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The Supreme Court is limiting the government's ability to seize assets from people who are convicted of drug crimes but receive little of the illegal proceeds.

The justices ruled Monday that a Tennessee man convicted for his role selling iodine water purification filters to methamphetamine makers does not have to forfeit nearly $70,000 in profits.

Terry Honeycutt helped sell more than 20,000 filters at his brother's hardware store. Prosecutors said the brothers knew the iodine was used by local meth cooks.

Honeycutt's brother pleaded guilty and forfeited $200,000 of the $270,000 in profits. But Honeycutt argued he wasn't responsible for the rest since he didn't personally see any profits.

A federal appeals court ruled against Honeycutt, saying everyone who joins a drug conspiracy can be required to give up profits.


Puerto Rico's creditors told a judge Wednesday they intend to continue talks with the government in an effort to resolve the island's $70 billion debt outside of court.

A lawyer for Puerto Rico's federal finanial oversight board told U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain that the two main creditor groups are interested in resolving the issue on the side and will continue to work toward that end.

The U.S. territory filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after two years of talks with creditors failed to produce a deal to resolve the debt crisis.

As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is legally prohibited from filing for bankruptcy, but there are loopholes. Through a rule in Title III of the PROMESA law, Puerto Rico was able to use a bankruptcy-like mechanism to end talks and begin the legal proceedings. Wednesday's hearing was the first between the many parties.




The Supreme Court has ruled that cities may sue banks for predatory lending practices among minority customers that lead to foreclosures, declines in property taxes and dips in property values.

The justices' 5-3 ruling Monday validates a novel approach by Miami and other cities to try to hold banks accountable under the federal Fair Housing Act for the wave of foreclosures during the housing crisis a decade ago.

But the court still threw out an appellate ruling in Miami's favor and ordered a lower court to re-examine the city's lawsuit against Wells Fargo and Bank of America to be sure that there is a direct connection between the lending practices and the city's losses.



The Buffalo Chip Campground of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally fame asked South Dakota's Supreme Court on Tuesday to let it remain a city.

The high court heard arguments after a lower court ruled against the Board of Meade County Commissioners and the campground last year. The annual Sturgis rally draws hundreds of thousands of people to the area, and the campground hosts hordes of those visitors.

The campground-turned-city has faced opposition from nearby Sturgis and others. Campground attorney Kent Hagg said he believes Sturgis someday wants to annex Buffalo Chip for sales tax revenue. Businesses in Buffalo Chip reported roughly $123,000 in municipal taxes due in 2016, according to the state Department of Revenue.

Sturgis has a history of "seeking to involuntarily annex areas that produce very, very strong sales tax revenue during the rally," Hagg said.

A campground spokeswoman referred a request for comment to Hagg. Campground CEO Rod Woodruff told the Meade County Times-Tribune in 2015 that the incorporation would improve economic opportunities at Buffalo Chip. "This is opening doors to serious economic development. It's a win-win," he said. Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen didn't immediately return a telephone message requesting comment. His city argues the lower court's decision should be upheld.

The lower-court judge ruled that Meade County commissioners didn't follow state law in approving Buffalo Chip's petition to become a municipality. They voted in February 2015 to allow the campground to move forward in its bid to become a town. Voters confirmed it in an election months later.

Circuit Court Judge Jerome Eckrich also ruled that people who voted to approve the town didn't technically live at addresses where they registered to vote. He found that the city's incorporation was void and that the election was a nullity.



The Supreme Court on Monday turned away an appeal from General Motors Co. seeking to block dozens of lawsuits over faulty ignition switches that could expose the company to billions of dollars in additional claims.

The justices without comment left in place a lower court ruling that said the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy did not shield it from liability in the cases.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that GM remains responsible for ignition-switch injuries and deaths that occurred pre-bankruptcy because the company knew about the problem for more than a decade but kept it secret from the bankruptcy court.

The company had argued that well-established bankruptcy law allowed the newly reorganized GM to obtain the old company's assets "free and clear" of liabilities.

GM recalled 2.6 million small cars worldwide in 2014 to replace defective switches that played a role in at least 124 deaths and 275 injuries, according to a victims' fund set up by GM and administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg.

The automaker has paid nearly $875 million to settle death and injury claims related to the switches. That includes $600 million from Feinberg's fund and $275 million to settle 1,385 separate claims. It also has paid $300 million to settle shareholder lawsuits. But many others are pursuing their claims in court.

After it emerged from the government-funded bankruptcy, the company referred to as New GM was indemnified against most claims made against the pre-bankruptcy company, known as Old GM. A bankruptcy court sided with the company in 2015, ruling that most claims against Old GM could not be pursued.

But the appeals court in Manhattan overturned most of that decision and said hundreds of pre-bankruptcy claims could go forward.



Facebook has lost a legal fight against a New York City prosecutor who sought search warrants for hundreds of user accounts.

The New York state Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that while the case raised important questions about privacy it was "constrained" by the law relating to who can challenge search warrants.

Prosecutors in Manhattan sought search warrants in 2013 for the accounts of 381 people in connection with a disability benefits fraud case against New York City police and fire retirees.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook challenged the warrants, which it said were overbroad. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company was disappointed by the ruling and is continuing to evaluate its legal options.

The case has been closely watched by social media companies, civil libertarians and prosecutors.


An Oklahoma-based Native American tribe filed a lawsuit in its own tribal court system Friday accusing several oil companies of triggering the state's largest earthquake that caused extensive damage to some near-century-old tribal buildings.

The Pawnee Nation alleges in the suit that wastewater injected into wells operated by the defendants caused the 5.8-magnitude quake in September and is seeking physical damages to real and personal property, market value losses, as well as punitive damages.

The case will be heard in the tribe's district court with a jury composed of Pawnee Nation members.
"We are a sovereign nation and we have the rule of law here," said Andrew Knife Chief, the Pawnee Nation's executive director. "We're using our tribal laws, our tribal processes to hold these guys accountable."

Attorneys representing the 3,200-member tribe in north-central Oklahoma say the lawsuit is the first earthquake-related litigation filed in a tribal court. If an appeal were filed in a jury decision, it could be heard by a five-member tribal Supreme Court, and that decision would be final.

"Usually tribes have their own appellate process, and then, and this surprises a lot of people, there is no appeal from a tribal supreme court," said Lindsay Robertson, a University of Oklahoma law professor who specializes in Federal Indian Law.


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