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Decisions In Criminal & Immigration Matters, Plus Dismissal of Next Friends' Suit Reversed

By FindLaw Staff on June 18, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In Elliot v. Carcieri, No. 09-1759, concerned a class action lawsuit on behalf of foster care children who are under the legal custody of Rhode Island's Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), claiming that systematic deficiencies in the state's child welfare and foster care systems deprived the plaintiffs of their rights under the U.S. Constitution and several federal statutes.  In reversing the district court's judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that the Next Friends lacked capacity to sue on behalf of plaintiffs, the court held that the district court erred in finding that the state appointed guardians ad litem or CASA advocates precluded plaintiffs from filing suit by a Next Friend.  Further, under the circumstances of the case, Rule 17(c) allows federal courts discretion to appoint a Next Friend to represent the children in federal court. Finally, the court held that the proposed Next Friends are suited to represent the children in this case.   

US v. Jackson, No. 09-1202, Denial of a motion to suppress in a conviction of defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm is affirmed as, the district court's judgment was neither unreasonable nor clear error as under Justice Kennedy's test, the lack of any pre-planned evasion of Miranda defeats defendants claim, and under the plurality decision's fact sensitive approach, the most egregious elements of Seibert are absent.   

US v. Crooker, No. 07-1964, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for transporting a firearm in interstate commerce as a convicted felon and sentenced to 262 months' imprisonment.  In reversing the conviction, the court remanded the case for the entry of judgment of acquittal as, on the facts of this case, a silencer cannot qualify as a "firearm" within the meaning of the statutory definition.   

Lastly, in Aponte v. Holder, No. 09-2408, the First Circuit dealt with a citizen of the Dominican Republic's petition for review of a decision denying her motion to reopen removal proceedings.  In granting the petition, the court held that the BIA abused its discretion by issuing an inadequately reasoned decision denying petitioner's motion to reopen. 

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