive § 2255 motions -- Assuming, without deciding, that Johnson's rule about validity of ACCA residual clause applies to the Section 924(c) residual clause, petitioner's claim does not meet statutory criteria for granting his Section 2255(h) application, because a companion Hobbs Act robbery conviction, such as petitioner's, qualifies as a “crime of violence” under use-of-force clause of Section 924(c) without regard to statute's residual clause -- Petitioner's sentence would be valid even if Johnson makes Section 924(c)'s residual clause unconstitutional
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Habeas corpus -- Second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct federal sentence -- Habeas petitioner, who was convicted and sentenced for carrying and using a firearm during crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) based on underlying carjacking conviction, is not entitled to leave to file second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal sentence based on Johnson v. United States, because he has not made a prima facie showing that he has raised a claim that meets the statutory criteria for second or successive § 2255 motions -- Assuming, for purpose of this order, that Johnson invalidated Section 924(c)'s residual clause, petitioner has not made a prima facie showing that Johnson renders his Section 924(c) conviction invalid, because elements of underlying carjacking conviction on which his §924(c) conviction was based meet the requirements that the force clause in Section 924(c) sets out for a qualifying underlying offense -- In other words, an element requiring that one take or attempt to take by force and violence or by intimidation, which is what the federal carjacking statute does, satisfies the force clause of § 924(c), which requires the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Habeas corpus -- Second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct federal sentence -- Habeas petitioner, who was sentenced using United States Sentencing Guidelines Section 4B1.1, is not entitled to leave to file second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal sentence based on Johnson v. United States, because he has not made a prima facie showing that his motion will meet requirements for second or successive § 2255 motions -- Under Eleventh Circuit law, Johnson does not apply to sentences that were based on USSG § 4B1.1
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Armed Career Criminal Act -- Habeas corpus -- Successive petition -- Application for permission to file second or successive section 2255 motion based on U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States is denied, where prior application raising almost exactly same claim was denied on merits and present application does no more than restate previous claim and argue that court's order rejecting that claim was erroneous -- Where court previously rejected on the merits petitioner's claim that Johnson invalidates his convictions under 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 924(o) for using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime because his convictions incorporate unconstitutionally vague statutory language, Section 2244(b)(1) requires dismissal of petitioner's present application raising the same claim -- Even if court were not statutorily obligated to dismiss petitioner's repetitious filing, court would adhere to its previous decision under law-of-the-case doctrine because petitioner has not shown that his present application falls into any of that doctrine's exceptions
VIEW OPINION

Religion -- U.S. brought civil suit against state under Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and state appealed from permanent injunction requiring state to offer kosher diet to all prisoners with sincere religious basis for keeping kosher -- Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act prevents the Secretary of Florida Department of Corrections from denying kosher meals to inmates whose sincere religious beliefs require them to keep kosher -- Because the denial of kosher meals is “a substantial burden on the religious exercise” of a prisoner in the custody of the Secretary, the Secretary had to prove that the denial of kosher meals is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest -- Secretary failed to create genuine dispute of material fact that the cost of providing kosher meals is so high that it is compelling where secretary offers no concrete evidence concerning how other operations of prison system would be affected by these increased costs or sufficient information about budget deficit or staff vacancies to conclude that they might make the asserted interest in cost containment compelling -- Even if secretary had a compelling governmental interest in containing costs, she has not created a genuine dispute of material fact that denying kosher meals is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest where she failed to rebut the three arguments to the contrary -- Permanent injunction requiring secretary to provide kosher meals to the inmates affirmed
VIEW OPINION

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