Eleventh Circuit

The Federal Docket

United States v. Leonardo Triana (11th Cir. 2019) (Unpublished)

The Court affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress, holding that the traffic stop at issue was not unlawfully prolonged but rather became a consensual encounter. The Court held that a reasonable person would have felt free to leave based on the circumstances, which included the patrolman issuing the defendant a written warning and the defendant subsequently asking questions about where to fix his vehicle after receiving the warning.

United States v. Benjamin Jenkins (11th Cir. 2019) (Unpublished)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime under § 924(c), holding that there was sufficient evidence of the nexus between the firearm and drug trafficking given the firearm’s proximity to the drugs and proceeds, its accessibility, and the government’s evidence that drug traffickers frequently use firearms in connection with drug offenses.

United States v. Erickson Campbell (11th Cir. January 2019)

The Court overruled its prior “overall reasonableness” standard for prolonged stops and held that officer’s traffic stop was unreasonably prolonged by the officer asking questions unrelated to the stop. The Court further held that the good faith exception made suppression unwarranted despite the government waiving this issue on appeal.

Curtis Solomon v. United States (11th Cir. January 2019)

The Court affirmed the denial of a defendant’s second § 2255 motion which alleged that the defendant’s conviction under the residual clause of § 924(c) was unconstitutional. The Court held that the defendant’s motion was not based on a “new rule of constitutional law” given this Court’s holdings in Ovalles II and In Re: Garrett.

United States v. Michael St. Hubert (11th Cir. November 2018)

The Court held that the defendant’s guilty plea did not waive his right to appeal his conviction on the ground that the language of his statute-of-conviction did not define an offense. The Court also held that attempted Hobbs Act Robbery is a “crime of violence” under the conduct-based approach to § 924(c) offenses recently announced in Ovalles.

In re: Tracy Garrett (11th Cir. November 2018)

The Court held that an application to file a successive motion under § 2255, brought by a defendant convicted under § 924(c) and based on Johnson and Dimaya, was not based on a “new rule of constitutional law,” since the Eleventh Circuit held en banc in Ovalles that “crime of violence” under § 924(c) is not void-for-vagueness. The Court also held that the “conduct-based approach” to § 924(c) announced in Ovalles did not create a “new rule of constitutional rule.”

James Manuel Phillips, Jr. v. Warden (11th Cir. October 2018)

The Court affirmed the district court’s order dismissing the petitioner’s § 2254 motion as time-barred, since the statute of limitations began running when the petitioner missed the deadline for appealing his conviction to the highest court in the state of conviction, and not after that court’s order dismissing the petitioner’s untimely appeal filed after that deadline. 

United States v. Tremane Carthen, et al. (11th Cir. October 2018)

The Court affirmed the convictions of two defendants who were sentenced under § 924(c), holding that the district court did not err in admitting hearsay testimony from a co-conspirator or in excluding specific instances of the co-conspirators prior lies to impeach him, and that the mandatory sentencing scheme in § 924(c) was constitutional.

United States v. Lourdes Garcia (11th Cir. October 2018)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction after the District Court judge allowed the Government to present inculpatory testimony in the absence of the Defendant and her Counsel, declining to apply the “structural error” standard to these types of errors and finding that the court’s error did not affect the defendant’s substantial rights under the plain-error standard of review.

Irma Ovalles v. United States (11th Cir. October 2018)

On remand after the Court’s en banc decision in Ovalles, the panel held that Ms. Ovalles’s attempted car-jacking was a “crime of violence” under § 924(c)(3)(A)’s elements clause, as it requires that a defendant have an intent to cause death or bodily harm and that he take a substantial step towards commission of that crime.

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