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Bankruptcy Court's Certification of Class of Debtors Vacated, and Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on June 21, 2010 11:15 AM

In re: Wilborn, No. 09-20415, involved an interlocutory appeal from the bankruptcy court's certification of a class action in an adversary proceeding.  The Fifth Circuit vacated the order, on the ground that a bankruptcy judge may certify a class of debtors under appropriate circumstances but that the proposed class in this case did not satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and Federal Bankruptcy Rule of Procedure 7023.

In US v. Velasquez-Torres, No. 09-40646, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's sentence for illegal reentry by a deported alien, holding that, having admitted the fact of his deportation as stated in the presentence report, defendant could not argue that the district court improperly relied on that deportation.

Balentine v. Thaler, No. 09-70026, involved a capital habeas petitioner's appeal from the denial of his motion to set aside the judgment that a year earlier had denied him habeas relief.  The court of appeals vacated, on the grounds that 1) petitioner's application stated a Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance of counsel claim, and the Fed. R. Crim. P. 60(b) motion did not present a new habeas claim barred by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act; 2) the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' ruling was not clearly based on an adequate state ground independent of the merits; and 3) the equities for Rule 60(b)(6) relief were compelling when the failure to investigate and present available mitigation evidence had already been found in the Section 2254 proceedings to be a substantial issue.

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