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The First Circuit denied in part and dismissed in part Petitioner’s petition for judicial review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision affirming an immigration judge’s (IJ) denial of his requests for asylum, for withholding of removal, and for protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding (1) the BIA did not err in upholding the IJ’s determination that Petitioner did not provide adequate corroboration for his claims; and (2) this Court lacked jurisdiction as to Petitioner’s claims regarding past persecution, ineffective assistance of counsel, and protection under the CAT. Specifically, the Court held (1) there was substantial evidence for the IJ’s determination that Petitioner did not provide adequate corroboration reasonably available to him for crucial elements of his claims; and (2) Petitioner’s remaining claims were waived to due a failure to exhaust administrative remedies. View "Avelar Gonzalez v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants on Plaintiffs’ claims that the Massachusetts firearms licensing statute, as implemented in the communities of Boston and Brookline, violates the Second Amendment, holding that the statute bears a substantial relationship to important governmental interests. Plaintiffs sought and received licenses to carry firearms in public, but the licenses allowed Plaintiffs to carry firearms only in relation to certain specified activities, denying them the right to carry firearms more generally. Plaintiff argued that the Massachusetts firearms licensing statute violates the Second Amendment. The First Circuit disagreed, holding that the statute bears a substantial relationship to important governmental interests in promoting public safety and crime prevention without offending Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. View "Gould v. Morgan" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim and dismissing Plaintiff’s Massachusetts state law negligence claim without prejudice, holding that the district court’s judgment was without error. Plaintiff, a pretrial detainee at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute-Framingham, sued Dr. Thomas Groblewski and the Massachusetts Partnership for Correctional Healthcare in federal district court, bringing a state law claim for common law negligence and a federal law claim under section 1983 for a violation of her Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court concluded that no reasonable jury could find that Groblewski acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s medical needs. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in granting Defendants summary judgment on Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claim. View "Zingg v. Groblewski" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the decision of the district court and remanded this case for entry of judgment in favor of Plaintiff and for remedial proceedings, holding that the district court erred in finding that Rhode Island does not discriminate against students with disabilities by failing to provide free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualifying students of the same age. Plaintiff, through her parent and on behalf of a certified class of those similarly situated, brought this action claiming that Rhode Island violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by providing “public education” to individuals without disabilities between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-two but does not provide special education services to individuals with disabilities of the same age. The district court concluded that the adult education programs provided to non-disabled Rhode Island students beyond the age of twenty-one do not constitute “public education” within the meaning of the IDEA. The First Circuit disagreed, holding that the adult education services in Rhode Island qualify as “public education” within the meaning of the IDEA. View "K.L. v. Rhode Island Board of Education" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s sentence to a 188-month term of immurement, holding that Defendant waived his “career offender” argument and made no showing sufficient to excuse that waiver. Defendant pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and detectable quantities of cocaine hydrochloride and fentanyl. During sentencing, Defendant repeatedly agreed that he should be sentenced as a career offender. The district court found Defendant to be a career offender and imposed a bottom-of-the-range term of immurement. Defendant appealed, assigning error to the district court’s treatment of him as a career offender. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the equities preponderated heavily in favor of enforcing Defendant’s waiver of his argument against career offender status. View "United States v. Orsini" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s sentence of thirty months’ imprisonment for possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance, holding that the sentence was neither procedurally nor substantively unreasonable. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Defendant pleaded guilty to knowingly and unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition while being an unlawful drug user. Defendant agreed to a waiver-of-appeal provision. Defendant then brought this appeal challenging his sentence. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that this Court need not rely on the appeal waiver to dispense with Defendant’s appeal because, even if it did consider the merits of Defendant’s challenges to his sentence, those challenges failed. View "United States v. Mangual-Rosado" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review challenging the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) denial of his motion to reconsider its order refusing to open his case, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Petitioner’s motion to reconsider. Petitioner, a citizen of Ghana who unlawfully entered the United States, sought cancellation of removal based on hardship to his U.S.-citizen daughter and voluntary departure. The immigration judge (IJ) denied Petitioner’s request for cancellation of removal and also denied voluntary departure. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s denial of voluntary departure. Thereafter, the BIA denied Petitioner’s motion to reopen the proceedings based on alleged ineffective assistance of counsel and then denied Petitioner’s motion to reconsider. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner’s motion to reconsider on the ground that Petitioner failed to identify a specific legal or factual error in the BIA’s original adjudication of his motion to reopen. View "Kuffour v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing this contract action for lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants in Maine, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that the exercise of jurisdiction over Defendants would not comport with due process. The underlying dispute involved agreements about Defendants’ interests in an Illinois limited partnership, Elm Street Plaz Venture, LLLP. LP Solutions LLC (LPS), a Maine company, offered to buy limited interests owned by Defendants, who mostly resided in Illinois. Defendants accepted the offer and made distribution payments. When Defendants later refused to deliver partnership distributions that LPS said were assigned to it, LPS sued Defendants in Maine. The case was removed to federal district court, which determined that there was no personal jurisdiction because Defendants' contacts with Maine did not make the exercise of personal jurisdiction foreseeable. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Defendants could not foresee the exercise of jurisdiction. View "LP Solutions LLC v. Duchossois" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s sentence imposed in connection with his plea of guilty to being a felon in possession of a handgun and twenty rounds of ammunition, holding that there was no error in the sentence fashioned by the district court. The district court sentenced Defendant to eighty-six months. The First Circuit affirmed the sentence, holding (1) the district court did not err in determining that Defendant’s prior Massachusetts drug distribution and assault with a dangerous weapon conviction qualified as a “crime of violence” under the United States Sentencing Guidelines; and (2) the district court properly applied a sentencing enhancement for possession “in connection with” another felony. View "United States v. Oliveira" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit affirmed in part, reversed in part, and vacated in part the district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of American Honda Finance Corporation (Honda) on Plaintiff’s putative class action alleging that Honda violated Massachusetts consumer protection laws, holding that summary judgment was improper on some of Plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff claimed that Honda afforded her inadequate loan-deficiency notifications after she fell behind on her automobile-loan payments. Because Plaintiff’s claims hinged entirely on questions of Massachusetts law, the First Circuit certified three questions to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). After the SJC issued an opinion responding to these questions and the parties filed supplemental briefs, the First Circuit issued this opinion. The Court held (1) Plaintiff’s challenge to the district court’s ruling that Honda sold her car for fair market value was waived; (2) the district court erred in finding that the post-repossession and post-sale notices Honda sent to Plaintiff complied with the requirements of Massachusetts law; and (3) therefore, entry of summary judgment on Plaintiff’s Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106, 9-614 and 9-616 notice and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, 2(A) claims was improper. View "Williams v. American Honda Finance Corp." on Justia Law