Another immigration case re: persons who initially were not eligible to receive Green Cards:

-Criminal Law and Procedure-
Michigan Supreme Court ruling that state trial judge did not abuse broad discretion by granting mistrial, to which defendant did not object, on the second day of deliberations and after foreperson had answered “no” to judge’s question as to whether jurors would be able to reach a unanimous verdict was not an unreasonable application of U.S. Supreme Court precedent barring retrial under the Double Jeopardy Clause in the absence of “manifest necessity” for mistrial. The more general the ruling of the state court, the greater is the deference owed under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s “unreasonable application” standard. U.S. Supreme Court precedent does not require trial judge, before declaring a mistrial based on jury deadlock, to force jury to deliberate for a minimum period of time, to question jurors individually, to consult with (or obtain the consent of) either the prosecutor or defense counsel, to issue a supplemental jury instruction, or to consider any other means of breaking the impasse.
Renico v. Lett – filed May 3, 2010
Cite as 09-338
Full text

-Individual Rights-
42 U.S.C. Sec. 233(a), which provides that the remedy provided by the Federal Tort Claims Act is “exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding” for any personal injury caused by a Public Health Service officer or employee performing a medical or related function “while acting within the scope of his office or employment,” precludes an action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) against PHS personnel for constitutional violations arising out of their official duties.
Hui v. Castaneda – filed May 3, 2010
Cite as 08-1529
Full text


-Civil Procedure-
A prevailing defendant in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case cannot be awarded costs without a finding that plaintiff brought the action in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment.
Rouse v. Law Offices of Rory Clark – filed May 3, 2010
Cite as 09-55146
Full text

-Criminal Law and Procedure-
A conviction under a statute proscribing grossly negligent conduct, even though it involves an intentional and potentially dangerous act, is not a crime of violence within the meaning of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Violation of California Penal Code Sec. 246.3 for discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner is not a crime of violence.
United States v. Coronado – filed May 3, 2010
Cite as 09-50154
Full text

-Criminal Law and Procedure-
Preconviction order providing for appointment of a receiver to take from defendant property he fraudulently obtained from investors and restore that property to them was not affected on abatement of defendant’s conviction due to his death since repayment was not conditioned on defendant’s conviction. However, defendant’s estate could not be held liable for satisfying terms of postconviction restitution order.
United States v. Rich – filed May 3, 2010
Cite as 08-30153
Full text

-Criminal Law and Procedure-
Where district court did not lead defendant to believe that he would receive substantial assistance with his case from standby counsel, and defendant rejected court’s opportunities to withdraw waiver after defendant complained that assistance was not substantial, defendant’s waiver of right to counsel was knowing and intelligent. Defendant’s argument of ineffective assistance of counsel was not sufficiently developed to allow determination whether prejudice resulted where attorney was not given chance to explain conduct, and government was not allowed opportunity to counter defendant’s purported mental health defense. District court did not abuse its discretion in granting two-week continuance after defendant requested representation by counsel where need for continuance was defendant’s fault and defendant had objected to any continuance. Prosecution committed misconduct where it questioned defendant about veracity of two government witnesses during cross-examination, but questioning was not plain error because credibility of witnesses was not paramount in trial, and questioning did not prejudice defendant’s substantial rights or diminish integrity of judicial proceedings. Prosecution’s references to defendant as a “liar” during closing arguments was not misconduct where statements were reasonably based on demonstrated inconsistencies in evidence, statements did not affect defendant’s substantial rights where government presented strong independent evidence that defendant knowingly engaged in massive fraud, and court instructed jury that argument was not evidence. Prosecution did not misstate law by telling jury that “case is over” if it found defendant not credible where prosecutor spent substantial time reviewing legal elements of charges and discussing facts jury needed to find to convict. Where defendant was charged with promotion of money laundering under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1956(a)(2)(B), district court’s failure to instruct the jury that “proceeds” must be profits constituted plain error affecting defendant’s substantial rights. Failure to so instruct on charges under Sec. 1956(a)(2)(A) was not error because statute requires only a showing of proceeds. Where defendant was charged under Sec. 1956(h) for conspiracy to commit money laundering, jury instructions stating that they could find defendant guilty if “there was an agreement between two or more persons to commit money laundering” were error because they did not define money laundering, but error was harmless where defendant would have been convicted had correct instructions been given. Defendant’s convictions of concealment of money laundering involving foreign transfers and conspiracy to commit money laundering were supported by sufficient evidence where defendant created and controlled company that made one of underlying transfers, and where government demonstrated overwhelmingly that defendant was part of conspiracy that made other underlying transfers, that the offenses were committed in furtherance of the conspiracy, and that the actions providing the basis for substantive charges were reasonably foreseeable to defendant. District court’s imposition of $36 million restitution order on remand for resentencing after passage of 90-day limit in Sec. 3664(d)(5) of Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, after having deferred issue pending a determination of identities of victims and amounts of losses, did not prejudice defendant because act’s limits are procedural, not jurisdictional; act provides for revision in light of later discoveries of losses; and act was intended to protect victims, not victimizers.
United States v. Moreland – filed May 3, 2010
Cite as 05-30541
Full text

-Immigration Law-
Immigration judge denied petitioner a full and fair hearing where judge unreasonably limited testimony on whether removal “would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to petitioner’s 4-year-old U.S.-citizen child and denied request for a continuance, prejudicing petitioner’s ability to present evidence in support of her application for cancellation of removal.
Rendon v. Holder – filed December 2, 2009, amended May 3, 2010
Cite as 06-70301
Full text

-Immigration Law-
Government proved aliens’ removability by clear and convincing evidence by linking aliens to criminal conspiracy by a former Immigration and Naturalization Service agent through circumstantial evidence. Because aliens were improperly granted green cards, their legal permanent resident status was void ab initio and conferred no rights. Aliens lacked standing to pursue equal protection claim since they did not belong to class of returning LPRs who were allegedly similarly situated to applicants for admission.
Kim v. Holder – filed May 3, 2010
Cite as 06-73415

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Another immigration case