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A judge ordered the government to take money from the prison account of a former Michigan sports doctor who owes about $58,000 to victims of his child pornography crimes.

Larry Nassar has received about $13,000 in deposits since 2018, including $2,000 in federal stimulus checks, but has paid only $300 toward court-ordered financial penalties and nothing to his victims, prosecutors said.

He had a prison account balance of $2,041 in July.

“Because (Nassar) has received substantial non-exempt funds in his inmate trust account since incarceration, he was required by law to notify the court and the United States attorney and to apply those funds to the restitution that he still owed,” U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said Thursday.

In a court filing, Nassar said he had received “gifts” from “third parties.”

He said inmates should be paid a “living wage” for prison jobs so they can “make reasonable payments towards restitution.”

Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. He pleaded guilty in federal court to child pornography crimes before pleading guilty in state court to sexually assaulting female gymnasts.

Nassar is serving decades in prison.


West Virginia’s Supreme Court has launched a new program that uses technology to promote safety and access in cases involving sexual assault and domestic violence.

Chief Justice Evan Jenkins announced the initiative Wednesday in Cabell County Family Court in Huntington, The Herald-Dispatch reported. It allows victims in domestic violence and sexual assault cases to apply for protection petitions and appear for court hearings from a remote location.

Cabell County is the first to pilot the new system, which will eventually expand to other counties across West Virginia, the court said. Kanawha, Berkeley and Ohio counties are expected to implement similar programs soon.

The project was developed because of judicial access and safety concerns raised by domestic violence and sexual assault victims’ advocates, Jenkins said. The only option before the program was for victims to appear in person at the courthouse.

Contact Rape Crisis Center Director Sharon Pressman said the program will be impactful.

“This project means so much for victims to get justice,” she said. “Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, but any time we can make it easier on them, that’s what our job is.”

Jenkins said more than 500 protection petitions have been filed in Cabell County this year.


The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed changing how asylum claims are handled, aiming to reduce a huge backlog of cases from the U.S.-Mexico border that has left people waiting years to find out whether they will be allowed to stay in America.

Under the proposal, routine asylum cases no longer would automatically be referred to the overwhelmed immigration court system managed by the Justice Department but would be overseen by asylum officers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of Homeland Security Department.

Advocates for the change see it as a way to help those with legitimate claims for protection while allowing officials to more quickly deal with people who do not qualify for asylum or are taking advantage of the long delay to stay in the United States.

“Individuals who are eligible will receive relief more swiftly, while those who are not eligible will be expeditiously removed,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

The proposal must go through a public comment period before it can be adopted as a new policy.

The immigration court system has an all-time high backlog of about 1.3 million cases. The Trump administration tried to deal with the issue in part by imposing stricter criteria for asylum and forcing people to seek protection in Mexico and Central America. President Joe Biden’s proposal would streamline the system.

The reason for the change is that more people have been seeking asylum under U.S. law, particularly at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years.

As the system works now, people who present themselves at the border or are apprehended by the Border Patrol and identify themselves as asylum-seekers must pass what is known as a “credible fear” interview. A USCIS asylum officer determines whether they meet the criteria of someone facing persecution in their homeland because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.


Officials acted properly when they fired a North Carolina probation and parole officer who had been accused of campaigning for elected office while on community service leave and other misconduct, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

The three-judge panel upheld the decision of an administrative law judge who determined just cause existed for the state Department of Public Safety to dismiss Eric Erickson, who ran unsuccessfully for Charlotte City Council in 2017. He was also found to have sought special treatment for his personal vehicle.

According to the opinion, evidence shows Erickson used community service leave in September 2017 to campaign and run errands. Erickson was granted leave for volunteering at the local elections board, but state personnel policy says that leave may be used to work at a polling site to help people vote.

An auto inspection garage owner said that Erickson, on a leave day, asked if he could place his campaign yard sign outside of the business, and attempted to get a law enforcement exemption for window tinting on his personal vehicle by suggesting it was used for undercover work. Erickson’s supervisors also testified that he had failed to report his secondary work with a security firm.

Erickson appealed his firing. He questioned whether the judge improperly allowed hearsay evidence and whether there was enough evidence to warrant the firing.

Court of Appeals Judge Jeff Carpenter, writing the unanimous opinion, rejected the hearsay argument, saying such challenges must be made at the time the evidence is presented.

The panel said there was “substantial evidence” to support the administrative law judge’s findings and final decision, Carpenter said. The window-tinting request and failure to report secondary employment “were acts and omissions reflecting upon petitioner’s integrity and honesty,” he wrote, and the evidence showed the community service leave was used “for improper campaigning purposes.”

Erickson finished third out of four candidates in the 2017 Democratic primary for a council seat, according to election results.


An appellate court in Poland on Monday rejected a lawsuit brought against two Holocaust scholars in a case that has been closely watched because it was expected to serve as a precedent for research into the highly sensitive area of Polish behavior toward Jews during World War II.

Poland is governed by a nationalist conservative party that has sought to promote remembrance of Polish heroism and suffering during the wartime German occupation of the country. The party also believes that discussions of Polish wrongdoing distort the historical picture and are unfair to Poles.

The Appellate Court of Warsaw argued in its explanation that it believed that scholarly research should not be judged by courts. But it appeared not to be the end: a lawyer for the plaintiff said Monday that she would appeal Monday’s ruling to the Supreme Court.

The ruling was welcomed by the two researchers, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, who declared it a “great victory” in a Facebook post.

“We greet the verdict with great joy and satisfaction all the more, that this decision has a direct impact on all Polish scholars, and especially on historians of the Holocaust,” they said.

Monday’s ruling comes half a year after a lower court ordered the two researchers to apologize to a woman who claimed that her deceased uncle had been defamed in a historical work they edited and partially wrote, “Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland.”

Lawyers for the niece, 81-year-old Filomena Leszczynska, argued that her uncle was a Polish hero who had saved Jews, and that the scholars had harmed her good name and that of her family by suggesting the uncle was also involved in the killing of Jews.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Monika Brzozowska-Pasieka, said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that Leszczynska was “astonished” by the judgement and intends to file an appeal to the Polish Supreme Court.


A three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is expected to rule this week on whether a moratorium against evictions imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will stand.

The court late Saturday set an expedited schedule following an appeal by Alabama and Georgia realtors of a Friday ruling by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich. The judge refused landlords’ request to put the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium on hold, though she ruled that the freeze is illegal. In issuing her ruling, Friedrich said her “hands are tied” by an appellate decision from the last time courts considered the evictions moratorium in the spring.

The court has given the Justice Department until 9 a.m. Tuesday to respond. The plaintiffs have until Wednesday morning. The parties both asked the court rule by Thursday.

The new moratorium, which is set to expire Oct. 3, was announced this month and could keep millions in their homes as the coronavirus’ delta variant has spread and states have been slow to release federal rental aid. It would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives.

In seeking the ruling the realtors said, “This Court should do what the district court thought it could not.”

If the D.C. Circuit doesn’t give the landlords what they want, they are expected to seek Supreme Court involvement.

In late June, the high court refused by a 5-4 vote to allow evictions to resume. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, part of the slim majority, said he agreed with Friedrich, but was voting to keep that moratorium in place because it was set to expire at the end of July.

Kavanaugh wrote in a one-paragraph opinion that he would reject any additional extension without a new, clear authorization from Congress, which has not been able to take action.


An attorney with a major Indianapolis law firms has been picked as a new judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb announced his selection of Derek Molter this past week from among three finalists picked by the state judicial nominating commission.

Molter will replace Judge James Kirsch, who is retiring as one of the 15 judges on the appeals court, which is the state’s second-highest court below the Indiana Supreme Court.

Molter is a partner at the Ice Miller law firm, where he leads its appellate practice and has focused on municipal law, business law and products liability, according to the governor’s office. Molter has argued cases before both the state appeals court and supreme court and numerous federal courts.

Holcomb selected Molter over Madison County Judge Mark Dudley and Marion County Judge Heather Welch for the position. Holcomb previously appointed Judges Elizabeth Tavitas and Leanna Weissmann to the appeals court.

With Molter’s appointment, the court will continue to consist of eight men and seven women as judges.

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