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Criminal and Immigration Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on April 06, 2010 4:46 PM

Lui v. Holder, No. 08-3651, concerned a petition for review of the BIA's order removing petitioners to Hong Kong, denying them relief from removal in the form of adjustment of status, and denying them the alternative relief of voluntary departure.  The court of appeals denied the petition, on the grounds that 1) petitioners did not argue that they qualify for any exception to the exhaustion requirement as to their argument that the Immigration Judge improperly considered certain documents; and 2) although it was improper for the BIA to determine that petitioner had no qualifying relative, there was no reason to remand the matter because the improperly found fact was extraneous.

In US v. Hernandez-Mendoza, No. 08-3899, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's drug conspiracy convictions, on the grounds that 1) an officer who searched defendants' vehicle did not violate defendants' Fourth Amendment rights by extending the traffic stop to search their vehicle, because he had probable cause to believe there was contraband in the vehicle; 2) from the perspective of defendants, there was nothing so coercive about the officer's simple act of leaving them alone in the patrol car that would justify characterizing the officer's behavior as interrogation; and 3) the circumstantial evidence introduced at trial was sufficient to support the jury's findings of defendants' knowledge.

In US v. Winters, No. 09-1740, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's drug possession conviction, holding that 1) even assuming an arresting officer's report qualified as newly discovered evidence, it fell far short of being the kind of substantial evidence that would authorize the district court to disregard the law of the case; 2) a search of defendant's vehicle was constitutionally reasonable for two reasons: the totality of the circumstances provided probable cause to search, and there was reason to believe that evidence of the crime for which defendant was arrested might be found; and 3) the time from the filing of a defendant's motion to suppress until the conclusion of the appellate process directly attributable to that motion was properly excluded under article IV(a) of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act.

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