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Civil Rights Action by Protesters at 2004 Republican National Convention, and Immigration Case

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By FindLaw Staff on June 09, 2010 4:27 PM

In re the City of New York, No. 10-0237, involved a civil right action brought by protesters and others who were arrested at the 2004 Republican National Convention (RNC).  The court of appeals granted the City of New York's petition for a writ of mandamus vacating the district court's order granting plaintiffs' motion to compel the production of roughly 1800 pages of confidential "Field Reports" prepared by undercover officers of the New York City Police Department who were investigating security threats in the months before the RNC, holding that 1) a writ of mandamus was the only "adequate means" for the City to seek review of the district court's order and thereby prevent the irreparable harm that the City - and thus the public - would suffer from the disclosure of the Field Reports; 2) because the Second Circuit had never before addressed the circumstances in which the law enforcement privilege must yield to a party's need for discovery, the petition presented novel and significant questions of law whose resolution would aid in the administration of justice; 3) after determining that the law enforcement privilege applied, the district court indisputably erred in failing to apply a strong presumption against lifting the privilege; 4) the district court indisputably erred in failing to require that plaintiffs show a "compelling need" for the Field Reports; and 5) the district court made a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence when it found that plaintiffs' need for the Field Reports outweighed the public's interest in their secrecy.

Dobrova v. Holder, No. 09-2046, concerned a petition for review of the BIA's decision finding petitioner statutorily ineligible for a discretionary waiver of inadmissibility.  The court denied the petition on the ground that, under 8 U.S.C. section 1182, an alien who "has previously been admitted" to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident denoted an alien who had been so admitted at any time in the indefinite past.

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