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Criminal and Water Law Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on April 07, 2010 2:29 PM

US v. Orr Water Ditch Co., No. 07-17001, involved an Indian tribe's appeal from Nevada State Engineer Ruling 5747, allocating groundwater in the Tracy Segment Hydrographic Basin, on the ground that the ruling adversely affected the tribe's water rights under a consent decree.  The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, on the grounds that 1) the decree forbade groundwater allocations that adversely affected the tribe's decreed rights to water flows in the river; and 2) the federal district court had jurisdiction over an appeal from groundwater allocations by the Engineer that were alleged to have such an adverse effect.

In White v. Martel, No. 08-16387, the court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of petitioner's habeas petition as untimely, holding that 1) the adequacy analysis used to decide procedural default issues was inapplicable to the issue of whether a state petition was "properly filed" for purposes of 28 U.S.C. section 2244(d)(2); and 2) petitioner's delay did not demonstrate the diligence required for application of equitable tolling.

In US v. Tello, No. 08-50579, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for using a means of interstate commerce to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in a sexual activity for which he could be charged with a criminal offense, on the ground that defendant could have been convicted of a criminal offense under California law, even if he intended to engage in sexual activity with the minor only after returning to Arizona.

US v. Andrews, No. 09-30072, concerned defendant's appeal from a restitution order imposed pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act following his guilty plea to an assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  The Ninth Circuit remanded for a renewed restitution proceeding, holding that the district court abused its discretion in precluding defendant's expert witness from testifying regarding the proximate cause of the victim's injuries.

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