Justia U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law
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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition to review a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying his requests for asylum and withholding of removal under the Immigration and Naturalization Act and for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that substantial evidence supported the BIA's decision.Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) Petitioner failed to establish that he had been persecuted or had a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and (2) the record did not compel a conclusion that state actors would be complicit in torturing him in the future. View "Celicourt v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of the final decision of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the FMSCA) determining that Sorreda Transport, LLC's business safety rating was unsatisfactory, holding that the the FMSCA's findings and conclusions were supported by substantial evidence in the record and its decision denying Sorreda's petition for review was not arbitrary or capricious.After the FMSCA, an agency within the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry, used a notice informing Sorreda of its proposed unsatisfactory rating, Sorreda appealed. The FMSCA issued a final order denying Sorreda's petition for administrative review. Sorreda then filed a timely petition for review in the First Circuit. The First Circuit denied the petition, holding that the FMSCA's findings were supported by substantial evidence and that its determination that Sorreda's business safety rating was unsatisfactory was neither arbitrary nor capricious under the applicable regulations. View "Sorreda Transport, LLC v. United States Department of Transportation" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of a final order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that Petitioner's claims were unavailing.After Petitioner was placed in removal proceedings he sought asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT. The immigration judge (IJ) denied relief. The BIA affirmed and, pursuant to the IJ's order, granted Petitioner voluntary departure. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) Petitioner did not establish that he was eligible for asylum; (2) the resolution of Petitioner's asylum claim also disposed of his withholding of removal claim; and (3) Petitioner's claim related to the denial of his request for CAT protection was waived. View "Zhakira v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of determinations by the immigration judge (IJ) and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying Petitioner's request for withholding of removal and voluntary departure, holding that there was no abuse of discretion or error of law.Petitioner was arrested in Connecticut on criminal charges. When served with a notice to appear in immigration court, Petitioner requested withholding of removal and voluntary departure. The IJ ruled against Petitioner, and Petitioner appealed. Before the IJ made its ruling Petitioner's wife filed an I-130 petition on his behalf. While Petitioner's appeal to the BIA was pending, Petitioner's charges in Connecticut were dropped and his I-130 petition was approved. Based on these developments, Petitioner moved to remand his case to the IJ. The BIA denied Petitioner's appeal and his motion to remand. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding (1) Petitioner's withholding of removal claim failed; (2) the IJ did not err in denying Petitioner's application for voluntary departure; (3) the IJ did not err in denying Petitioner's motion for a continuance; and (4) the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner's motion to remand. View "Lee v. Barr" 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) affirming the judgment of the immigration judge (IJ) denying Petitioner's applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that Petitioner's claims failed.Petitioner, an Ecuadorian national, conceded removability and applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT protection. The IJ determined that Petitioner had failed to substantiate any of his three claims and denied relief. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that substantial evidence supported the agency's findings. View "Loja-Tene v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied the petition filed by United Nurses and Allied Professionals (the Union) for review of the decision of the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) ruling that lobbying expenses are categorically not chargeable to objecting employees, holding that unions cannot require objectors to contribute toward lobbying costs.Jeanette Geary worked as a nurse at a Rhode Island hospital where the Union was the exclusive bargaining representative. Geary challenged the Union's decision to charge her for some of its 2009 lobbying expenses and to refuse her a letter verifying that its expenses were examined by an independent auditor. The Board ruled in favor of Geary. The First Circuit upheld the decision, holding (1) the Board's decision on the Union's lobbying expenses comported with Supreme Court decisions addressing the changeability of lobbying expenses by public-sector unions; and (2) the Board's determination requiring the Union to provide Geary a letter signed by an auditor verifying that the financial information disclosed to the objectors had been independently audited was reasonable. View "United Nurses & Allied Professional v. National Labor Relations Board" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Appellant's petition for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing Appellant's appeal from the decision of the immigration judge (IJ) denying Appellant's application for asylum, withholding of removal (WOR), and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), holding that the conclusions of the IJ and BIA were supported by substantial evidence.Appellant, a Honduran national, filed an application for asylum, WOR, and CAT relief. The IJ denied Appellant's applications and ordered that he be removed to Honduras. The BIA dismissed Appellant's petition for asylum and WOR and denied his application for protection under CAT. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the BIA and IJ's conclusion that Appellant did not show that the government of Honduras was unable or unwilling to protect him was supported by substantial evidence; and (2) Appellant did not establish that it was more likely than not that he would be tortured if removed to Honduras. View "Gomez-Medina v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction granted to Plaintiffs in this case, holding that the district court abused its discretion in finding that Plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their arguments challenging United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) policy of civilly arresting individuals attending court on official business.In 2018, ICE issued a directive formalizing its policy of arresting allegedly removable noncitizen in and around state courthouses when they appeared for judicial proceedings. Plaintiffs sued ICE, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and three DHS officials (collectively, Defendants), challenging the directive and ICE's policy. The district court determined that Plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their argument that ICE lacked statutory authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101-1537, to conduct such arrests and preliminarily enjoined ICE from implementing the directive or otherwise civilly arresting individuals attending court on official business anywhere in Massachusetts. The First Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction and remanded the case, holding that Plaintiffs failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits, and the district court's contrary ruling was based on a material error of law. View "Ryan v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted the petition filed by Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC for rehearing as to remedy in this case where the First Circuit vacated the grant of an air permit by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a proposed natural gas compression station and remanded the case to that agency, holding that the remedy granted is remand without vacatur.On June 3, 2020, the First Circuit issued an opinion vacating the air permit for the proposed compressor station to be built as part of Algonquin's Atlantic Bridge Project, holding that the DEP did not follow its own established procedures for assessing whether an electric motor was the Best Available Control Technology (BACT). The Court's remedy was to vacate the air permit and remand to the DEP to redo the BACT. Given new developments that will materially the "balance of equities and public interest considerations," the First Circuit altered its remedy and revised its opinion to reflect that the remedy granted is remand without vacatur. View "Town of Weymouth v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied Petitioner's petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that denied Petitioner's motion to reconsider his motion to reopen removal proceedings, holding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion.Petitioner, a native and citizen of the Dominican Republic, was charged with being removable from the United States. The Immigration Judge (IJ) sustained the charge of removability and denied Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) this Court's precedent forecloses the argument that the IJ lacked jurisdiction to issue the order of removal; (2) the BIA did not abuse its discretion in denying Petitioner's motion to reconsider its denial of Petitioner's motion to reopen; and (3) the BIA did not err in finding that Petitioner failed to make the requisite prima facie case. View "Franjul-Soto v. Barr" on Justia Law