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The district court held Early Education in contempt and awarded Rainbow School $60,000, plus attorney's fees and costs, after Early Education violated the terms of a consent judgment and permanent injunction. The Fourth Circuit affirmed and held that the district court did not clearly err in finding multiple violations of the injunction; Early Education's violations harmed the Rainbow School; and the district court did not abuse its discretion by awarding damages and attorney's fees and costs. The court dismissed Early Education's appeal from the order requiring it to undergo an audit based on lack of appellate jurisdiction. The court held that the question of whether Early Education should initially pay for an audit was neither inextricably linked nor a necessary precursor to the issues presented in the appeal from the district court's prior order, which made a determination of contempt and had nothing to do with paying for an audit. View "Rainbow School, Inc. v. Rainbow Early Education Holding LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's conclusion that defendant was no longer qualified as a sexually dangerous person. In this case, the district court was presented with two plausible theories of the case, both of which were supported by facially credible expert evidence. The court explained that, regardless of whether it would have reached the same conclusion had it been the factfinders, the factual findings of the district court represented a permissible and reasonable interpretation of the evidence presented at the hearing. Accordingly, the court was constrained to affirm the district court's order requiring defendant's release under these circumstances. View "United States v. Wooden" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's conclusion that defendant was no longer qualified as a sexually dangerous person. In this case, the district court was presented with two plausible theories of the case, both of which were supported by facially credible expert evidence. The court explained that, regardless of whether it would have reached the same conclusion had it been the factfinders, the factual findings of the district court represented a permissible and reasonable interpretation of the evidence presented at the hearing. Accordingly, the court was constrained to affirm the district court's order requiring defendant's release under these circumstances. View "United States v. Wooden" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of defendant's 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion challenging the lawfulness of his sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). The court held that defendant's prior conviction for North Carolina assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury was categorically a violent felony under the force clause of the ACCA. View "United States v. Townsend" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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At issue was whether a bankruptcy court may strip off valueless liens on a Chapter 13 debtor's principal residence when no proof of claims have been filed. The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's refusal to strip the liens. The Fourth Circuit reversed and held that the liens may be stripped regardless of whether proof of claims has been filed. In this case, the liens at issue were entirely without value making the creditor the holder of an unsecured claim under section 1322(b). View "Burkhart v. Grigsby" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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At issue was whether a bankruptcy court may strip off valueless liens on a Chapter 13 debtor's principal residence when no proof of claims have been filed. The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's refusal to strip the liens. The Fourth Circuit reversed and held that the liens may be stripped regardless of whether proof of claims has been filed. In this case, the liens at issue were entirely without value making the creditor the holder of an unsecured claim under section 1322(b). View "Burkhart v. Grigsby" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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At issue in this appeal was whether claims in an underlying personal injury suit against two contractors were covered under policies issued by Amerisure, in which the contractors were additional insureds. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment that Amerisure improperly relied on a policy exclusion to avoid its duty to defend, and that Amerisure was liable under the terms of its policies to pay the full cost of the settlement plus prejudgment interest. The court vacated the district court's judgment with respect to defense fees and costs, and held that Amerisure was liable for the full amount of those fees and costs because Continental did not have an independent duty to defend in the underlying lawsuit. View "Continental Casualty Co. v. Amerisure Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Fourth Circuit vacated the district court's denial of appellant's savings clause request and dismissal of his 28 U.S.C. 2241 petition. The court held that appellant satisfied the requirements of the savings clause pursuant to its decision in In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328 (4th Cir. 2000), because a retroactive change in the law, occurring after the time for direct appeal and the filing of his first section 2255 motion, rendered his applicable mandatory minimum unduly increased, resulting in a fundamental defect in his sentence. Accordingly, the court remanded with instructions that appellant's section 2241 petition be considered on the merits. View "United States v. Wheeler" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed Lee Hall and Mark Landersman's convictions for criminal conspiracy and, as to Hall, unlawful conversion of government funds. Hall was the former Director of Intelligence for the Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy, and Landersman was a machinist from California. The district court found that Hall facilitated the purchase of hundreds of firearm suppressors from Landersman, Hall's boss’s brother, for over $1.6 million in government funds and that the transaction was illegal. The court explained that, because some of the challenges raised on appeal relied on classified government records, the district court and this court conducted proceedings pursuant to the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), 18 U.S.C. app. 3, 1–16. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendants and rejected defendants' numerous challenges. Accordingly, the court found no reversible error in the classified and unclassified proceedings. View "United States v. Landersman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The district court granted DIRECTV’s motion to reverse pierce the corporate veil, finding that Randy Coley's limited liability companies were alter egos of Mr. Coley and were therefore subject to execution of DIRECTV's judgment against him. At issue was whether application of Delaware law in this case permitted the remedy of reverse piercing a corporate veil of an LLC, when the LLC has been determined to be the alter ego of its sole member. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision to allow this remedy, based on the court's consideration of existing Delaware law and of the overwhelming evidence that the LLCs at issue were alter egos of Mr. Coley. The court also affirmed the balance of the district court's judgment. View "Coley v. DIRECTV, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law