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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition seeking review of an order by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying her motion to reopen removal proceedings based on changed country conditions within Kenya, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion. In 2013, Petitioner was first ordered removed to Kenya. In 2016, Petitioner sought to reopen proceedings, arguing that conditions within Kenya had changed since her prior removal proceedings and now supported a claim for asylum. An immigration judge (IJ) denied the motion. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that there was no abuse of discretion in the agency’s finding that Petitioner failed to establish changed country conditions. View "Wanjiku v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court denying Defendant’s motion to suppress and sentencing Defendant, holding that the evidence was not obtained in violation of Defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights and that Defendant was properly sentenced. Defendant was convicted for producing six videos depicting him sexually assaulting a three-year-old child. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress evidence recovered from his residence and statements he made to law enforcement at his residence and during a later interrogation. The district court concluded that Defendant knowingly and voluntarily consented to the search of his residence and that there was no Fourth Amendment violation. At sentencing, Defendant argued that the charges were multiplicitous because the videos were taken during one continuous sexual assault. The district court disagreed and sentenced Defendant to a fifty-year term of imprisonment. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) even assuming that law enforcement committed a Fourth Amendment violation before encountering Defendant, any prior illegality did not influence Defendant’s subsequent consent to the search of his computer and hard drives, and Defendant’s consent to the search was knowing and voluntary; and (2) the proper unit of prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 2251(a), the federal child pornography statute, is each video depicting the victim. View "United States v. Smith" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for judicial review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner’s untimely filed motion to reopen, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to reopen and declining to equitably toll the deadline. Petitioner, a Guatemalan native and citizen, was charged with removability. An immigration judge (IJ) denied Petitioner’s application for withholding of removal. The BIA affirmed. Nearly seven years after the BIA denied his appeal, Petitioner filed motion to reopen, arguing that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel. The BIA denied the motion as time-barred and declined Petitioner’s invitation to equitably toll the deadline. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the BIA neither committed a material error of law nor acted arbitrarily, capriciously, or irrationally. View "Tay-Chan v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence for two counts of conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base, holding, among other things, that the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s motions to suppress two warrants obtained by law enforcement and evidence obtained from Defendant’s warrantless arrest. Specifically, the Court held (1) there was no error int he issuance of precise location information (PLI) warrants by a magistrate judge allowing monitoring of the locations of Defendant’s two cell phones; (2) the cell phones were not tracking devices under 18 U.S.C. 3117; (3) the PLI warrants did not violate Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(b); (4) the use of rebuttal testimony from a pretrial services officer to impeach a witness was proper; and (5) the sentencing court’s adoption of two sentencing enhancements was not procedurally unreasonable. View "United States v. Ackies" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative class action in favor of arbitration of Plaintiff’s claim in his individual capacity after concluding that the parties had a valid and enforceable agreement to arbitrate, holding that the arbitration clause was enforceable because it was conscionable under Massachusetts law. Plaintiff drove for Lyft, Inc., the defendant. Plaintiff tapped “I accept” on his iPhone when presented with Lyft’s terms of service agreement, which contained a provision requiring that disputes between the parties be resolved by arbitration. In this putative class action Plaintiff alleged that Lyft misclassified its Massachusetts drivers as independent contractors under the Massachusetts Wage Act. Left removed the case to federal court and moved to dismiss in favor of individual arbitration. The district court granted the motion. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff waived his contract-formation argument; and (2) the arbitration clause was not substantively unconscionable and was thus enforceable. View "Bekele v. Lyft, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this personal injury action, the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court granting Defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) after treating it, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d), as a motion for summary judgment, holding that the district court properly found that Plaintiff expressly consented by contract to assume the risk of injury caused by Defendant’s negligence. Plaintiff was injured after colliding with unmarked snowmaking equipment while skiing at a New Hampshire resort. Plaintiff brought this action against Defendant, the resort’s owner. The district court ruled for Defendant on the basis of the liability release printed on Plaintiff’s lift ticket. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly rejected Plaintiff’s contention that the question of whether there was a “meeting of the minds” with respect to the release was for the jury to resolve; (2) the scope of the release was not so limited as to not bar Plaintiff’s suit; (3) the liability release was not unenforceable on public policy grounds; and (4) Plaintiff failed to provided a basis upon which a jury could supportably find Defendant to have been reckless. View "Miller v. Sunapee Difference, LLC" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit reversed the order of the district court dismissing aggravated identity theft counts against three doctors and three employees of a durable medical equipment supplier in Puerto Rico, holding that the motion to dismiss a grand jury indictment did not provide an occasion in this case for determining, over the government’s objection, whether the facts alleged in the indictment were sufficient to establish the charged offense. A United States grand jury indictment indicted Defendants on counts of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. In dismissing the aggravated identity theft counts, the district court concluded that the facts alleged in the indictment did not adequately make out a case for aggravated identity theft. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the proceedings as they stood at this stage provided no occasion for determining whether the government’s proof was sufficient to sustain a conviction, and the record lacked any agreed upon completeness. View "United States v. Rodriguez-Rivera" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant’s motion to suppress incriminating evidence found during a search and seizure by a local police officer after approaching Defendant, who was seated in a car with his friend in a parking lot, and asking him several questions, holding that the search and seizure were lawful. Based on Defendant’s answers to the officer’s questions, the officer searched the vehicle, found drugs and drug paraphernalia, and arrested Defendant. After Defendant consented to the search of his backpack, further incriminating evidence was found. Defendant moved to suppress the government’s evidence, arguing that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate and continue the inquiries that led to the discovery of the contraband. The district court denied the motion. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in finding no Fourth Amendment violation and denying Defendant’s motion to suppress. View "United States v. Tanguay" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court entering judgment against Defendant on Plaintiff’s discrimination action and awarding Plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages, holding that the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s motions for judgment as a matter of law and a new trial, and Defendant’s other assignments of error were unavailing. Plaintiff, a citizen of Massachusetts, brought suit against Defendant, a New York-based real estate firm and Plaintiff’s former employer, claiming that Defendant fired him because of his age and disability. Defendant removed the suit from the Massachusetts Superior Court to a federal district court in Boston. The district court applied the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), N.Y.C. Admin. Code 8-101-10. The jury found that Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of age and awarded him $1,275,000 in both compensatory and punitive damages. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly applied the NYCHRL; (2) the district court judge correctly instructed the jury; and (3) there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict. View "Rinsky v. Cushman & Wakefield, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Rights

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The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion to dismiss the indictment against him on double jeopardy and issue preclusion grounds, holding that the Double Jeopardy Clause had no application and that Appellant’s issue preclusion claim would fail on the merits even if it were not waived. In preliminary hearings, Puerto Rico courts concluded that Commonwealth weapons charges against Appellant were not supported by probable cause. Thereafter, Appellant plead guilty to equivalent federal charges based on the same conduct. Appellant later moved the district court to dismiss his indictment as a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. After a magistrate judge made a report and recommendation, Appellant raised for the first time his issue preclusion claim. The district court denied Appellant’s motion. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief on his claims. View "United States v. Rosado-Cancel" on Justia Law