United States v. Garcia-Carrillo

Defendant pled guilty to illegal reentry and was sentenced to 89 months of imprisonment. Because defendant refused to waive his right to appeal, the Government declined to move for a one-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility under U.S.S.G. 3E1.1(b). After sentencing, and while his appeal was pending, the Sentencing Commission amended the commentary to U.S.S.G. 3E1.1(b), which now instructs prosecutors not to withhold such motions on the basis of defendant's failure to waive his appellate rights. The court affirmed the sentence because even assuming that Amendment 775 should be considered on appeal, defendant's substantial rights have not been affected. The court declined to follow the First Circuit's decision, which remanded an appeal for resentencing in light of a post-sentencing amendment despite the fact that the amendment was substantive and not clarifying. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Garcia-Carrillo" on Justia Law

Escamilla v. Thaler

Petitioner sought a certificate of appealability (COA) to appeal the district court's denial of his habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. 2254. The court granted a COA as to petitioner's claim that trial counsel's failure to investigate and present adequate mitigating evidence violated his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. The court denied a COA with regard to the argument that Martinez v. Ryan compelled the federal habeas court to consider newly presented evidence that was never submitted to the state habeas court where new evidence presented to the district court did not fundamentally alter his claim but merely provided additional evidentiary support for his claim. View "Escamilla v. Thaler" on Justia Law

Sattani, et al. v. Holder, Jr.

Petitioners, a married couple who are natives and citizens of India, appealed the BIA's decision denying their petition for adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, and voluntary departure. The court concluded that the district court did not err in determining that Dilshad was statutorily ineligible for adjustment of status under INA 245(i) because she was inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) for fraudulent entry; Naseem's derivative application thus was also properly denied; and the court denied the petition for review. The court lacked jurisdiction to review any judgment regarding the granting or denying of discretionary relief in the form of cancellation of removal or voluntary departure where this appeal involved neither constitutional questions nor questions of law. Accordingly, the court dismissed the remainder of the petition for want of jurisdiction. View "Sattani, et al. v. Holder, Jr." on Justia Law

United States v. Pascacio-Rodriguez

Defendant appealed his sentence after being convicted under 8 U.S.C. 1326(a) and (b) as an alien unlawfully present in the United States following deportation. The district court concluded that defendant's prior state-court conviction for conspiracy to commit murder warranted a sixteen-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. 2L1.2. The court concluded that conspiracy to commit murder, within the meaning of Application Note 5 of section 2L1.2, did not require an overt act as an element of the offense and the court rejected defendant's claims to the contrary. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "United States v. Pascacio-Rodriguez" on Justia Law

Mack v. Equable Ascent Financial, LLC

Plaintiff filed suit pro se under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., against Equable, as successor in interest to Hilco. Plaintiff alleged that Hilco obtained his consumer credit report without a permissible purpose or plaintiff's consent, in violation of the section 1681(b). The magistrate court granted Equable's motion for summary judgment on the ground that certain discovery responses showed that plaintiff's suit was time barred under section 1681p(1) because he did not file suit within two years of receiving the May 2009 report. The court affirmed, concluding that, in light of Hyde v. Hibernia Nat'l Bank in Jefferson Parish, the limitations period began to run when plaintiff discovered that Hilco had obtained his credit report without his consent. View "Mack v. Equable Ascent Financial, LLC" on Justia Law

Brumfield, et al. v. Dodd, et al.

The Louisiana legislature established the Scholarship Program in 2012 to provide funding to low-income parents with children in failing schools so that they may have the option of sending them to better schools, including private schools, of their own choosing. Parents seek to intervene in this litigation between Louisiana and the federal government over the state's voucher program. The court concluded that the parents met the requirements for intervention as of right and reversed the district court's denial of their motion to intervene. View "Brumfield, et al. v. Dodd, et al." on Justia Law

Lopez v. Sentrillon Corp.

Plaintiff filed state law claims against Sentrillion, a general contractor, for injuries he sustained during a construction project for the U.S. Custom and Border Patrol. Sentrillion filed third-party indemnity and contribution claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq., against the United States. The United States then moved the case to federal court and then moved to dismiss under the derivative jurisdiction doctrine. The district court dismissed all claims against the United States and remanded remaining claims to state court. Sentrillion appealed. The court affirmed the district court's holding that it was bound by extant Supreme Court precedent to dismiss Sentrillion's claims against the United States under the derivative jurisdiction doctrine. Having determined as a preliminary matter that the derivative jurisdiction doctrine applied to removals under 28 U.S.C. 1442, the court affirmed the district court's order remanding the remaining state law claims to state court on the basis that Sentrillion waived appeal of the 28 U.S.C. 1367(c) determination. View "Lopez v. Sentrillon Corp." on Justia Law

United States v. Rounds

Defendant appealed his conviction for being in possession of child pornography (Count One) and using a facility of interstate commerce to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a juvenile to engage in sexual activity (Count Two). The court concluded that there was sufficient evidence to convict defendant of Count Two; venue was proper in the Western District where the phone calls and text messages sent from defendant was in the district and defendant's presence was in the district; the court rejected defendants arguments that he did not have an adequate opportunity to prepare for trial; the government did not violate Brady v. Maryland and defendant's claim to the contrary had no merit; and the district court did not clearly err in determining that defendant consented to the search of his cell phone and the consent was voluntary. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Rounds" on Justia Law

Kim, et al. v. Dome Entertainment Center, Inc.

A non-debtor spouse contended that her homestead rights in the Texas residence that she shares with her husband, the debtor in bankruptcy, precluded a forced sale of the property and alternatively, that if a sale occurred, she must be compensated for the loss of her homestead interest in the property. The bankruptcy court held that the non-debtor spouse's homestead rights were limited to the dollar amount of the exemption in 11 U.S.C. 522(p) and that there was no unconstitutional taking of the value of the non-debtor spouse's interest in the homestead. The court affirmed the district court's affirmance of the bankruptcy court's holdings. View "Kim, et al. v. Dome Entertainment Center, Inc." on Justia Law

Willis v. Cleco Corp.

Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, Cleco, alleging race discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. 1981. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment to Cleco. Plaintiff claimed that he was issued a Disciplinary Warning in retaliation for his reporting of a coworker's racially hostile statements. Cleco asserted that the warning was issued because plaintiff sent a mass email disclosing that his coworker's son overdosed on pills. The court concluded the district court erred in granting summary judgment on plaintiff's retaliation claim based on the Disciplinary Warning where plaintiff had demonstrated that there was a genuine dispute of material fact that Cleco's stated reasons were pretextual. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment on plaintiff's retaliation claim arising from the Disciplinary Warning and remanded for further proceedings. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the remaining retaliation and discrimination claims. View "Willis v. Cleco Corp." on Justia Law