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

Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law
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The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting Appellee's petition for a writ of habeas corpus and ordering the immigration judge (IJ) to conduct a new bond hearing, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that Appellee was entitled to a new hearing.Appellee was detained under 8 U.S.C. 1226(a) and was denied bond at a hearing before an IJ, who placed the burden on Appellee to prove he was neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk. Appellee subsequently petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that his constitutional due process right required the government - not him - to bear the burden of proof at his bond hearing. The district court agreed and ordered the IJ to conduct a new bond hearing at which the government would bear the burden of proof. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Appellee was entitled to a new hearing before an IJ at which the government will bear the burden of proving either dangerousness or a flight risk in order to continue detaining Appellee. View "Doe v. Tompkins" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the district court granting Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus and ordering the immigration judge (IJ) to conduct a second bond hearing, holding that remand was required.Petitioner, who entered the United States without being admitted or paroled, was arrested and detained pending a determination of her removability. Petitioner was subsequently denied bond at a hearing in which the IJ placed the burden on Petitioner to prove that she was neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk. The district court ordered the IJ to conduct a second bond hearing at which the government bore the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that Petitioner was either a danger or a flight risk. After a second hearing, the IJ released Petitioner on bond. The First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the government need not prove a detainee's flight risk by clear and convincing evidence; and (2) the judgment is otherwise affirmed. View "Hernandez-Lara v. Lyons" on Justia Law

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In this action brought by a group of twenty-five acute-care hospitals in Puerto Rico that received disproportionate share hospital payments (DHS payments) from the government, the First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court denying relief on Plaintiffs' allegations that the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services improperly calculated their DSH payments, holding that the district court did not err.When Congress included hospitals in Puerto Rico in providing coverage for the DSH reimbursement program, the DSH payments were often substantially less than the DSH payments provided to similarly-situated hospitals in the states. This disparity was the result of the application to hospitals in Puerto Rico of the existing statutory formula used to calculate DSH payments to hospitals in the states. Plaintiffs brought this action challenging the Secretary's interpretation and application of the statutory formula, arguing that it was inconsistent with the Medicare Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. The district court denied relief. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the Secretary did not err in implementing the statute and that Plaintiffs failed to show that they were the victims of any unconstitutional discrimination by the Secretary. View "Asociacion Hospital del Maestro, Inc. v. Becerra" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's claims for mandamus and relief under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), vacated the dismissal of Appellant's equal protection and due process claims and held that certain of the challenged rules challenged by Appellant were arbitrary and unenforceable.Appellant, a law firm, sued the Social Security Administration (SSA) challenging "the [SSA]'s byzantine and irrational rules that govern payment pf attorney's fees in Social Security disability cases." The district court dismissed Appellant's mandamus and APA claims on the grounds that sovereign immunity barred the mandamus claim and that the firm's challenges to the agency's fee-paying procedures were statutorily barred. The court later granted summary judgment for the SSA on the remaining three claims. The First Circuit held (1) mandamus relief was unavailable here because Appellant had another avenue for obtaining relief; and (2) the SSA's practice of denying attorneys fees under certain circumstances was arbitrary, and therefore, the rule must be eliminated. View "Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP v. Collins" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied one of Petitioner's petitions for review of two decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) but granted the other petition, holding that the government failed to prove that the BIA, in overturning an immigration judge's (IJ) ruling granting Petitioner adjustment of status, considered hardship as it was required to do.The two decisions at issue were: (1) the BIA's 2011 ruling affirming the denial of Petitioner's application for asylum, withholding or removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT); and (2) the BIA's 2017 ruling reversing the grant of Petitioner's application for adjustment of status. The First Circuit denied Petitioner's 2011 petition and granted his 2017 petition, holding (1) there was no merit to any of Petitioner's challenges to the BIA's affirmance of the IJ's denial of his asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT claims; and (2) the BIA erred in denying Petitioner's application for adjustment of status because it ignored altogether a particularly salient aspect of the hardship showing that Petitioner was trying to make. View "Perez-Trujillo v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit granted the application of the National Labor Relations Board for enforcement of one of its orders and struck those portions of the order requiring Maine Coast Regional Health Facilities, d/b/a Maine Coast Memorial Hospital (MCMH) to post repudiation notices at facilities operated by other corporate entities, holding that the Board improperly extended its remedy to MCMH's parent corporation.The Board concluded the MCMH violated violated federal labor laws but firing an employee after she wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper and committed a separate violation by maintaining a media policy prohibiting contact between employees and the media. The Board extended its remedy to Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS), MCMH's parent corporation, which was not a party to the proceeding. The Board then sought enforcement of its order. The First Circuit granted the application but struck the pertinent portions of the order, holding that there was no basis for concluding that EMHS was joined as a party or that MCMH consented to extending the remedy beyond its corporate borders. View "National Labor Relations Board v. Maine Coast Regional Health Facilities" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit denied in part and dismissed Petitioner's petition for judicial review challenging the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reversing an immigration judge's (IJ) grant of Petitioner's application for cancellation of removal, holding that the Court lacked jurisdiction.In reversing the IJ's decision, the BIA concluded that Petitioner had not met the required "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" standard. On appeal, Petitioner argued that the BIA applied the wrong legal standard and ignored its own precedent when it overturned the IJ's grant of his application for cancellation of removal. The denied in part and dismissed this appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding (1) the BIA did not commit legal error in concluding that Petitioner had not met his burden to show that his removal would result in "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to his family; (2) as to Petitioner's argument that the BIA's decision was legally unsound, his claim failed on the merits; and (3) this Court lacked jurisdiction over Petitioner's remaining arguments. View "Tacuri-Tacuri v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit resolved a portion of Appellant's appeal in this opinion addressing the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Town of Brookline, Massachusetts, the Brookline Board of Selectmen, the Town's counsel and Human Resources director, and select members of the Board, holding that the summary judgment is affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded for further proceedings.Plaintiff, black man, brought this suit alleging that during his employment as a firefighter, he had been discriminated against and retaliated against for reporting discriminatory conduct. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The First Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the summary judgment granted in favor of Defendants, holding that the district court erred in granting summary judgment as to Plaintiff's retaliation claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the Town, the Board, and certain members of the Board, in their personal and official capacities. The Court then remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Alston v. Town of Brookline, Mass." on Justia Law

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In this case arising from what the Social Security Administration (SAA) did to Appellants, Marie Pagan-Lisboa and Daniel Justiniano-Ramirez, after Jose Hernandez-Gonzalez and Samuel Torres-Crespo admitted to fraudulently helping people get disability-insurance benefits from the SAA, the First Circuit held that Appellants were entitled to a new redetermination proceeding.With the help of Hernandez-Gonzalez and Torres-Crespo, Pagan-Lisboa applied for and started getting disability benefits from the SAA. An ALJ determined that Pagan-Lisboa did not have sufficient evidence to support her initial benefits claim and terminated her benefits. An ALJ also canceled Justiniano-Ramirez's benefits benefits on the grounds that Hernandez-Gonzalez had provided fraudulent evidence in support of the benefits. Thereafter, Appellants sued a putative class action, arguing that the SAA could not terminate their benefits without letting them contest the existence of fraud in their cases. The court of appeals affirmed the ALJ's decision in Justiniano-Ramírez's case and remanded Pagan-Lisboa's case back to the agency. The First Circuit held (1) the judge erred in not accepting Justiniano-Ramírez's amended complaint, which showed that he had exhausted his administrative remedies; and (2) the judge did not wrongly dismiss Appellants' policy challenges to the redetermination procedure. View "Pagan-Lisboa v. Social Security Administration" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing the claims brought by two unions, which represented public employees in Puerto Rico, and one of their members against the United States, the Financial Oversight and Management Board, and the Commonwealth, holding that Plaintiffs lacked standing.In their complaint, Plaintiffs raised a range of claims under federal constitutional and international law concerning the legal status of Puerto Rico. The district court dismissed Plaintiffs' claims for declaratory relief for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that Plaintiffs failed to allege concrete and particularized injuries that their requested relief could redress. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs did not meet their burden to satisfy the federal constitutional requirements for standing. View "UECFSE v. United States" on Justia Law