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Challenge to Governments' Retention and Use of DNA Profile, Plus Criminal & ERISA Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Boroian v. Mueller, 09-1630, concerned a challenge to the district court's dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, in plaintiff's suit challenging the government's retention and use of his DNA profile and sample now that he has successfully completed his term of probation for his federal conviction for making a false statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1001(a)(2).

In affirming, the court held that the present use of plaintiff's DNA profile - the retention and matching of his lawfully obtained profile against other profiles in the government database - does not constitute a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.  Also, the plaintiff has not sufficiently alleged any other present or imminent uses of his DNA profile to support an argument that his profile is being subjected to a new search, and plaintiff has failed to allege any present or imminent analysis of his DNA sample, thus, providing no factual basis for the argument that a future analysis of his sample would constitute a separate Fourth Amendment search.  Lastly, the court held that plaintiff has waived his continuing seizure challenge to the retention of his sample.

US v. Rosa-Carino, 08-1220, concerned a challenge to defendants' convictions for participating in a large, international conspiracy to import by sea more than 5 kilograms of cocaine from nations in the Carribean.  In affirming the convictions, the court held that the evidence supports the jury's assessment that defendant had the requisite knowledge.  Also, the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to preclude an officer from testifying as an expert on the price of drugs and the nature of drug organizations, nor in holding co-defendant responsible for 300 kilograms of cocaine.  The court held that the district court could easily conclude that co-defendant was at least as involved as his co-defendants.  Lastly, the district court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that a 235-month sentence fairly balanced mitigating factors and the seriousness of co-defendant's offense. 

Junta v. Thompson, 09-2333, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief from his 2002 conviction for involuntary manslaughter on the theory of unlawful killing by the commission of a battery.  In affirming, the court held that the Massachusetts Appeals Court's rejection of defendant's claim that the prosecution suppressed exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady was not unreasonable.

Griswold v. Driscoll, 09-2002, involved plaintiffs' suit against a Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education of Massachusetts, claiming that the Commissioner's revision of an advisory "curriculum guide" involving the Armenian genocide, in response to political pressure violated the First Amendment.  In affirming the district court's dismissal of the complaint, the court held that the revisions to the guide after its submission to legislative officials, even if made in response to political pressure, did not implicate the First Amendment.

Gastronomical Workers Union Local 610  v. Dorado Beach Hotel Corp., 08-2561, involved a suit brought by the trustees of a multi-employer pension fund against employers under 29 U.S.C. section 1132(a)(3), which supplies a cause of action in favor of an ERISA fiduciary, claiming that employers failed to make sufficient payments to keep the Fund in compliance with ERISA's minimum funding requirement for 2005.

The court vacated the district court's dollar-certain judgment as, the record states that, by the time the court entered the judgment, the deficiency may have vanished, and the record contains no explanation of the vanishing deficiency sufficient to salvage the judgment. The court also vacated the district court's order denying relief under section 502(g)(1) in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Hardt, and remanded for the district court to determine whether the trustees have achieved some degree of success on the merits, and decide whether to award attorneys' fees, costs, and/or other remedies encompassed within section 502(g)(1). Lastly, the court affirmed in part as, district court did not err in denying remediation under section 502(g)(2). 


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