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The First Circuit (1) denied Petitioners’ petition for review as to their challenge to the determination of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that Petitioners' motion to reopen a removal order was untimely and number barred, and (2) dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction as to Petitioners’ challenge to the BIA’s decision not to exercise its authority to reopen sua sponte. Petitioners, natives of Guatemala, were ordered removed by an immigration judge in 2000. In 2001, the BIA denied their appeal. In 2017, Petitioners filed a motion to reopen or reconsider the removal order. The BIA denied the motion as untimely filed and numerically barred. The BIA also declined to reopen the removal proceedings sua sponte because it did not consider Petitioners’ situation “exceptional.” The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the BIA correctly held that Petitioners had failed to justify the delay in filing the motion to reopen and dismissing it as untimely; and (2) this Court lacked jurisdiction to review the BIA’s decision not to reopen sua sponte. View "Lemus v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the sentence imposed in connection with Defendant’s plea of guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and one count of possession of a machine gun, holding that Defendant’s sixty-six-month sentence was neither procedurally nor substantively unreasonable. The district court imposed an above guideline sentence of sixty-six months imprisonment for each count, to be served concurrently, and three years of supervised release. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the district court’s sentence was procedurally reasonable; and (2) the sentence was substantively reasonable. View "United States v. Sosa-Gonzalez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s sentence for wire fraud and theft in connection with health care, holding that Defendant’s upwardly variant sentence was both procedurally and substantively reasonable. Defendant pled guilty to one count of theft in connection with health care and one count of wire fraud. The district court imposed an upwardly variant sentence of sixty months’ imprisonment on each count of conviction, to run concurrently and to be followed by three years of supervised release. The court also ordered Defendant to forfeit $394,300 and to pay $590,296 in restitution to the victim. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Defendant’s sentence was neither procedurally unreasonable nor substantively unreasonable. View "United States v. Gierbolini-Rivera" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated and remanded the district court’s order upholding an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) conclusion that although Appellant had previously been eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as a child, Appellant was ineligible for SSI benefits as an adult, holding that the record before the ALJ was insufficient to conclude that Appellant was no longer disabled. When Appellant was twelve years old, the Commissioner of Social Security Administration (SSA) determined that he was entitled to SSI benefits because he was found to have met the SSA's requirements for mental retardation. The Commissioner later found that Appellant was no longer disabled and that his benefits should stop. Appellant requested a hearing with an ALJ, who found that Appellant was not disabled under the Social Security Act. Upon de novo review, the First Circuit held that the record before the ALJ was not adequately developed enough to conclude that Appellant was no longer disabled, particularly in light of the fact that the ALJ was on notice, through both Social Security Administration filings and hearing testimony, that Appellant was undergoing psychiatric treatment. View "Torres-Pagan v. Berryhill" on Justia Law

Posted in: Public Benefits

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s sentence of 120 months’ imprisonment followed by lifetime supervised release imposed in connection with Defendant’s plea of guilty to possession of child pornography, holding that Defendant’s sentence was without procedural error and was substantively reasonable. After noting that even assuming, favorably to Defendant that the abuse of discretion standard applied, the First Circuit held that Defendant failed to establish any abuse of discretion on appeal. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court adequately explained why it imposed a condition of lifetime supervised release; (2) Defendant’s within-guidelines sentence of lifetime supervised release was substantively reasonable; and (3) Defendant’s ten-year term of imprisonment was substantively reasonable. View "United States v. Harrison" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the 121-month sentence imposed in connection with Defendant's plea of guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, holding that the district court correctly calculated Defendant’s Guidelines sentencing range (GSR). On appeal, Defendant raised two procedural challenges to the district court’s calculation of his GSR. After reviewing the record, which showed that Defendant maintained a false identity throughout his criminal proceedings, the First Circuit affirmed the sentence, holding that the district court imposed a plainly warranted sentence enhancement for obstruction of justice and did not err in denying Defendant a credit for acceptance of responsibility. View "United States v. Perez-Crisostomo" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the sentenced imposed in connection with Defendant’s guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute, holding that Defendant’s sentence was not substantively unreasonable and that there was no error in the sentence. After considering a ten-year sentence to protect the public from “someone who is a career criminal,” the court sentenced Defendant to seventy-eight months’ imprisonment, a sentence significantly below Defendant’s guidelines sentencing range as a career offender. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) Defendant’s claim that the trial court wrongly denied him a minimal participant reduction was unavailing because a minimal participant designation would not have helped him; (2) Defendant qualified as a career offender; and (3) the below-guidelines sentence of seventy-eight months was not unreasonable. View "United States v. Reid" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In this declaratory judgment action filed by a professional liability insurer seeking to establish that it had no duty to defend its insured in two state court proceedings, the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court granting the declaratory judgment for the insurer, holding that the district court correctly determined that the claims against the insured in both lawsuits fell outside the professional liability coverage provided by the insurance policy. The insured, a physician, was the defendant in two civil suits filed in state courts in Maine and Maryland. The insured’s ex-wife claimed that the insured used his status as a doctor to obtain her medical records during their deteriorating marriage so that he could harass and embarrass her. The district court concluded that the insurer had no duty to defend the insured in either lawsuit. The First Circuit affirmed after a close review of the policy at issue, holding that the insurer had no duty to defend the insured in either the Maryland or the Maine proceedings. View "Medical Mutual Insurance Co. of Maine v. Burka" on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The First Circuit reversed in part the district court’s grant of summary judgment against Plaintiff, a faculty member, on her claim of retaliation under Title VII and the Maine Human Rights Act against Defendant, the university that employed her, holding that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment. In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged that the university retaliated against her after she complained about sexual harassment by her department chair and supervisor. The alleged retaliatory acts included Plaintiff’s transfer to a new department after obtaining her consent to transfer by making misrepresentations about how the transfer would affect her professional responsibilities. The First Circuit remanded the case, holding that summary judgment was improper because there were genuine disputes of material fact as to whether Defendant misled Plaintiff into transferring departments and as to whether Plaintiff’s transfer was the true reason for her change in teaching assignments. View "Carlson v. University of New England" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit dismissed this appeal in part for want of appellate jurisdiction and otherwise affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the underlying action asserting a claim under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), 28 U.S.C. 1350, and common-law claims for negligence and civil conspiracy, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider two of Defendant's claims on appeal. Plaintiff’s complaint premised jurisdiction both on the ATS and on diversity of citizenship. Plaintiff also invoked the district court’s supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. The district court dismissed the ATS claim for want of subject-matter jurisdiction and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. Defendant appealed. The First Circuit held (1) this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s request to purge certain unflattering comments from the district court’s opinion; (2) judicial estoppel barred Defendant’s argument that the district court, even after dismissing the ATS claim, had an alternative basis for federal subject-matter jurisdiction; (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state-law claim; and (4) this Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain Defendant’s claim that the district court erred in declining to grant his first motion to dismiss. View "Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively" on Justia Law