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Government's Foreclosure of Property Held As Tenants By the Entirety, Plus Criminal, Education and Administrative Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff | Last updated on

US v. People First of Tennessee, 09-5474, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of the State of Tennessee's motion under Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 60(b)(5), requesting the court to vacate the injunctive relief and dismiss the case, in a case arising from the district court's original 1993 ruling that the state was violating the substantive due process rights of mentally retarded residents at a state operated home for mentally retarded individuals.  In affirming, the court held that the state has not put forward a single case or statute that could qualify as the significant change in law required to satisfy its initial burden under Rufo v. Inmates of Suffolk County Jail, 502 U.S. 367 (1992), and in light of this failure, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to revisit the original judgment.

  • US v. Barr, 09-1710, concerned the government's suit against defendant and his wife, seeking to foreclose a federal tax lien, created by the couple's debt for unpaid income taxes, against the home that the couple own as tenants by the entirety.  In affirming the district court's determination that foreclosure was appropriate, the court held that the district court correctly determined that the wife is entitled to fifty percent of the proceeds of the foreclosure sale.  Further, even if the Court in US v. Rodgers, 461 U.S. 677 (1983) had intended to mandate application of its four-part balancing test prior to any court-ordered foreclosure sale under section 7403, the decision of the district court would still be affirmed as there is no evidence that the district court abused its discretion.

    Traverse Bay Area Intermediate Sch. Dist. v. Michigan Dep't of Educ., 08-1228, involved a school district's suit against various state agencies, for the alleged failure to maintain procedural due process protections in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA).  In affirming the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's amended complaint, the court held that the IDEA does not provide school districts with an express or implied right to compel state defendants' compliance with section 1415(b)'s procedural safeguards absent an underlying claim that directly involves a disabled child's individual educational program (IEP).

    Pinchon v. Myers, 07-6496, concerned a challenge to the dismissal of defendant's claims in habeas proceedings of a defendant convicted of first degree murder of his adult male lover and sentenced to life in prison (defendant was seventeen at the time of his arrest and tried as an adult).  In affirming, the court held that the district court did not err in concluding that defendant's amended petition was untimely because his ineffective assistance of counsel claims do not relate back to his original petition.  Further, the court held that defendant failed to timely raise his claim that the district court erred in concluding that his ineffective assistance claim was procedurally defaulted and, that defendant has not shown that the jury's verdict was an unreasonable determination in light of the evidence presented at trial, nor has he shown that the state court's decision was contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law.

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