U.S. Tenth Circuit: October 2010 Archives
U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

October 2010 Archives

US v. ConAgra, Inc., No. 09-1163

False Claims Act Action

In US v. ConAgra, Inc., No. 09-1163, an action under the reverse false claims provision of the False Claims Act (FCA), alleging that defendants altered thousands of beef and hide export certificates issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), rather than obtaining replacement certificates, in order to avoid paying the fees charged by the USDA for replacement certificates, the court affirmed partial judgment for plaintiff where 1) plaintiff effectively invited the district court to bifurcate the original source issue from the merits issues; 2) plaintiff's substantial rights were not adversely impacted by the district court's instructional error; and 3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing defendant to cross-examine plaintiff regarding his prior litigation history.

Klaas v. Apex Ins. Co., No. 09-9012

Tax Court Judgment Affirmed

In Klaas v. Apex Ins. Co., No. 09-9012, taxpayers' appeal from the decision by the United States Tax Court upholding the Commissioner's assessment of income tax deficiencies against the taxpayers for the taxable year 2001, the court affirmed the judgment where the taxpayers failed to show the Tax Court how they were prejudiced by the Commissioner's introduction of a legal theory in post-trial briefing.

Gee v. Pacheco, No. 08-8057

Taxpayer Appeal from Tax Court Decision

In Gee v. Pacheco, No. 08-8057, taxpayers' appeal from the decision by the United States Tax Court upholding the Commissioner's assessment of income tax deficiencies against the taxpayers for the taxable year 2001, the court affirmed the judgment where the taxpayers failed to show the Tax Court how they were prejudiced by the Commissioner's introduction of a legal theory in post-trial briefing.

Doe v. Shurtleff, No. 09-4162

Challenge to Utah Sex Offender Statute

In Doe v. Shurtleff, No. 09-4162, an appeal by a registered sex offender living in Utah from the district court's order allowing enforcement of a Utah statute requiring all sex offenders living in Utah to register their "internet identifiers" and the corresponding websites with the state, the court affirmed the order where 1) Utah's law provided sufficient safeguards so as to negate any potential fears of public disclosure of plaintiff's identity; and 2) the statute was not an impermissible ex post facto law.

 

US v. Huyoa-Jimenez, No. 09-1570

Illegal Reentry Sentence Vacated

In US v. Huyoa-Jimenez, No. 09-1570, the court vacated defendant's sentence for illegally reentering the U.S. where, when a defendant has received an entirely suspended sentence for a prior felony drug trafficking offense, no sentence is "imposed," and the district court should apply the eight-level enhancement.

DeFranco v. Storage Tech. Corp., No. 08-1095

Employment Contract Action

In DeFranco v. Storage Tech. Corp., No. 08-1095, an action for breach of contract and promissory estoppel based on alleged breaches of an employment agreement, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendants where 1) common law contract principles allowed for the formation of contracts without the signatures of the parties bound by them, and thus the written agreement making plaintiff an at-will employee bound defendant; and 2) because plaintiff could not show that he provided special consideration to defendant in exchange for defendant's alleged promise to provide permanent employment, no enforceable contract providing for anything other than employment at will existed.

US v. Rendon-Alamo, No. 10-2089

Illegal Reentry Sentence Affirmed

In US v. Rendon-Alamo, No. 10-2089, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for illegal reentry into the U.S. after a previous deportation where 1) in 2003, the Sentencing Commission added a commentary to U.S.S.G. section 2L1.2 defining the term "sentence imposed" to "include[] any term of imprisonment given upon revocation of probation, parole, or supervised release," and to "include" means "[t]o contain as a member of an aggregate"; and 2) thus, the district court's sentence was predicated on a correct calculation of the advisory Guidelines range.

Cohen v. Longshore, No. 09-1563

Denial of Motion to Amend Complaint Affirmed

In Cohen v. Longshore, No. 09-1563, plaintiff's appeal from the district court's denial of his motion to amend his complaint to state claims of false imprisonment and denial of access to the courts, the court reversed the order where 1) the district court abused its discretion when it denied the motion to file an amended complaint without any consideration of whether plaintiff had given an excusable cause for his delay in amending the complaint as directed; and 2) a petitioner who had no available remedy in habeas, through no lack of diligence on his part, was not barred by Heck from pursuing a section 1983 claim.

Chavez v. N. Mex. Pub. Educ. Dept., No. 09-2063

Partial Judgment for Student and School in IDEA Matter

In Chavez v. N. Mex. Pub. Educ. Dept., No. 09-2063, an action raising claims against a school district requesting equitable relief, including reimbursement for the efforts of plaintiff's mother to keep plaintiff at grade level while he was out of school, and seeking injunctive, declaratory and compensatory education, including systemic relief to ensure across New Mexico proper monitoring of children with autism and an adequate continuum of alternative placements for the child, the court affirmed in part the partial judgment for both parties where defendant did not either formally determine or find out that a regional or state delivery system was necessary or one or more students could best be served by a state or regional program.  However, the court reversed in part where the state education agency need not have been part of the administrative process here.

Dallakoti v. Holder, No. 09-9565

Denial of Petition for Review of BIA Order

In Dallakoti v. Holder, No. 09-9565, a petition for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which upheld an immigration judge's (IJ) denial of petitioner's application for asylum, restriction on removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the court denied the petition where a reasonable adjudicator would not be compelled to conclude that one of the central reasons the Maoists in petitioner's native country targeted petitioner was because of his family's or his own political beliefs.

US v. Washington, No. 08-3313

In US v. Washington, No. 08-3313, a cocaine base distribution prosecution, the court reversed the denial of petitioner's 28 U.S.C. section 2255 motion to vacate, correct, or set aside his sentence, holding that 1) counsel's failure to understand the basic mechanics of the sentencing guidelines and, in particular, his failure to advise petitioner regarding the impact of relevant conduct on his potential sentence prior to meeting with the probation officer, amounted to constitutionally deficient performance under Strickland; and 2) petitioner was prejudiced as a result of the above failures because the facts he conceded at his presentence interview disqualified him from obtaining a two-level reduction pursuant to the 2007 Crack Cocaine Amendments.