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Online Defamation Claim Dismissal Affirmed, and Criminal, Immigration and Tax Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on August 05, 2010 8:56 AM

Johnson v. Arden, No. 09-2601, involved an action making multiple claims against several defendants as a result of allegedly defamatory statements posted on an internet discussion board.  The court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, on the grounds that 1) defendants did not originate the material that the plaintiffs deemed damaging; 2) the record contained no evidence that defendant designed its website to be a portal for defamatory material or do anything to induce defamatory postings; and 3) there was no evidence that the website at issue specifically targeted Missouri.

Nyrop v. Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 11, No. 09-2083, concerned an action by a school district employee claiming that defendant school district failed to reasonably accommodate her disability.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant on the grounds that 1) plaintiff failed to demonstrate that her physical impairments substantially limited any major life activity; and 2) plaintiff failed to present a question of material fact precluding summary judgment on her regarded-as-disabled claim.

Renteria-Ledesma v. Holder, No. 09-1526, involved a petition for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that upheld the denial of the petitioners' applications for adjustment of status, filed pursuant to 8 U.S.C. section 1255(i).  The court denied the petition on the ground that the BIA's action based on the authority of In re Briones, 24 I. & N. Dec. 355 (BIA 2007), which held that aliens inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. section 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) are not eligible for adjustment of status under § 1255(i), was reasonable.

In US v. Chapman, No. 09-1697, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for receipt of stolen firearms, unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon, and unlawful possession of ammunition as a previously convicted felon on the ground that a knowing recipient of stolen firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 922(j), like a felon in possession of stolen firearms, would not necessarily violate the Iowa felony theft statute, because the federal statute did not require value in excess of $1000, and thus defendant's sentence did not involve double-counting.

In US v. Thomas, No. 09-2655, the court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm, holding that 1) in a prosecution under 18 U.S.C. section 922(g)(1), it was well settled that the government need only prove defendant's status as a convicted felon and knowing possession of the firearm; and 2) defense counsel agreed with the probation officer's defense of the enhancements recommended by the presentence report.

Garcia v. Holder, No. 08-3918, concerned a petition for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the immigration judge's (IJ) order of removal for having been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.  The court denied the petition on the grounds that 1) intent to deceive for the purpose of wrongfully obtaining a benefit was an essential element of 42 U.S.C. section 408(a)(7)(B); and 2) the mere fact that Congress chose to exempt a certain class of aliens from prosecution for certain acts did not necessarily mean that those acts do not involve moral turpitude in other contexts.

Anuforo v. Comm'r of Internal Rev., No. 09-2375, involved a challenge to penalties for incomplete tax payments imposed by the IRS.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant on the grounds that 1) even if the government did fail to serve notice and demand of the assessments upon plaintiff, the government could still bring its counterclaim against plaintiff regarding certain penalties; and 2) the record was replete with evidence that plaintiff had knowledge of his outstanding trust-fund employment tax debts, and nevertheless continued to make payments to other creditors and to employees.

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