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Sexual Abuse Habeas Petition Denied, and Civil Rights, Criminal and Immigration Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 05, 2010 1:36 PM

In US v. Straw, No. 09-3298, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for wire fraud, mail fraud, making, possessing, and uttering a forged security, and money laundering, holding that ) it was not plain error for the district court to hear defendant's family member's statement because the statement concerned defendant's background, character, and conduct; 2) given the fact that the victims of defendant's wills-and-estate-planning scheme overlapped with the victims of other schemes, and that defendant used those seminars to find new victims for his other crimes and assess their financial situations, it was not clearly erroneous for the district court to determine they were part of the same course of conduct; and 3) the district court was aware of defendant's mental health issues and there was no evidence it disregarded them in varying upward.

In US v. Williams, No. 09-3126, the court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of one kilogram of heroin, on the grounds that 1) the circumstances of the investigation, the physical surveillance and the intercepted wiretap calls revealed defendant's participation in the heroin conspiracy; and 2) defendant's prior Illinois drug offense constituted a final, prior conviction for a felony drug offense under 18 U.S.C. section 841(b)(1)(A).

Villanueva v. Holder, No. 09-2573, concerned a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's motion to renew his application to adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident.  The court denied the petition on the ground that an alien that is inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. section 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) is not eligible for adjustment of status pursuant to section 1255(i).

Welch v. Lund, No. 09-3249, involved a prosecution for second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.  The court affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition on the grounds that petitioner did not properly exhaust his claims because: 1) an Iowa prisoner whose appeal is deflected to the Iowa Court of Appeals must file an application for further review in the Supreme Court of Iowa to exhaust his claims properly in the state courts; and 2) petitioner never filed a proper application for further review by the Supreme Court of Iowa.

Ginters v. Frazier, No. 09-1653, concerned an action for declaratory judgment asking the district court to declare unlawful the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) denial of an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and asking the district court to provide appropriate injunctive relief.  The court reversed the dismissal of the action on the ground that, in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Kucana, the jurisdictional bar of 8 U.S.C. section 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) did not preclude judicial review of the denial of an I-130 petition.

Rattray v. Woodbury Cty., No. 09-2314, an action against an Iowa county alleging that plaintiff was strip searched illegally as part of the booking process at the county jail.  The court affirmed the denial of plaintiff's motion for class certification on the grounds that: 1) the magistrate judge's determination that plaintiff had good cause for not asserting a class action before October 2007 did not dictate the conclusion on the separate motion to certify a class; and 2) plaintiff's failure to move to certify with alacrity undermines confidence in the zeal with which she would represent the interests of absent class members.

US v. $231,930.00 in US Currency, No. 09-3017, concerned an in rem forfeiture action by the government seeking forfeiture of defendant's currency.  The court affirmed the order of forfeiture on the grounds that 1) a traffic violation occurred, creating probable cause for the search of defendant's vehicle; 2) the facts did not show that the officer unconstitutionally extended the legal traffic stop; and 3) defendant made no effort to limit or stop the search once it began.

In US v. Bracamontes, No. 09-3897, the court defendant's convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and criminal forfeiture, holding that defendant's statements were internally contradictory and contradicted his wife's account of their journey, thus establishing the requisite reasonable suspicion to detain him for further investigation.

In US v. I.L., No. 09-3403, the court affirmed the district court's order transferring defendant for adult criminal prosecution on assault and murder charges, holding that the district court correctly construed 18 U.S.C. section 5032 to grant the authority to transfer defendant for adult criminal prosecution without the Omaha Tribe's consent.

In US v. Jeffries, No. 09-3377, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for abusive sexual contact with a child, holding that there was no support for defendant's contention that the recently enacted civil commitment provisions worked a significant change in the law, because there was no reason to conclude that the provisions at issue were meant to displace a district court's initial discretion to consider potential danger to the public in choosing a defendant's sentence.

In US v. Alvarado, No. 09-2988, the court affirmed defendants' convictions and sentences for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering, holding that 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea; 2) the district court did not clearly err in finding defendant's conduct amounted to obstruction of justice under U.S.S.G. section 3C1.1; and 3) the district court's finding that defendant obstructed justice under the facts of this case precluded safety valve relief.

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