Dakura v. Holder, Jr.

Petitioner sought review of the BIA's affirmance of the denial of his application for adjustment of status. Petitioner, a native of Ghana, had used the identities of two American citizens to establish his eligibility for employment at McDonald's and Target. The court denied the petition for review, agreeing with the BIA that an alien, like petitioner, who falsely claims United States citizenship in seeking private employment is inadmissible as a matter of law under the false claim bar, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I).View "Dakura v. Holder, Jr." on Justia Law

Martin v. Wood

Plaintiff, a registered nurse formerly employed by a state-operated hospital, filed suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201-219, against two supervisors, alleging that they improperly refused to authorize overtime pay for the hours she worked in excess of 40 hours. The court concluded that the Commonwealth of Virginia is the real party in interest in this action because the actions of defendants were inextricably tied to their official duties. The court reversed and remanded where the Eleventh Amendment has withdrawn jurisdiction over suits of this nature against the States, effectively giving the Commonwealth immunity.View "Martin v. Wood" on Justia Law

Jaghoori v. Holder

Petitioner is an Afghan citizen who has lived in the United States most of his life and was found ineligible for cancellation of removal. The BIA found petitioner ineligible for removal because of a crime he committed within the first seven years of residence in the United States. Petitioner argued that the BIA should have applied the stop-time rule under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(2) because the offense and guilty plea occurred before Congress promulgated the stop-time rule. The court concluded that Congress did not expressly and unambiguously prescribe the proper reach of the stop-time rule. Under the second step of the analysis in Landgraf v. USI Film Products, the court concluded that a retroactive application of the stop-time rule would impose new and unforeseen legal consequences to prior events. Accordingly, the court applied a traditional presumption against retroactivity and granted the petition for review.View "Jaghoori v. Holder" on Justia Law

United States v. White

Defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for charges related to the intentional burning of a two-unit duplex that he owned and managed and to his recovery of insurance proceeds from the fire. The court concluded that there was sufficient evidence to convict defendant for arson-related convictions under 18 U.S.C. 844(i) and for accessory after the fact to arson under 18 U.S.C. 3. The court also concluded that the district court properly concluded that the Van duplex was a "dwelling" under U.S.S.G. 2K1.4. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.View "United States v. White" on Justia Law

United States v. Archie

Defendant appealed his conviction after pleading guilty to several charges stemming from an armed robbery. The court concluded that the district court did not err in sentencing him under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e). The court concluded that, notwithstanding the Government's concession during oral argument that defendant's sentence would not be different under Alleyne v. United States, the court denied his claim because it falls short within the scope of the valid appeal waiver. Further, the Government presented sufficient evidence to find that the third-degree robbery conviction in fact exists when the district court relied on three appendices which provided consistent accounts of defendant's conviction for third-degree robbery. There is no prohibition on secondary records simply because they may contain discrepancies regarding a prior conviction. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.View "United States v. Archie" on Justia Law

Cantley v. West Virginia Regional Jail

Plaintiffs Cantley and Teter filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against WRJA and others, challenging the constitutionality of strip searches and delousing procedures. The court affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' summary judgment motion on Cantley's strip search claim on the grounds that the search was constitutional where the strip search of Cantley was covered under Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington. The court did not reach the constitutional merits of the strip search of Teter where the law was not clearly established at the time and defendants are entitled to qualified immunity for the strip search. The court also affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants as to the delousing procedures, but on the grounds that it was not clearly established that the delousing policy was unconstitutional. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.View "Cantley v. West Virginia Regional Jail" on Justia Law

West v. Murphy

Plaintiffs represented a certified class of individuals arrested between certain dates on charges not involving weapons, drugs, or felony violence, and strip searched prior to or without presentment before a court commissioner or other judicial officer. Plaintiffs filed suit against defendants, two former wardens of Central Booking, challenging the strip searches of arrestees in Central Booking. The court concluded that the Supreme Court's intervening decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, which came down almost four years after the class period closed, does not demonstrate that the law on jail strip searches either was or was not clearly established at the time these alleged searches were conducted. The district court correctly concluded that defendants are entitled to qualified immunity because the law did not clearly establish at the time that the searches that were conducted were unlawful. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment on the grounds of qualified immunity.View "West v. Murphy" on Justia Law

Mulyani v. Holder

Petitioner, a native of Indonesia, sought review of the BIA's decision denying her application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Petitioner grew up a Christian in Indonesia, a majority Muslim-country. Petitioner contended that she would suffer religious persecution if forced to return to Indonesia. The court did not reach petitioner's argument that the statutory time bar under 8 U.S.C. 1158(a)(2)(B), does not preclude her application because the court lacked jurisdiction to decide whether she qualifies for an exception to the statutory time bar; the court rejected petitioner's remaining arguments because substantial evidence supported the BIA's determinations that her claims for asylum and withholding of removal cannot proceed because she failed to show that the Indonesian government was unwilling or unable to protect her; and CAT relief is unavailable to petitioner because she failed to show that, upon removal, she would likely endure torture by or with the acquiescence of the Indonesian government. Accordingly, the court denied the petition.View "Mulyani v. Holder" on Justia Law

Lin v. Holder

Petitioner, a native and citizen of the People's Republic of China, sought review of the BIA's order denying his second motion to reopen removal proceedings. The court concluded that Chen v. Holder is materially distinguishable from the petition here; on the merits, the BIA did not abuse its discretion in determining that petitioner's submissions did not establish changed country conditions in China related to the enforcement of the one-child policy; and the BIA did not err in concluding that the evidence did not support a finding that China's sterilization policies would be applied to petitioner. Further, the BIA did not abuse its discretion in determining that petitioner's evidence was not sufficient to discredit the findings in the 2007 Profile. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review.View "Lin v. Holder" on Justia Law

United States v. Dowell

Defendant appealed his sentence after pleading guilty to twelve counts of producing child pornography and one count of transporting child pornography. The court held that the district court erred in its Guidelines calculation when it incorrectly applied an upward adjustment for a "vulnerable victim" under U.S.S.G. 3A1.1(b)(1) based upon one of the victims' age-related cognitive development and psychological vulnerability, factors that already were incorporated into an upward adjustment for the young age of defendant's victims under U.S.S.G. 2G2.1(b)(1) and 2G2.2(b)(2). The court found, however, that the error was harmless and rejected defendant's remaining claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence.View "United States v. Dowell" on Justia Law