OPINIONS ARE POSTED DAILY BETWEEN 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. Today is: [ Friday December 19, 2014 ] The most recent opinions are for: [ 12/19/2014 ]  
DISCLAIMER:  The following unofficial case summaries are prepared by the clerk's office                          as a courtesy to the reader. They are not part of the opinion of the court.
132334P.pdf  12/19/2014  Plymouth County, Iowa  v.  Merscorp, Inc.
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:   13-2334
   U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Sioux City   
[PUBLISHED] [Shepherd, Author, with Riley, Chief Judge, and Colloton, Circuit Judge] Civil case - Mortgages. In action alleging defendants improperly deprived plaintiff county of revenue by using the Mortgage Electronic Registration System to avoid paying recording fees on mortgage assignments, the county suffered a loss of fees and interference with its recording system and had standing to bring this action; the district court did not err in dismissing the county's unjust enrichment and conspiracy claims or in denying its requests to pierce the veil and grant injunctive and declaratory relief as Iowa law does not impose a duty on assignees to record assignments of real estate mortgages; proposed amendment to complaint wold be futile, and the district court did not err in denying the county's motion to alter or amend its complaint.
133026P.pdf  12/19/2014  The County of Ramsey  v.  MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:   13-3026
   U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis   
[PUBLISHED] [Shepherd, Author, with Riley, Chief Judge, and Colloton, Circuit Judge] Civil case - Mortgages. The district court did not err in determining that the Minnesota Recording Act does not impose a mandatory recording requirement for all mortgages and subsequent assignments; a county cannot state a claim for unjust enrichment when there is no duty under state law to record mortgages or subsequent assignments; in light of existing case law, the question presented by the case does not warrant certification to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
133732P.pdf  12/19/2014  Modesto Paulino  v.  Chartis Claims, Inc.
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:   13-3732
   U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa - Davenport   
[PUBLISHED] [Gruender, Author, with Bye and Colloton, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Insurance. In action alleging bad-faith denial of benefits, the text of the statute in question and the relevant case law rendered the claim fairly debatable and accordingly there was a reasonable basis for the insurer's decision to deny plaintiff's claim.
141336P.pdf  12/19/2014  United States  v.  Demario Booker
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:   14-1336
   U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul   
[PUBLISHED] [Loken, Author, with Beam and Colloton, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Criminal law. The district court did not abuse its discretion by answering the jury's question regarding constructive possession by referring the jury to instructions that accurately stated the legal definition of constructive possession and the "knowingly" element of the offense.
141642P.pdf  12/19/2014  Richard Smith  v.  Mitch Parker
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:   14-1642
   U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska - Lincoln   
[PUBLISHED] [Beam, Author, with Loken and Colloton, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Indian law. The district court carefully reviewed all of the relevant materials and factor in evaluating the 1882 Act ratifying an agreement for the sale of Omaha tribal lands to non-Indian settlers and in determining the Act did not diminish the Omaha reservation; nor did the court err in determining that the parcels of land in question are located on Omaha tribal land.
142252U.pdf  12/19/2014  United States  v.  Elizandro Hernandez-Gonzalez
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:   14-2252
   U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Sioux City   
[UNPUBLISHED] [Per Curiam - Before Colloton, Bowman and Shepherd, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Sentencing. The district court erred in assigning a criminal history point to defendant's 2003 Driving Under the Influence conviction because the conviction did not meet any of the criteria for assigning points to offenses committed when defendants are under 18 years of age; however, without the incorrectly assigned point, defendant's criminal history score was still Category I, and the error did not affect his advisory Guidelines range; since nothing suggests the district court would have sentenced him to less than 16 months without the error, the sentence is affirmed.
142478U.pdf  12/19/2014  United States  v.  Nicholas Appleby
   U.S. Court of Appeals Case No:   14-2478
   U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Cedar Rapids   
[UNPUBLISHED] [Per Curiam - Before Loken, Bye, and Smith, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Sentencing. Any error the district court made in imposing a vulnerable victim enhancement under Guidelines Sec 3A1.1(b)(1) was harmless in light of the court's statement that it would impose a 480-month sentence with or without the enhancement; the court did not err in denying defendant's request for a downward variance based on defendant's fetal alcohol syndrome; the defendant's sentence was not substantively unreasonable.