Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Published Circuit Opinions - July 20

Second Circuit:

Sovereign default - reversion of collateral in debt restructuring barred by attachments of other creditors - even though the intent is to use the collateral for a new bond issue, the temporary possession by the nation makes it vulnerable to secondary attachments.  Concurrence - the rollover might give seniority to the primary bondholders over the secondary attachments; possibly not a true reversionary interest.

Injunction upheld requiring Transit Administration adjudicatory hearings to be open to the public - First Amendment applies to administrative hearings.

Fifth Circuit:

Per curiam blip - remanded based on SCOTUS vacation.

Seventh Circuit:

Dismissal upheld, as police officer was not properly served, plaintiff's attempt to invoke balance of hardships & claiming that those in blue are notoriously difficult to serve does not suffice.

Even where negotiations superficially continue, their validity as bona fide negotiations is a question for trial, inappropriate for summary judgment.
Government worker has no property interest impinged when county reclassifies position as part of (small, but) legitimate governmental reorganization and hires her to fill the newly classified position.

Immigration charges, but a very broad holding on eligibility for 'fast track' correlative sentencing reduction.  Burden is on deft not only to stipulate to facts & waive all rights, but also to examine those districts that have 'fast track' programs and compare similarly situated cases there.

While the Illinois domestic battery statute is probably not categorically a violent crime after Johnson, the 'battery causing physical harm' statute qualifies.

Eighth Circuit:

§ 1327(a) affords the confirmed plan res judicata effect and bars Ms. Burnett's attempts in a collateral state court proceeding to expand her entitlement to relief to include interest on her prepetition spousal support.

Standard for purposes of the sentencing bump for assault on an arresting officer is common-law assault, so a deft in a fetal position in a creekbed being bit by police dogs who appears to raise an arm holding a gun has menaced, and therefore assaulted, the officers.

 Government is not required to prove that an alien remained within the country for the entirety of the time between his illegal entry and his apprehension.

Ninth Circuit:

Barring 'illegal, unlicensed, and false practices' is too vague to pass muster as an injunction; where the unlicensed business practices harmed a company, the company has standing; where a contract is champertous, (absent contrary recognition of a tort by the state supreme court) there is no basis for a third party to recover damages.

 When determining competency for federal habeus actions, the common-law standard is that a preponderance of the evidence must establish competency; speedy trial issues should be addressed under S1983, not habeus; there is no clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, to a speedy appeal.  Death penalty case, btw - Thou shalt not kill.

Tenth Circuit:

Bar on prisoners recieving explicit material is implemented by administrative regulation, making a Constitutional challenge to the Act only valid where it is embodied in the implementing regulation; Action is Constitutionally moot, as it was an institution-specific ruling, and the prisoner is no longer at the facility; Prudential considerations also count against validity, as BOP doesn't yet know where they will send peitioner; BUT 'Capable of repetition, yet evading review' doesn't apply, as the prisoner has no certainty that he will be transferred out of the Circuit; 'Voluntary cessation' does not apply, as the restrictions have ceased due to prisoner's transfer out of the facility.

Eleventh Circuit:

When a pro se deft declines to testify in his own defense, citing in a court-initiated colloquy the fact that he has no lawyer to question him, the court is required to inform the deft of his right to testify in narrative form.
Compiled by D.E. Frydrychowski, who is, not incidentally, not giving you legal advice.

Category tags above are sporadically maintained Do not rely. Do not rely. Do not rely.

Author's SSRN page here.