U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

January 2011 Archives

Learmonth v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., No. 09-60651

Non-Economic Damages Issue Certified

In Learmonth v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., No. 09-60651, an action claiming that defendant department store caused plaintiff injuries in an automobile accident, the Fifth Circuit certified the following question to the Supreme Court of Mississippi: "Is Section 11-1-60(2) of the Mississippi Code, which generally limits non-economic damages to $1 million in civil cases, constitutional?"


US v. Delgado, No. 07-41041

Marijuana Possession Conviction Vacated

In US v. Delgado, No. 07-41041, the court vacated defendant's conviction and sentence for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute where 1) there was no evidence that defendant entered into an agreement with anyone other than the informer to engage in anything beyond a simple buyer-seller transaction; and 2) two members of the prosecution team engaged in trial misconduct that was unfairly prejudicial to defendant.


Duvall v. Dallas Cty., No. 09-10660

Action for Infection Contracted in County Jail

In Duvall v. Dallas Cty., No. 09-10660, an action for personal injuries stemming from an infection that plaintiff contracted while incarcerated in a county jail, the court affirmed judgment for plaintiff where the record contained a surfeit of evidence that the county knew of the conditions complained of, yet continued to house inmates in those conditions.


Demiraj v. Holder, No. 08-60991

Denial of Asylum Application Affirmed

In Demiraj v. Holder, No. 08-60991, a petition for review of the decision of the BIA denying petitioners' applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture, the court denied the petition where 1) the record disclosed no evidence that petitoner would be targeted for her membership in her family as such; 2) the IJ had sufficient record evidence to conclude that the state was not "more likely than not" to acquiesce in torture and therefore also to deny relief under that treaty.

Hernandez v. Thaler, No. 10-50319

Aggravated Robbery Prosecution

In Hernandez v. Thaler, No. 10-50319, an aggravated robbery prosecution, the court denied  petitioner's motion for a certificate of appealability of the denial of his habeas petition where petitioner could not use Rule 60(b)(6) to circumvent the principle that, when the Supreme Court announces a new rule of law and applies it to the parties before it, the new rule was given retroactive effect only in cases that are still open on direct review.


US v. Rodriguez, No. 10-40023

Illegal Alien Transportation Sentence Vacated

In US v. Rodriguez, No. 10-40023, the court vacated defendant's sentence for unlawfully transporting illegal aliens within the United States by means of a motor vehicle for private financial gain where the district court erred by applying a reckless-endangerment enhancement.


US v. Oliver, No. 09-10133

Mail Fraud Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Oliver, No. 09-10133, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for aiding and abetting mail fraud and aggravated identity theft where the initial private search, which was reasonably foreseeable, and the searcher's act, later that day, of voluntarily giving authorities defendant's box, in which no reasonable expectation of privacy remained, rendered the subsequent police search permissible under the Fourth Amendment.


McAfee v. Thaler, No. 08-41230

Aggravated Robbery Habeas Petition Denied

In McAfee v. Thaler, No. 08-41230, a prosecution for aggravated robbery, the court affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition where the state court did not unreasonably apply Strickland's prejudice prong by finding that petitioner failed to establish an ineffective-assistance claim.


US v. Shabazz, No. 10-10553

Counterfeit Securities Prosecution

In US v. Shabazz, No. 10-10553, a prosecution for conspiracy to utter and possess counterfeit securities, the court affirmed defendant's sentence following the revocation of his supervised release where 18 U.S.C. section 3583(e)(3) did not require aggregation of imprisonment imposed upon revocation of supervised release and affirm the district court's revocation sentence.


US v. Hampton, No. 10-10035

Stolen Mail Sentence Affirmed

In US v. Hampton, No. 10-10035, a prosecution for conspiracy to possess stolen mail, the court affirmed defendant's sentence following the revocation of her supervised release, holding that 18 U.S.C. section 3583(e)(3) did not require aggregation of imprisonment imposed upon revocation of supervised release.


US v. Rubio, No. 09-20589

Illegal Reentry Sentence Affirmed

In US v. Rubio, No. 09-20589, the court affirmed defendant's illegal reentry sentence where defendant failed to satisfy his burden of proof in showing that his waiver of counsel was constitutionally invalid.