Espino-Castillo v. Holder

Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, sought review of the BIA's order of removal. Petitioner was convicted under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-2002(A) for using false information in order to obtain employment. The court held that Congress has not exempted state fraud convictions from characterization as crimes involving moral turpitude, when the underlying conduct involved fraud in an application for employment. Beltran-Tirado v. INS, which held that the amendment to the social security laws, that granted immunity from prosecution for longstanding resident aliens who used a false social security number to obtain employment, expressed congressional intent that such conduct did not establish moral turpitude for immigration purposes. The court concluded that Beltran-Tirado is inapplicable to petitioner's case where Beltran-Tirado's holding depended on the history of the specific statutory provision involved in that case, and not a garden-variety state fraud statute like the one involved in this instance. The circumstance-specific approach that Beltran-Tirado took is now in tension with intervening and controlling Supreme Court authority. Accordingly, the court denied the petition.View "Espino-Castillo v. Holder" on Justia Law

Malhotra v. Steinberg

Plaintiffs filed a qui tam action against their bankruptcy trustee and others under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that the trustee presented fraudulent claims to the bankruptcy court in order to obtain payment of the $60 trustee's fee. The court held that the deposition of the trustee's realtor, James Grace, constitutes a public disclosure as to plaintiffs where plaintiffs were outsiders to the administrative investigation conducted by the Trustee's Office, which was entirely independent of plaintiffs' own investigation. Subject matter jurisdiction did not exist because plaintiffs were not the original source of the information under section 3730(e)(4)(B). Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal.View "Malhotra v. Steinberg" on Justia Law

United States v. Swisher

Defendant appealed his conviction for wearing military medals without authorization in violation of 18 U.S.C. 704(a). Defendant argued that the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Alvarez, which struck down section 704(b)'s prohibition on making false claims regarding medals as facially unconstitutional, applies equally to section 704(a)'s prohibition on the unauthorized wearing of medals. The court concluded that defendant's argument that his conduct in wearing the medals qualifies as expressive conduct has been foreclosed by United States v. Perelman, which held that section 704(a) was not a content-based suppression of pure speech but rather criminalized the harmful conduct of wearing a medal without authorization and with intent to deceive. Because section 704(a) can be constitutionally applied to defendant's conduct, there was no violation of the Constitution or its laws. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "United States v. Swisher" on Justia Law

Carpenters v. Metal Trades

In 2008, the Building Trades, an umbrella labor organization, launched the "Push-Back-Carpenters Campaign" to force the Carpenters to reaffiliate with the Building Trades. The Building Trades then enlisted the Metal Trades to expel the Carpenters from its membership. The Carpenters subsequently filed suit alleging that the Metal Trades, both by itself and through its non-party affiliates, breached the federal duty of fair representation. The district court dismissed the Carpenters' complaint and amended complaint for failure to state a claim. The court held that a union's selecting stewards from whom it might expect undivided loyalty is not unreasonable discrimination and does not, without more, breach the duty of fair representation. In this case, the Carpenters failed to allege that the Metal Trades removed Carpenters' members from positions as stewards for any reason other than union affiliation. Even if the Metal Trades singled out Carpenters-affiliated workers because of their union affiliation, the Carpenters' complaint fails to state a breach of the duty of fair representation as a matter of law. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment.View "Carpenters v. Metal Trades" on Justia Law

Carpenters v. Building Trades

This case concerns the "Push-Back-Carpenters Campaign," a campaign of intense economic pressure orchestrated by the Building Trades to force the Carpenters into paying what is called "monthly bloated per capita payments in perpetuity," that is, into reaffiliating with the Building Trades and paying dues. Carpenters filed suit alleging claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act's (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1964(c), private cause of action and under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. 411(a)(5), as well as state law. The district court dismissed all of the Carpenters' federal claims under Rule 12(b)(6). The court concluded that the Carpenters' complaint does not allege a violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. 1951, through the use of economic fear merely because the Building Trades might have committed some tort or breached some contract as part of the Campaign. The complaint does not plausibly allege that any defendant used threats of violence to obtain the Carpenters' property; the Carpenters' formulaic and conclusory allegations of conspiracy and agency do not suggest plausibly that the Building Trades or any named defendant attempted to acquire the Carpenters' property through violence or threats; and the district court correctly rejected the Carpenters' arguments under state extortion law. The court affirmed the judgment because the complaint failed to state a claim under civil RICO or the LMRDA by orchestrating the termination of an affiliation agreement against the Building Trades, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying leave to amend.View "Carpenters v. Building Trades" on Justia Law

Padilla-Martinez v. Holder

Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, sought review of the BIA's conclusion that his prior state-law drug offense qualified as an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(B), 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), making him a deportable alien. Petitioner argued that his due process rights were violated by the immigration proceedings that followed his incarceration for possession for sale of a controlled substance under California Health and Safety Code 11378. Determining that the court has jurisdiction, the court held that the BIA did not err in its first decision by remanding the case to the IJ; the facsimile copy of the transcript of the state court felony change of plea proceeding was properly admitted; the BIA properly considered the Government's appeal of the IJ's July 7 order granting petitioner's motion to terminate proceedings; and because petitioner was not deprived of substantive or due process rights, the court need not and did not reach the issue of prejudice.View "Padilla-Martinez v. Holder" on Justia Law

United States v. Castro-Ponce

Defendant was convicted of possession and conspiracy to possess charges. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's application of an obstruction of justice enhancement. The court vacated the enhancement and remanded for resentencing because the district court did not make explicit findings that defendant's false statements were willful and material.View "United States v. Castro-Ponce" on Justia Law

Hernandez de Martinez v. Holder

Petitioner, a native and citizen of Mexico, sought review of a final order of removal. The BIA held that petitioner is statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal because her conviction for criminal impersonation in violation of Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2006(A)(1) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. The court affirmed, concluding that the statute explicitly requires proof of fraudulent intent. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review.View "Hernandez de Martinez v. Holder" on Justia Law

Hughes v. United States

Petitioner, convicted of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, applied for an order granting him authorization to file a second or successive habeas corpus motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to Alleyne v. United States. Alleyne created a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable. The court joined its sister circuits in holding that the Supreme Court has not made Alleyne expressly retroactive to cases on collateral review. Petitioner failed to show that Alleyne was made retroactive by multiple Supreme Court holdings. Accordingly, the court denied the application.View "Hughes v. United States" on Justia Law

United States v. Moore

Defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, challenging the district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence that was found at his residence. Defendant argued, pursuant to Georgia v. Randolph, that the search of the residence was unlawful because, even though his fiancee consented to the search of their joint residence, he was present at the residence and did not consent. The court held that the district court correctly determined that the search of defendant's residence did not violate the Fourth Amendment where Randolph requires that the resident who is refusing to consent both be present at the house and expressly refuse to allow the search. In this case, defendant refused to come to the door and agreed to let his fiancee, who also lived there, deal with the police. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "United States v. Moore" on Justia Law