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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's finding that petitioner was removable and denial of his applications for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status. The court held that, because it has previously upheld the BIA's determination that child endangerment offenses fall within the Immigration and Nationality Act's (INA) crime of child abuse provision, the court agreed with the district court that New York law -- which criminalizes conduct that poses a likelihood of physical, mental, or moral harm to a child -- falls within the BIA's definition. Therefore, petitioner's New York convictions for endangering the welfare of a child were crimes of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment under the INA. View "Matthews v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit held that the district court properly deferred to the decision of the New York State Review Officer (SRO), which concluded that student W.E. was not denied a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for the eighth grade school year and that Northwood School was not an appropriate unilateral private school placement for the ninth grade school year. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's November 2016 judgment and order in part. To the extent that the district court failed to accord appropriate deference to the SRO's conclusion that Northwood did not provide W.E. specially designed instruction so as to constitute an appropriate private school placement for the tenth grade school year, the court reversed in part the district court's opinion and vacated the award of tuition reimbursement to plaintiffs for that school year. The court also affirmed a July 2017 opinion and order granting the district court's grant of summary judgment and vacating the award of compensatory education for the eighth grade year. View "W.A.v. Hendrick Hudson Central School District" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, Asian-owned companies and an Asian construction worker, filed suit against the City and others, alleging that defendants discriminatorily enforced municipal building codes against plaintiffs on the basis of race and personal animus. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' Equal Protection claims under the theories articulated in Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562 (2000), the Due Process clause, and the Monell doctrine. However, the court vacated as to the selective enforcement claims of race-based and malice-based discrimination articulated under LeClair v. Saunders, 627 F.2d 606 (2d 5 Cir. 1980), because plaintiffs plausibly alleged differential treatment by the same defendant for conduct at the same work site. Likewise, the court vacated the district court's judgment as to the 42 U.S.C. 1981 claim for race-based interference with plaintiffs' right to make and enforce contracts, because plaintiffs alleged a plausible Equal Protection claim under LeClair. Therefore, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Hu v. City of New York" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit alleging that defendants, while located in foreign nations, used the mail or wires to order fraudulent asset transfers from plaintiffs' New York bank accounts to defendants' own accounts. The district court held that all but one of the schemes were impermissibly extraterritorial under either civil RICO, 18 U.S.C. 1964(c), or the mail, wire, and bank fraud statutes plaintiffs cited as predicates to the civil RICO cause of action. The district court found the remaining scheme, standing alone, did not constitute a pattern of racketeering activity under RICO. At issue was whether the conduct violating the predicate statutes was extraterritorial, the application of civil RICO to plaintiff's alleged injuries was extraterritorial, and whether the surviving schemes amounted to a pattern of racketeering activity. The Second Circuit held that each of the schemes to defraud, except for the Sham Management Fees Scheme, calls for domestic applications of 18 U.S.C. 1962(c), 1962(d), 1341, 1343, and 1344(2). The court also held that the district court abused its discretion by dismissing the state law claims for lack of supplemental jurisdiction. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Bascuñán v. Elsaca" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien who is illegally unlawfully in the United States. The court held that the "in the United States" element of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(A) requires only that a noncitizen be physically present within the United States. The court rejected defendant's argument that a defendant must have "entered" the country as a matter of immigration law. The court also held that, in light of defendant's immigration status at the time of the conduct underlying his arrest, he was unlawfully present in the United States. The court rejected defendant's argument that he was not present "illegally or unlawfully" because he was effectively paroled into the country when he was released from detention in 2007. View "United States v. Balde" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's second amended complaint (SAC) for failure to state a claim. The SAC alleged that Costco charged its customers sales tax on the full price of items subject to a manufacturer's discount in situations where New York law provided that Costco, rather than the customer, was liable for the tax. The court held that these claims must be brought in a New York administrative proceeding under New York Tax Law 1139, which provided the exclusive remedy for claims that a tax, penalty, or interest was erroneously, illegally or unconstitutionally collected. Likewise, the district court properly dismissed plaintiff's unjust enrichment claims and his claim under New York General Business Law 349. View "Guterman v. Costco Wholesale Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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The insurer appealed from the district court's judgment in favor of the adjuster. At issue was whether the district court erred in overturning the jury verdict and granting judgment as a matter of law in favor of the adjuster on the basis of insufficiency of the evidence to support the jury's conclusion that the statute of limitations was tolled such that the insurer's claim was timely filed. The Second Circuit certified a question of law to the Connecticut Supreme Court regarding the contours of the doctrine that tolls a limitation period because of a continuing course of conduct. The state court responded that the evidence was not legally sufficient to toll the statute of limitations on this factual record. Accordingly, because the state court's decision resolved the controlling question of Connecticut law, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Evanston Insurance Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for importing and possessing with intent to distribute methylone and anabolic steroids; conspiracy to do so; and operating a stash house. The court held that the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence where defendant received proper Miranda warnings, fully understood them, and voluntarily made statements to the agents, or waived his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent; defendant consented to the search; the evidence was ample for the jury to infer that defendant knew that the substances in which he knowingly dealt, methylone and anabolic steroids, were in fact controlled substances; and challenges to the scheduling of methylone as a controlled substance lacked merit. View "United States v. O'Brien" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After Congress enacted the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), plaintiffs moved the DC Circuit to recall the mandate issued after the court's decision holding that the federal courts lacked personal jurisdiction over the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority (defendants). The court denied plaintiffs' motion and held that plaintiffs failed to show circumstances that warrant the extraordinary remedy of recalling the mandate. The court considered all of the arguments and, to the extent not specifically addressed, they were either moot or without merit. View "Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization" on Justia Law

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Under Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), an agency "adopts" a previously privileged document where the agency's statements or behavior indicate that the agency treats the document as binding authority, and "incorporates" a previously privileged document "by reference" where a formal agency opinion or decision explicitly relies on that document and its reasoning. The ACLU filed suit under FOIA, seeking disclosure of certain documents concerning the legal authority for certain national security programs from the Government. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the Government and held that (1) a document reflects an agency's "working law" when the agency regards that document as functionally binding authority, and "adoption" and "incorporation by reference" are means by which an otherwise privileged document becomes an agency's "working law;" (2) "express adoption" is a basis for disclosure of a previously privileged document where an agency's statements indicate that it now acts (or refrains from acting) pursuant to the document's functionally binding authority; (3) "incorporation by reference" is a basis for disclosure of a previously privileged document where an agency's formal opinion or ruling explicitly relies on that document and its reasoning in reaching a decision; (4) OLC 10 was properly withheld under FOIA Exemption 5; (5) the six intelligence program documents at issue were properly withheld under FOIA Exemptions 1 (classified information) and 3 (material shielded from disclosure by other statutes); and (6) because FOIA decisions must be evaluated as of the time of the agency decision, courts should not order reprocessing simply to reassure themselves that a FOIA decision remains current in light of subsequent disclosures. View "American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency" on Justia Law