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Banking, Civil Rights, Employment and Immigration Decisions

By FindLaw Staff on March 02, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Second Circuit decided cases concerning banking law, prisoner litigation, sex discrimination and immigration.

Vega v. Lantz, No. 08-4748, involved a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action claiming that plaintiff-inmate was improperly labeled as a sex offender in violation of the Due Process Clause.  The Second Circuit reversed summary judgment for plaintiff, holding that: 1) while it may be the case that, in certain circumstances, misclassification as a sex offender results in "stigma plus," this possibility was of no particular assistance to plaintiff because he did not establish a threshold requirement -- the existence of a reputation-tarnishing statement that was false; and 2) because current regulations did not prohibit prison officials from considering acquitted conduct when assigning a needs score, they did not support the existence of a liberty interest.

Castro v. Holder, No. 08-4820, involved a petition for review of a denial of petitioners' asylum application.  The Court of Appeals granted the petition on the ground that, instead of evaluating the claim against the backdrop of Guatemala's volatile political history, the Immigration Judge (IJ) short-circuited the analysis and dismissed petitioner's claim of political persecution by presuming that petitioner was targeted for his resistance to being recruited by corrupt officers, which the IJ believed to lack any political dimension, and for reporting the crimes of rogue police officers, which the IJ considered an occupational hazard of petitioner's job, and thus again non-political.

Brzak v. United Nations, No. 08-2799, concerned a sex discrimination action against the United Nations and various UN officials.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, on the grounds that where: 1) the UN and the related individual defendants had, respectively, absolute and functional immunity from suit; and 2) plaintiffs offered no principled arguments as to why the continuing existence of immunities violates the Constitution.

Ma v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., No. 08-4828, was an action against Merrill Lynch based on unauthorized transfers from plaintiff's investment account.  The Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendant, holding that New York U.C.C. Section 4-A-505, which imposes a one-year statute of repose on certain claims based on electronic funds transfers, bars plaintiffs' common law claims, which had longer limitations periods.

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