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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Lang

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the order granting the defendant’s post-sentence request for a new trial after his non-jury conviction of sexual crimes against a minor.  The crux of this appeal concerned the admission of evidence that the defendant searched for legal counsel on the internet before he was arrested…

Commonwealth v. Lang
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the order granting the defendant’s post-sentence request for a new trial after his non-jury conviction of sexual crimes against a minor.  The crux of this appeal concerned the admission of evidence that the defendant searched for legal counsel on the internet before he was arrested or implicated as a suspect… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Lang

The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss the indictment. The State indicted the defendant four months after the East Orange Police Department (EOPD) issued complaint-warrants, seven years after the alleged victim reported the crimes to the EOPD, and fourteen years after the last incident of sexual abuse allegedly… Continue reading State v. S.J.C.

United States v. Zayas
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit found that the evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction for distributing fentanyl within 1,000 feet of a playground. The defendant was prosecuted after a woman was found dead from an overdose of fentanyl. A jury subsequently convicted him of distributing and conspiring to distribute the fentanyl that killed her. He was… Continue reading United States v. Zayas

Garmendia v. Att’y Gen.
3rd Circuit

The petitioner sought review in the Third Circuit of the denial of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. He argued that the underlying proceedings were tainted by due process violations. As a threshold issue, the Third Circuit ruled that the petitioner’s claims that he lacked the capacity… Continue reading Garmendia v. Att’y Gen.

State v. Melvin
New Jersey Supreme Court

Two homicide trials for two defendants before the same judge ended with the jury finding each defendant guilty of some charges. One defendant was found guilty of firearms charges but acquitted of first-degree murder. A jury found the other defendant of kidnapping and felony murder but acquitted her of first-degree murder. At sentencing, relying on… Continue reading State v. Melvin

Pascal v. City of Pittsburgh Zoning Bd. of Adjustment
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Northside Leadership Conference (NLC) is a non-profit community development corporation that owns real property in Pittsburgh. NLC applied for variances and special exceptions. Pascal objected to NLC’s applications. A three-member panel of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) granted the variance and special exception applications. One of the panelists, however, served on NLC’s Board… Continue reading Pascal v. City of Pittsburgh Zoning Bd. of Adjustment

A newborn baby and its mother tested positive for controlled substances, and the mother soon thereafter violated the terms of a safety plan. The child was adjudicated dependant and remained in foster care. Later, the parties learned that the child’s purported biological father was not her father and instead the appellant was her father. After… Continue reading In re A.D.-G.

B.C. v. Att’y Gen. U.S.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit vacated a District Court’s denial of the petitioner’s application for asylum. The petitioner was a native of Cameroon and primarily spoke “Pidgin” English. He had only limited abilities in “Standard” English. He fled from Cameroon to the U.S. after allegedly facing persecution at the hands of his government. Soon after his arrival,… Continue reading B.C. v. Att’y Gen. U.S.

State v. Njango
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court addressed the issue of time credit where a defendant served time in custody beyond his release date. Njango served a lengthy NERA sentence with a parole-supervision tail under a plea agreement but was kept in custody for an extra year beyond his maximum release date. Njango filed a PCR petition… Continue reading State v. Njango

Dondero v. Lower Milford Twp.
3rd Circuit

Dondero, the chief of police, sued after the Township closed the police department he worked for. He alleged retaliation in violation of the First Amendment and violations of substantive and procedural due process. The District Court granted summary judgment for the Township. On appeal, Dondero contended he was entitled to a hearing before the Township… Continue reading Dondero v. Lower Milford Twp.