Civil Rights, Criminal, Environmental, Immigration and Property Law Cases - Civil Rights Law - U.S. Ninth Circuit
U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Civil Rights, Criminal, Environmental, Immigration and Property Law Cases

The Ninth Circuit decided a variety of cases today. Here's the run-down:

Najmabadi v. Holder, No. 05-72401, involved a petition for review of the BIA's order denying petitioner's motion to reopen her removal proceedings on the basis of changed conditions in Iran.  The court of appeals denied the petition, holding that 1) substantial evidence supported the Board's finding that the evidence petitioner submitted in her motion to reopen was not qualitatively different from the evidence presented at the original hearing; and 2) there was no evidence establishing that returnees from the U.S. would likely face persecution.

Native Ecosystems Council v. Tidwell, No. 06-35890, involved an action challenging the Forest Service's approval of a project to update grazing allotments in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.  The court of appeals reversed summary judgment for defendant, on the grounds that 1) because the Forest Service's environmental assessment was based on a nonexistent management indicator species, its habitat proxy analysis was not reliable; and 2) the Forest Service failed to take the requisite "hard look" at the project as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

Tampubolon v. Holder, No. 06-70811, involved a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioners' asylum application.  The court granted the petition in part, on the ground that the BIA erred in failing to apply disfavored group analysis to petitioners' withholding claim because the record compelled a finding that Christians in Indonesia are a disfavored group.  However, the court denied the petition in part, holding that the BIA's failure to address two irrelevant cases did not render the proceeding fundamentally unfair.

Martinez v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., No. 07-17277, concerned an action under Section 8(b) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL), claiming that a mortgage lender charged plaintiffs an illegal underwriting fee.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, on the grounds that 1) the clear and unambiguous language of RESPA Section 8(b) did not reach the practice of "overcharging"; and 2) the UCL claims alleging "unfair" and "fraudulent" conduct were preempted by the National Bank Act, and the allegations of "illegal" conduct failed to state a claim.

Espinosa v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 08-16853, was a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action claiming excessive force by defendants-officers.  The court of appeals affirmed the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity, holding that 1) defendants failed to show as a matter of law that plaintiff's decedent did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy; 2) the district court properly found that defendants failed to show as a matter of law that the emergency and exigency exceptions to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement applied; 3) defendants failed to show that there were no questions of fact regarding whether a security guard had apparent authority to consent and implied consent; and 4) the district court did not err in finding that there were genuine issues of fact regarding whether the officers intentionally or recklessly provoked a confrontation.

In US v. Cha, No. 09-10147, the court of appeals affirmed the grant of defendant's motion to suppress evidence, holding that the warrantless seizure of defendants' residence, which lasted a minimum of 26.5 hours, was constitutionally unreasonable.

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