Michael C. Sullivan

9th Circuit Court of Appeals (32 summaries)

United States v. Vidal-Mendoza

Under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d), where an alien lacks “apparent eligibility for relief [] at the time of his removal hearing and potentially [becomes] eligible for such relief only through [a] post-removal change law,” the alien may not collaterally attack the removal order on the basis that the IJ failed to inform him of eligibility for such relief.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Henderson v. Johnson

Where a habeas petition contains both exhausted and unexhausted state habeas claims, a district court should dismiss the petition with leave to amend. If requested, a district court should also consider the petitioner’s eligibility for a stay of the whole petition or unexhausted claims.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Hall v. City of Los Angeles

Where a plaintiff is convicted of a murder he did not commit, solely on the basis of a coerced confession, and serves nineteen years in prison, but fails to include an explicit Fifth Amendment claim despite alleging sufficient facts to support such a claim, it is manifestly unjust to deny leave to amend the complaint.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

United States v. Mattix

Under United States v. Valverde , 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) applies retroactively to a sex offender who fails to register after August 1, 2008.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Cook Inlet Region v. Rude

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal district court courts have federal question jurisdiction over non-frivolous claims arising under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act ("ANCSA"), even where the ANCSA incorporates state law.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

United States v. Pineda-Moreno

Evidence is not subject to the exclusionary rule when government agents act in objectively reasonable reliance on then-binding precedent regarding the method used to obtain the evidence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

California Communities Against Toxics v. EPA

Vacatur of an invalid EPA rule during the pendency of remand is not appropriate where the vacatur would defeat the purpose of the Act under which the rule was made and the economic outcome would be disastrous.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Renfro v. The Funky Door

A disability insurance plan administrator does not abuse its discretion when (1) it does not have a conflict of interest and (2) the plain language of the plan supports its decision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Garcia v. Thomas

Under the Convention Against Torture and the Due Process Clause, an extraditee has the right to a determination by the Secretary of State that it is “not more likely than not that the extraditee will face torture.” In a habeas corpus proceeding, a court must find that right fully vindicated if the court receives a properly executed declaration from the Secretary of State “that she has complied with her obligations.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Leavitt v. Arave

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), a defendant is not entitled to (1) relief for ineffective assistance of counsel, where counsel made a strategic choice to not call an expert witness, or (2) an order to compel a law enforcement agency to conduct forensic testing on evidence, where the defendant has not explained how the testing would support his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Thompson v. Lea

Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, where a state supreme court reopens direct review such that a prisoner’s conviction is “again capable of modification through direct appeal,” the statute of limitations for the prisoner to file a habeas corpus petition does not begin to run until 90 days after termination of the state supreme court review.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

United States v. Harris

A judge who did not preside over a trial abuses her discretion to proceed with sentencing when that judge is only familiar with the Presentence Investigation Report, and the trial judge’s absence is due to turmoil arising from the shooting of another judge.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Rivas v. Napolitano

Under the Mandamus Act and 22 C.F.R. § 42.81(e), a federal court has subject matter jurisdiction to review a consular refusal to reconsider an application for an immigrant visa when the request was properly submitted and included evidence that tended to disprove the grounds for refusal.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

United States v. Apel

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1382, a defendant cannot be convicted of trespass to an area where the federal government has granted an easement for a public roadway such that the federal government no longer has an exclusive right of possession over the area.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Bagdasarian Productions v. Twentieth Century Fox

An appellate court does not have jurisdiction where a district court has “entered a stay, pending [a California Code of Civil Procedure §] 638 reference,” so long as (1) the opposing party will not be “put out of court” and (2) the “collateral order doctrine” does not apply.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

United States v. Del Toro-Barboza

Under U.S.S.G. § 2S1.3(a)(2), no showing of “loss to the public” is necessary to justify a sentencing enhancement when the underlying offense is a violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 5332 or 5324.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

United States v. King

Where a condition of a defendant’s probation allows for a warrantless search at “any time of the day or night, with or without probable cause,” police may lawfully execute a warrantless search even if they do not have “reasonable suspicion.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Skilstaf v. CVS Caremark Corp.

A class member is precluded from filing a second class action suit when the member was (1) a party to a prior settlement agreement containing an applicable covenant not sue, and (2) the class member had full notice and an opportunity to object or withdraw from the prior settlement agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Gonzalez

Communications under an implied joint defense agreement are protected by attorney client privilege but the agreement may be terminated by the conduct of the parties.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

United States v. Arango

For purposes of venue under 8 U.S.C. § 1451, there is “a rebuttable presumption that an incarcerated individual retains residence in the judicial district where he lived prior to incarceration.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Rodriguez-Ocampo

“An order of removal that provided the alien with no opportunity for judicial review and cannot support a prosecution under 8 U.S.C. § 1326, or a reinstatement of such an order, cannot support a sentencing enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2L1.2(b).”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Gonzalez v. Wong

When considering new evidence in the habeas corpus claim of a state prisoner under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, a district court may stay proceedings to allow the defendant to present that evidence to the state court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Albano v. Shea Holmes

Certified questions of state law ruled upon by the Arizona Supreme Court are applied both retroactively and prospectively.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

United States v. Newman

Under 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(2) and 28 U.S.C. § 2461(c), where the government proves the elements required for a judgment of criminal forfeiture, the district court must enter a judgment for criminal forfeiture in the amount of the proceeds of the crime; the district court does not have discretion to reduce or eliminate the judgment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Mattos v. Agarano

Police are entitled to qualified immunity for claims of use of excessive force involving tasers, when not all reasonable police officials would find the particular set of circumstances a use of excessive force.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Stokley v. Ryan

Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, where a criminal defendant has failed to make a colorable claim of ineffectiveness of counsel, the defendant is not entitled to a new evidentiary hearing in federal court regardless of whether the defendant has exhausted state court appeals.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Sherman v. Securities and Exchange Commission

“11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(19) prevents the discharge of debts for securities-related wrongdoings only in cases where the debtor is responsible for that wrongdoing. Debtors who may have received funds derived from a securities violation remain entitled to a complete discharge of any resulting disgorgement order.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Cervantes v. Countrywide Home Loans

In order to state a claim for the use of MERS under the Truth in Lending Act 15 U.S.C. § 1601, a plaintiff must allege that detrimental reliance upon misrepresentations about the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”) caused damages to the plaintiff.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Young v. County of Los Angeles

Under the Fourth Amendment unreasonable seizure clause, use of pepper spray and baton blows constitutes excessive force when the severity of the crime is low, there is no threat of violence, there is no resistance to arrest, and there are other less invasive means to accomplish police interests.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Ren v. Holder

Under the Real ID Act of 2005, an immigration judge’s adverse credibility determination must be supported by substantial evidence in light of the totality of the circumstances. Additionally, when corroborative evidence is required by an immigration judge under the Real ID Act the “applicant must be given notice of the corroboration required, and an opportunity to either provide that corroboration or explain why he cannot do so.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Aguila-Montes de Oca

The “modified categorical approach” to determine if the government can “use prior state conviction to enhance certain federal sentences” is applicable to both “divisible” statutes and to statutes “missing” an element of the generic crime.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

TrafficSchool.com, Inc. v. Edriver, Inc.

In a claim under the Lanham Act, “when the plaintiff competes directly with defendant, a misrepresentation will give rise to a presumed commercial injury that is sufficient to establish standing.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations