writ of certiorari

This tag is associated with 7 posts

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES=The complaint allegesthat the officers violated the Huffs’ Fourth Amendment rights by entering their home without a warrant=we have instructed that reasonableness “must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on thescene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight” and that “[t]he calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that aretense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.” Graham v. Connor, 490 U. S. 386, 396–397 (1989). Judged from theproper perspective of a reasonable officer forced to make asplit-second decision in response to a rapidly unfoldingchain of events that culminated with Mrs. Huff turning and running into the house after refusing to answer a question about guns, petitioners’ belief that entry was necessary to avoid injury to themselves or others was im- minently reasonable. In sum, reasonable police officers in petitioners’ positioncould have come to the conclusion that the Fourth Amendment permitted them to enter the Huff residence if Cite as: 565 U. S. ____ (2012) 9 Per Curiam there was an objectively reasonable basis for fearing thatviolence was imminent. And a reasonable officer could have come to such a conclusion based on the facts as found by the District Court. The petition for certiorari is granted, the judgment ofthe Ninth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for the entry of judgment in favor of petitioners. It is so ordered.

Cite as: 565 U. S. ____ (2012) 1 Per Curiam SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES DARIN RYBURN, ET AL. v. GEORGE R. HUFF, ET AL. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT No. 11–208. Decided January 23, 2012 PER CURIAM. Petitioners Darin Ryburn and … Continue reading

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus MINNECI ET AL. v. POLLARD ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT No. 10–1104. Argued November 1, 2011—Decided January 10, 2012 Respondent Pollard sought damages from employees at a privately run federal prison in California, claiming that they had deprived him ofadequate medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The Federal District Court dismissed the complaint, ruling that the Eighth Amendmentdoes not imply an action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U. S. 388, against a privately managed prison’s personnel. The Ninth Circuit reversed. Held: Because in the circumstance of this case, state tort law authorizes adequate alternative damages actions—providing both significant deterrence and compensation—no Bivens remedy can be implied here.Pp. 3−12. (a) Wilkie v. Robbins, 551 U. S. 537, fairly summarizes the basicconsiderations the Court applies here. In deciding whether to recognize a Bivens remedy, a court must first ask “whether any alternative, existing process for protecting the [constitutionally recognized]interest amounts to a convincing reason for the Judicial Branch to refrain from providing a new and freestanding” damages remedy. Even absent an alternative, “a Bivens remedy is a subject of judgment: ‘the federal courts must make the kind of remedial determination that is appropriate for a common-law tribunal, paying particular heed . . . toany special factors counselling hesitation before authorizing a newkind of federal litigation.’ ” Id., at 550. In Bivens itself, the Court held that the Fourth Amendment implicitly authorized a court to order federal agents to pay damages to a person injured by the agents’violation of the Amendment’s strictures, 403 U. S., at 389, noting thatthe Fourth Amendment prohibited conduct that state law might permit, id., at 392–393, and that the interests protected on the one 2 MINNECI v. POLLARD Syllabus hand by state “trespass” and “invasion of privacy” laws and on the other hand by the Fourth Amendment “may be inconsistent or even hostile,” id., at 394. It also stated that “[h]istorically, damages havebeen regarded as the ordinary remedy for an invasion of personal interests in liberty,” id., at 395, and found “no special factors counselling hesitation in the absence of affirmative action by Congress.” Id., at 396. Bivens actions were allowed in Davis v. Passman, 442 U. S. 228, for a Fifth Amendment due process claim involving genderbased employment discrimination, and in Carlson v. Green, 446 U. S. 14, for an Eighth Amendment claim based on federal government officials’ “deliberat[e] indifferen[ce]” to a federal prisoner’s medicalneeds, id., at 16, n. 1, 17. Since Carlson, this Court has declined to imply a Bivens action in several different instances. See, e.g., Bush v. Lucas, 462 U. S. 367, Correctional Services Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U. S. 61. Applying Wilkie’s approach here, Pollard cannot assert a Bivens claim, primarily because his Eighth Amendment claim focuses on a kind of conduct that typically falls within the scope of traditionalstate tort law. And in the case of a privately employed defendant, state tort law provides an “alternative, existing process” capable ofprotecting the constitutional interests at stake. Wilkie, 551 U. S., at 550. The existence of that alternative remedy constitutes a “convincing reason for the Judicial Branch to refrain from providing a newand freestanding” damages remedy. Ibid. Pp. 3−7. (b) Pollard’s contrary arguments are rejected. First, he claims that Carlson authorizes an Eighth Amendment-based Bivens action here, but Carlson involved government, not privately employed, personnel. The potential existence of an “adequate alternative, existing process” differs dramatically for public and private employees, as prisoners ordinarily can bring state tort actions against private employees, but not against public ones. Second, Pollard’s argument that this Court should consider only whether federal laws provide adequate alternative remedies because of the “vagaries” of state tort law, Carlson, supra, at 23, was rejected in Malesko, supra, at 72−73. Third, Pollard claims that state tort law does not provide remedies adequate to protect the constitutional interests at issue here, but California, like every other State (as far as the Court is aware), has tort law thatprovides for negligence actions for claims such as his. That the state law may prove less generous than would a Bivens action does not render the state law inadequate, and state remedies and a potential Bivens remedy need not be perfectly congruent. Fourth, Pollard argues that there may be similar Eighth Amendment claims that statetort law does not cover, but he offers no supporting cases. The possibility of a future case, where an Eighth Amendment claim or state Cite as: 565 U. S. ____ (2012) 3 Syllabus law differs significantly from those at issue, provides insufficientgrounds for reaching a different conclusion here. Pp. 7−12. 607 F. 3d 583 and 629 F. 3d 843, reversed. BREYER, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, ALITO, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES No. 10–1104 MARGARET MINNECI, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. RICHARD LEE POLLARD ET AL. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT [January 10, 2012] JUSTICE BREYER delivered the opinion of the Court. The question is whether we can imply the existence of … Continue reading

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus COMPUCREDIT CORP. ET AL. v. GREENWOOD ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT No. 10–948. Argued October 11, 2011—Decided January 10, 2012 Although respondents’ credit card agreement required their claims tobe resolved by binding arbitration, they filed a lawsuit against petitioner CompuCredit Corporation and a division of petitioner bank, alleging, inter alia, violations of the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). The Federal District Court denied the defendants’ motion to compel arbitration, concluding that Congress intended CROA claims to be nonarbitrable. The Ninth Circuit affirmed. Held: Because the CROA is silent on whether claims under the Act can proceed in an arbitrable forum, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires the arbitration agreement to be enforced according to its terms. Pp. 2–10. (a) Section 2 of the FAA establishes “a liberal federal policy favoring arbitration.” Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U. S. 1, 24. It requires that courts enforce arbitrationagreements according to their terms. See Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U. S. 213, 221. That is the case even when federal statutory claims are at issue, unless the FAA’s mandate has been “overridden by a contrary congressional command.” Shearson/American Express Inc. v. McMahon, 482 U. S. 220, 226. Pp. 2–3. (b) The CROA provides no such command. Respondents contend that the CROA’s disclosure provision—which requires credit repair organizations to provide consumers with a statement that includes the sentence “ ‘You have a right to sue a credit repair organization that violates the [Act],’ ” 15 U. S. C. §1679c(a)—gives consumers theright to bring an action in a court of law; and that, because the CROAprohibits the waiver of “any right of the consumer under this subchapter,” §1679f(a), the arbitration agreement’s waiver of the “right”to bring a court action cannot be enforced. Respondents’ premise is 2 COMPUCREDIT CORP. v. GREENWOOD Syllabus flawed. The disclosure provision creates only a right for consumers toreceive a specific statement describing the consumer protections that the law elsewhere provides, one of which is the right to enforce acredit repair organization’s “liab[ility]” for “fail[ure] to comply with[the Act].” §1679g(a). That provision does not override the FAA’s mandate. Its mere contemplation of judicial enforcement does not demonstrate that the Act provides consumers with a “right” to initialjudicial enforcement. Pp. 3–8. (c) At the time of the CROA’s enactment in 1996, arbitration clauses such as the one at issue were no rarity in consumer contracts generally, or in financial services contracts in particular. Had Congressmeant to prohibit these very common provisions in the CROA, itwould have done so in a manner less obtuse than what respondents suggest. Pp. 8–9. 615 F. 3d 1204, reversed and remanded. SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, BREYER, and ALITO, JJ., joined. SO-TOMAYOR, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which KA-GAN, J., joined. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES No. 10–948 COMPUCREDIT CORPORATION, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. WANDA GREENWOOD ET AL. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT [January 10, 2012] JUSTICE SCALIA delivered the opinion of the Court. We consider whether the Credit Repair OrganizationsAct (CROA), 15 U. S. … Continue reading

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus SMITH v. CAIN, WARDEN CERTIORARI TO THE CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT OF LOUISIANA, ORLEANS PARISH No. 10–8145. Argued November 8, 2011—Decided January 10, 2012 Petitioner Juan Smith was convicted of first-degree murder based onthe testimony of a single eyewitness. During state postconviction relief proceedings, Smith obtained police files containing statements bythe eyewitness contradicting his testimony. Smith argued that theprosecution’s failure to disclose those statements violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U. S. 83. Brady held that due process bars a Statefrom withholding evidence that is favorable to the defense and material to the defendant’s guilt or punishment. See id., at 87. The state trial court rejected Smith’s Brady claim, and the Louisiana Court of Appeal and Louisiana Supreme Court denied review. Held: Brady requires that Smith’s conviction be reversed. The Statedoes not dispute that the eyewitness’s statements were favorable toSmith and that those statements were not disclosed to Smith. Under Brady, evidence is material if there is a “reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed, the result of the proceeding wouldhave been different.” Cone v. Bell, 556 U. S. 449, 469–470. A “reasonable probability” means that the likelihood of a different result is great enough to “undermine[ ] confidence in the outcome of the trial.” Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U. S. 419, 434. Evidence impeaching an eyewitness’s testimony may not be material if the State’s other evidenceis strong enough to sustain confidence in the verdict. United States v. Agurs, 427 U. S. 97, 112–113, and n. 21. Here, however, the eyewitness’s testimony was the only evidence linking Smith to the crime, and the eyewitness’s undisclosed statements contradicted his testimony. The eyewitness’s statements were plainly material, and the State’s failure to disclose those statements to the defense thus violated Brady. Pp. 2–4.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES No. 10–8145 JUAN SMITH, PETITIONER v. BURL CAIN, WARDEN ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE ORLEANS PARISH CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT OF LOUISIANA [January 10, 2012] CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of theCourt. The State of Louisiana charged petitioner Juan Smithwith killing five people during an armed robbery. At … Continue reading

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES=Doctors initially attributed Etzel’s death to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the customary diagnosis when an infant shows no outward signs of trauma. But after an autopsy, the coroner concluded that the cause of death was instead shaken baby syndrome (SBS).=The opinion of the Court in Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U. S. 307 (1979), makes clear that it is the responsibility of the jury—not the court—to decide what conclusions should be drawn from evidence admitted at trial. A reviewing court may set aside the jury’s verdict on the ground of insufficient evidence only if no rational trier of fact could have agreed with the jury. What is more, a federal court may not overturn a state court decision rejecting a sufficiency of the evidence challenge simply because the federal court disagrees with the state court. The federal court instead may do so only if the state court decision was “objectively unreasonable.” Renico v. Lett, 559 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 5) (internal quotation marks omitted). Because rational people can sometimes disagree, the inevitable consequence of this settled law is that judges will sometimes encounter convictions that they believe to be mistaken, but that they must nonetheless uphold. The Court of Appeals in this case substituted its judgment for that of a California jury on the question whether the prosecution’s or the defense’s expert witnesses more persuasively explained the cause of a death. For this reason, certiorari is granted and the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed. *


SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES=Agreements to arbitrate that fall within the scope and coverage of the Federal Arbitration Act (Act), 9 U. S. C. §1 et seq., must be enforced in state and federal courts. State courts, then, “have a prominent role to play as enforcers of agreements to arbitrate.” Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U. S. 49, 59 (2009). The Act has been interpreted to require that if a dispute presents multiple claims, some arbitrable and some not, the former must be sent to arbitration even if this will lead to piecemeal litigation. See Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U. S. 213, 217 (1985). From this it follows that state and federal courts must examine with care the complaints seeking to invoke their jurisdiction in order to separate arbitrable from nonarbitrable claims. A court may not issue a blanket refusal to compel arbitration merely on the grounds that some of the claims could be resolved by the court without arbitration. See ibid. In this case the Fourth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida upheld a trial court’s refusal to compel arbitration of respondents’ claims after determining that two of the four claims in a complaint were nonarbitrable. Though the matter is not altogether free from doubt, a fair reading of the opinion indicates a likelihood that the Court of Appeal failed to determine whether the other two claims in the complaint were arbitrable. For this reason, the judgment of the Court of Appeal is vacated, and the case remanded for further proceedings.

Cite as: 565 U. S. ____ (2011) 1 Per Curiam SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES KPMG LLP v. ROBERT COCCHI ET AL. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, FOURTH DISTRICT No. 10–1521. Decided November 7, 2011 PER CURIAM. Agreements to arbitrate that fall within the scope … Continue reading

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES=Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, a state prisoner seeking a writ of habeas corpus from a federal court “must show that the state court’s ruling on the claim being presented in federal court was so lacking in justification that there was an error well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement.” Harrington v. Richter, 562 U. S. ___, ___ (2011) (slip op., at 13). The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit purported to identify three such grievous errors in the Ohio Supreme Court’s affirmance of respondent Archie Dixon’s murder conviction. Because it is not clear that the Ohio Supreme Court erred at all, much less erred so transparently that no fairminded jurist could agree with that court’s decision, the Sixth Circuit’s judgment must be reversed.

Cite as: 565 U. S. ____ (2011) 1 Per Curiam SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES DAVID BOBBY, WARDEN v. ARCHIE DIXON ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT No. 10–1540. Decided November 7, 2011 PER CURIAM. Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, … Continue reading

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