Decisions by Judge Paul A. Zoss
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-Arnzen v. Palmer, et al -- Report and Recommendation recommending granting of plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction, in light of Dataphase/Winter factors, where plaintiffs showed likelihood of success on the merits and likely irreparable harm absent an injunction. Furthermore, the court's consideration of the balance of equities and the public interest favored the issuance of a preliminary injunction.04/12/2012
-Scott v. Benson, et al, -- Report and Recommendation recommending denial of plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, in light of Dataphase/Winter factors, where plaintiff showed neither likelihood of succes on the merits nor likely irreparable harm absent an injunction. Furthermore, the court's consideration of the balance of equities and the public interest did not favor the issuance of a preliminary injunction.03/21/2012
-Jackson v. Green, et al -- Report and Recommendation recommending denying as moot pro se plaintiff's motion to change venue. Because case had been removed to federal court, plaintiff's request to change venue to different state court was moot.01/17/2012
-Fraserside v. Letyagin -- Order granting the plaintiff's motion for leave to serve the summons and complaint on the defendants by electronic mail pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)(3) and 4(h)(2). The court found that this method of service in this case fulfilled the requirements of due process and that reasonable efforts by the plaintiff to serve the defendants had already been made.01/12/2012
-Seaman v. Hacker Hauling -- Order granting defendants' motion for spoliation sanctions, finding that plaintiff's attorney had destroyed evidence with intent to suppress the truth, which prejudiced defendants. Court struck testimony and report of plaintiff's expert from evidence at trial, plaintiff could designate another expert to testify on plaintiff's behalf.10/18/2011
-Freie v. Fayram - Report and Recommendation recommending granting respondent's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Court found that tollign of AEDPA's limitations period did not apply to petitioner's untimely petition06/09/2011
-Smith v. Quality Refrigerated Services, Inc. -- Order granting defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's pro se complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Court found that, even after affording pro se plaintiff a hearing to show facts that would allow his claims to survive dismissal, plaintiff's claims lacked facial plausibility to withstand dismissal without prejudice.05/10/2011
-Powell v. Fayram -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed ineffective assistance of trial counsel in four respects: (1) failure to move for judgment of acquittal; (2) failure to move for change of venue: (3) failure to give petitioner correct advice during plea negotiations concerning the time he would serve if convicted of attempted murder; and (4) failure to retain an expet witness to establish that brakes on pickup truck were defective. In recommending the petition be denied, the Court found the petitioner failed to show that the decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals involved either an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedents to the facts, or was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence.02/18/2011
-Woodard v. O'Brien -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Despite anecdotal evidence suggesting defendants' actions caused plaintiff to suffer needless pain, court reluctantly found plaintiff had failed to meet his burden to offer verifiable medical evidence that defendants' actions caused plaintiff harm. Plaintiff therefore failed to show defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, and the court recommended defendants' motionfor summary judgment be granted.01/10/2011
-Scadden v. Northwest Iowa Hospital Corp. -- Order denying plaintiffs' motion to reinstate wrongful death claim on behalf of unborn child. At the eleventh hour, after expiration of the deadline to amend pleadings and only two months before trial, plaintiffs moved to reinstate wrongful death claim for the death of their unborn child, arguing Nebraska law, rather than Iowa law, should control the issue. Court found motion was untimely, but also analyzed the choice-of-law issues raised by the plaintiffs, finding that in any event, Iowa law controlled.09/22/2010
-Scadden v. Northwest Iowa Hosp. Corp. -- Order denying hospital's motion for summary judgment on technical grounds. Hospital failed to comply with Local Rules in connection with it's "statement of undisputed facts." 09/13/2010
-Collins v. Center for Siouxland -- Order denying defendant's motion for separate trials in case where plaintiffs, who consecutively held same job, both allege wrongful discharge for violation of whistle blower statute.05/07/2010
-Smithco Manufacturing, Inc. v. Haldex Brake Products, Corp. -- Order denying motion for leave to amend Complaint. Court found plaintiff failed to show good cause for the delay in seeking to amend its Complaint as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 16.04/05/2010
-Peteson v. Prosser -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in case seeking damages from various police officers and government officials for false arrest, criminal assault, falsifying public documents, criminal conspiracy to falsify public records, evidence tampering, conspiracy to induce false testimony, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation of characater, violation of civil rights, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, perjury, criminal conspiracy to violate constitutional rights, and obstruction of justice. Court found material issues of fact existed for trial on claims of false arrest and assault against two police officers, and further found the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on those claims. Court recommended all other claims and parties be dismissed.03/04/2010
-Chisley v. Lund -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed state court should not have allowed hearsay testimony into evidence. Court found the claim to be unreviewable because Iowa courts decided the claim on state law grounds, and petitioner had failed to exhaust the claim on federal constitutional grounds.02/09/2010
-McFarland v. McFarland -- Order on motion to appear pro hac vice. Court held that attorney who is likely to be witness at trial could appear in the case for purposes of pretrial litigation activities, but could not act as trial counsel and could not participate as an advocate during depositions.02/09/2010
-Williams v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed trial court erred in failing to suppress identification testimony resulting from photo array; evidence was insufficient to prove he aided and abetted in murder and robbery; and trial counsel were ineffective in failing to object to jury instruction on alternative theories of prosecution, failing to enforce a plea agreement, and failing to advise him of his right to testify. Court found petitioner failed to show Iowa appellate court decisions were contrary to clearly-established federal law, or that his counsel's performance, even if deficient, prejudiced him. 01/19/2010
-Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff alleged defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, causing him to suffer ongoing, severe pain and ultimately resulting in removal of his left eye. Court found material issues of disputed fact existed, precluding summary judgment as to all but one of the defendants. Court further found that either plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies, or alternatively a material issue of material fact existed regarding whether he properly exhausted his remedies. Court further found defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity. 01/14/2010
-Iowa Municipal Ins. Ltd. v. Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Cas. -- Order granting defendant's motion to compel arbitration and staying action pending completion of arbitration proceedings. Court found arbitration clause was valid, and all of plaintiff's claim fell under the coverage of the arbitration agreement.12/22/2009
-Great Lakes Comm. Corp. v. Iowa Utilities Board -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of one clause of IUB Order requiring reclamation of all telephone numbers assigned to Great Lakes. In considering the Dataphase factors, and in particular the plaintiff's likelihood of prevailing on the merits, the court analyzed the IUB Order and applicable regulations and recommended that a preliminary injunction be issued.11/17/2009
-Great Lakes Comm. Corp. v. Iowa Utilities Board - Order on Motions to Intervene and to Add Parties. In action to enjoin enforcement of order issued by Iowa Utilities Board, court found Qwest Communications Corp. and Sprint Communications Co. to be indispensable parties, and granted their motions to intervene under Fed. R. Civ. P. 24, and the Board's motion to join them as parties under Fed. R. Civ. P. 19.11/10/2009
-Whitacre v. Energy Panel Structures, Inc. -- Order on plaintiff's motion for leave to amend Petition at Law. Court found plaintiff was not seeking to add non-diverse parties for the purpose of defeating federal jurisdiction, and held the amendment should be allowed.09/30/2009
-McFarland v. McFarland -- Order on plaintiff's motion for voluntary dismissal without prejudice of certain defendants, who asked that their dismissals be with prejudice. Court found FRCP 41(a)(1) mandated dismissal without prejudice08/25/2009
-Ohlendorf v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. -- Order denying defendants' motion to dismiss. Court found plaintiff had stated a marginally plausible claim for relief, and further development of the record was necessary before case could be summarily dismissed.08/11/2009
-Hart v. Baldwin -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in prisoner 1983 case where plaintiff claimed unconstitutional retrictions on his mail. Court found plaintiff had failed to exhaust administrative remedies with regard to claims for monetary damages, and claims for equitable relief were rendered moot when prisoner was transferred to another facility.07/23/2009
-Redd v. McKinney -- Report and Recommendation on respondent's motion for partial summary judgment. Parties conceded, and court concluded, that only one issue raised in 2254 petition had been properly exhausted and was ripe for decision.07/20/2009
-Heimlicher v. Steele, et al -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on defendants' post-trial motions in action for damages arising from stillbirth of plaintiffs' child. Jury awarded $1.7 million in damages against doctor and hospital for common law negligence and violation of federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), 42 USC section 1395dd. Defendants moved, on numerous grounds, for judgment as a matter of law, for new trial, and to amend the judgment. Court found remittitur was appropriate because the amounts the jury deducted for past and future expense of raising the child were unreasonably low. Court therefore conditionally granted motions for new trial, and denied all other motions. 05/14/2009
-Accurate Controls, Inc. v. Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors - Order on plaintiff's motion for protective order regarding defendants' request to discover plaintiff's internal bid worksheet and plaintiff's purchase orders for materials used in construction of county jail. Court held plaintiff is entitled to recover more than its actual cost of labor and materials under Iowa Code chapter 573, but not necessarily the full amount of its contract. Plaintiff must show its contract price was "just" and "established by law." Motion granted as to internal bid worksheets, and denied as to pruchase orders for materials, subject to concurrent protective order.02/23/2009
-Dunaway v. McCollister & Co. -- Order on defendant's motion to exclude plaintiff's expert for late disclosure. Court found plaintiff failed to show late disclosures were either substantially justified or harmless, and awarded sanctions in the form of payment of deposition costs. 02/04/2009
-Winters v. Maples -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Court recommended denial of writ on all grounds, including petitioner's argument that sentence enhancement on the basis of habitual offender status violated the double jeopardy clause.02/02/2009
-Smith v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed double jeopardy when he was prosecuted for both contempt and escape after he failed to surrender himself to custody as ordered. Court found the two crimes have different elements, and double jeopardy was not implicated by dual prosecution.01/29/2009
-Weatherspoon v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Court found all of petitioner's claims were procedurally defaulted, and recommended denial of writ01/27/2009
-Roque v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed he was entitled to an interpreter or other staff assistance in defending two disciplinary actions. Court found petitioner failed to meet his burden to show state court erred in denying his claims01/14/2009
-Chisley v. Lund -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for partial summary judgment. Court found three of petitioner's claims in this 2254 action were unexhausted and procedurally defaulted, and ineffective assistance of PCR counsel, though clear, could not excuse procedural default.01/09/2009
-Leventhal v. Schaffer -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for partial summary judgment in this action for damages pursuant to 42 USC 1983. Court found officer was entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiff's claims of false arrest and use of excessive force, and plaintiff had failed to exhaust administrative remedies on state law claims.12/31/2008
-Banta v. OS Restaurant Services, Inc. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found plaintiff had shown sufficient facts to defeat summary judgment on hostile work environment claim, but not on retaliatory discharge claim.12/01/2008
-Peterson v. Prosser -- Report and Recommendation on motion to dismiss filed by Iowa Attorney General regarding plaintiff's constitutional challenges to five Iowa statutes. Court found plaintiff's challenges to three of the statutes should be dismissed pursuant to either the abstention doctrine of Younger v. Haris, or the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, whichever is applicable. Court found plaintiff lacked standing to challenge constitutionally of the two other Iowa statutes.07/22/2008
-Nissen v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ correctly weighed the medical evidence in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity and finding claiant was not disabled.05/09/2008
-Smith v. Rogerson -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. In recommending the petition be denied, court found petitioner failed to show error in plea colloquy or that his attorneys were ineffective.04/23/2008
-Jones v. Wilder-Tomlinson -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. In recommending the petition be granted, the Court found no probable cause existed for Jones's arrest on drug paraphernalia charge in violation of city ordinance based solely on the presence of a small scale in the vehicle in which Jones was a passenger. 04/04/2008
-Russell v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp. - Order denying defendant's Daubert motion to exclude expert testimony regarding design defect and failure to warn in case involving failure of spinal rods constructed of Commercially Pure Titanium.04/02/2008
-Sorenson v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. In recommending remand for immediate payment of benefits, court found ALJ erred in weighing the medical evidence, assessing claimant's residual functional capacity, evaluating claimant's crediblity, and posing an incomplete hypothetical question to the vocational expert.03/17/2008
-Dible v. Scholl -- Memorandum Opinion and Order of Dismissal. Plaintiff filed this action under 42 USC 1983, for damages resulting from loss of good time credit. Court held disciplinary notice issued to plaintiff was constitutionally deficient, and defendants were not protected by qualified immunity. However, in light of 12-15-07 opinion in Entzi v. Redmann, 485 F.3d 998 (8th Cir. 2007). court reluctantly concluded plaintiff's action was barred by Heck v. Humphrey.03/07/2008
-Risdal v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found claimant was not eligible for SSI benefits because he was a resident of a public institution, and he was not eligible for DI benefits because he lacked the requisite number of quarters of eligibility.02/20/2008
-Wensel v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order reversing Commissioner's decision denying plaintiff's application for Title II disability benefits. Court found ALJ erred in weighing the opinion of claimant's treating physician regarding claimant's functional limitations, and in finding claimant's subjective complaints of disabling pain not to be credible.02/20/2008
-Wurth v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss. Court recommended motion be granted, finding case was not timely filed within sixty days after notice of decision was mailed to plaintiff's correct address, despite the fact that the notice was not received by his attorney until a month later due to an incorrect address for the attorney.11/19/2007
-Murray v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Issue concerned application of 20 CRF 404.1574a(a) & (c). Count fond claimant's earnings had not changed significantly as found by the ALJ, and recommended the decision be reversed.11/19/2007
-Frazier ex rel. McDonald v. Astrue -- Order reversing Commissioner's decision denying application for supplemental security income benefits on behalf of minor child. Court found record evidence proved minor child had at least marked limitation in four functional areas, and his impairments were equal or functionally equivalent to a listed impairment.09/28/2007
-McKee v. Astrue -- Order reversing Commissioner's decision denying claimant's application for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity and in giving greater weight to non-examining physician's opinion than he gave to opinions of two examining physicians and one treating physician. Court amended claimant's disaiblity onset date, holding claimant could not be found disabled for period when she was receiving unemployment compensation.09/27/2007
-Combs v. Astrue -- In reversing Commissioner's denial of Title II disability insurance benefits, court found ALJ erred in rejecting opinions of claimant's treating physicians, presenting inaccurate hypothetical questions to vocational expert, assessing claimant's residual functional capacity, failing to develop the record fully and fairly, and failing to consider dosage, side effects, and effectiveness of claimant's medications.09/20/2007
-Combs v. Astrue -- Supplemental Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in giving improper weight to opinion of records-review physician, which differed from opinions of examining and treating physicians; in relying on hypothetical question that failed to include all of claimant's impairments as supported by the record evidence; and in assessing claimant's credibility. 09/04/2007
-Awe v. I&M Rail Link -- Order deying plaintiffs' motion to vacate arbitrator's decision on unconscionability, and granting defendant's motion to dismiss the case. Court found retention and severance agreement between the parties was not a "contract of employment of . . . railroad employees" which would have excluded the contract from arbitration under section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act.09/04/2007
-Tomlinson v. Burt -- Report and Recommendation on respondent's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Court found all issues raised by petitioner to be unexhausted and procedurally defaulted. Court further found petitioner failed to meet his burden to identify new evidence sufficient to satisfy "actual innocence" standard. 08/23/2007
-Klepper v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI Supplemental Security Income and Title II disability income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to develop the record adequately as to claimant's mental impairment. Court further found substantial evidence established claimant's disability.08/22/2007
-Heimlicher v. Steele, et al. -- Order on motions for summary judgment. Court found Iowa law is well settled that a wrongful death action cannot lie for an unborn fetus, and declined to certify question to Iowa Supreme Court. Court also held doctor's certification that patient was stabilized prior to transfer did not obviate EMTALA liability as a matter of law. Whether patient actually was stabilized prior to transfer, and whether doctor adequately deliberated and weighed medical risks and benefits of transfer, were questions for the jury.08/17/2007
-Hunter v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court recommended reversal for calculation and payment of benefits, finding ALJ erred in ruling claimant's substance abuse disorder was a contributing factor material to her disability.06/05/2007
-Blum v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to include all of claimant's limitations in RFC assessment and in hpothetical questions to vocational expert, and failed to obtain clarification from claimant's long-time treating physician regarding work-related limitations. Court recommended remand for further development of the record and consideration of new evidence.05/22/2007
-Brinkmann v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in ignoring claimant's amended disability onset date, and in speculating about claimant's credibility based on past behavior before claimant got sober. Court recommended remand for further proceedings.05/09/2007
-Chapman v. Astrue - Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of SSI benefits. Court found claimant's limitations due to chronic back pain, side effects from pain medications, and need to change position frequently precluded her from gainful employment. In recommending reversal and remand for payment of benefits, court concluded ALJ erred in failing to give controlling weight to treating physicain's opinion, and in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity.04/12/2007
-JTV Mfg, Inc. v. Mazak Optonics Corp. -- Order denying plaintiff's motion to amend petition for declaratory judgment to add party. Court found that although third party might be a proper party, he was not a necessary party, and plaintiff failed to show good cause to add third party whose presence in the case would desetroy diversity jurisdiction. 04/03/2007
-McCabe v. Macaulay -- Order granting in part and denying in part defendants' motion to exclude expert testimony. Court found one legal expert's testimony regarding whether probable cause existed for plaintiffs' arrests invaded province of court to make legal conclusions, and would not aid trier of fact in deciding issue of fact. Court denied motion as to second expert's opinion regarding injury to plaintiff's wrists from handcuffs.02/26/2007
-Mugan v. McGuire Law Firm02/20/2007
-Beck v. Astrue - In affirming Commissioner's decision denying claimant's appliccations for SSI and disability insurance benefits, court found ALJ's credibility assessment and determination of claimant's residual functional capacity were supported by substantial evidence.02/16/2007
-Combs v. McMahon -- Report and recommendation that court grant Commissioner's motion for entry of final judgment, and reversal and remand for further proceedings, pursuant to sentence four of 42 USC 402(g).01/22/2007
-Crandall v. Barnhart -- Order denying defendant's motion to amend/correct judgment.01/11/2007
-Straitt v. Straitt -- Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to dismiss be granted. Court found plaintiff had failed to show defendant had requisite minimum contacts with the State of Iowa to support personal jurisdiction over defendant in this court.01/08/2007
-Doctor John's Inc. v. City of Sioux City, Iowa -- Order on motions in limine and objections to appearance of counsel. Court denied motions to exclude evidence and witnesses in bench trial; denied request for in camera review of documnets and interview of City Attorney; and overruled plaintiff's objections to defendant's representation by attorney who is associated with attorney who formerly represented plaintiff in very limited capacity during workers' compensation matter.01/02/2007
-Dible v. Scholl and Maynard -- Order on parties' cross- motions for summary judgment. Former Iowa inmate (who had discharged sentence and been released) brought section 1983 action against State officials for violation of due process rights in connection with disciplinary notice that resulted in loss of good time credit. Court found disciplinary notice to be constitutionally deficient, and further found defendants were not entitled to qualitified immunity. Defendants' motion for summary judgment denied plaintiff's cross-motion granted; and case ordered to proceed to trial solely on issue of damages.12/20/2006
-Crandall v. Barnhart -- Order on judicial review from denial of Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ did not err in finding claimant's mental impairments not to be severe, but further found ALJ erred in failing to obtain updated evaluation of claimant's physical impairments and in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity. Court remanded case for calculation and award of benefits, but found disability onset date to be later than claimant alleged.12/15/2006
-Thompson v. Barnhart -- Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ's decision was not supported by substantial evidence in the record and reversed decision, but from a later disability onset date than claimant had alleged. 12/06/2006
-Estate of Storm v. Northwest Iowa Hospital Corp. -- Report and recommendation on plaintiff's motion to certify question. Finding the issue to be ripe for state court review, the court recommended certification to the Iowa Supreme Court of the question, "Does an unborn fetus have a cause of action for wrongful death under Iowa Code section 611.20."12/04/2006
-Vasquez v. Barnhart -- Order granting untimely motion for attorney fees under EAJA. Court held that because thirty day filing requirement is not jurisdictional, it may be waived by the Government, which expressly did not object and asked court to grant claimant's motion for fees.11/08/2006
-Balstad v. Barnhart -- Order reversing Commissioner's decision to deny claimant Title II Disability Insurance and Title XIV Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ improperly weighed the medical evidence, discredited the claimant's subjective complaints, and discounted the opinion of the claimant's treating physician.11/01/2006
-Lundgren v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Claimant alleged disability due to fibromyalgia and other causes. In recommending reversal for payment of benefits, court found ALJ erred in discounting treating physician's opinion that claimant would be unable to work; in relying on consulting medical opinions based on outdated information; and in failing to give due consideration to third-party statements.09/29/2006
-Choma v. Barnhart -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court affirmed Commissioner's decision, finding substantial evidence existed to support ALJ's consideration of claimant's mental impairments under the regulatory Listings; ALJ gave proper weight to opinions of treating physician and therapist; and hypothetical question to vocational expert accurately reflected claimant's mental residual functional capacity, as determined by the ALJ. 09/28/2006
-Jordan v. Carr -- Findings of Face, Conclusions of Law, and Order on bench trial in case brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983. Jordan, a Muslim, alleged jail official violated his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion by failing to allow him to attend both Christian and Muslim services within the jail. Court found Joran failed to establish the defendant's actions substantially burdened his sincerely held religious beliefs, or that Jordan's rights were violated. Judgment for defendant.09/22/2006
-Gregg v. Indian Motorcycle -- Order on Daubert motions and requests for preliminary evidentiary rulings09/13/2006
-Almanza v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. In recommending reversal and remand for further proceedings, court found ALJ erred in failing to give proper weight to opinions of nurse practitioner, failing to consider effects of claimant's obesity on her musculoskeletal complaints, and posing an inaccurate hypothetical question to the vocational expert. 09/11/2006
-Coleman v. Barnhart -- Memorandum opinion and order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. In extremely close cases, court must affirm Commissioner's decision to deny benefits, rather than re-weighing the evidence de novo. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision and affirmed denial of benefits.07/25/2006
-Richmond v. Burt -- Report and Recommendation that petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254 be denied. Court found petitioner's claims were procedurally defaulted for failing to properly raise constitutional issue in Iowa courts relating to trial court's admission into evidence of conversation between petitioner and member of the clergy.06/15/2006
-Palmer v. Barnhart -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and title SVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to give proper weight to opinion of treating physician in finding claimant not to be disabled. Court recommended reversal and remand for payment of benefits. 06/09/2006
-Stewart v. Kautzky -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court recommended defendants' motion for summary judment be granted on basis of plaintiff's failure to prosecute, as well as on the merits. 06/06/2006
-Mankle v. Barnhart -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ correctly discounted treating physician's opinion letter, determined claimant's residual functional capacity, and found claimant's subjective complaints to be less than fully credible. Commissioner's decision affirmed.06/01/2006
-Kuhn v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. In recommending remand for payment of benefits, count found commissioner gave too much weight to work assessment that predated disability onset date, and failed to give appropriate weight to opinion of examining consultative doctor. 05/22/2006
-Netten v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. ALJ found claimant was engaged in substantial gainful activity, and thus ALJ stopped evaluation of claim at step one of the sequential evaluation process. Court found record did not contain substantial evidence to support ALJ's decision, and recommended remand for further developmnet of the record and further consideration of claim through the sequential evaluation process. 05/12/2006
-Schroder v. Barnhart -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review from denial of Title II disability benefits. Court found record did not contain substantial evidence to support Commissioner's decision that claimant, who suffers from severe scoliosis, asthma, arthritis, and other impairments, was not disabled prior to date last insured. Case reversed and remanded for calculation and award of benefits.05/11/2006
-Ubben v. Sauder Woodworking Co. -- Order denying third-party defendant's motion to dismiss. Third-party defendant, who shares Iowa citizenship with original plaintiffs, argued his addition to the case destroyed diversity jurisdiction. Court found third-party defendant was not indispensable party, and exception to supplemental jurisdiction found in 28 USC 1367(b) did not apply to defeat diversity jurisdiction.05/10/2006
-Clark v. Barnhart -- Memorandum, Opinion, and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to consider impact of claimant's obesity on his residual functional capacity, and in failing to give proper weight to opinions of physician's assistant and Goodwill evaluator as "other sources" regarding severity of claimant's impairments. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 05/09/2006
-Kennaway v. Barnhart -- Memorandum Opinion and Order affirming Commissioner's decision to deny SSI and DI benefits claiming disability on the basis of a back injury and Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease.05/02/2006
-Gettner v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Commissioner acknowledged ALJ erred in certain respects in sequential evaluation process, and requested remand for further proceedings. Court found record contained substantial evidence to prove claimant was disabled due to seizures, migraine headaches, and mental illness, and recommended reversal and remand for calculation and award of benefits. 05/02/2006
-Loehr v. Barnhart -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to develop the record or discuss adequately claimant's allegation that he is unable to sit upright or bend forward without suffering disabling symptoms, and further failed to develop the record adequately regarding the extent to which claimant's mental impairment would affect his ability to function in the workplace. Court recommended reversal and remand for further proceedings.04/20/2006
-Laffey v. Burt -- Report and recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Petitioner, convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of minors, argued (1) inconsistencies in victims' testimony and leading manner in which testimony was elicited rendered evidence insufficient under Due Process Clause to support guilty verdict; and (2) imposition of consecutive sentences violated Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Court recommended petition be denied on both claims.04/12/2006
-Langel v. Burt -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Court found petitioner failed to show his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to have trial court question defendant about his waiver of jury trial, or in failing to assert justification defense, and court recommended petition be denied. 04/11/2006
-Higgins v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to obtain vocational expert's testimony or to develop other evidence of record with regard to impact of claimant's severe mental impairment on his functional capacity. Court recommended remand for further development of the record. 03/29/2006
-Ulicki v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not err in failing to ask medical sources for specific statements regarding claimant's functional capacity when evidence clearly shows impairments are non-disabling.03/15/2006
-Clark v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to develop the record fully and fairly with regard to claimant's functional limitations, and as a result, ALJ's assessment of claimant's residual functional capacity was erroneous. Court recommended remand for new hearing.03/10/2006
-Jordan v. Linn County Jail, et al -- Report and recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in this action under 42 USC 1983. Plaintiff alleged defendants denied him the right to practice his religion by not allowing him to attend both Christian and Muslim services, and by denying him literature and a prayer rug. Defendants claimed plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Court found defendants had responded timely to requests for literature and prayer rug, and had provided the items to plaintiff. Court found defendants failed to show plaintiff, in fact, had right to appeal denial of grievance, and recommended motion be denied on claim that plaitniff's right were violated by denial of right to attend both types of religious services.03/10/2006
-Schneiders v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's misstatement of claimant's environmental limitations in hypothetical question to vocational expert was harmless error; ALJ made proper credibility analysis; and record contained substantial evidence to support Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.03/07/2006
-Offield v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found record did not contain adequate evidence of claimant's ability to work in light of mental limitations, and therefore did not contain substantial evidence to support Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled. Court recommended remand for further development of the record. 03/03/2006
-Claussen v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation that Commissioner's decision be affirmed on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found record contained substantial evidence to support ALJ's decision that claimant failed to show she became disabled prior to her date last insured.03/02/2006
-Hamann v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. After ALJ issused decision favorable to claimant, ALJ received income records indicating claimant had worked somewhat longer than originally had been apparent. ALJ issued revised opinion with newly-determined disability onset date, and found that due to waiting period and claimant's pending retirement age, claimant was not entitled to benefits. Court found ALJ's revised determination of disability onset date was arbitrary and erroneous, and recommended reversal and remand for calculation and award of benefits based on revised disability onset date.03/01/2006
-Quee v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to consider claimant's ability to work during one-year period while she was recovering from multiple shoulder surgeries while managing her other medical complaints. However, court found ALJ properly discounted treating orthopedist's assessment of claimant's residual functional capacity, and therefore ALJ presented proper hypothetical question to vocational expert. Recommendation that Commissioner's decision be affirmed in part and reversed in part. 02/15/2006
-Boykin v. Alliant Energy Corp. - Memorandum Opinion and Order on defendants' motions for summary judgment. Plaintiff brought racial discrimination action against former employer, and slander action against former coworker. Court found plaintiff failed to establish prima facie case of racial discrimination, and granted summary judgment in favor of employer. Court found question of fact existed on one slander issue, and retained supplemental jurisdiction over the issue for trial.01/30/2006
-Lang v. Ault -- Report and recommendation, recommending denial of petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court found state courts correctly determined petitioner had breached plea agreement, and petitioner could not show prejudice from counsel's failure to object to state's sentencing recommendation.01/26/2006
-Bailey v. Barnhart -- Amended Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ properly rejected opinions of consulting psychologist; gave proper weight to opinion of claimant's treating physician; and properly applied Medical-Vocational Guidelines in finding claimant was not disabled.01/23/2006
-Bailey v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ properly rejected opinions of consulting psychologist; gave proper weight to opinion of claimant's treating physician; and properly applied Medical-Vocational Guidelines in finding claimant was not disabled.01/23/2006
-Fuhrman v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Plaintiff alleged disability on basis of Chiari Malformation type I, which caused her headaches, vertigo, and other symptoms. Court found substantial evidence in record supported Commissioner's decision that plaintiff's complaints were not fully credible, and recommended Commissioner's decision denying benefits be affirmed.01/06/2006
-Hicok v. Barnhart. Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ improperly discounted opinions of claimant's treatment physicians and vocational rehabilitation evaluators that claimant was unable to work due to fibromyalgia and other medical problems. Court recommended Commissioner's decision be reversed, and case be remanded for payment of benefits. 12/29/2005
-Garcia-Moreno v. Great West Life & Annuity Ins. Co. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on defendants' motion for summary judgment. In ERISA action, Court found plaintiff was entitled to life insurance benefits for death of his son, who had used false identity to obtain employment. Court found Plan administrator had sufficient evidence to identify decedent, and to identify plaintiff as decedent's beneficiary.12/05/2005
-Bell v. Barnhart - Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Claimant alleged disability due to diabetes, hypertension, and heart condition. Court concurred in Commissioner's decision that claimant was able to return to his past work, and recommended Commissioner's decision be affirmed.12/05/2005
-Garcia-Moreno v. Great West Life & Annuity Ins. Co. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on defendants' motion for summary judgment. In ERISA action, Court found plaintiff was entitled to life insurance benefits for death of his son, who had used false identity to obtain employment. Court found Plan administrator had sufficient evidence to identify decedent, and to identify plaintiff as decedent's beneficiary.12/01/2005
-Wedebrand v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2254. Petitioner alleged his state and federal attorneys were ineffective in failing to advise him properly concerning plea proposal made by state and federal governments. Court found petitioner failed to show his attorneys were ineffective, and recommended petition be denied.11/17/2005
-Fair v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to recognize debilitating nature of fibromyalgia per Eighth Circuit case law, and improperly disregarded claimant's subjective complaints of pain and limitations. Court recommended reversal and remand for calculation and award of benefits.11/09/2005
-Peterson v. Weatherly ( Report and recommendation on defendant's motion for summary judgment in this prisoner civil rights case. Plaintiff alleged defendant, who was nurse at facility, ordered his confinement in medical segregation, which led him to develop ischial ulcers. Court found defendant did not order plaintiff's confinement, and she performed no actions that led, or could have led, to plaintiff developing his ulcers, or that otherwise violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights. Court recommended summary judgment be granted in defendant's favor.)11/01/2005
-Talkington v. Barnhart -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in making inferences from medical records regarding the impact of claimant's mental impairments on her ability to work. Commissioner's decision reversed and case remanded for further development of the record.09/20/2005
-O'Brien v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court recommended Commissioner's decision be affirmed, finding no error in ALJ's failure to consider State's determination that claimant qualified for certain state benefits, and otherwise finding record contained substantial evidence to support Commissioner's decision.09/06/2005
-McGhghy v. Hastings -- Report and recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus/writof coram nobis. Court recommended denial of petition for lack of jurisdiction.08/24/2005
-Berg v. Barnhart - Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found claimant failed to show she was disabled prior to her date last insured, and recommended Commissioner's decision be affirmed.08/23/2005
-Shaw v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Social Security benefits. Court found record lacked sufficient evidence to determine whether claimant was disabled on the basis of a mental impairment, and recommended remand for further proceedings.08/04/2005
-Hedinger v. Barnhart -- Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found record contained substantial evidence to support Commissioner's denial of benefits, and recommended Commissioner's decision be affirmed.07/20/2005
-Cooperative Elevator Association v. General Railway Corporation -- Order reinstating entry of default against defendant, and Report and Recommendation on plaintiff's motion for default judgment. Plaintiff sought equitable relief to prevent defendant from committing further waste of rail line pending proper application to and authorization from Surface Transportation Board to abandon the line. Court found subject matter jurisdiction exists in federal court over plaintiff's equitable claim, and recommended entry of injuction against defendant.06/30/2005
-Strang v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Social Security disability benefits. Court found record contained evidence to support both the claimant's position and the Commissioner's decision. Therefore, due to deferential standard of review, court recommended Commissioner's decision be affirmed.06/23/2005
-Bituminous Casualty Corp. v. Sand Livestock Systems, Inc. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Court reserved ruling and certified to the Iowa Supreme Court the question of whether pollution exclusions in insurance policies relieve plaintiff from any obligation to defend, indemnify, or pay damages resulting from the death of an individual who inhaled carbon monoxide fumes.06/21/2005
-Keene v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Petitioner asserted ineffective assistance of counsel for (1) failing to challenge Iowa Code section 709C.1 as unconstitutionally vague; (2) allowing petitioner to plead guilty in absence of adequate factual basis; and (3) failing to inform petitioner fully about collateral consequences of guilty plea. Court recommended denial of petition on all grounds.05/17/2005
-Maghee v. Ault (Report and recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner filed petition to challege disciplinary action taken against him in connection with his attempt to mail sealed letter to attorney. Court found (1) state courts failed to address petitioner's constitutional claim at all, with result that state court legal conclusions were entitled to no deference; but (2) no First Amendment violation occurred; and (3) some evidence existed to support administrative sanction.)05/11/2005
-Bolden v. Rogerson (Report and recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 24 USC 2254. Petitioner entered guilty pleas to two burglary charges. He was represented by court-appointed counsel in one case. In the other case, he represented himself pro se, with court-appointed standby counsel. Petitioner claimed his guilty pleas were invalid because he had not made a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel, and he did not understand all the consequences of pleading guilty. As grounds for habeas relief, he claimed his appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to raise these claims. Court found no merit in any claim and recommended denial of petition, relying on Iowa v. Tovar, 541 US 77 (2004), and Page v. Burger, 2005 WL 100500 (8th Cir. May 2, 2005).05/06/2005
-Newkirk v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Plaintiff alleged disability on the basis of chronic depression. Court found ALJ erred in discounting opinions of plaintiff's mental health treatment team, and recommended reversal and remand for award of benefits.)04/28/2005
-Powell v. Barnhart (Memorandum Opinion and Order affirming Commissioner of Social Security's denial of benefits to plaintiff as a disabled adult child.)04/26/2005
-White v. Kautzky (Report and recommendation on merits of this action brought under 42 USC 1983. Plaintiff claimed contract attorney system in Iowa state prisons, and failure ot keep prison law library up to date, denied his right of access to the courts. Court found no violation and recommended judgment for defendants.)04/25/2005
-Kroll v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to evaluate the claimant's mental capacity under Listing 12.05, and in failing to evaluate properly the claimant's physical capacity and his credibility. Court recommended remand for further proceedings.)04/06/2005
-Coan v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Plaintiff alleged disability on the basis of chronic back pain. ALJ found plaintiff could return to her past relevant work, and stopped with step four of sequential evaluation process. Court found plaintiff could not return to her past relevant work up to a point, and ALJ should have proceeded with step five of evaluation. In addition, court recommended remand for further proceedings because the record contained no evidence whatsoever of plaintiff's condition or treatment for nearly two years prior to the ALJ's decision.)04/01/2005
-Krowiorz v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in finding plaintiff could return to her past relevant work, in failing to present hypothetical question to Vocational Expert that included all of plaintiff's impairments, and in failing to make a determination as to whether narcotic addition was contributing factor material to determination of disability. Court recommended reversal and remand for further proceedings.)03/30/2005
-Wilberding v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on defendant's motion for remand pursuant to sentence four of 42 USC 405(g). Court recommended motion be granted and case be remanded due to ALJ's failure to obtain and consider subsequent claim file, as ordered by the court upon prior remand.)03/23/2005
-Willemssen v. The Conveyor Company (Memorandum Opinion & Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff claimed violation of FMLA, and wrongful termination under common law. Held: Applicable data for determination of whether FMLA applies is date employee's leave begins. Plaintiff was not "eligible employee" under FMLA on date her leave began, so defendant did not violate FMLA when it terminated plaintiff for excessive leave.)03/18/2005
-Galm v. Eaton Corporation (Order on motion for discovery in ERISA action. Court analyzed plaintiff's discovery requests pursuant to standard of review for decisions of ERISA plan administrators in the Eighth Circuit. Court granted plaintiff limited discovery to determine whether conflict of interest between parties affected defendant's decision to deny plaintiff's claim for benefits.)03/01/2005
-Willis v. Smith, et al (Report and recommendation on the merits in this action under 42 USC s. 1983, brought by a patient confined in a mental health facility under Iowa's sexually violent predator statute. The plaintiff complained his constitutional rights were violated when a package addressed to him, containing a book, was opened outside his presence, and when the defendants decided to withhold the book from him. The book in question, published by an anti-polygraph organization, argues against the validity of polygraph examinations and contains a discussion of countermeasures. The defendants, who use polygraph examiantions extensively in treating patients, found some of the book's contents to be counter-therapeutic, and also objected to the plaintiff's receipt of any information from this publisher. The court found the defendants violated the plaintiff's rights in opening the package outside his presence, but ordered no relief because the plaintiff sought only injunctive relief and the institution had already changed its policy to provide that all packages would be opened in the recipients' presence. The court found it was a violation of the plaintiff's rights to withhold the entire book, and also to make a decision based on the source of the information rather than on its content. The court also found the defendants' current mail and grievance policies and procedures are constitutional, and the defendants are entitled to evaluate whether written materials may enter the unit on the basis of the defendants' reasoned, professional judgment.)02/28/2005
-Laffey v. Ault (Report and recommendation on State's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus filed under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner filed direct appeal after sentencing, raising Eighth Amendment issue. Appellate court remanded for resentencing, discussing Eighth Amendment issue fully but deciding case on other grounds. On appeal after resentencing, petitioner failed to reassert Eighth Amendment argument, believing to do so would be moot given prior appellate court decision on the issue. Respondent argued the issue was unexhausted. Court found any failure to exhaust could be excused on basis of futility, and recommended motion to dismiss be denied.)02/09/2005
-Mallett v. Naph Care, Inc. (Report and recommendation, recommending defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted in prisoner civil rights action brought under 42 USC section 1983. Prisoner who was given wrong medication suffered allergic reaction. Court found nurse's negligence was not actionable under section 1983; plaintiff failed to show defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs; and liability may not be grounded upon respondeat superior theory.)02/09/2005
-Clay v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court recommended affirming Commissioner's decision that claimant with amputated lower left leg retained capacity to work.)02/04/2005
-Hayes v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to follow directions of Appeals Council to take claimant's obesity into account in assessing his residual functional capacity and in determining he could work. Court further found ALJ improperly implied claimant should have been able to lose weight, and relied on that conclusion in finding claimant was not disabled. Court recommended remand for calculation and payment of benefits.)01/21/2005
-Womack v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to take plaintiff's extreme obesity into account in assessing plaintiff's credibility and determining her residual functional capacity. Court recommended case be remanded with instructions for further consideration.)12/22/2004
-Ranger Insurance Company v. Farmers National Company, et al (Memorandum Opinion and Order on motion for summary judgment filed by one defendant. In denying summary judgment in this premises liability case, court briefly discusses standard, under Iowa law, for a property owner to be held liable to a lessee's invitee; and effect of a party withdrawing or amending a pleading in which the party initially made an admission.)12/17/2004
-Mernka v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Plaintiff claimed disability due to Hepatitis C, scleritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression. Court found ALJ erred in concluding testimony of claimant and her husband was not credible, and in failing to give proper weight to the opinions of claimant's treatment physicians. Court recommended Commissioner's motion for sentence four remand be granted, to allow further evaluation of whether claimant met criteria of Listing 14.09D (inflammatory arthritis).12/03/2004
-Friedel v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income and Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found claimant's shortness of breath upon exertion did not prevent him from performing sedentary work, and recommended Commissioner's decision be affirmed.)10/27/2004
-Matlock v. Vilsack (Report and Recommendation on motions to dismiss filed by defendants Gov. Thomas Vilsack and Black Hawk County. Plaintiff was civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. The Iowa Court of Appeals reversed the commitment order, and remanded the case for dismissal of the commitment petition. Plaintiff filed this action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against Gov. Vilsack and Black Hawk County for damages on grounds of emotional and mental anguish, wrongful imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. Court recommends dismissal on the basis that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted under section 1983.)10/06/2004
-Schneider v. Jergens, et al (Report and Recommendation on the merits of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Court found two of petitioner's five claims to be procedurally defaulted, and all five of his claims to be unexhausted. Court recommended dismissal without prejudice to allow petitioner to file an application for post-conviction relief.)09/24/2004
-Havill v. Barnhart (Memorandum Opinion and Order on appeal from denial of SSI and DI benefits, and on Commisioner's motion for sentence four remand. Court found ALJ's credibility assessment and determination of claimant's residual functional capacity were supported by substantial evidence in the record. However, court found error in ALJ's reliance on testimony of Vocational Expert, where jobs cited by VE required frequent handling, and claimant's RFC included only occasional handling with left upper extremity. Commissioner's motion for sentence four remand greanted; Commissioner's decision reversed.)09/17/2004
-O'Connor v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income and Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred in determining plaintiff retained residual functional capacity to work, failing to evaluate all of the evidence, and failing to perform a proper Polaski analysis in determining plaintiff's subjective complaints were not credible. Court recommended reversal and remand for calculation and award of benefits; however, court determined plaintiff's disability onset date was later than she claimed because she had been engaged in substantial gainful activity for a period of time following her alleged onset date.)08/20/2004
-Albrant v. Heartland Foods, Inc. (Order on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs alleged violation of Equal Pay Act and Iowa Civil Rights Act. Court found plaintiffs had made out prima facie case of gender-based pay discrimination as to defendant Heartland Foods, and denied motion on that basis. Court found plaintiffs had failed to show they were employees of defendant Advance Foods, and granted motion as to that defendant.)08/19/2004
-Charette v. Duffy (Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in prisoner civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. section 1983. Plaintiff alleged defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs when they failed to provide him with proper testing, treatment, and care for Hepatitis C virus. In recommending summary judgment be granted in favor of defendants, court found protocols developed by Iowa Department of Corrections, in conjunction with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, were appropriate; plaintiff's test results did not fall within the parameters of the protocols to warrant liver biopsy or referral to outside doctors; and defendants had not violated plaintiff's rights.)08/04/2004
-Muckey v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence existed to support Commissioner's decision that claimant, who was working at temporary full-time job at time of ALJ hearing, was not disabled.)08/02/2004
-Raven v. Barnhart (Report and recommendation on appeal from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income and Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to give proper weight to opinions of plaintiff's treating physician, and two other consulting physicians who actually examined plaintiff, and gave improper weight to opinions of non-examining, non-treating consultants whose opinions were based solely on records review. Court found ALJ erred in finding alcoholism to be contributing factor to a finding of disability during the relevant time period, and recommended Commissioner's decision be reversed.)07/26/2004
-Durham v. Barnhart (Memorandum Opinion & Order on appeal from denial of retirement insurance benefits. Plaintiff was found to be disabled in 1983, although she did not qualify for disability insurance benefits because she lacked the requisite number of quarters of coverage. The issue here is whether the years from and after she was found to be disabled are excludable as a "period of disability" for purposes of determining her eligibility for retirement insurance benefits. Held: Although the statute is not a model of clarity, the court defers to the Commissioner's interpretation of the statute. Thus, Plaintiff is not entitled to benefits because she lacks the requisite number of quarters of coverage.)07/15/2004
-Williams v. Ault (Report and recommendation on respondent's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. section 2254, and on the merits of the petition. Respondent claimed petition was mixed, including both exhausted and unexhausted claims. Court found the only unexhausted claim also was procedurally defaulted; recommended the claim be deemed barred, leaving only exhausted claims for review; and, therefore, recommended the motion to dismiss be denied. On the merits, court found petitioner had failed to show prejudice from trial counsel's allegedly inadequate performance, and therefore he could not prevail on ineffective assistance of counsel claim. As a result, appellate counsel could not be ineffective for failing to raise, on appeal, claim that trial counsel was ineffective.)07/12/2004
-Jasa v. Mathes (Report and recommendation on respondent's motion to dismiss habeas petition brought under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court recommended dismissal of petition, finding: (1) with regard to claim of juror misconduct, petitioner failed to satisfy requirements for fundamental-miscarriage-of-justice exception to ordinary "cause" and "prejudice" standard for overcoming procedural default; petitioner failed to come forward with new, reliable evidence of actual innocence; (2) with regard to claims that trial and appellate counsel were ineffective, petitioner failed to show his mental illness constituted cause for procedural default by interfering with or impeding his ability to comply with state procedural requirements.)06/28/2004
-Sioux City Country Club v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. (Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff sued when Defendant denied coverage for damages that resulted when accumulated rainwater leaked from a hole that had rusted through an underground drainage pipe. Court found the insurance policy in question did not cover the damaged property, which specifically excluded damage due to "earth movement" or "water.")06/22/2004
-Quist v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income and Title II disability insurance benefits. Plaintiff claimed disability due to back pain, seizures, and headaches. ALJ found the evidence of record did not support the plaintiff's testimony that he was unable to perform any type of work. Court found substantial evidence existed in the record to support the ALJ's credibility determination, and recommended the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits be affirmed.)06/16/2004
-Berg v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. (Memorandum Opinion and Order denying defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff's decedent was killed in an accident while he ws driving a semi truck insured by defendant as part of a fleet of trucks owned by a Nebraska company. Nebraska UIM endorsement to insurance policy issued by defendant provided coverage for vehicles 'principally garaged' or 'licensed' in Nebraska. Defendant argued the Nebraska UIM endorsement did not apply to truck driven by plaintiff's decedent for two reasons: (1) the truck in question was not 'prinicpally garaged' in Nebraska, because it was parked for extended periods of time at an Iowa location; and (2) the truck was not 'licensed' in Nebraska because it was registered under the International Registration Plan, and therefore it was licensed in all jurisdictions in which it was operated. Court found truck was licensed in Nebraska for purposes of coverage under the UIM endorsement. Court further found that on applicable date under Nebraska UIM statute, truck was 'principally garaged' in Nebraska.06/03/2004
-Engling v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income and Title II disability insurance benefits. Plaintiff alleged disability due to Bipolar Disorder and depression. Court found ALJ improperly discounted opinions of plaintiff's therapist, a licensed clinical social worker, at step three of the sequential evaluation process. Regulations provide therapist's opinions are appropriate source of evidence regarding severity of a claimant's impairment and its effect on his ability to work. Court also found ALJ erred in discounting plaintiff's credibility. Court recommended reversal and remand for calculation nd award of benefits.)05/28/2004
-Miller v. Barnhart (Memorandum Opinion and Order on appeal from denial of disability insurance benefits. Court found record contained substantial evidence to support Commissioner's decision, and recommended the decision be affirmed.)05/19/2004
-Bakker v. Kuhnes (Order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment in prisoner 1983 action. Court found plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies with regard to his claims that defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.)05/14/2004
-McInnis v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from Commissioner's ruling that plaintiff was "not without fault" in causing overpayment of disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to develop the record fully and fairly; erred in failing to make a credibility determination; and placed improper weight on what the ALJ believed the plaintiff's wife knew or should have known. Court recommended remand for further development of the record and consideration of further evidence.)05/13/2004
-Berg v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court discusses difficulty in evaluating disability claim based on asthma, where claimant is able to control symptoms through self medication and controlling his environment. Court found record did not support ALJ's conclusion that claimant's subjective complaints were less than credible, and ALJ erred in relying on absence of certain medical documentation that could have been obtained upon request. Court found ALJ did not err in posing hypothetical question to vocational expert. Court recommended Commissioner's decision be reversed, and case be remanded for calculation and award of benefits.)05/04/2004
-Loring v. Advanced Foods, Inc. (Memorandum Opinion and Order granting defendant's motion for summary judgment in case where plaintiff claimed his employment was terminated in violation of ADA, FMLA, and in retaliation for asserting rights under statutes and filing worker's compensation claims.)04/09/2004
-Stewart v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in finding claimant's subjective complaints not to be credible, and in failing to develop the record fully. Court also found ALJ improperly extrapolated wages for part-time work into a hypothetical full-time job for purposes of deeming part-time job to be past relevant work.)04/06/2004
-Saenz v. Barnhart (Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of application for SSI benefits. In recommending reversal and remand, Court found ALJ erred in (1) failing to give great weight to opinion of physician's assistant who had treated claimant frequently over fourteen-month period, and had been claimant's exclusive treating medical sourse during that time; (2) assessing claimant's RFC and finding he could return to past work, with result that ALJ should have proceeded to step five of sequential evaluation process; and (3) failing to make a thorough analysis regarding claimant's credibility.)03/30/2004
-Thomas v. Barnhart (Memorandum Opinion and Order on appeal from denial of disability benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to develop the record fully and fairly; finding plaintiff could return to past work; relying on ambiguous testimony by vocational expert; and placing unwarranted weight on testimony of non-examining physician. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings.)03/19/2004
-Salz v. Stellar Industries (Order denying defendants' motion for summary judgment on gender discrimination and retaliatory discharge claims.)03/10/2004
-Atwood v. Mapes (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner asserted trial court erred in informing jury about threatening phone call, and doing so in ex parte meeting with jury. He also asserted ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to be present during judge's meeting with jury, and failing to voir dire jury to determine prejudice. Court recommended denying petition on basis that, under applicable Supreme Court precedent, petitioner had failed to prsent convincing evidence that state court erred in finding jury's deliberations were not biased; he and his counsel waived his right to be present in meeting with jury, and even if ex parte meeting was erroneous, error was harmless; and petitioner failed to show prejudice from counsel's alleged ineffectiveness.02/25/2004
-Hepperle v. Ault (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court found petitioner was not "in custody" at the time he made statements to police during a murder investigation so no Miranda warnings were required, and trial counsel was not ineffective in failing to investigate and offer evidence that someone else committed the murder.02/13/2004
-Austin v. Ault (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court found five of petitioner's six claims to be procedurally defaulted. On sixth claim, court found appellate counsel could not be ineffective in failing to preserve issue of trial counsel's effectiveness, where trial counsel was not ineffective.02/11/2004
-Montgomery v. Mapes (R&R that petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254 be denied. Issue: Whether petitioner's trial counsel was ineffective in failing to seek exclusion of evidence from show-up identifications. Court found petitioner failed to show trial court made unreasonable determination of facts in light of evidence, where trial court found strong circumstantial evidence was sufficient to establish petitioner's guilt even in absence of challenged eyewitness identifications. Therefore, petitioner could not show prejudice for purposes of ineffective assistance of counsel claim, and appellate counsel was not ineffective in failing to raise issue of trial counsel's ineffectiveness. 02/09/2004
-Foell v. Mathes (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Issue: Whether attorney's failure to investigate and present defense of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome constituted ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of defendant's Sixth Amendment rights. Court found counsel's failure to offer futile defense was not effective. Court also found court's performance did not warrant presumption of prejudice under United States v. Cronic. 02/06/2004
-Henrichs v. Barnhart (Memorandum Opinion and Order on appeal from denial of Social Security disability benefits. Plaintiff claimed disability due to arthritis in thrumbs; pain in back, neck, hips and hands; and migraines. Court found ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment, as presented in hypothetical questions to Vocational Expert, did not encompass all of plaintiff's limitations. Court discusses duty of Appeals Council to provide explanation when it considers, and rejects, post-hearing evidence. Commissioner's decision reversed and case remanded for further proceedings.02/03/2004
-Dunkerson v. Barnhart (R&R recommending Commissioner's decision be affirmed denying applications for SSI and DI benefits. Court discusses recent case law regarding burdens of proof in five-step evaluation process (Sec. III.A.); standard of review for ALJ's credibility determination (Sec. IV.A.; see Sec. III.B.); standards for ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment (Sec. IV.B.); and requirements for proper hypothetical question to Vocational Expert (Sec. IV.C.).01/20/2004
-Bales v. Ault (Report and Recommendation on motion to dismiss. Plaintiff alleged violation of rights under 8th and 14th Amendments in connection with prison's revised property policy that prohibits inmates from having electric razors or beard trimmers. Court found policy change did not constitute an atypical and significant hardship in relation to ordinary incidents of prison life, and further found deprivation of electric razor did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Court recommended granting defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).01/08/2004
-Zeigler v. Fisher-Price (Order on defendant's post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law and motion for new trial. Rulings include the following: (1) because defendant did not raise, in its Rule 50(a) motion at the close of plaintiff's evidence, any grounds for judgment as a matter of law on plaintiff's design defect claim, defendant could not raise the issue in its post-trial Rule 50(b) motion; (2) court has authority to grant judgment as a matter of law sua sponte, even when no proper Rule 50(a) motion has been made; (3) Iowa law limits design defect cases involving only economic loss to warranty theories, but permits personal injury plaintiffs to assert both tort and warranty theories; (4) court denied motion for judgment as a matter of law on grounds raised by defendant, but entered judgment as a matter of law sua sponte on design defect claim; (5) under Iowa law, punitive damages are not warranted absent showing of willful or wanton conduct, and in absence of same, court granted motion for judgment as matter of law on punitive damages claim; (6) parties have a duty to comply with Final Pretrial Order, which is not a Local Rule or simply a matter of form and carries the same weight as any other court order; (7) Consumer Product Safety Commission press release announcing recall of toy was properly admitted into evidence as an admission under Fed. R. Evid. 801(d)(2)(A), (B), & (C); (8) court conditionally denied motion for new trial in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(c).01/08/2004
-Centra v. Barnhart (Amended Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of SSI and DI benefits. Court found that although none of plaintiff's medical or psychological impairments, standing alone, was sufficient to warrant a finding of disability, all of his impairments in combination rendered him disabled. Opinion discusses Social Security Ruling relating to consideration of residual functional capacity when mental illness is involved.)01/08/2004
-Directv v. Weber, et al (Order granting default judgment to plaintiff for defendant's purchase of "pirate access device" that allowed defendant to access plaintiff's satellite transmissions without subscribing to the service. Court discusses requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(1) and (2), and damages provisions of 47 U.S.C. section 605(e)(3)(C)(i) and 18 U.S.C. section 2520(c)(2). In absence of evidence of plaintiff's damages, court execised discretion in declining to award demages under 18 U.S.C. section 2520(c)(2), and awarded minimum damages of $1,000 under 47 U.S.C. section 605(e)(3)(C)(i).)12/17/2003
-Knudsen v. Barnhart (R&R on appeal from denial of Social Security disability insurance benefits, recommending reversal and judgment for plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged disability due to Bipolar Disorder, fibromyalgia, Raynaud's phenomenon, and irritable bowel syndrome. Court found ALJ did not give proper weight to opinions of plaintiff's treating psychiatrist and counselor. Court discusses weight to be given to counselor as an "other" medical source.)12/16/2003
-McGee v. Barnhart (appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred in rejecting opinions of plaintiff's treating physicians, and in discounting plaintiff's subjective complaints without performing proper Polaski analysis. Reversed and remanded for calculation and award of benefits.)12/08/2003
-Johnson v. Barnhart (R&R in appeal from denial of Social Security disability benefits, recommending Commissioner's decision be reversed. Plaintiff alleged disability due to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other causes. Court found ALJ erred in failing to consider Plaintiff's work history and opinion of treating physician in assessing Plaintiff's credibility, and in failing to credit presence of pain and trigger points as objective medical evidence of fibromyalgia.)12/05/2003
-Grant v. Barnhart (R&R in Social Security appeal where plaintiff claimed disability due to seizures and back pain since 11/02/98. Appeals Council overruled ALJ and found plaintiff to be disabled from and after 01/01/00. Court found substantial evidence existed in the Record to support a finding of disability from and after 09/01/99, and therefore recommended reversal of Commissioner's decision.)12/01/2003
-Brown v. HyVee (Order granting summary judgment to defendant in case where plaintiff claimed employment discrimination based on age, sex, and retaliation. Court found case was untimely on State law retaliation claim; plaintiff failed to exhaust sex discrimination claim; and plaintiff failed to meet his burden to show employer's reasons for demoting plaintiff were pretext for age discrimination.)11/18/2003
-Engineered Products v. Donaldson Company (Order disqualifying trial counsel in patent case. Plaintiff's counsel was formerly defendant's trial counsel when he worked for a large firm. Although he had not worked on present case, and had not done any work for defendant corporation for several years, court found, under facts of case and current law in Iowa and Eighth Circuit, an unrebuttable presumption that attorney was presumed to have knowledge of confidential communications between defendant and other attorneys in counsel's former firm. Court discusses Iowa ethical rules and Eighth Circuit law.)11/14/2003
-DeMaris v. Barnhart (R&R recommending Commissioner's decision be affirmed in appeal from denial of Title II disability benefits. Plaintiff claimed disability on the basis of, inter alia, fibromyalgia, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure. Court found evidence in the Record supported inconsistent positions, and because one of them represented the Commissioner's decision, the case should be affirmed.)11/13/2003
-Burks v. Barnhart (R&R in appeal from denial of SSI and DI benefits. Alleged impairments: borderline intellectual functioning, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder. Primary issue was lack of evidence to support any conclusion, either favorable or unfavorable. Court found the ALJ had not fulfilled his duty to develop the record fully, and recommended remand to obtain further evidence and reconsider the decision.)11/03/2003
-Harrington v. Barnhart (R&R recommending reversal and award of benefits in case involving Commissioner's denial of Widow's Insurance Benefits under Title II of Social Security Act. Plaintiff alleged common-law marriage and sought widow's insurance benefits based on decedent's wages. ALJ found no common-law marriage existed. Court recommended reversal and award of benefits. Court discussed Iowa law relating to factors for proof of common-law marriage.)10/30/2003
-Bartleson v. Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Order granting motion to amend complaint. Plaintiffs, who brought a class action for unpaid overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, sought to add a claim under the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Act. The federal statute only allows for an "opt-in" class action, whereas the Iowa law is not similarly restricted. Court discussed rationale for allowing FLSA and state wage payment claims to be brought in collective action; court's ability to manage two classes of plaintiffs in a single action; and factors bearing on discretionary exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over state-law claims.)10/24/2003
-Carroll v. Barnhart (R&R in Social Security appeal, recommending remand with instructions for the ALJ to further develop the record. Pivotal issue was whether Record contained sufficient evidence to support ALJ's residual functional capacity, and therefore the hypothetical posed to the Vocational Expert, where the claimant had received almost no treatment at all for the allegedly disabling condition.)09/25/2003
-Anderson v. Barnhart (R&R in appeal from denial of SSI benefits. Issues: claimant's credibility; impact of failure to seek treatment due to financial hardship. Court recommended case be remanded for reconsideration with directions to view claimant's subjective complaints as credible.)09/02/2003
-Connor v. Ault (R&R following bench trial in this civil rights action brought by prisoners at Anamosa State Penitentiary. The plaintiffs, both practicing Muslims, alleged their constitutional rights were violated by prison policies that prevented them from participating fully in Islamic religious services and activities. Court found policies were reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, and recommended judgment for the defendants.)08/06/2003
-Pioneer Hi-Bred v. Ottawa Plant Food (Order granting motion to compel production of communications between defendant's experts and defendant's attorneys, following the holding in In re Pioneer Hi Bred International, Inc., 238 F.3d 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2001), which the Eighth Circuit described as "applying Eighth Circuit law on privileges and holding that documents and information disclosed to an expert in connection with testimony are discoverable whether or not the expert relies on the documents and information in preparing the expert report." Pepsico, Inc. v. Baird, Kurtz & Dobson LLP, 305 F.3d 813, 817 n.2 (8th Cir. 2002).)07/25/2003
-Jessen v. Barnhart (R&R in Social Security appeal, recommending the Commissioner's decision be affirmed. Plaintiff claimed disability based on borderline intellectual functioning and depression. Court found plaintiff could return to past relevant work, and therefore was not disabled.)07/22/2003
-Zeigler v. Fisher-Price (Order on motions to preclude expert testimony and to bifurcate punitive damages phase of trial. Court discusses choice of law rules, standards for evaluating expert testimony in general, Iowa law on use of circumstantial evidence to support expert opinion, and law relating to biburcation of claims.)07/01/2003
-Kirkpatrick v. Barnhart (Memorandum opinion reversing Commissioner's decision denying Social Security benefits for a closed period. Court held the ALJ incorrectly relied on the opinions of non-examining, non-treating physicians, and improperly discounted or ignored opinions of the plaintiff's treating physicians.)06/18/2003
-Schneider v. Jergens, et al (R&R on motion to dismiss filed by Intervenor State of Iowa in a habeas proceeding under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner challenges constitutionality of appellate procedure in contempt actions. Iowa law provides that if contempt application is denied, applicant may file direct appeal as of right, but if application is granted, defendant may only appeal by way of petition for writ of certiorari. State intervened on the constitutional issue and moved to dismiss. Issues discussed: procedural default; exhaustion of remedies, specifically whether criminal contempt is a "public offense" for purposes of postconviction relief actions, and excused failure to exhaust where available remedies are deficient or futile. Court recommends denial of motion to dismiss, and certification of constitutional question to Iowa Supreme Court.)06/11/2003
-Bowers v. Burger (R&R on motion to dismiss habeas action under 28 U.S.C. Section 2254. Issues: AEDPA statute of limitations; procedural default; and whether defendant's low IQ of 70 constitutes cause sufficient to overcome procedural default, or to toll the AEDPA statute of limitations)05/30/2003
-Deakins v. Barnhart (R&R in Social Security appeal recommending that the Commissioner's decision be affirmed. Issues: ALJ's credibility determination; what constitutes a "treating physician," and proper weight to be given to physicians' opinions, appropriateness of hypothetical question posed to Vocational Expert)05/29/2003
-Zeigler v. Fisher-Price, Inc. (Order granting partial summary judgment to toy manufacturer in products liability case. Plaintiff asserted claim for emotional distress damages arising from allegation that defendant fraudulently concealed and failed to disclose to plaintiff information about fire hazard posed by Power Wheels toy. Court held Iowa law does not support a claim for emotional distress damages in a fraud action. Discussion of Iowa law relating to emotional distress claims.)05/08/2003
-Henrich v. Jo Anne B. Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security (R&R in Social Security appeal recommending reversal and award of disability benefits. Court found the ALJ improperly discredited the claimant's subjective complaints, and the opinions of medical and vocational experts relying on those complaints, without conducting a proper Polaski analysis.)05/01/2003
-Hepperle v. Ault (Order denying evidentiary hearing in habeas case under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner failed to fully develop factual basis for claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, because PCR counsel failed to question trial counsel about significance of two police reports. Court held ineffective assistance of PCR counsel is not sufficient basis to warrant evidentiary hearing.)04/21/2003
-McGuire v. Davidson Manufacturing (Order on post-trial motions in products liability case. Plaintiff fell and was injured when a ladder on which he was standing broke. Jury found no design defect; found manufacturing defect, but also found ladder was manufactured in accordance with state of the art; and found for plaintiff on general negligence/res ipsa loquitur theory. In post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law, defendants argued general negligence was inapplicable on these facts. Among other things, defendants argued that because jury found the ladder met state of the art, the defendants could not have failed to use ordinary care, and therefore the jury's verdict was inconsistent. In denying the motion on all grounds, court found general negligence theory to be particularly applicable on the facts of this case, and found no inconsistency in the jury's verdict.)04/18/2003
-Brass v. Incorporated City of Manly, Iowa, et al (Order granting partial summary judgment to Mayor and City of Manly, Iowa, on claims by terminated police officers for deprivation of liberty interest without due process, defamation, and retaliatory discharge in violation of public policy. Discusses requirements for due process claim for loss of an employee's liberty interest; requirements for defamation claim under Iowa law; and scope of Iowa's whistle-blower statute, Iowa Code section 70A.29.)04/17/2003
-Jones v. McKinney (R&R on motion to dismiss in habeas case under 28 U.S.C. s. 2254. Issues discussed: defendant's right to challenge guilty plea when no motion in arrest of judgment was filed; procedural default; exhaustion of State remedies; ineffective assistance of counsel; what constitutes "fair presentation" of federal claim in State proceedings)04/09/2003
-LeFlore v. Mathis, et al. (R&R on motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 24 U.S.C. s. 2254. Recommends dismissing petition on basis that petitioner has been released from custody, and failed to allege sufficient collateral consequences to survive mootness inquiry.)04/01/2003
-Marnell v. Barnhart (Appeal of denial of several applications for Social Security benefits, including applications for SSI benefits under Title XVI as both a child and an adult, appliction for DI benefits under Title II, and application for Child's Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II. Discussion of disability requirements for child and adult claimants; regulations governing personality disorders in Listing 12.08; and case-specific requirements for entitlement to child's disability insurance benefits. Court found claimant to be disabled on the basis of personality disorder manifesting itself primarily in behavior problems, including persistent hostility and anger, inability to function socially, and inability to engage in appropriate relationships, including in the work place.)03/31/2003
-Carter v. Woodbury County Jail, et al (Summary judgment motion granted because plaintiff failed to resist. Brief discussion of PLRA requirement for exhaustion of administrative remedies.)03/18/2003
-Zeigler v. Fisher-Price (Order requiring disclosure of certain internal memoranda in products liability case. Discusses availability of private right of action under Consumer Product Safety Act; law applicable to claims of privilege when court's jurisdiction is based on diversity; requirements to withhold production of documents prepared in anticipation of litigation. In this case, defendant's risk management and legal department routinely investigated all consumer claims of fires involving defendant's products. Court found internal evaluation forms were prepared in ordinary course of business and were discoverable.)03/13/2003
-Butt v. Greenbelt Home Care Agency (R&R on motion for summary judgment in employment discrimination case involving claims under Americans With Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Iowa Civil Rights Act, and claim for retaliatory discharge. Discusses requirements for prima facie case under each type of claim; effect of contradictions between deposition testimony and summary judgment affidavit; whether expert testimony is required to substantiate disability claim; effect of mitigating treatment on disability claim.)02/28/2003
-Windle v. John Morrell & Co. (Order granting plaintiff's motion for leave to amend Complaint to specify that the action, brought under 42 USC Section 1981, also was asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court discussed the difference between "race" and "national origin," and whether section 1981 allows a claim for racial discrimination. The court also noted the 8th Circuit's holding that it is an abuse of discretion not to allow this type of amendment, given that Title VII and section 1981 claims are substantially identical."02/17/2003
-Navrude v. The United States of America (USPS) (Order on discovery motions. Discusses whena treating physician is subject to expert witness disclosure requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(B).)02/12/2003
-McGuire v. Davidson Mfg Corp. and Louisville Ladder Group LLC (Order granting in part, denying in part, motion to exclude expert testimony in diversity action. Analysis focuses on Daubert and Kumho Tire standards, with citations to numerous Eighth Circuit and other federal cases. Discussion of "differential analysis" methodology)01/08/2003
-Catipovic v. Peoples Cmnty Health, et al (Order certifying the following questions to the Iowa Supreme Court: (1) Is a party who intentionally interferes with the performance of a contract entitled to seek contribution from other parties who allegedly participated in the intentional interference with the performance of the contract? (2) Is a party who intentionally inteferees with the performance of a contract entitled to seek contribution from other parties who allegedly are liable to the injured party for the same damages caused by the first party's intentional interference with the performance of the contract, but who did not act intentionally? (3) If a party who intentionally interferes with the performance of a contract is entitled to seek contribution from other parties who allegedly are liable to the injured party for the same damages caused by the first party's intentional interference with the performance of the contract, is the party seeking contribution prohibited from seeking contribution against a party who has been discharged from liability to the plaintiff by settlement?)01/06/2003
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-USA v. Dodd -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found defendant's argument that law enforcement lacked probable cause for search warrant to be without merit. Defendant's contention that law enforcement acted unreasonably in relying on second witness' information was without merit.05/15/2012
-USA v. Tran -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that exigent circumstances justified police officers' entry into defendant's residence after executing arrest warrant on defendant's boyfriend. Police observed marijuana and weapon in plain view in defendant's vicinity. Furthermore, officers had right to conduct protective sweep before obtaining search warrant.05/15/2012
-USA v. Malcom -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that search warrant affidavit contained ample evidence to support conclusion that defendant possessed contraband. Facts recited in affidavit were sufficient to lead prudent person to believe that there was a fair probability that contraband wold be found in the defendant's home or business. The reasonable inference that defendant would have contraband at his residence or business provided nexus between the items sought in the search warrant and the places to be searched. Alternatively, officers could reasonably rely in good faith on the search warrant issued.05/14/2012
-USA v. Gagen -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that defendant was not in custody when he made voluntary statements during interview with state parole officer and deputy sheriff, so Miranda warnings were not required. Furthermore, Court found that defendant was not in custody after subsequent traffic stop by deputy sheriff until sheriff arrested and handcuffed defendant for possessing methamphetamine. Miranda warnings by sheriff thus were not required until defendant was under arrest.05/10/2012
-USA v. Murillo-Figueroa -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that probable cause did not justify traffic stop based on multiple air fresheners' purported obstruction of driver's view. Court found, however, that probable cause or at least a reasonable suspicion justified stop based on circumstances leading up to stop.04/27/2012
-USA v. Quintero-Felix -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be denied, court found that, once officer had probable cause for traffic stop, placing defendant in police cruiser while conducting records check was not unlawful detention. Defendant was not seized after officer completed writing traffic warning, at which point defendant's encounter with police was consensual. Officer also had reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify further detention.04/03/2012
-USA v. Jocol-Alfaro and USA v. DeLeon-Ochoa -- Order on detention. Court held risk that defendants might possibly be deported before facing trial on federalc hages was not determinative of their eligibility for pretrial release and that determination had to be made on factors enumerated in 18 USC 3142.10/31/2011
-USA v. Amaya -- Order denying defendant Angel Amaya's motion to strike and/or motion to withdraw, denying as moot defendant Javier Amaya's motion to compel disclosure of identity of source of information, and denying Javier Amaya's motion for a bill of particulars and motion to sever. Report and recommendation recommending denial of Javier Amaya's motion to dismiss Count 2 of the superseding indictment or to strike superfluous language and motion to dismiss Count 1 of the superseding indictment. First, the court did not find that Angel Amaya's counsel's previous representation of government witness created conflict; in any event, government witness and defendant were willing to waive any conflict. Second, the government revealed at the hearing the identity of the source of information; therefore, defendant Javier Amaya's motion to compel disclosure was moot. Third, Javier Amaya's motion for a bill of particulars was not appropriate method to contest sufficiency of the evidence on Count 2. Fourth, Javier Amaya did not show serious prejudice from joinder with co-defendants that would warrant severance. Further, Javier Amaya's motiosn to dismiss Count 2 because of vague or superfluous language and to dismiss Count 1 because of "inextricable entanglement" with Count 2 so as to confuse the jury were without merit and should be denied. 10/03/2011
-USA v. Lindgren -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress statements. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be denied, court found that, under Eighth Circuit jurisprudence, defendannt was not in custody at the time he made his statements. Failure to give defendant Miranda warnings thus did not require suppression of his statements.08/25/2011
-USA v. Amaya -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized (1) pursuant to a search warrant of his residence; (2) during a consent search of his parents' trailer; and (3) during a search of his vehicle. The affidavit submitted contained information from a cooperating source that was corroborated by officers' search of defendant's trash at his residence and by evidence seized at a traffic stop of the defendant's vehicle. The defendant offered no evidence under Franks v. Delaware that the affiant intentionally or recklessly omitted from the affidavit information that would have been clearly critical to a finding of probable cause. The defendant did not have standing to challenge the search of his parents' trailer; in any event, the search of the trailer did not follow from anything seized pursuant to the search warrant. Court recommended denying suppression of items seized from the defendant's vehicle at the time of his arrest because the defendant failed to state any grounds to support suppression and because no evidence seized from the vehicle would be offered at trial. 08/25/2011
-USA v. Lara-Pantoja -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motions to suppress his post-Miranda statementand his stop, search, and detention, and on defendant's motion to suppress his statements, finding that some of defendant's post-Miranda statements were made involuntarily. Court recommended denying defendant's motions to suppress his stop, search, and detention because probable cause existed for the police officer's stop of defendant's vehicle and because the inventory search of defendant's vehicle after his arrest complied with the police department's impoundment and inventory policy. Court recommended denying defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment.08/02/2011
-USA v. Kristen McCoy and Todd Reynolds -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion to suppress evidence. In recommending defendants' motion to suppress be denied, court found that the search warrant to search defendants' residence was supported by probable cause based on items seized during a traffic stop. Defendants did not demonstrate that the affidavit in support of the search warrant was false or that the magistrate who issued the warrant did not have authority to issue a warrant for a search of property in another county.04/21/2011
-USA v. Corona-Torres - Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drug evidence found during a search of defendant's vehicle at a traffic stop. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be granted, court found officers had neither probable cause to believe that defendant had unlawfully stopped on a highway nor reasonable suspicion that defendant had unlawfully thrown trash on a highway that justified the stop of the vehicle. Although defendant consented to the vehicle search, his consent did not purge the taint of the illegal stop.04/20/2011
-USA v. Charles -- Order denying defendant's motion to sever. Court found defendant had failed to show he would be sufficiently prejudiced by trial with co-defendants in this drug conspiracy case.12/21/2010
-USA v. Martinez-Rodriguez. Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Defendant, who was visibly impaired by alcohol or other drugs at time of questioning, failed to show his will was overborne, and court found his waiver of Miranda rights was knowing, voluntary, and intelligent11/01/2010
-United States of America v. McManaman -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be denied, court found probable cause existed for issuance of a search warrant for guns, drugs, and related items, and evidence of child pornography inevitably would have been discovered during any search pursuant to the warrant.09/14/2010
-USA v. Hulstein -- Order granting defendant's motion to take trial deposition by telephone.06/03/2010
-USA v. Villanueva-Martinez -- Order on detention. Court held risk that defendant might possibly be deported prior to facing trial on federal charges was not determinative of his eligibility for pretrial release, and determination had to be made based on factors enumerated in 18 USC 3142.04/22/2010
-USA v. Moes -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment charging him with failure to register as a sex offender. Court found the case turned on a factual issue that must be decided by the jury at trial; i.e., whether the defendant "resided" in Iowa.04/14/2010
-USA v. Peter Hanson -- Order denying defendant's motion for severance. Court found Bruton issue to be moot, and found defendant had failed to show prejudice from joint trial with co-defendants.04/12/2010
-United States v. Riesselman -- Amended Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drugs and cell phone found on his person during a pat-down search, evidence seized during execution of a search warrant, and statements he gave to officers at the scene. Government agreed pat-down search exceeded permissible scope under the circumstances, and court recommended drugs and cell phone be suppressed. On other issues, court found defendant never invoked his right to counsel; failure to give defendant complete copy of search warrant, including attachment that described items to be searched, was not deliberate and did not require suppression of evidence where defendant failed to show prejudice; although defendant's statements regarding illegally-seized drugs and cell phone were fruit of the illegal search, statements were sufficiently attenuated to purge the taint; and defendant's other statements were voluntary and did not flow from illegal seizure of items from defendant's person.03/31/2010
-USA v. Ruben Olivares-Rodriguez -- Report and recommendation on motion to suppress evidence arising from search of vehicle by a certified drug detection dog. Court found dog was reliable, and his handler reasonably believed the dog had indicated on the vehicle, providing probable cause to search the vehicle's interior. Court further found testimony of defense witness Steven Nicely was entitled to no weight.03/22/2010
-Redd v. McKinney -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC Section 2254. Court found petitioner failed to show Iowa court's decisions were unreasonable in finding his trial and appellate counsel were not ineffective for failing to lodge proper objections to admission of certain evidence at trial. 03/16/2010
-USA v. Riesselman -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drugs found in his pocket during a pat-down search, evidence seized during execution of a search warrant, and a statement he gave to officers at the scene. Government agreed pat-down search exceeded permissible scope under the circumstances, and court recommended drugs be suppressed. On other issues, court found defendant never invoked his right to counsel; failure to give defendant complete copy of search warrant, including attachment that described items to be searched, was not deliberate and did not require suppression of evidence where defendant failed to show prejudice; and defendant's statement was voluntary and did not flow from illegal seizure of drugs from defendant's pocket. 03/16/2010
-USA v. Harrington -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found officers' encounter with defendant was completely consensual; officers did not initiate a "stop" of defendant; and defendant was coherent and able to consent to be interviewed.02/16/2010
-USA v. Hanson -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence found during search of vehicle at site of traffic stop. Court found officer's continued detention of defendant after conclusion of traffic stop for further investigation of suspected drugs in vehicle was based on officer's reasonable suspicision and did not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.02/01/2010
-USA v. Rojas - Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to dismiss indictment for insufficiency of evidence before the grand jury be denied.12/02/2009
-USA v. Stephens -- Order denying Government's motion to amend conditions of pretrial release to include electronic monitoring and curfew. Court found unconstitutional the Adam Walsh Act amendments to the Bail Reform Act requiring mandatory imposition of curfew and electronic monitoring without an individual determination of whether the facts of the case required those conditions of pretrial release.10/27/2009
-USA v. Graham -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence found during execution of a search warrant at his residence. Court found there was sufficient probable cause to issue the warrant and sufficient indicia of validity for the executing officers to rely on the warrant, and the warrant adequately described the places to be searched.09/28/2009
-USA v. Martinez-Pena -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drug evidence found in his vehicle. Defendant was stopped for speeding. He was cited for driving without a license, and vehicle was seized to install a tracking device pursuant to a warrant. While installing the device, officers found drugs in the vehicle. Court found drugs were not in plain view, and warrantless seach of vehicle violated defendant's Fourth Amendment rights. However, court further found drugs inevitably would have been discovered during inventory search of vehicle and need not be suppressed. 09/23/2009
-USA v. Yockey -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence located on, and stemming from, the discovery of child pornography on his cell phone at the time he was booked into the jail for driving while suspended. Court found discovery of pornographic image by inentorying officer was inadvertent; arresting officer's examination of additional photographs on the phone and questioning of defendant before giving Miranda warnings was unlawful; and detective's questioning of defendant after Miranda warnings and examination of phone's contents with defendant's consent would have occurred solely on the basis of the single photo inadvertently accessed by inventorying officer and therefore need not be suppressed. 08/03/2009
-USA v. Mosley -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress statements made when officers arrived to execute a search warrant at his house. Court found that under Eighth Circuit jurisprudence, defendant was not "in custody" at the time he made his statements, and therefore failure to give him Miranda warnings did not require suppression of his statements.07/27/2009
-USA v. Haltiwanger -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's objection to Government's 851 notice. Interpreting Kansas sentencing guideline scheme applicable to drug tax stamp violation, court found maximum term to which defendant could have been sentenced was seven months, rather than the thirteen months applicable to defendants in higher criminal history categories, and therefore defendant's conviction under the Kansas drug tax stamp law did not qualify as a prior felony confiction for purposes of a federal sentence enhancement.02/11/2009
-USA v. Gregg -- Report and Recommendation on petition to revoke the defendant's term of supervised release.02/04/2009
-USA v. Maul -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found officer had probable cause to conduct traffic stop, reasonable suspicion to detain vehicle's occupants for further investigation after traffic stop was concluded, and authority to remove occupants from vehicle for purposes of exterior K-9 sniff of the vehicle.10/30/2008
-USA v. Thies -- Report and Recommendation, recommending defendant's motion to suppress evidence be denied. Defendant's girlfriend, with whom he lived, called police to report that defendant was drunk and acting violently, and she was frightened because he had a gun in the house. Officer went to the house to investigate, with intent to seize the firearm for the parties' and the public's safety. He encountered defendant and some friends in the front yard of the residence. He asked defendant a few questions before arresting defendant on an outstanding warrant. He then entered the house, over defendant's objections, to secure the firearm, and while inside, noticed some live ammunition. After learning defendant had a prior felony conviction, officer secured a search warrant for the house and seized the ammunition and other evidence. Court found defendant's responses to initial questions were noncustodial and need not be suppressed; officer's initial entry into the house to retrieve the gun was lawful; and even if initial entry into the house was not lawful, gun and ammunition inevitably would have been discovered.10/23/2008
-USA v. Huntley -- Report and Recommendation on motion to dismiss indictment. Court found defendant who receives firearm in trade for drugs does not possess the firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 USC 924(c), but recommended the motion be denied as premature.10/21/2008
-USA v. Huntley -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss. Defendant was convicted by a jury of a firearms violation and appealed. Appellate court reversed due to erroneous jury instruction. On remand, government dismissed, and then re-indicted defendant one day later. Defendant argued reprosecution violated his fifth amendment protection against double jeopardy. Court recommended motion be denied based on Supreme Court precedent holding Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar reprosecution of a defendant whose conviction is overturned on appeal due to a trial error, rather than for insufficiency of evidence.09/02/2008
-USA v. Godfrey -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress statements defendant made to agents who questioned him at his home. Court found defenadnt's sixth amendment right to counsel had not attached where defendant had not been charged or arrested and was not in custody at time of interview. Defendant was not entitled to Miranda warnings prior to the non-custodial interview, and defendant's statements were not coerced.08/11/2008
-USA v. Stangeland -- Supplemental Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss with prejudice for speedy trial violation. Court reviewed dismissal of prior case pursuant to the factors set forth in 18 USC 3162, and concluded dismissal without prejudice was proper. Defendant failed to show constitutional violation under Barker v. Wingo factors. 07/29/2008
-USA v. Puok -- Order on Government's motion to compel defense to produce summaries of expert testimony. Court overruled defendant's interpretation of standard Stipulated Discovery Order, holding production of expert witness summaries is required by the stipulation without any notice or request from either party.07/25/2008
-USA v. Kenison -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Court found defendant had failed to make a preliminary showing that information was omitted from search warrant application recklessly, deliberately, or intentionally, and therefore defendant was not entitled to a Franks hearing.07/21/2008
-USA v. Ortega-Morgado --Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss for speedy trial violation. Parties agreed the indictment should be dismissed, but disagreed on whether dismissal should be with or without prejudice. After weighing factors in 18 USC 3162(a)(1), court recommended dismissal be with prejudice.07/18/2008
-USA v. Stangeland -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss. Defendant was indicted, but no trial was scheduled. Court dismissed indictment sua sponte for speedy trial violation, and Government then obtained a new indictment. Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing that because the first indictment was dismissed other than on his own motion, the speedy trial clock continued to run. Court found Defendant was beneficiary of the sua sponte dismissal, and the speedy trial clock began to run anew with the second indictment.06/11/2008
-USA v. McManaman -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found a Sixth Amendment violation where officers asked defendant a question after he had been indicted and taken into custody but before he had been advised of his rights, and recommended suppression of defendant's response to the question. However, court found firearm located as a result of that response inevitably would have been discovered, and therefore it need not be suppressed, nor did the constitutional violation require suppression of defendant's post-Miranda statements made several hours after his arrest.06/09/2008
-US v. Fundermann -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence found during and as a result of traffic stop. Court found traffic stop was valid; search of vehicle was supported by probable cause; and subsequent search warrant issued on basis of evidence found during traffic stop also was supported by probable cause.05/08/2008
-USA v. Douglas Johnson --Report and Recommendation on defendant's motions to suppress evidence seized from execution of two separate search warrants. Court found the first warrant application to be deficient, and so much so that the court held the Leon exclusionary rule should apply to the evidence seized in execution of the warrant. Court found the second warrant contained sufficient information to support the magistrate's probable cause determination, and further found that in any event, the officers' reliance on the warrant was reasoanble and in good faith.04/01/2008
-USA v. Vo -- Order denying motion to sever. Defendant charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and money laundering moved for severance from co-defendants charged with continuing criminal enterprise and other crimes. Court found joinder was proper, and defendant failed to show he would suffer serious prejudice from joinder of his case for trial with his co-defendants.03/10/2008
-USA v. Ingram -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found officer's pre-Miranda question at scene of traffic stop regarding whether defendant had anything in his possession that would get him into trouble was not a custodial inquiry and did not violate defendant's Miranda rights. Court further found search warrant was supported by probable cause.11/28/2007
-USA v. Webb - Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment charging him with possession of a firearm after previously being convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence." Court found question was for the jury as to whether defendant's conduct leading to the state conviction involved the requisite "physical force" to constitute a predicate offense for a conviction under 18 USC 922(g)(9).11/09/2007
-USA v. Howell -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment charging violations of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, 42 USC 16901 et seq. and 18 USC 2250. Held: (1) SORNA was not applicable to sex offender with pre-SORNA convition until issuance of Attorney General's interim rule on 2/28/07; (2) application of SORNA to conduct predating the interim rule would violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution; (3) SORNA does not violate the non-delegation doctrine or the Commerce Clause; (4) application of SORNA to defendant would not violate due process; and (5) proper venue for SORNA violation is fact-based and represents jury question for trial. 11/08/2007
-USA v. Plum -- Order granting motion for involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs to render defendant competent for trial. Court found the Government had proved all four of the Sell factors.08/29/2007
-USA v. McMullin -- Report and Recommendation on motion to dismiss for pre-indictment delay, and motion to dismiss one count of indictment for violating defendant's right against double jeopardy. Court found defendant failed to show delay in filing indictment resulted in actual and substantial prejudice to presentation of his defense, or that government intentionally delayed the indictment to gain tactical advantage or to harass him. On second motion, court held 21 USC 841(c)(2) is a lesser included offense of 21 USC 841(c)(1), so that although trying defendant on both charges does not violate double jeopardy, defendant could not be convicted and punished for both offenses. 08/28/2007
-USA v. McMullin - Order denying defendant's motion for severance. Court found defendant filed to show he would suffer "real prejudice" from joint trial.08/28/2007
-USA v. Sheridan -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of motion, court found defendant's nephew, who was working as a security guard at resort, entered defendant's room as a private citizen on his own behalf; and not on behalf of, or with knowledge of and acquiescence by, any government agency.08/15/2007
-USA v. Gocha -- Supplemental Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found probable cause existed for issuance of second and third warrants to search defendant's computers, digital cameras, personal data device, and storage media. Court further found search warrants met particularity requirement and were not overly broad. 08/10/2007
-USA v. Jeff Cheney -- Report and Recommendation on defendnat's objections to plaintiff's notice of intent to seek enhanced penalties pursuant to 21 USC 851.07/27/2007
-USA v. Gocha -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence from search of residence and shop building. Court found unrelated attachment to search warrant was included inadvertently and was not considered by magistrate in issuing warrant; defendant failed to make requisite showing to warrant a Franks hearing; and officers reasonably believed cohabitant of property had authority to consent to search of entire property. 07/03/2007
-USA v. Quiroga -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Court found officers had probable cause for defendant's warrantless arrest, and recommended evidence from search incident to arrest not be suppressed.06/13/2007
-USA v. O'Connor- Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to suppress be denied. Defendant argued search warrant for his residence was not supported by probable cause because the facts indicated his alleged activities only occurred at his workplace, not at his residence. Court found issuing judge was entitled to rely on officer's experienced opinion that defendant likely maintained pornographic images and performed illegal acts at his residence.06/11/2007
-USA v. Charles Scott -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found defendant had not made adequate showing for a Franks hearing, and even if affidavit in support of search warrant was deficient, officers executed the warrant in good faith and evidence should not be excluded pursuant to Leon.05/08/2007
-United States of America v. Arias-Gonzales -- Report and sua sponte recommendation that case be dismissed for speedy trial violation.05/02/2007
-USA v. Marsh -- Order on motion for extension of time to complete psychological evaluation. Discusses date when time commences for completion of evaluation.03/29/2007
-USA v. Cobb -- Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to suppress evidence resulting from search of his residence be granted. Court found officers recklessly included false information in warrant affidavit, and when false information was excluded, information in the affidavit would not support a finding of probable cause for a search of defendant's residence. Court further found inevitable discovery exception inapplicable on these facts.03/27/2007
-USA v. Eddie Lee -- Order denying defendant's motion to sever his trial from the trial of his codefendants in case involving conspiracy to manufacture nd distribute crack cocaine.03/13/2007
-USA v. Enrique Aragon-Hernandez -- Order denying defendant's motion for bill of particulars.02/27/2007
-USA v. Huntley -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss two counts of indictment. Defendant argued his plea in state court to simple assault under Iowa Code 708.1(1) and 708.2(4) did not satisfy predicate requirements for federal charges of possessing firearm after misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence. In recommending defendant's motion to dismiss be denied, Court found State court judgment established, on its face, the required predicate element of the charges.02/20/2007
-USA v. Bauer -- Report and recommendation that defendant's motion to suppress evidence from traffic stop be denied. Court found defendant consented to search of his vehicle, his consent was not coerced by officers, and "plain view" doctrine was irrelevant to the analysis.01/22/2007
-USA v. Bucio-Sanchez -- Report and recommendation that motion to suppress evidence be denied. Court found inevitable discovery doctrine justified admission of call made to defendant's c ell phone; protective sweep of trailer was justified under the circumstances, and evidence observed in plain view during protective sweep was admissible; and roommate had authority to consent to search of all of trailer except defendant's bedroom.01/03/2007
-USA v. Tolbert - Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found evidence was sezied lawfully at scene of traffic stop and need not be suppressed; defendant's pre-Miranda statements were custodial in nature and should be suppressed; and defendant later waived rights and gave statements voluntarily and intelligently, so post-Miranda statements need not be suppressed. 12/04/2006
-USA v. Huang and Long -- Report and recommendation on motion to suppress physical evidence. Court found probable cause existed to support issuance of four warrants challenged by defendants, and recommended motion to suppress be denied.10/31/2006
-USA v. Donisi - Report and recommendation that motion to suppress evidence be denied. Court found affidavit in support of search warrant application contained facts sufficient to provide probable cause for issuance of warrant.10/27/2006
-USA v. Becker -- Report and recommendation that motions to suppress evidence and statements be denied. Court found defendant's state probation officer had reasonable suspicion to search defendant's house pursuant to probation agreement when defendant associated with known drug user who had recent arrests, defendant tested positive for drug use, and defendant failed to obtain drug treatment as directed. 10/18/2006
-USA v. Hoffman -- Report and recommendation that motion to suppress evidence be denied. Court found officers were justified in conducting investigatory stop of defendant, and had probable cause to arrest him after he fled scene of suspected drug activity and failed to comply with officers' orders that he stop and remove his hand from his pants pocket.10/17/2006
-USA v. Nieman -- Report and recommendation on motion to dismiss and motion to suppress. Court found informant's use of drugs with defendant did not constitute outrageous governmental conduct warranting either dismissal of case or suppression of evidence. Court further found probable cause supported issuance of search warrant, and warrant described items to be seized with sufficient particularity.10/05/2006
-USA v. Maldonado-Gutierrez - Report and recommendation on defendants' joint motion to suppress evidence located during search of vehicle incident to traffic stop. In recommending denial of motion, court found officers had probable cause to stop vehicle; to detain occupants beyond scope of initial traffic stop; and to conduct warrantless search of vehicle's interior after drug dog indicated on headlight area of vehicle. 08/22/2006
-United States of America v. Sergio Elizarraras-Sepulveda -- Report and recommendation on motion to dismiss one count of two-count indictment. Court found two counts, both involving possession of the same firearm and ammunition, were multiplicitous, and recommended Government be ordered to elect between counts, or to supersede and include both theories in a single count.08/09/2006
-USA v. Kling -- Report and recommendation on three motions to suppress evidence in case involving charges of inducing a minor to engage in sexually-explicit conduct for purposes of producing photos and videos. In recommending that all three motions be denied, court found defendant's Miranda rights were not violated; officers' failure to provide copy of search warrant prior to initiating search did not warrant suppression; information provided by Internet Service Providers provided probable cause for search of defendant's computer and his residence; and probative value of explicit photos and videos outweighed prejudicial effect.07/12/2006
-USA v. Mathison -- Order denying applications for return of seized property. Court found proper procedures were followed in administrative forfeiture proceedings, and court lacked jurisdiction to review the merits of those proceedings in the context of this criminal action.06/13/2006
-USA v. Haberek -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to strike the statutory presumption from 18 USC 228(b), as an unconstitutional violation of his Due Process rights. Court found authorities cited by defendant to be persuasive, and in absence of any resistance by the Government, recommended motion be granted. 06/07/2006
-USA v. Avise -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Officer stopped vehicle registered to individual whose license was barred. Defendant had recently purchased vehicle and had no registration. Defendant's behavior led officers to believe he was under influence of alcohol or drugs. Officers arrested defendant to perform sobriety testing at police station. Defendant's car and jacket were searched incident to arrest, and drugs and other evidence were found. Search warrant executed at defendant's residence yielded further incriminating evidence. Court found officers had reasonable suspicion defendant was engaged in criminal activity justifying his warrantless arrest; search of vehicle and jacket incident to arrest was proper; and warrant was based on probable cause. 04/18/2006
Hide details for --USA v. McCall -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss Count 2 of Indictment as multiplicitous. Defendant was charged in two counts of illegally possessing ammunition, in violation of two separate subsections of 18 USC 922(g), and argued the single incident of possession should be charged in only a single count pursuant to United States v. Richardson, 439 F.3d 421 (8th Cir. 2006). Court agreed, and recommended Government be ordered either to elect between the two counts, or to supersede and include both theories or prosecution in a single count. 04/11/2006
[Replication or Save Conflict]
-United States of America v. Turner -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to sever two counts of Superseding Indictment for trial. Count 1 charged defendant with discrete act of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine. Count 2 charged defendant with perjury in another individual's trial that occurred more than four months prior to act alleged in Count 1. Court found the two offenses did not meet any of the requirements of Fed. R. Crim. P. 8(a), and recommended counts be severed for trial pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 14(a).02/21/2006
-United States of America v. Yerkes -- Report and recommendation on motions to suppress evidence. Court found officer's approaching defendant to talk to her in parking lot was lawful; defendant consented to search of her vehicle; and evidence seized from defendant's vehicle, and from search of apartment pursuant to warrant, should not be suppressed. Court further found defendant had invoked her right to remain silent and requested an attorney, and officers' re-initiation of contact to interview defendant violated her Fifth Amendment rights; thus her statements to officers during post-arrest interview should be suppressed.02/07/2006
-USA v. Williamson -- Order on motion to continue competency hearing. Court discusses interplay between statutes authorizing competency evaluations of criminal defendants in the federal system, and the Speedy Trial Act.01/18/2006
-United States v. Easley -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence from two separate searches. First search took place at Omaha, Nebraska, bus station, when officers observed suspicious actions by defendant and companion, neither was able to produce adequate identification, and companion ran from police. Second search took place at Sioux City, Iowa, motel, after officers learned drugs had been sold in motel room and arrested all occupants for frequenting disorderly house. Court found officers had probable cause to detain defendant and conduct pat-down search at bus station, and to detain, arrest, and search defendant at motel.01/09/2006
-USA v. Lamere - Report and recommendation that motions to suppress evidence be denied. Officers stopped vehicle in which Defendant was passenger for purpose of arresting vehicle's driver. Drugs were found in vehicle and Defendant was arrested, as well. Rejecting Defendant's contrary argument, court found officers had probable cause to stop vehicle, arrest driver, search vehicle, and arrest Defendant.11/29/2005
-USA v. Morris -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motions to suppress evidence. Defendant arguerd officers lacked probable cause to stop his vehicle and arrest him, and also that his arrest was based on racial profiling. Court recommended motions be denied, finding no evidence to suggest racial profiling and officers had probable cause to stop and arrest defendant.11/17/2005
-United States of America v. Wendel -- Report and recommendation, recommending denial of motion to suppress evidence from search of defendant's residence. Court found defendant's consent to search was voluntary, and officers did not enter residence until written consent was given by defendant. 10/06/2005
-United States of America v. Johnson and Heidzig -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion to suppress, recommending motion be granted as to pre-Miranda statements, and denied as to post-Miranda statements and also as to cocaine found on defendant Heidzig's person. One key issue was whether officer's statement to defendant Heidzig that he wanted item she was concealing, and his directions to her to remove the item from her pants and place it on the floorboard of his vehicle, constituted questioning for purposes of Miranda. Court found that it did; however, court also found defendant Heidzig was undr de facto arrest at the time, and therefore, was subject to search incident to arrest, which would have led to discovery of drugs in any event.09/22/2005
-United States of America v. Keough -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained in warrantless search of his residence. Court found Government failed to meet its burden to show defendant's consent to search was voluntary, and recommended motion be granted.07/21/2005
-United States of America v. King - report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress his confession, recommending motion be denied. Court found defendant was not promised leniency in return for information, and he was not mentally impaired by virtue of being under the influence of drugs at time of confession.07/11/2005
-United States of America v. Wendelsdorf -- Report and recommendation on motion to suppress evidence arising from execution of search warrant at defendant's residence. Court found probable cause to support the warrant and recommended denial of motion.06/09/2005
-United States of America v. Aguilar-Barraza -- Report and recommendation on defendants' motions to suppress evidence. Court found pre-Miranda questions about whether defendant was in possession of drugs were intended to elicit incriminating statements and should be suppressed. Court found no constitutional infirmity in search of defendant incident to arrest, search of defendant's vehicle, consent search of defendant's room in family home, search of second defendant's vehicle in parking area across alley from residence, search warrant for family residence, and defendant's post-Miranda statements.06/08/2005
-United States of America v. Wendelsdorf -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment on basis of pre-indictment delay, or alternatively to amend or strike one count for insufficiency of evidence. Court found defendant failed to show improper motive for pre-indictment delay and failed to show prejudice resulting therefrom. Court further found question of sufficiency of evidence is one for jury. Court recommended denying motion on all grounds. 06/03/2005
-United States of America v. Jones -- Report and recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Defendant, who was stopped and then arrested for minor traffic violations, claimed officer lacked probable cause to detain him at scene to await drug dog, to arrest him, and to search his vehicle incident to arrest. Defendant also claimed search warrant application lacked probable cause because it failed to show connection between defendant and place to be searched. Court found officer had probable cause to stop, detain, and arrest defendant; to search vehicle incident to arrest; and for magistrate to find probable cause to issue search warrant.06/01/2005
-United States of America v. Wendelsdorf -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to transfer trial to another division within the district. Court recommends trial court reserve ruling on the motion for transfer until voir dire, or at least until responses are received to jury questionnaire.05/27/2005
-USA v. Hessman -- Report and recommendation, recommending denial of defendant's motion to dismiss indictment for speedy trial violation. Court found no speedy trial violation where neither party had notified the court, as previously ordered, of U.S. Supreme Court's denial of defendant's petition for writ of certiorari.05/20/2005
-United States of America v. Hinman, Dose and Weber (Report and recommendation on motions to dismiss Second Superseding Indictment, or to require plaintiff to elect between what defendants claimed to be multiplicitous counts. Defendants raised two double jeopardy arguments against indictment which charged them with violations of 18 USC 1035 and 18 USC 1001. Court rejected both arguments and recommended motions to dismiss be denied. Court also rejected one defendant's claim that indictment failed to charge defendants properly under 18 USC 1516.)04/22/2005
-United States of America v. Nairn (Report and recommendation on defendant's motion pursuant to 28 USC 2255. Defendant sought to withdraw guilty plea to one charge of indictment on basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. Court found counsel was ineffective in failing to recognize, and advise defendant of fact, that plaintiff's Rule 11 letter and court's recitation of elements of one charge were incorrect. Defendant pled guilty to charge of possessing firearms "during and in relation to" a drug crime, when indictment charged him with possessing firearms "in furtherance of" a drug crime. Court recommended defendant be allowed to withdraw guilty plea to that count of the indictment.)04/12/2005
-United States of America v. Summers (Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment for violation of Sixth Amendment right to speedy trial. Applying Barker v. Wingo, court found approximately one-year delay between indictment and defndant's arrest gave rise to presumption of prejudice; delay was due to plaintiff's negligence; defendant had asserted his right timely; and delay had prejudiced defendant's ability to defend against the charges. Finding all four Barker factors weighed in defendant's favor, court recommended dismissal of indictment.)03/18/2005
-USA v. Ortiz-Martinez (Report and recommendation that defendant's motion to dismiss be denied. Defendant sought dismissal of Indictment for violation of Fed. R. Crim. P. 5(a) requirements that he be brought before a magistrate judge "without unreasonable delay." Court found defendant was in state custody until one day before his initial appearance, and defendant failed to show any prejudice from delay in arresting him on federal charges and bringing him to federal court.)03/07/2005
-USA v. Lee (Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found defendant's companion had expectation of privacy in motel room and right to consent to search of motel room; officers' forced entry into motel room occupied by defendant was warranted based on outstanding arrest warrant and on exigent circumstances; search of motel room was valid based on companion's consent to search. Court recommended defendant's motion to suppress be denied.)02/23/2005
-USA v. Dose, et al. (Report and recommendation on numerous motions challenging sufficiency of Superseding Indictment. In light of 1/12/05 Supreme Court decision in Booker and Fanfan, court recommended defendants' motions to strike "Notice of Additional Relevant Facts" from indictment be granted (withdrawing prior R&R to the contrary). Court recommended denying motions to dismiss indictment or require Government to elect between charging defendants under 18 USC 1001 and 18 USC 1035 on basis of double jeopardy; court found Congress intended that conduct may be punishable under both sections. Court recommended striking fraud allegations for lack of specificity, but otherwise recommended denying motion to dismiss for failure to state an offense. Court recommended denying motion to suppress and in limine to prevent introduction of evidence derived from interview between corporation's attorney and defendant Hinman; court found no attorney-client privilege existed between attorney and defendant.)01/12/2005
-United States v. Piedra (Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained in stop and search of vehicle he was driving. Court found 1. defendant had standing to challenge search of vehicle he was driving with owner's permission; 2. defendant did not commit traffic violation that would provide probable cause for stop of vehicle; but 3. officers had reasonable suspicion that vehicle was involved in criminal activity, and therefore stop of vehicle was valid; and 4. officers were permitted to search passenger compartment of vehicle incident to defendant's arrest for driving without a license. Court recommended motion be denied.)12/15/2004
-United States of America v. Felix Aguin-Guerra (Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress un-Mirandized statements he made to USICE agents. Agents interviewed defendant at jail after his arrest on traffic charges. Court found agents' questioning, without advising defendant of his rights, violated Miranda, and did not fall within "routine booking exception." Court recommended suppression of defendant's statements regarding his citizenship and immigration status.)08/20/2004
-United States v. Spencer (Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during execution of search warrant at his residence. Court found warrant affiant's combination of police officer informant and concerned citizen informant on same page was not fatal to probable cause determination. Court further found warrant's incorporation by reference of attachment that described place to be searched with particularity, and presence of complete warrant, including attachment, at scene of search, did not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights pursuant to Groh v. Ramirez, ___ U.S. ___, 124 S. Ct. 1284, 157 L.Ed.2d 1068 (2004). Court found that even if defendant's rights were violated by officers' failure to serve him with complete copy of warrant at time of search. Leon good faith exception to exclusionary rule was applicable because officers relied in good faith on warrant that was supported by ample probable cause.)08/11/2004
-United States of America v. Kunkel (Report and recommendation on motion to suppress evidence obtained during cursory search of premises incident to defendant's arrest. Court found an evidentiary hearing was not warranted because it was clear suppression was improper as a matter of law. Court held officers performed a proper protective sweep of premises incident to defendant's arrest, and recommended the motion be denied.)07/15/2004
-United States v. Barnett (Report and Recommendation on motions filed by defendant charged with violations of federal firearms laws (including charge under 18 U.S.C. section 924(c)), seeking dismissal of Superseding Indictment on grounds of (1) lack of specificity, (2) unconstitutional vagueness, (3) selective or vindictive prosecution. Issues discussed include whether indictment must state defendant had knowledge of specific characteristics of sawed-off shotgun that make it a "destructive device," possession of sawed-off shotgun as "crime of violence" for purposes of sction 924(c) offense; scienter requirement for section 5861 violations; elements of offence under section 922(g)(3), and constitutionality of that section; elements of prima facie case of selective prosecution; and showing necessary to obtain discovery on issue of selective prosecution.)04/09/2004
-United States of America v. Darrian Jordan and Mendoor Smith (Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Court found defendants failed to make substantial preliminary showing necessary to obtain a Franks hearing, and in any event, probable cause existed to issue search warrant. Court also found defendant Jordan ws searched incident to arrest, not pursuant to warrant. Recommends motions and request for evidentiary hearing be denied.)03/16/2004
-United States of America v. Johnson (Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence, filed by defendant Brion Dodd Johnson. Court found defendant failed to make substantial preliminary showing necessary to obtain a Franks hearing, and recommended defendant's motion and request for hearing be denied.)03/16/2004
-United States of America v. Barnett (Report and recommendation on two motions to dismiss in case charging various firearms violations. Defendant challenged indictment on basis of lack of specificity and unconstitutional vagueness. In finding indictment sufficient to allege an offense warranting conviction, court discussed: requirements for an indictment; elements of offense under 18 USC section 924(c); inherently dangerous nature of sawed-off shotgun; whether indictment must allege specific characteristics of weapon that make it a "destructive device;" and scienter requirements of 924(c). Court recommended reserving ruling until close of evidence at trial on challenge based on unconstitutional vagueness of 18 USC section 922(g) (noting nature of challege is statute's failure to define "unlawful user of a controlled substance").03/11/2004
-United States of America v. Vaudt (R&R on defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during execution of state search warrant. Court found warrant application contained sufficient facts to support magistrate's finding of probable cause, and in any event, even if warrant was not supported by probable cause, officers relied on warrant reasonably and in good faith, applying United States v. Leon.)02/19/2004
-United States of America v. Betterton (R&R on defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized during inventory search after vehicle was impounded. Defendant was stopped for equipment violation (cracked windshield). He was arrested when officer learned he was driving under suspension. No one else was present to move the vehicle from the roadway, and it was stopped in a "no parking" zone, creating a traffic hazard. Inventory search was performed following the impoundment, pursuant to departmental policy. Court recommended motion to suppress be denied, finding impoundment and subsequent inventory search were lawful, and nothing that in any event, officers could have searched the vehicle incident to Defendant's arrest.)11/24/2003
-United States of America v. Elmer Taylor (R&R recommending denial of majority of motion to suppress evidence in criminal case. Defendant claimed he was not competent to understand and enter into a plea agreement, and factual stipulations in the plea agreement should not be admissible against him at trial. He also sought to suppress evidence arising from a stop and subsequent search of a vehicle, and statements he made on the night of his arrest. Court discussed requiements for voluntary, knowing, and competent waiver by a defendant of the plea-statement protections provided by Fed. R. Evid. 410.)10/22/2003
-United States of America v. Howard (R&R recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Issues: officers' right to do protective frisk for weapons, discussing Terry v. Ohio and United States v. Roggeman; officers' authority to enter motel room to execute arrest warrant, discussing Payton v. New York and United States v. Junkman; "public safety exception" to Miranda requirements)08/14/2003
-United States of America v. Saucillo (R&R recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress in drug distribution case. Defendant threw drugs out of second-story window onto ground in rear of multi-family dwelling. Curtilage was unfenced and totally open to public access. Court found defendant consented to search of apartment, and he had no legitimate expectation of privacy in curtilage of multi-family dwelling.)05/13/2003
-United States of America v. Hessman (Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Officer faxed unsigned, unsworn search warrant application and affidavit to State magistrate at out-of-town hotel. Magistrate signed warrant and faxed it back to officer. Officer was sworn and signed application and affidavit next morning, after search was concluded and defendant had been arrested. Court found search warrant based on unsigned, unsworn application and affidavit was invalid under Fourth Amendment. Court also found Leon good faith exception did not apply, and recommended defendant's post-arrest statements be suppressed under Wong Sun exclusionary rule.)04/14/2003
-United States of America v. Jay Del Drahota (R&R on several pretrial motions in this drug conspiracy case. Of particular interest is defendant's claim that State authorities promised him immunity if he cooperated with law enforcement in connection with the prosecution of another individual. Although finding the State's grant of immunity could not bind federal authorities, the court nevertheless found defendant's confession was involuntary, and recommended Kastigar hearing to determine whether untainted evidence exists to support the indictment. Other issues discussed include standards for wavier of right to counsel by defendant appearing pro se; waiver of Miranda rights; standards for dismissal based on pre-indictment delay.)03/20/2003
-United States v. Ketzeback (R&R recommending defendant's motion to suppress be granted due to officers' reckless or intentional omission from search warrant application of information impacting informant's credibility. Issues: requirements for Franks hearing; reliance on confidential or anonymous informants; Leon analysis)02/10/2003
Hide details for Social Security CasesSocial Security Cases
-Toye v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for supplemental security income. In recommending remand for further proceedings, court found that the ALJ erred in considering the claimant's daily living activities in determining his credibility. 06/01/2012
-Miller v. Astrue -- Order remanding under sixth sentence of 42 USC 405(g) for ALJ to consider additional evidence. Court found that good cause existed for not submitting new, material evidence to ALJ that reasonably would have changed ALJ's decision.04/05/2012
-Mosley v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income. Court reversed Commissioner's decision and remanded for an award of benefits because substantial evidence did not support ALJ's adverse determination of claimant's credibility.03/29/2012
-Bell v. Astrue -- Order granting in part plaintiff's motion for remand under sixth sentence of 42 USC 405(g) for ALJ to consider additional evidence attached to plaintiff's motion. Court found that evidence was new and material and that plaintiff showed good cause for not incorporating it in the administrative record.02/10/2012
-Rahe v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found that ALJ's failure to submit claimant's requested supplemental post-hearing interrogatories to vocational expert denied claimant the opportunity to cross-examine the expert, violating claimant's right to due process.12/14/2011
-Higginbottom v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for supplemental security income. Court found that physician assistant's opinion submitted to the Appeals Council after the ALJ's decision was new, material evidence warranting consideration by the ALJ pursuant to Social Security Ruling 06-3p. Court further recommended remand for the ALJ to weigh evidence of claimant's GAF scores and to detemrine whether the scores indicated an inability to work. 11/30/2011
-Dawdy v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. In recommending remand for further proceedings, court found that ALJ (1) did not articulate reason to discount evidence of claimant's GAF score that, according to vocational expert, would preclude him from working and (2) did not articulate weight given to the opinion of claimant's treating physician that claimant would miss two days of work per month, which would preclude claimant from competitive employment, according to the vocational expert. 10/25/2011
-Swett v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Court found that substantial evidence in the record as a whole supported ALJ's assessment of claimant's credibility and residual functional capacity.08/31/2011
-Tippie v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.06/08/2011
-Sangel v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.05/23/2011
-Shaver v. Astrue -- Order granting defendant's motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and dismissing plaintiff's complaint with prejudice. Court found that the complaint was untimely filed because it was filed more than sixty days after plaintiff presumptively received notice of the Appeals Council's denial of review. Further, circumstances warranting equitable tolling of the sixty-day deadline were absent, and the filing of a civil cover sheet by itself did not constitute the filing of a complaint.05/12/2011
-Gustin v. Astrue -- Order granting in part and denying in part motion for attorney fees under EAJA. Plaintiff was a prevailing party, and the Commissioner's position was not substantially justified. Postage related to service of process was reimbursable as an expense under EAJA and not a a cost. Plaintiff's filing fee was taxable as a cost and payable by the Treasury and not by the Social Security Adminsitration.04/19/2011
-Clark v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled due to back pain.03/14/2011
-Rittenhouse v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled due to rheumatoid arthritis.03/04/2011
-Gustin v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of decision denying claimant's applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to give controlling weight to opinion of claimant's treating rheumatologist, who opined claimant would e unable to work full-time.02/28/2011
-Wagner v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. In recommending remand for further proceedings, the Court found ALJ erred in failing to discuss fully her finding that the claimant's condition did not meet Listing 1.04(a), spinal disorders, and in developing the record fully and fairly on the issue of the claimant's gastrointestinal disorder.01/26/2011
-Bendlin v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found the record evidence could support two inconsistent conclusions, one of which was the Commissioner's conclusion that claimant was not disabled, and therefore the Commissioner's decision was affirmed.01/21/2011
-Cuvelier v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on parties' joint motion for sentence four remand. Court found entry of judgment is the 'substantive ruling' required in order to grant a sentence four remand, and recommended the motion be granted without full briefing and review of the entire administrative record.09/14/2010
-Lindstrom v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to comply with previous remand order in connection with his decision that claimant's substance abuse was a material contributing factor in the disability determination.09/01/2010
-Burroughs v. Astrue -- Order on motion for sentence four remand. Court found full review of the record is unnecessary to grant joint motion for sentence four remand, as long as the remand order expressly reverses the Commissioner's decision and directs entry of judgment.09/01/2010
-Meyerhoff v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to include all of claimant's limitations in hypothetical question to vocational expert and in the ALJ's RFC determination, and recommended remand to determine claimant's disability onset date and for calculation and award of benefits.07/26/2010
-Polson v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.07/19/2010
-Hovenga v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ had failed to make a complete and proper credibility analysis and failed to ask clear hypothetical questions, and Appeals Council erred in failing to consider a medical source statement submitted after the ALJ's decision. Case remanded for further development of the record. 06/07/2010
-Bloom v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Court found substantial evidence in the record supported the ALJ's decision that the claimant was not disabled. 06/02/2010
-Huisman v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment was not supported by the record, and ALJ failed to make a proper credibility analysis. Case remanded for further proceedings.04/21/2010
-Evers v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of ALJ's denial of claimant's applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Court found ALJ gave appropriate weight to treating physicians' opinions, properly evaluated claimant's Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores, was not required to obtain vocational expert testimony, and properly evaluated claimant's credibility.04/20/2010
-Havil v. Astrue -- Judicial review of decisions denying plaintiff's applications for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits under the Social Security Act. After two remands for further proceedings, court found ALJ still had erred in failing to obtain proper vocational expert testimony to support decision that plaintiff was not disabled. Court found vocational expert's testimony was not adequately supported by evidence in the record, and further found the record evidence supported an immediate award of benefits.03/03/2010
-Kliment v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits under the Social Security Act. Court recommended remand for further proceedings, finding the ALJ erred in failing to give proper consideration to opinions of examining psychologists, and in posing an improper hypothetical question to vocational expert.02/23/2010
-Wellenstein v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplement security income benefits. Court found ALJ gave appropriate weight to opinions of claimant's doctor and therapist, but ALJ failed to conduct a complete credibility analysis, making remand appropriate.01/26/2010
-Lynch v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled, and recommended the Commissioner's decision be affirmed.12/04/2009
-Vanbogart v. Astrue -- Order denying motion for EAJA fees as untimely.11/17/2009
-Gacke v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. Court found substantial evidence supported the Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled due to obesity, or difficulties with concentration, persistence, or pace.09/28/2009
-Wensel v. Astrue -- Order on motion of plaintiff's counsel for attorney's fees pursuant to 42 USC 406(b). Court found fee equal to 25% of past-due benefits was excessive under the Gisbrecht factors, and reduced the fee award to approximately 18.6% of the past-due benefits.09/11/2009
-Cole v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. Court found ALJ misinterpreted the evidence of record, and held the record did not contain substantial evidence to support the Commissioner's decision that the claimant was not disabled due to muscular dystrophy and related symptoms. 09/02/2009
-Carver v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court reversed Commissioner's decision, finding claimant disabled due to ongoing pain from previously broken ankle; arthritis in lower back, right ankle, and foot; and pain in right ankle, back, and hip.08/07/2009
-Matheis v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in substituting his own opinions for those of claimant's treating physician, and ALJ based his decision on speculation rather than on the evidence of record. 07/20/2009
-Vanbogart v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order reversing Commissioner's denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found plaintiff's migraine headaches would cause her ot miss three or more days of work per month, rendering her disabled.07/13/2009
-Blazek v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found overwhelming evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.05/27/2009
-Ptikin v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disabilty insurance benefits. In reversing and remanding for immediate finding of disability, court found the evidence of record uniformly indicated claimant suffered from severe mental impairment due to his schizophrenia, and he could not be expected to engage in any gainful employment.05/06/2009
-Fink v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. Court found ALJ properly weighed the medical evidence, and substantial evidence supported the Commissioner's decision that the claimant was not disabled.04/17/2009
-Kunert v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found that although claimant's condition may have worsened to the point of disability since the expiration of her insured status, the record contained substantial evidence to support the Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled due to back pain or mental health problems prior to her date last insured.04/08/2009
-Moriarity v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found Commissioner erred in failing to give proper consideration and weight to treating psychiatrist's opinion that claimant's bipolar disorder would prevent her from working. 04/07/2009
-Maxon v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to give proper weight to treating physician's opinion and in posting an inaccurate hypothetical question to the vocational expert. Case remanded for award of benefits from onset date to date of plaintiff's back surgery, and for further development of the record regarding plaintiff's impairments following her surgery. 03/27/2009
-Volkert v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to develop the record fully and fairly with regard to claimant's mental impairments, and remanded case for further proceedings. 03/23/2009
-Miller v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on review of decision denying plaintiff's application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the Commissioner's decision that Miller was not disabled. 03/23/2009
-Rohde v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. In affirming the Commissioner's denial of benefits, Court found claimant's subjective complaints of disabling back and leg pain were inconsistent with the record as a whole.03/12/2009
-Jayson Johnson v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance and supplemental security insurance benefits. Court affirmed Commissioner's decision that substance abuse is a material factor in the plaintiff's disability. 02/24/2009
-Franks v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred in discounting claimant's subjective complaints, where claimant failed to seek medical treatment for many years due to doctors' advice that her condition, an ateriovenous malformation, was untreatable.12/15/2008
-Gray v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ and Appeals Council erred in giving insufficient weight to opinions of treating physician and nurse practitioner regarding claimant's limitations.11/20/2008
-Lwis v. Astrue - Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. Court found claimant failed to provide adequate evidence that she was disabled prior to her date last insured of December 31, 1997.11/07/2008
-Malmquist v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in finding substance abuse was a material factor contributing to claimant's disability, but further found the record evidence was insufficient with regard to claimant's mental abilities to support the Commissioner's decision.11/06/2008
-Combs v. Astrue - Order denying motion for supplemental attorney's fees for services performed at the administrative level. Court held administrative fees are determinable only by the agency, not by the courts.10/16/2008
-Joran v. Astrue - Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to give proper weight to treating physician's opinions, and vocational expert's response to hypothetical question that did not include limitations suggested by treating physician could not support denial of benefits. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings.10/15/2008
-Glawatz v. Astrue -- Order granting plaintiff's motion to remand for consideration of further evidence pursuant to sentence six of 42 USC 405(g).08/21/2008
-Jensen v. Astrue - Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Taking into account medical records that were presented to Appeals Council, but were not before the ALJ at the time of his decision, court found claimant disabled due to mental impairments, but further found claimant failed to show his disability began prior to expiration of his insured status for Title II purposes. 07/30/2008
-Erickson v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to give proper weight to opinions of treating physician, and in failing to appreciate the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia.07/16/2008
-Handke ex rel. Estate of Davis v. Astrue - Order on motion for attorney's fees and costs under Equal Access to Justice Act and 42 USC 406(b)05/16/2008