Articles Posted in Constitutional Law

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11 Del. C. 4121(u) mandates GPS monitoring of all Tier III sex offenders granted parole or probation without reference to the offenders’ risks of recidivism. Tier III sex offenders are those convicted of the most serious sex crimes. Plaintiffs in this case were Tier III sex offenders that challenged the constitutionality of section 4121(u), claiming that the statute violates the Fourth Amendment and the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Federal Constitution, as well as Del. Const. art. I, 6. The Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant, the Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction, holding that the challenged statute is not unconstitutional. View "Doe v. Coupe" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, a current and a former inmate at the JTVCC, filed suit challenging the constitutionality of a Delaware statute, 11 Del. C. 4322(c) & (d), that denies inmates access to certain Department of Correction policies and procedures. The court concluded that plaintiffs have not satisfied their burden of establishing standing because the complaint does not allege a legally protected interest affected by, or an injury-in-fact caused by, Sections 4322(c) & (d). Even if plaintiffs had standing, plaintiffs' constitutional challenges lack merit. The court concluded that the DOC is not constitutionally obliged to promulgate internal policies and procedures; the single-subject provision at issue is not implicated by Section 4322; and plaintiff's motion to amend is futile. Accordingly, the court granted defendants' motion to dismiss and denied plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment and to amend. View "Hall v. Coupe" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, a towing company and its owner, filed a complaint against the Division of State Police, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, State of Delaware, alleging that Defendants discriminated against the owner on the basis of her sex and against the company as a minority-owned business and that Defendants treated Plaintiffs differently for arbitrary or malicious reasons by not assigning the towing company, the only female-owned towing company in Delaware, additional territory. The Court of Chancery granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that Defendants established that the complaint alleged facts that showed it was filed too late and Plaintiffs failed to carry their burden of pleading facts demonstrating that tolling applies. View "First State Towing, LLC v. Div. of State Police" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, a towing company and its owner, filed a complaint against the Division of State Police, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, State of Delaware, alleging that Defendants discriminated against the owner on the basis of her sex and against the company as a minority-owned business and that Defendants treated Plaintiffs differently for arbitrary or malicious reasons by not assigning the towing company, the only female-owned towing company in Delaware, additional territory. The Court of Chancery granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that Defendants established that the complaint alleged facts that showed it was filed too late and Plaintiffs failed to carry their burden of pleading facts demonstrating that tolling applies. View "First State Towing, LLC v. Div. of State Police" on Justia Law

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In 2015, Red Clay Consolidated School District (Red Clay) sought approval from voters to increase certain school-related property taxes. The referendum passed. Plaintiffs were residents of Red Clay who opposed the tax increase but did not vote because they were unable to access the polls. Plaintiffs brought this complaint asserting that Red Clay deprived them of their right to vote without due process of law and denied them equal protection, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and that Red Clay violated Del. Const. art. I, 3, which states that all elections shall be free and equal. Specifically, Plaintiffs asserted that Red Clay raised impediments to voting by elderly and disabled residents, who Red Clay believed would oppose the tax increase. Red Clay filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Court of Chancery denied Red Clay’s motion, concluding that Plaintiffs pled sufficient facts to move beyond the pleading stage. View "Young v. Red Clay Consolidated Sch. Dist." on Justia Law

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Trusts that owned fifty percent of the common stock of nominal defendant IMS alleged that two of the company's three most senior officers mismanaged the company in breach of their fiduciary duties. Trusts moved to compel IMS to produce the senior officers' work email accounts. The senior officers asserted the attorney-client privilege but did not invoke the work product doctrine. The court concluded that the In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd. factors weighed in favor of production, absent a statutory override that could alter the common law result. Because IMS conducted its business in Maryland, the federal government and the State of Maryland were the sovereigns whose laws IMS must follow when dealing with its employees' email. The Federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510 et seq.; the Federal Store Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701; the Maryland Wiretap Act, Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. 10-401 to 10-414; and the Maryland Stored Communications Act, Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. 10-4A-01 to 10-4A-08, did not change the common law privilege analysis. Accordingly, the court granted the motion to compel. View "In re Info. Mgmt. Servs., Inc. Derivative Litigation" on Justia Law

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Petitioners, residents of New Castle County, befriended a stray dog called Maggie. They later turned Maggie over to the Kent County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Subsequently, Petitioners told the SCPA they would like to adopt Maggie. After concluding that the SPCA had euthanized Maggie, Petitioners filed this action, seeking to compel the SPCA to comply with the state's Shelter Standards Law, including strict compliance with its euthanasia requirements. The SPCA moved to dismiss the action, claiming, among other things, that Petitioners lacked standing to pursue their claims. The Court of Chancery dismissed the action, concluding that Petitioners failed to satisfy the "legally protected interest" element of standing because they did not own Maggie, and their statement of interest to adopt Maggie was not sufficient to create a reasonably conceivable legally protected interest in Maggie. View "Gittman-Crowther v. Kent County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals" on Justia Law

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This matter was before the court on plaintiff's motion to disregard the testimony of defendant on certain subjects. When called as an adverse witness during plaintiff's case-in-chief, defendant invoked his constitutional rights against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 7 of the Delaware Constitution and refused to answer various questions concerning, among other things, allegations that he downloaded confidential data to USB devices in the final weeks of his employment with plaintiff and retained those devices and data after his employment ended. The court concluded that defendant's testimony on cross-examination did extend into certain subjects he refused to address on direct, albeit not as broadly as plaintiff contended. Therefore, the court held that defendant's invocation of his privilege against self-incrimination required that the court disregard his testimony as to those subjects and, to that limited extent, granted plaintiff's motion. View "W.L. Gore & Assoc., Inc. v. Darrell Long and BHA Group, Inc. (d/b/a GE Energy)" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff moved for an expedited hearing on an application for a preliminary injunction that would block the University of Connecticut from proceeding any further with a request for proposal. Plaintiff contended that the University was soliciting proposals in violation of fair bidding requirements imposed by Connecticut law and the University's purchasing regulations. The court denied the motion and held that, under the circumstances, comity dictated that a Connecticut court should have the first opportunity to consider a matter of paramount importance to that state. View "TA Instruments-Waters, LLC v. University of Connecticut" on Justia Law

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This case involved the adoption and implementation of a redevelopment plan in South Wilmington known as the South Walnut Street Urban Renewal Plan (SWURP). Plaintiffs, property owners in the SWURP area, sought a permanent injunction and declaratory judgment finding that the SWURP and ordinances adopting the 2007 and 2009 amendments to the SWURP were legally invalid, and prohibiting their application. The City of Wilmington argued as a preliminary matter that there was no justiciable controversy, and moreover, even if there was a justiciable controversy, the SWURP was amended in 2009 and did not impose unlawful overlay zoning. The court concluded that, assuming that a justiciable controversy existed, the SWURP did not impose unlawful overlay zoning. Therefore, summary judgment was granted in favor of the city and plaintiffs' claims were dismissed without prejudice. View "Osbourne v. City of Wilmington" on Justia Law