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Articles by Derek Gilna

Mississippi Supreme Court Denies Equity Court Review of Death Penalty Cases

By Derek Gilna

The complaint of sixteen death-row inmates in Mississippi which sought Chancery Court review of the adequacy of their legal representation has been denied by the Mississippi Supreme Court for lack of jurisdiction based upon the Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act (UPCCRA).

The prisoner claims revolved around the ...

Ninth Circuit agrees with Defendant and Reverses Contempt Conviction

By Derek Gilna

Although agreeing with the government that the defendant, James Kimsey was "no saint," the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Kimsey that he could not be held in contempt for failure to obey a "rule" prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law that "cannot serve as a ...

Federal Investigation, Prosecution Targets Indiana Sheriff’s Officers

Several Lake County, Indiana Sheriff’s Department employees were the subject of a federal investigation into a gun-running scheme that resulted in criminal charges.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich placed six staff members on administrative leave and stripped them of their law enforcement powers in May 2011 after they were served ...

Tenth Circuit Voids Albuquerque’s Attempt to Ban Sex Offenders from Libraries

In a case of first impression, on January 20, 2012 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s judgment invalidating an ordinance of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico that prohibited registered sex offenders from entering the City’s public libraries.

The district court had granted summary judgment in ...

Michigan Supreme Court Reverses Its Own Decision Allocating Greater Funding for State’s Public Defender Offices

By Derek Gilna

In an unusual decision, criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Michigan Supreme Court on July 17 reversed itself and threw out a lawsuit that would have required the State of Michigan to provide more funds for poor people accused of crimes to hire attorneys. "We ...

Fourth Circuit Reverses Injunction Relating to Publication of Social Security Number on Virginia Land-Transfer Records

By Derek Gilna

The appeal arose from a First Amendment challenge to Virginia's Personal Information Privacy Act, Va. Code Sec. 59.1-442 to 444, part of which prohibits “[i]ntentionally communicat[ing] another individual's social security number to the general public.” The district court ruled that this was unconstitutional, as applied to an ...

Former Ohio Sheriff Sentenced to One Year of House Arrest for Theft and Ethics Violations

By Derek Gilna

Gerald T. McFaul was Sheriff of Cuyahoga County, Ohio for decades, but the 76-year old Democrat was contrite as he apologized to the people of Cuyahoga County for theft and ethics violations. He could have been sentenced for up to ten years in jail, but Judge Inderlied ...

Discovery Sanction against New York City Sets Stage for Probable Damages Award in False Imprisonment Suit

By Derek Gilna

In a decision published on December 8, 2009, from an appeal of parts of an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County dated November 28, 2007, which denied their motion to strike defendants' answer pursuant to CPLR. 3126(3), the lower court's order was reversed, the answer stricken, ...

Former Puerto Rican Prisoner Wins Release but Loses § 1983 Action

Former Puerto Rican Prisoner Wins Release but Loses § 1983 Action

By Derek Gilna

Angel Luis Feliciano-Hernandez, sentenced by a Puerto Rican court in 1981 to a "term of perpetual imprisonment for treatment" for a "record of sexual abuse," for a minimum of ten years, finally won his release in ...

6th Circuit Upholds SORNA Conviction Despite Incomplete State "Implementation"

6th Circuit Upholds SORNA Conviction Despite Incomplete State "Implementation"

By Derek Gilna

David Wayne Felts' conviction for failure to register under the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA) was upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected his various arguments which revolved around the question of whether or ...