United States v. Reyes-Solosa

Defendant appealed her post-revocation sentence imposed consecutively to her criminal sentence for illegal reentry. The court held that a district court can continue post-revocation sentencing for a reasonable time to consider a supervised releasee's sentence in the underlying criminal proceeding as part of evaluating the supervised releasee's breach of trust; in this case, the district court's approximately three-week continuance was not unreasonable under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1; and defendant's twelve-month post-revocation sentence was within the Guidelines range and was not substantively unreasonable in light of the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) sentencing factors. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Reyes-Solosa" on Justia Law

IFC v. Roman Catholic Church

After the Diocese settled four lawsuits for alleged sexual abuse by its priests, the Diocese filed a declaratory judgment action seeking entitlement to indemnification under IFC's excess liability indemnity policies. The policy provided by IFC to the Diocese excludes "liability of any Assured for assault and battery committed by or at the direction of such Assured..." The court concluded that, based on the ordinary meaning of this exclusion and consistent with Arizona law, "the language 'any insured'... express[es] a contractual intent to prohibit recovery by innocent co-insureds." In this case, the assault and battery exclusions applied to innocent co-insureds. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's judgment in favor of the Diocese, and vacated and remanded its grant of attorneys' fees and taxable costs. View "IFC v. Roman Catholic Church" on Justia Law

Petrie v. Electronic Game Card, Inc.

Plaintiffs, a group of investors, filed suit alleging that Electronic Game Card's former CEO and CFO violated section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78j, 17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5, and that others violated section 20(a) of the Act. The court concluded that the district court did not properly strike allegations and exhibits from the Third Amended Complaint because the Auditor discovery materials at issue were not obtained in violation of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), 15 U.S.C. 78u-4(b)(3)(B). The court also concluded that the Third Amended Complaint adequately pleaded false statements and scienter. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Petrie v. Electronic Game Card, Inc." on Justia Law

United States v. Hurtado

Defendant appealed his sentence after pleading guilty to intentionally and knowingly importing 11.64 kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Mexico. The court held that the district court applied the correct legal standard, did not abuse its discretion in its application of the guideline to the facts of the case, and did not clearly err when it found that defendant was a typical commercial drug smuggler and not entitled to a minor role reduction under U.S.S.G. 3B1.2; the district court properly considered the facts of the crime and the totality of the circumstances; defendant's below-guidelines sentence was substantively reasonable; and the fine of $450 was reasonable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Hurtado" on Justia Law

Rundgren v. Washington Mutual

Plaintiffs filed suit against Chase and WaMu, alleging claims arising out of allegedly fraudulent acts by WaMu concerning the refinancing of their mortgage. WaMu was later placed into receivership of the FDIC and the FDIC transferred plaintiffs' mortgage to Chase. The court concluded that plaintiffs' claims in their complaint are "claims" for purposes of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C. 1821(d)(3)(D), and related to WaMu's acts or omissions for purposes of section 1821(d)(13)(D). Because plaintiffs have not exhausted their administrative remedies under section 1821(d), the plain language of section 1821(d)(13)(D)(ii) stripped the district court of jurisdiction to consider plaintiffs' complaint. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims. View "Rundgren v. Washington Mutual" on Justia Law

United States v. Szabo

Defendant appealed his conviction under 38 C.F.R. 1.218(a)(5), which prohibits causing "disturbances" at VA facilities. The court concluded that the conduct for which defendant was convicted did not constitute protected speech because it involved a "true threat" of violence; even if defendant's conduct did constitute protected speech, section 1.218(a)(5) would not be unconstitutional as applied to his conduct where it is a viewpoint neutral regulation and the regulation was reasonably applied to defendant; the regulation was not unconstitutionally vague as applied to defendant's conduct where defendant's actions unambiguously fell within section 1.218(a)(5)'s prohibition on "loud" and "abusive" language and on "conduct...which creates loud or unusual noise"; and, therefore, defendant's as-applied challenges to the regulation failed. In regard to defendant's facial challenges, the court rejected defendant's overbreadth challenge where 38 U.S.C. 502 deprives the court of jurisdiction and section 502's jurisdictional bar does not violate defendant's right to due process. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court with regard to defendant's as-applied challenges and dismissed this appeal for lack of jurisdiction with regard to his facial challenge. View "United States v. Szabo" on Justia Law

United States v. Gowadia

Defendant appealed his conviction for charges that he unlawfully exported defense services and technical data related to the design of the B-2 stealth bomber and other classified government projects to the People's Republic of China, and that he disclosed related classified information to persons in Switzerland, Israel, and Germany. The court rejected defendant's claim that the right to prompt presentment before a magistrate judge was triggered before he was actually arrested, and that his inculpatory statements he made to federal agents investigating his activities should have been suppressed; the court rejected defendant's contention that the words "arrest or other detention" in 18 U.S.C. 3501(c) expand the right to prompt presentment beyond the contours of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5(a); and defendant could not invoke the McNabb-Mallory rule because he was not, during the period in question, either formally arrested or in "other detention" within the meaning of section 3501. The court also concluded that there was no error in the "public domain" or "basic marketing information" jury instructions under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA). Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "United States v. Gowadia" on Justia Law

United States v. Valdez-Novoa

Defendant, a native and citizen of Mexico, appealed his conviction for attempting to enter the United States without consent after having been previously removed. In regards to defendant's collateral attack of the underlying removal order, the court held that defendant was not denied due process because the IJ's determination that he had been convicted of an aggravated felony was not contrary to the court's precedent at the time the removal order was issued and was the product of a reasonable reading of the statute; because defendant had been convicted of an aggravated felony, he was statutorily ineligible for voluntary departure, and the IJ was under no obligation to inform him of the existence of such relief for the proceedings to comport with due process; even if the IJ should have informed defendant of his apparent eligibility for voluntary departure, the failure to do so did not render the removal proceedings "fundamentally unfair" under 8 U.S.C. 1326(d)(3) because he was no prejudiced by the alleged error; and, therefore, the underlying removal order was a valid predicate to a conviction for attempted illegal reentry. The court also held that ample record evidence corroborated defendant's confession to the gravamen of the offense and establishes the trustworthiness of his statement to the DHS officer. Accordingly, the conviction based on defendant's videotaped confession does not run afoul of the corpus delicti doctrine. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Valdez-Novoa" on Justia Law

Fong v. Ryan

Petitioner, convicted of murder and robbery charges, appealed the district court's denial of his 28 U.S.C. 2254 habeas corpus petition. Petitioner argued that the Arizona courts unreasonably rejected his claim under Napue v. Illinois that, during his trial, the prosecution also knowingly elicited and used the false testimony of a detective regarding when petitioner became a suspect in this case in order to secure his conviction. Petitioner also argued that the Arizona courts unreasonably rejected his ineffective assistance of counsel claim where counsel was ineffective for calling a state informant as a witness when the informant otherwise would not have testified at petitioner's trial. The court concluded that the Arizona courts did not engage in an unreasonable determination of the facts or an unreasonable application of controlling federal law when denying petitioner's prosecutorial misconduct claim or petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition. View "Fong v. Ryan" on Justia Law

McDaniels v. Kirkland

Petitioners, convicted of first degree murder, appealed their separate district court judgments denying their 28 U.S.C. 2254 habeas petitions. At issue was petitioners' Batson v. Kentucky argument that the prosecutor excluded African-American jurors based on race during jury selection. The court held that the CCA did not unreasonably apply Batson when it did not sua sponte augment the record so as to allow for comprehensive comparative juror analysis; the court could only review the CCA's decision under 28 U.S.C. 2254(d)(2) in light of the evidence before it, and because it was undisputed that the first day of voir dire and the questionnaires were not in the record, the court could not include them in its analysis of whether the CCA made unreasonable factual findings; and, in regards to the partial voir dire and Batson hearing transcript, petitioners have not demonstrated that the CCA made an unreasonable determination of fact in light of the evidence before it. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's denial of the habeas corpus petitions. View "McDaniels v. Kirkland" on Justia Law