U.S. Fourth Circuit: January 2011 Archives
U.S. Fourth Circuit - The FindLaw 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

January 2011 Archives

Lizama v. Holder, 09-2027

Petition for review BIA's denial of El Salvadoran's application for asylum and related relief

Lizama v. Holder, 09-2027, concerned an El Salvadoran's petition for review of a BIA's denial of his application for asylum and related relief.  The court dismissed petitioner's claim that the BIA erred in holding his asylum application to be untimely for lack of jurisdiction.  The court held that the finding that petitioner's purported group is not a "particular social group" for purposes of asylum is consistent with the applicable legal standards and supported by substantial evidence.  Lastly, the court held that substantial evidence supports the BIA's decision denying CAT relief as petitioner failed to establish that he will more likely than not be tortured if removed to El Salvador.

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Desmond v. PNGI Charles Town Gaming, 09-2189

FLSA action

Desmond v. PNGI Charles Town Gaming, 09-2189, concerned plaintiffs' suit against their former employer for unpaid overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 


US v. Peterson, 08-4889

Challenge to defendant's sentence as a career offender

US v. Peterson, 08-4889, concerned a challenge to the district court's imposition of a 420-month sentence in finding that defendant was a career offender under U.S.S.G. section 4B1.1(a) based on two prior felony convictions of a crime of violence, in a conviction of defendant for drug trafficking and firearm related crimes.  The court vacated the sentence and remanded in concluding that, defendant's prior involuntary manslaughter conviction  was not a crime of violence as defined by U.S.S.G. section 4B1.2(a) as it did not have any requirement of intent or mens rea.

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Cody v. Caterisano, 09-2166

Denial of attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act

Cody v. Caterisano, 09-2166, concerned an Irish national's petition for attorneys' fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, arguing that the Government's position was not substantially justified because United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was required to adjudicate his application within 120 days under 8 U.S.C. section 1447(b) and 8 C.F.R. section 310.5(a), and that USCIS was obligated to accept the Navy's Form N-426 certification as conclusive evidence that he served on active-duty status.


Bellotte v. Edwards, 10-1115

Civil rights action against police officers for no-knock entry into plaintiffs' family home

Bellotte v. Edwards, 10-1115, concerned plaintiffs' suit against police officers claiming several causes of action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and state law, arising from a late-night, no-knock entry into plaintiffs' family home on suspicion of child pornography related offenses.


Crespo v. Holder, 09-2214

Peruvian citizen's petition for review of BIA's denial of 8 U.S.C. section 1182(h) waiver

Crespo v. Holder, 09-2214, concerned a Peruvian citizen's petition for review of the denial of his 8 U.S.C. section 1182(h) waiver, claiming that the BIA erred in concluding that a 1997 adjudication under Virginia Code section 18.2-251 for possession of marijuana qualifies as a "conviction" under 8 U.S.C. section 1101(a)(48)(A).


US v. King, 07-4885

Conviction for drug and firearm related crimes

US v. King, 07-4885, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crimes, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

US v. Washington, 09-4446

Conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm

US v. Washington, 09-4446, concerned a challenge to the district court's finding that defendant's 1999 conviction for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance counts as his third conviction for purposes of sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act, in a conviction of defendant for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. 


Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Gaston Copper Recycling Corp., 06-1714

Action under the Clean Air Act

Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Gaston Copper Recycling Corp., 06-1714, concerned a plaintiff's suit against a former owner of a metals smelting facility for violations of the Clean Water Act.  In affirming in part, the decision of the district court's judgment, the court held that the plaintiffs maintained standing throughout their suit in the district court.  However, the court held that, based on the legal insufficiency of portions of the notice letter, the district court erred in finding violations and imposing penalties for all but the three violations for pH and copper.  Lastly, the court held that the district court erred in assessing penalties for 54 days of violations that were wholly past when the plaintiffs filed their complaint.

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Bonds v. Leavitt, 09-2179

Plaintiff's suit under Title VII, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and Civil Service Reform Act

Bonds v. Leavitt, 09-2179, concerned a plaintiff's suit against the then-Secretary of Health and Human Services, alleging Title VII claims, that she was retaliated against in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), and that she was unjustifiably terminated in violation of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA).