Articles Posted in U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals

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Defendant, convicted of interstate stalking, cyberstalking, and mailing a threatening communication (18 U.S.C. 2261A(1)-(2), 876(c)), based on communications with his estranged wife and minor child, was sentenced to 137 months. The First Circuit affirmed. The district court acted within its discretion in denying a change of venue or transfer. There was sufficient evidence to support the convictions. Defendant waived challenge to the indictment under FRCP 12(e); he did not show good cause for failing to raise the challenge before trial. The court acted within its discretion in allowing evidence of prior bad acts and imposing the sentence. View "United States v. Walker" on Justia Law

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After agents traced an Internet site containing child pornography to a computer shop, they obtained a warrant and searched hard drives of the owner's personal computers, where they found files containing pornography. The owner was convicted of knowing possession of child pornography, 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(4)(B) and sentenced to 84 months in prison. The First Circuit affirmed. A reasonable jury could rationally conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant knew that his own computer contained the files, even if he did not download them himself, and that they were obtained by Internet file sharing. View "United States v. Salva-Morales" on Justia Law

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Hackers breached the security of the database for the grocery store where plaintiffs shop. The district court determined that plaintiffs failed to state a claim under Maine law for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of implied warranty, strict liability, and failure to notify customers. Although the court concluded that plaintiffs adequately alleged breach of implied contract, negligence, and violation of the unfair practices portion of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act, it dismissed those claims because alleged injuries were too unforeseeable and speculative to be cognizable under Maine law. The First Circuit affirmed in part, but reversed dismissal of the negligence and implied contract claims. Mitigation damages are available under those claims, for card replacement costs and credit insurance. View "In Re: Hannaford Bros Co. Cust" on Justia Law

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Recording companies sought statutory damages and injunctive relief under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101, claiming willful infringement of copyrights of music recordings by using file-sharing software to download and distribute recordings without authorization. The jury found that the infringement was willful and awarded statutory damages of $22,500 for each infringed recording, an award within the statutory range of $750 to $150,000 per infringement. The judge reduced the damages by a factor of ten, reasoning that the award was excessive in violation of defendant's due process rights. The First Circuit affirmed the finding of liability, but reinstated the original damage award. The district court erred in considering the constitutional issue without first addressing defendant's motion for remittitur. The court noted a number of issues concerning application of the Copyright Act that "Congress may wish to examine." View "United Statesl v. Tenenbaum" on Justia Law