ORDER NOW

Brief Cases

United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 115 S. Ct. 1624, 131 L. Ed. 2d 626 (1995)

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Alfonso Lopez, Jr. (a 12th-grade student) studied at the Edison High School, San Antonio, Texas. On March 10, 1992, he brought the weapon (38 caliber revolver with 5 cartridges) which, according to his words, he was to deliver to one person for $40 reward. The weapon was not loaded. The school authorities received an anonymous information about Lopez’s actions after which he was confronted and on the next day was charged with the violation of the §922(q) Gun-Free School Zones Act 1990 (GFSZA). Lopez wanted to dismiss the indictment however his motions were denied by the District Court which concluded the provisions of the GFSZA are constitutional and §922(q) was a constitutional exercise of the Congress’ power. The Fifth Circuit stated that theAct exceeded Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause and, as a result, are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.

ISSUES

The question which the court was to answer are whether the Gun-Free School Zones Act is over the power of the Congress in the field of Commerce Clause and what exactly can Congress regulate in this sphere.

Order Now

HOLDING

The answers of the Court are following: the power of the Gun-Free School Zone Act’s provisions are over the Congress’ regulations and authority. As for the sphere of regulation, there are three zones to be underlined: a) the use of the commerce channels between states; b) Congress regulate, control and protect the instrumentalities, persons, and things of interstate commerce; c) activities which have significant influence on interstate commerce can also be regulated by the Congress.

REASONING

The statute contains no jurisdictional element which would ensure that the firearms possession in question has the requisite nexus with interstate commerce. Lopez was a student at a local school; there is no indication that he had recently moved in interstate commerce, and there is no requirement that his possession of the firearm have any concrete tie to interstate commerce. The Court also pointed out that Lopez’s actions made in the school do not have any effect on the interstate commerce.

DECISION

As a result, the judgment for Lopez affirmed.

Uhrhahn Construction Design, Inc, v. Hopkins, 179 P.3d, 808 (Utah App. 2008)

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

L. Hopkins and J.B. Hopkins appeal from a judgment after which the trial court ruled in favor of Uhrhahn Construction & Design, Inc. on its mechanic’s lien and breach of contract claims. Proposals for partial construction of the homeowners’ house requires a written application. Such application made by Uhrhahn was signed by Hopkins. It appeared later that Hopkins made also several over effects which were not listed in the proposal. Such kind of work was finished by Uhrhahn for what he was paid later.

Mr.Hopkins requested to install the Durisol block, however, there were standard cinder blocks which were installed. Such kind of block is harder to install, takes more time and as a result are more expansive.

Hopkins refused to pay extra costs for deformed blocks installation and Uhrhahn refused to end his job without payment.

On March 28, 2003, Uhrhahn filed a complaint with a demand to collect the debt. The homeowners’ answered and there was a breach of the contract and a wrongful lien. As a result, they were seeking for the punitive damages making their claim a counterclaim. The court’s decision was in favor of Uhrhahn.

ISSUES

  1. Does the type of contract between parties allow them to change it orally and propose or agree under extra work in the same way?
  2. Are the damages award determined by the trial court proper?
  3. Was it right to determine that Uhrhahn has timely filed its mechanic’s lien enforcement?
  4. Can the homeowners be entitled to attorney fees and are they a proper party in the mechanic’s lien action?

HOLDING

  1. The contract between parties is valid and oral proposes are valid also as both parties had an experience of being agreed under those proposes.
  2. As the oral proposes are valid and extra work is done by Uhrhahn, this work is to be paid.
  3. The findings of the court and findings of Uhrhahn are similar which gives us an opportunity to determine the damage award.

REASONING

  1. The court found out that the trial court was unable to determine whether the proposals were biding. The decision of the court was following: the proposal made by Uhrhahn clearly determines the conditions of their fulfillment and the conditions of relations between the parties. Having signed the written proposal, Hopkins accepted his proposal, in the same way, promising to pay for the fulfillment of this project. Thus, the contract which was formed between the parties is valid.
  2. The factual findings of the court show that Hopkins by his deeds agreed to make the changes to the agreement in oral form although the contract between parties was made in written form. Moreover, the trial court concluded that Hopkins made several requests which are not listed in the contract but which still were conducted by Uhrhahn. Even more, Hopkins accepted benefits from Uhrhahn’s work. Such kind of work is expected to be paid for. Thus, the trial court determined that a contract existed, and Hopkins breached it by not paying Uhrhahn for his extra work.
  3. The trial court support the findings according to which the damage award can be given to Uhehahn. In its memorandum court noted that the overviews made by both Uhrhanh and the court are similar. For this case, the court agreed with Uhrhahn’s arguments with regard to the claims.
  4. The trial court awarded Uhrhahn with attorney fees in light of disposition of the mechanic’s lien issue. This decision is to be reversed. Based on the fact that the mechanic’s lien was not timely filed, the court awarded attorney fees to the defendant as the successful party. Another issue is whether the homeowners can succeed on the merits of their claim. According to the decision, they are not entitled to any fees without taking into consideration the fact that they have some ancillary connection to the mechanic’s lien claims.

DECISION

According to the decision of the court, the contract between parties allowed to make oral changes in case of additional proposals. The trial court’s damages award were affirmed. The court’s determination that Uhrhahn prevailed on its mechanic’s lien enforcement action as he failed to adequately brief the timeliness issue is reserved. Likewise, we vacate the trial court’s award of attorney fees to Uhrhahn is vacated since it is not the successful party.

Alexander v. Lafyette Crime Stoppers, Inc.28 So.3d 1253 (2010)

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Claimant was attacked by a South Louisiana Serial Killer. Lafayette Crime Stoppers had posted a reward for information, a way in which information should be conveyed and the necessary results. Alexander provided the FBI with such kind of information which later has been shared with LCS. Alexander wanted to collect the reward but was denied. She sued and the court granted LCS summary judgment because no valid contract existed.

Discount

ISSUES

Was there a valid contract?

HOLDING

From the words of the court: “Acceptance is received when it comes into the possession of a person authorized by the offeror to receive it, or when it is deposited in a place the offeror has indicated as the place where communications of that kind are to be deposited for him.”

REASONING

The information which Alexander wanted to give to LCS was indirect. Moreover, she did it not according to the deadlines.

DECISION

Summary judgment was affirmed

Gatton v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 152 Cal. App. 4th 571 (2007)

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

All the consumers of the “T-Mobile” are to sign the contract which waives their right to relief unconscionable. Plaintiff was told to pay the $200 termination fee and the phones were locked. According to the T-Mobile, the plaintiff wasn’t forced to sign the agreement and could choose other providers. According to the plaintiff, T-Mobile didn’t bring attention to the class action waiver and the print used in the agreement was small.

ISSUES

Is an agreement about service which makes some consumers’ waiver mandatory to be fined can be considered as unconscionable?

HOLDING

Yes, affirmed.

REASONING

A contract must be both procedurally and substantively unsconscionable. Both elements do not need to be equally present, but are to be balanced. Surely, consumer must have a fill opportunity of making a choice. The proposes of T-Mobile scale the balance. According to this agreement, the consumer is unable to evaluate the real unfairness of the proposed agreement. For this reason it becomes undoubtly that the agreement establishes a small degree of substantive unconscionability.

DECISION

T-Mobile’s actions are considered as unconscionable under California law. The trial court order was affirmed.