Employment, Immigration, and Property Matters - Property Law - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Employment, Immigration, and Property Matters

Mutuku v. Holder, No. 05-73609, involved a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal of the immigration judge's ("IJ") denial of her claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture.  The court of appeals granted the petition in part, holding that 1) the IJ's adverse credibility finding was premised on a clearly erroneous factual finding; and 2) substantial evidence did not support the IJ's finding that conditions in Kenya had improved for members of the Democratic Party to such an extent that petitioner no longer had a well-founded fear of returning to Kenya.  However, the court denied the petition in part because the record did not compel a finding that petitioner would likely be tortured if she were to return to Kenya.

Ojo v. Farmers Grp., Inc., No. 06-55522, involved a disparate impact suit alleging the discriminatory provision of homeowner's insurance in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA).  The court of appeals stayed further proceedings, holding that 1) the FHA prohibited discrimination in the denial and pricing of homeowner's insurance; and 2) the reverse-preemption standard set forth in the McCarran-Ferguson Act applied to claims brought under latter enacted civil rights statutes such as the FHA, and certifying to the Texas Supreme Court the issue of whether Texas law permitted an insurance company to price insurance by using credit-score factors that had a racially disparate impact that, were it not for the McCarran-Ferguson Act, would violate the FHA.

Serra v. Lappin, No. 08-15969, concerned an action by prisoners claiming that the low wages they were paid for work performed in prison violated their rights under the Fifth Amendment and various sources of international law.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the aciton, holding that prisoners had no enforceable right to be paid for their work under the Constitution or international law.

Ramirez-Villalpando v. Holder, No. 08-72102, involved a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming an order of removal based on petitioner's conviction for an aggravated felony.  The court of appeals denied the petition, holding that petitioner's prior conviction for grand theft under California Penal Code section 487(a) qualified as an aggravated felony under the modified categorical approach.

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