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Iranian Embargo Violation Matter, and Civil Rights and Criminal Cases

By FindLaw Staff on May 05, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Porter v. Winter, No. 07-17120, concerned an action challenging the amount of attorney's fees awarded to him in Title VII administrative proceedings.  The court of appeals reversed the dismissal of the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that, under New York Gaslight Club, Inc. v. Carey, 447 U.S. 54 (1980), federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over claims brought solely to recover attorney's fees incurred in Title VII administrative proceedings.

Florer v. Congregation Pidyon Shevuyim, No. 07-35866, involved an action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act claiming that defendants improperly denied or substantially burdened his access to Jewish religious materials and services.  The Ninth Circuit reversed summary judgment for defendants, on the ground that there was a genuine issue whether defendants were willful participants in joint action with prison officials to determine eligibility for access to Jewish materials and services.

Collins v. Runnels, No. 08-17299, involved a prosecution for first degree murder and second degree robbery.  The court of appeals affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition, on the ground that clearly established Supreme Court precedent binding on the states did not require trial severance where a co-defendant presented a mutually antagonistic defense, because the cases upon which defendant relied for this argument did not bind the states, so the decision of the California Court of Appeal was not contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court.

In US v. Mousavi, No. 08-50454, the Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions for willfully providing services to Iran in violation of the International Economic Emergency Powers Act (IEEPA), and the Iranian Transaction Regulations (ITR), commonly referred to as the U.S.'s trade embargo against Iran, on the grounds that 1) the relevant provision of the ITR prohibited "any transaction or dealing in or related to" providing "[g]oods, technology or services" to Iran or its government, whether directly or indirectly; and 2) the Supreme Court had not interpreted "willfulness" in criminal statutes to require the government to prove that a defendant was aware of a specific licensing requirement.

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