Search:
Weekly Caselaw Updates

Sign up here to receive a weekly email with summaries of every precedential case out of the Third Circuit and the appellate courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. No fluff. No filler. No fee.

Marsalis v. Pa. Dep't of Corr.

The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the defendant's habeas corpus petition. The Court ruled that the defendant "filed his ineffective-assistance claim ten months late. Plus, he failed to assert it on state habeas first." And even if the Court "looked past these mistakes, his conviction would stand; the jury…

Marsalis v. Pa. Dep’t of Corr.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the defendant’s habeas corpus petition. The Court ruled that the defendant “filed his ineffective-assistance claim ten months late. Plus, he failed to assert it on state habeas first.” And even if the Court “looked past these mistakes, his conviction would stand; the jury would have convicted him even… Continue reading Marsalis v. Pa. Dep’t of Corr.

Gaines v Superintendent Benner Twp. SCI
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit vacated an order granting the defendant’s petition for habeas corpus. The defendant was convicted in Pennsylvania state court of first-degree murder. After pursuing direct and collateral proceedings in Pennsylvania, the defendant petitioned for habeas relief. The District Court granted the petition, finding that the defendant’s trial counsel was ineffective for not objecting to… Continue reading Gaines v Superintendent Benner Twp. SCI

Becker v. Sec’y Pa. Dept. Corr.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit held that AEDPA’s deferential standard also governs the decision to issue a certificate of appealability (COA) to a habeas petitioner seeking to appeal a district court’s order to which § 2254’s deferential standard applies. Becker sought a COA to challenge the District Court’s order denying his habeas petition. After the Third Circuit… Continue reading Becker v. Sec’y Pa. Dept. Corr.

Duka v. United States
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit upheld the District Court’s invocation of the concurrent sentence doctrine. Petitioner-Appellants are serving multiple sentences for various crimes arising out of a plot to attack the United States Army base at Fort Dix and other military bases and facilities. Appellants moved for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, primarily contending their 18… Continue reading Duka v. United States

Martin v. Adm’r N.J. State Prison
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit reviewed the one-year tolling provision for petitions seeking collateral relief from state-court convictions under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). The petitioner was convicted of a crime in New Jersey state court and lost his direct appeal. 193 days elapsed before he filed a state-level petition for post-conviction relief (“PCR”). He was denied post-conviction… Continue reading Martin v. Adm’r N.J. State Prison

Commonwealth v. DiStefano
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the Superior Court misapplied the appellate court standard for reviewing trial court evidentiary rulings. The Commonwealth charged Appellant with homicide and aggravated assault. The MDJ concluded that the Commonwealth presented a prima facie case for both aggravated assault and homicide. The trial court ruled that the Commonwealth failed to… Continue reading Commonwealth v. DiStefano

Maple v. Superintendant SCI Albion
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit reversed the District Court’s grant of habeas relief. The defendant filed a habeas corpus petition and argued that the police had violated his Miranda rights by getting confessions that tainted the trial. The District Court agreed, and the Third circuit reversed, ruling that the case against the defendant “was very strong. Even… Continue reading Maple v. Superintendant SCI Albion

Anariba v. Dir. Hudson County Corr. Ctr.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit held that the District Court retained jurisdiction over the petitioner’s habeas corpus petition after the Court denied the petition without prejudice, and the Government whisked him away to a facility in another jurisdiction. The petitioner has been in immigration custody for nearly seven years as he laboriously challenged his removal order. In… Continue reading Anariba v. Dir. Hudson County Corr. Ctr.

Commonwealth v. Merced
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the trial court’s grant of habeas corpus relief because the lower court erroneously excluded the arresting officer’s hearsay evidence from the court’s scope of review. After being held over on charges associated with allegations of sexual abuse, the defendant filed a habeas corpus petition and argued the Commonwealth had violated… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Merced

Commonwealth v. Burke
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The proper remedy for a violation of Commonwealth v. McClelland is a discharge, not remand. The defendant, the Commonwealth, and the trial court agreed the magisterial district court and trial court violated McClelland when those courts relied exclusively on hearsay evidence at the preliminary hearing and habeas corpus hearing. In this interlocutory appeal, the Pennsylvania… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Burke