United States v. Segovia

Defendant pleaded guilty to being an alien found unlawfully in the United States after having been previously deported and subsequently appealed the district court's application of a sixteen-level enhancement for a prior conviction for a crime of violence (COV). The court rejected, in light of United States v. Pascacio-Rodriguez, defendant's argument that his Maryland conspiracy conviction cannot support a COV enhancement; the court need not address whether robbery under Maryland law is an enumerated offense under U.S.S.G. 2L1.2 cmt. n.1(B)(iii) because the object of defendant's conspiracy, robbery with a dangerous and deadly weapon, fits squarely within the catch-all provision; and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous and deadly weapon is plainly within the Guidelines definition of a COV. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's application of the enhancement.View "United States v. Segovia" on Justia Law

Gonzalez v. Holder, Jr.

Petitioner, born in Mexico, petitioned for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's order of removal, contending that removal is improper because he derived citizenship from his father under former 8 U.S.C. 1432(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The court declined to decide whether the Second Circuit or the BIA has the correct interpretation of section 1432(a)(5) because petitioner does not qualify for derivative citizenship under either interpretation. The court also rejected petitioner's claim that section 1432(a)(5) does not require an individual to be lawfully present in the country. Because petitioner is not entitled to derivative citizenship under section 1432, the court also denied his motion to stay and transfer his case. The court declined to decide whether the proper interpretation of section 1432 is that of the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits or the Second Circuit because petitioner's claim fails under either approach.View "Gonzalez v. Holder, Jr." on Justia Law

United States v. Banks

Defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base. On appeal, defendant challenged the denial of his motion to modify his sentence under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c). The court held that a defendant originally sentenced under the drug quantity table in U.S.S.G. 2D1.1, but resentenced in a section 3582 proceeding using the career offender provisions in U.S.S.G. 4B1.1, cannot bring another section 3582 motion to reduce his sentence based on an amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines that further lowers the guidelines range for crack cocaine in the section 2D1.1 drug quantity table. The purpose of section 3582 is to allow the reduction of a sentence where the amended guidelines would result in a lower guidelines range applicable to the defendant. Thus, section 3582 does not apply when the career offender offense provisions controlled in the original sentencing. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.View "United States v. Banks" on Justia Law

Rice, et al. v. Reliastar Life Ins. Co.

Plaintiffs filed suit against Deputy Arnold and Sheriff Graves, alleging violations of federal and state law after Arnold fatally shot their father while responding to a 911 call that the father was threatening to commit suicide. Plaintiffs also filed suit against ReliaStar to recover $179,000 they allege ReliaStar owes them under the father's accidental death policy. The district court granted Arnold and Grave's motions for summary judgment and granted ReliaStar's motion for summary judgment. The court held that Arnold did not violate the father's Fourth Amendment rights when he entered the father's home without a warrant because he had an objectively reasonable belief that the father would imminently seriously injure himself, and the district court did not err in granting Arnold's motion for summary judgment on the warrantless entry claim because Arnold is entitled to qualified immunity; Arnold is entitled to qualified immunity because he did not violate the father's constitutional right to be free from excessive force; the district court did not err in granting summary judgment for Arnold on the assault and battery claims, the false imprisonment claims, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim; the district court correctly granted Graves's motion for summary judgment; and the district court did not err in granting summary judgment for ReliaStar where the record was replete with factual evidence that ReliaStar relied on in determining that the father's death was not accidental, demonstrating that ReliaStar could have reached its determination without resorting to the conflict of interest at issue. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "Rice, et al. v. Reliastar Life Ins. Co." on Justia Law

Thaw v. Moser

Appellant is the non-debtor spouse of debtor. Appellant claimed a homestead exemption in property held jointly with debtor that is subject to a forced sale in debtor's bankruptcy proceedings, contending that the sale is a Fifth Amendment taking and that she is entitled to just compensation. The court held, however, that the forced sale of the property by operation of section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. 363, is not a taking of appellant's homestead where any potential property interest was acquired after the enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), Pub. L. 109-8, 119 Stat. 23-217. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that there was no unconstitutional taking.View "Thaw v. Moser" on Justia Law

Wansley v. MS Dept. of Corrections, et al.

Respondents appealed the district court's grant of habeas relief to petitioner. Petitioner argued that his sentence was not enhanced, and that the denial of a hearing violated state law and therefore deprived him of a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause. Respondents argued that the discretionary nature of Mississippi's parole regime means that there is no liberty interest that gives rise to a federal constitutional issue. The court reversed the judgment of the district court and dismissed the petition, concluding that, any relief petitioner is entitled to under Mississippi law must be obtained in the courts of that state. Whether or not petitioner is entitled to a parole hearing as a matter of Mississippi law, the discretionary nature of the state's parole system ends the federal due process inquiry.View "Wansley v. MS Dept. of Corrections, et al." on Justia Law

Bach, et al. v. Amedisys, Inc., et al.

Plaintiffs filed suit against Amedisys and others, alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. 78u-4(b)(4). Plaintiffs claimed that Amedisys defrauded investors by concealing a Medicare fraud scheme. The district court granted a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) and dismissed the suit with prejudice. Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration but the district court denied the motion. The court concluded that the motion to dismiss should be denied as to the element of loss causation. The district court's application of the "actual fraud" standard to the partial disclosures at issue, and when viewed against the stark results of Amedisys's second quarter of 2010 earnings report, requires reversal and vacating the prior dismissal. View "Bach, et al. v. Amedisys, Inc., et al." on Justia Law

Whole Woman’s Health, et al. v. Lakey, et al.

Plaintiff filed suit seeking declaratory relief and permanent injunctions against the enforcement of two recent amendments to Texas's laws concerning the performing of abortions (H.B. 2). The district court enjoined the admitting privileges requirement and the ambulatory surgical center provision of H.B. 2 as to all abortion facilities. The district court also enjoined other specific applications of H.B. 2. The State appealed and filed an emergency motion to stay the district court's injunctions pending the resolution of their appeal. Because plaintiffs sought only as-applied relief from the admitting privileges requirement for two abortion clinics, the district court acted inappropriately by invalidating the admitting privileges requirement for all abortion clinics in Texas. The district court's facial invalidation of the admitting privileges requirement is directly contrary to this circuit's precedent. The court concluded that the State has shown a likelihood of success regarding whether the ambulatory surgical center provision is unconstitutional on its face where it satisfies rational basis review and plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that the provision will result in insufficient clinic capacity that will impose an undue burden on a large fraction of women. In regard to the district court's injunctions of both requirements as applied to clinics in McAllen and El Paso, the court concluded that the State has met its burden as to each, with the exception of the ambulatory provision as applied to El Paso. Accordingly, the court granted in part, denied in part, and stayed the district court's injunction orders until the final disposition of the appeal.View "Whole Woman's Health, et al. v. Lakey, et al." on Justia Law

United States v. Rodriguez-Salazar

Defendant pleaded guilty of being an alien present in the United States after deportation and conceded that he had been previously convicted of felony theft under Texas Penal Code 31.03(a). On appeal, defendant challenged his sentence enhancement based on the prior conviction. The court concluded that the Texas crime of theft was an aggravated felony where it is in the same category as theft without consent. In either case, the owner denies consent to the wrongdoer who takes or exercises control of property. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence.View "United States v. Rodriguez-Salazar" on Justia Law

United States v. Moreno-Torres

Defendant appealed his conviction after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Defendant's counsel moved on appeal for leave to withdraw and filed a brief and a supplemental brief in accordance with Anders v. California. Because counsel communicated with defendant, in a language defendant understands, the substance of the Anders brief and defendant's rights under Anders, defendant's due process rights were not violated. The court concurred with counsel's assessment that the appeal presented no nonfrivolous issue for appellate review. Accordingly, the court granted counsel's motion for leave to withdraw and excused counsel from further responsibilities herein. The court dismissed the appeal.View "United States v. Moreno-Torres" on Justia Law