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Judicial Estoppel Re Debtor's Sexual Harassment Suit Against Employers, Plus Immigration and Criminal Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 11, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

White v. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc., 09-5626, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants based on a claim of judicial estoppel, in plaintiff's sexual harassment suit against her former employers seeking $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.  In affirming, the court held that plaintiff asserted a position before the bankruptcy court that was contrary to the position that she asserted before the district court as she did not disclose her sexual harassment claim against defendants in her initial bankruptcy filings.  The court also held that the plaintiff had a motive to conceal and knowledge of the factual basis of her harassment claim, and the evidence plaintiff presented of her attempts to advise the bankruptcy court and the trustee of her harassment claim does not excuse her initial omission.

  • US v. Eubanks, 09-1254, concerned a challenge to the district court's use of defendant's juvenile conviction for felonious assault to enhance his sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), in a prosecution of defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  In affirming, the court held that the district court did not err in concluding that defendant's 1992 juvenile conviction is an ACCA predicate offense as the ACCA requires the federal court to look to the law of the state to determine the status of a defendant's prior convictions, and here, the Michigan Court Rules provide for the destruction of certain juvenile records when the offender turns thirty, but they do not expunge or set aside any juvenile conviction or prevent the use of that conviction by the sentencing judge in later state court proceedings.  Further, defendant's alternative argument that the district court's procedures, in making the determination that his juvenile conviction qualified as a predicate offense, was erroneous is rejected.

    Japarkulova v. Holder, 09-3583, concerned a petition for review, by a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic, of an order of the BIA denying her application for asylum.  In denying the petition, the court held that,  although the Board erred by failing to provide a reasoned explanation for its conclusion that petitioner did not experience past persecution, the error was harmless.  The court also held that substantial evidence supports the Board's conclusion that petitioner did not establish a well-founded fear of future persecution.

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