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Action by Native Hawaiians for Breach of Public Trust, and Contracts and Immigration Matters

By FindLaw Staff on July 27, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Day v. Apoliona, No. 08-16704, involved an action by native Hawaiians contending that the trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a Hawaii state agency that administered a portion of a public trust's proceeds, breached the trust.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendants, holding that 1) alleged violations of state laws regarding the management and disposition of funds were not necessarily breaches, under federal law, of the trust itself; and 2) nothing in the trust's terms or purposes either requires the kind of comparative analysis plaintiffs proposed or suggested that Congress intended to prohibit expenditures whose benefits may extend beyond the trust's purposes.

Mitchell v. CB Richard Ellis Long Term Disability Plan, No. 08-55277, involved an action seeking long-term disability benefits and attorneys' fees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The court of appeals affirmed judgment for plaintiff on the grounds that 1) the district court correctly held that plaintiff was eligible for benefits under defendant's policy, and 2) defendant failed to cross-claim for indemnification from a third party in the district court action.

Rahimzadeh v. Holder, No. 08-73985, involved a petition for review of the immigration judge's (IJ) order, affirmed by the BIA, granting petitioner withholding of removal to Iran, but denying asylum from, and withholding of removal to, the Netherlands.  The court of appeals denied the petition on the ground that substantial evidence in the record supported the IJ's conclusion that petitioner failed to carry his burden to show the inability or unwillingness of Dutch authorities to provide certain protection.

Afriyie v. Holder, No. 08-72626, concerned a petition for review of the denial of petitioner's application for asylum and withholding of removal, concluding that he failed to show that the Ghanaian government was unable or unwilling to protect him and, in the alternative, that he could safely relocate in his home country.  The court of appeals granted the petition on the ground that the BIA made numerous factual errors in its "unable or unwilling" analysis, ignoring evidence favorable to petitioner, misstating petitioner's testimony, and improperly treating as irrelevant police reports made by individuals other than petitioner.

Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mex. Grill, Inc., No. 08-55867, concerned an action under the Americans with Disabilities Act claiming that defendant-Chipotle restaurant did not take sufficient action to accommodate plaintiff-customer's disability.  The court of appeals affirmed partial judgment for plaintiff on the grounds that 1) the plain language of 28 C.F.R. section 36 did not cover defendant's food preparation counter; and 2) the wall subjected plaintiff to a disadvantage that non-disabled customers did not suffer.  However, the court reversed in part on the grounds that 1) the portion of the judgment determining that Chipotle's written policy did not violate the Act and that plaintiff was not entitled to an injunction was erroneous; 2) the district court needs to reexamine and reconsider its attorney's fee award in light of the partial reversal of its judgment; and 3) plaintiff was entitled to injunctive relief against the violative restaurant policies.

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