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The First Circuit granted in part and denied in part Petitioner's petition for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming an immigration judge's (IJ) denial of Petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that substantial evidence did not support the BIA's decision to deny Petitioner's applications for asylum and withholding of removal. Petitioner, a citizen of Nepal, contested deportation, claiming a fear of persecution for his political beliefs if he repatriated. The IJ denied Petitioner's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under CAT. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit held (1) the Government did not meet its burden to rebut the presumption of a well-founded fear of persecution, and therefore, Petitioner was statutorily eligible to seek asylum; (2) because the BIA and IJ did not weigh the total corpus of evidence offered in support of the withholding claim, this evidence should be assessed in the first instance by the agency on remand; and (3) substantial evidence supported the BIA's denial of Petitioner's application for protection under CAT. View "Dahal v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of the Fay School, Inc. and Fay's Head of School as to Appellants' complaint alleging unlawful retaliation for demands for an accommodation for a certain condition of G., a twelve-year-old minor, holding that the district court correctly denied Appellants' claims. G., a former student of the Fay School, and her parents (collectively, Appellants) brought this suit against Fay after the school refused to remove wireless internet from its classrooms to accommodate G.'s alleged electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), a sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. Appellants alleged, among other claims, unlawful retaliation for an accommodation for G.'s condition, in violation of Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 49 U.S.C. 12203(a), breach of contract, and misrepresentation. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) damages are not an available remedy for a Title V retaliation claim premised upon an exercise of rights under Title III of the ADA; and (2) Appellants failed to raise triable issues of fact as to their contract and misrepresentation claims. View "G. v. Fay School" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant's sentence of eighty-four months of imprisonment for attempted possession of child pornography, holding that the sentence was neither procedurally nor substantively unreasonable. Defendant pleaded guilty to the offense of attempted possession of child pornography and admitted that he attempted to take photographs of a naked fourteen-year-old female victim. The district court sentenced Defendant to an upwardly variant sentence of eighty-four months' imprisonment, followed by ten years of supervised release. The First Circuit affirmed the sentence, holding (1) the district court did not commit procedural error by relying on the government's sentencing memorandum and by crediting the victim's statements; and (2) the facts of this case fully justified the sentence. View "United States v. Montalvo-Febus" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit granted Petitioner's petition for judicial review from the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the decision of the immigration judge (IJ) denying Petitioner's applications for relief and ordering his removal and vacated the BIA's order, holding that the agency committed clear legal error both in overlooking critical evidence supporting Petitioner's claim for withholding of removal and in using such evidence as part of its rationale for denying that claim. Petitioner, a Dominican national, was charged as removable. Petitioner filed cross-applications for withholding of removal and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). The IJ denied Petitioner's applications, and the BIA affirmed. The First Circuit vacated the agency's final order in its entirety and remanded this matter for further proceedings, holding that the agency clearly erred in overlooking important evidence supporting Petitioner's claim for withholding of removal, and the flaws that permeated the agency's analysis of that claim potentially comprised the agency's analysis of Petitioner's CAT claim. View "Rodriguez-Villar v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant's within-guidelines sentence of eighty-seven months' imprisonment and fifteen years' supervised release for possession of child pornography, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the sentence. Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2252A(a)(5)(B) and (b)(2). After a sentencing hearing, the district court imposed a sentence of eighty-seven months' imprisonment and fifteen years' supervised release. On appeal, Defendant challenged both the procedural and substantive reasonableness of his sentence. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Defendant's sentence was neither procedurally nor substantively unreasonable. View "United States v. Hassan-Saleh-Mohamad" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit granted Petitioner's petition asking the Court to review an order from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying her motion to reopen removal proceedings, holding that the Court lacked jurisdiction to review one of Petitioner's claims but, with respect to her latter three claims, it was appropriate to grant the petition and remand to the BIA for further proceedings. Petitioner, a native and citizen of Ghana, petitioned the BIA to reopen removal proceedings so that she could apply for cancellation of removal under the "special rule" for battered spouses and children, asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Before the First Circuit, Petitioner argued that the BIA erred in denying the motion on each of those grounds. The First Circuit held (1) this Court is without jurisdiction to review the BIA's denial of "special rule" cancellation; and (2) this case must be remanded to the BIA for further examination and explication of its decision ruling against Petitioner on her remaining claims. View "Twum v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Insurers in this action brought by Appellants claiming that Insurers' refusal to cover certain legal disputes constituted a breach of their insurance contract, holding that the clear and unambiguous language of the specific litigation exclusion barred coverage of the disputed litigation matters. Appellants filed suit against their primary insurance provider and their secondary insurance providers alleging that Insurers breached their contractual duty to reimburse Appellants for defense costs incurred in connection with the disputed matters. The primary insurer argued that the legal disputes fell under a "specific litigation exclusion" clause in the insurance policy that excepted from coverage claims related to prior matters specified therein. The district court granted summary judgment for Insurers, holding that the prior and disputed matters were sufficiently related such that the exclusion clause applied. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the specific litigation exclusion barred coverage of the disputed matters because they all involved facts, circumstances, or situations alleged in the prior matters. View "UBS Financial Services Inc. v. XL Specialty Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's action alleging that Defendant, an insurance company, had breached its duty to defend and indemnify Plaintiff against a third-party's claim, holding that Defendant had no duty to defend or indemnify Plaintiff with respect to the third-party's claim. At issue was whether the scope of a so-called intellectual property exclusion to the personal and advertising injury coverage under a commercial general liability policy issued by Defendant to Plaintiff excluded the advertising injury in this case from coverage. The First Circuit held that the advertising injury alleged in the third-party's complaint arose out of the claimed infringement of the third-party's trademark, and therefore, the policy excluded the injury from the scope of coverage. View "Sterngold Dental, LLC v. HDI Global Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The First Circuit reversed the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's motion to reopen his removal proceedings, holding that Petitioner showed at least a reasonable chance that he will face future persecution based on his political opinion, and therefore, reversal was warranted. After Petitioner, a Venezuelan native and citizen, overstayed his visa U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement commenced removal proceedings against him. An immigration judge (IJ) found Petitioner ineligible for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. The BIA and First Circuit affirmed. Seven years later, Petitioner submitted a motion to reopen his removal proceedings, arguing that conditions had materially worsened for political dissidents in Venezuela since the denial of his applications and claiming prima facie eligibility for asylum and withholding of removal relief. The BIA denied the motion, concluding that Petitioner failed to establish a material change in country conditions and rejecting Petitioner's evidence of a well-founded fear of future persecution. The First Circuit reversed, holding (1) the BIA's conclusion that country conditions in Venezuela had not worsened was arbitrary; and (2) the BIA improperly concluded that Petitioner's evidence could not establish prima facie eligibility for asylum and withholding of removal. View "Cabas v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Harold Shurtleff's request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the City of Boston from denying him a permit to temporarily raise a "Christian flag" on a government-owned flagpole in front of its City Hall, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Shurtleff's request for a preliminary injunction. Shurtleff, in his role as director of Camp Constitution, a volunteer organization, organized an event to be held at the plaza in front of City Hall to celebrate the Christian community's contributions to the City and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Shurtleff sought a permit from the City to raise a Christian flag on one of the City Hall Plaza flagpoles during the celebration. The City denied Shurtleff's flag-raising request. Shurtleff and Camp Constitution filed suit raising Establishment Clause, Free Speech and Equal Protection claims and seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the City from denying them a permit to raise the flag. The district court denied the injunction. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs failed to establish a likelihood of success on their claims against the City. View "Shurtleff v. City of Boston" on Justia Law