Articles Posted in U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Tribal authorities of the Tohono O'odham nation charged LKAV, age 17, with murder in May 2009. In November 2011, the United States moved to commit LKAV pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4241 to an adult medical facility for psychiatric treatment. The court held that when the United States charges a juvenile with an act of juvenile delinquency under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (FJDA), 18 U.S.C. 5031-42, the district court must follow 18 U.S.C. 5037(e) if it committed the juvenile for a study of the juvenile's competency to stand trial. Because the district court in this case instead committed LKAV under 18 U.S.C. 4241(d), the court reversed the judgment. View "United States V. LKAV, Juvenile Male" on Justia Law

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Defendant, a juvenile male, was charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Defendant was seventeen years old at the time of the alleged offenses. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's order granting the government's motion to transfer juvenile proceedings for adult prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 5032. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by making findings regarding defendant's intellectual development and psychological maturity; the district court did not abuse its discretion by making a finding about the alleged discrepancy in individualized attention and counseling programs when comparing the adult and juvenile detention systems; and the district court's presumption of guilt for purposes of the transfer decision did not violate defendant's due process rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "United States v. JJ, Juvenile Male" on Justia Law

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HOS was arrested and indicted for various offenses. He claimed that he was a juvenile when these offenses were committed. HOS subsequently appealed the district court's grant of the U.S. Attorney's request to revoke its prior determination as to HOS's age based on a birth certificate the U.S. Attorney had obtained from the Mexican government that indicated that HOS was 23-years-old at the time of the charged offenses. The district judge thus ordered that the case proceed against HOS as an adult. The court rejected HOS's argument that the government was precluded from re-litigating the issue of his age. On the basis of the record before the court, the court could not conclude that the district judge abused his discretion or that his finding that HOS was an adult was clearly erroneous. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's order. View "United States v. HOS" on Justia Law

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Petitioner was convicted of first degree murder when she was 16 years old for her part in the murder of her boyfriend. Petitioner appealed the district court's dismissal of three claims in her federal habeas petition as untimely under the one-year statute of limitations set forth in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(1). Because the court applied the AEDPA statute of limitations on a claim-by-claim basis, and because petitioner's three claims challenging a state administrative agency's order were filed nearly 18 months after the statute of limitations expired, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal. View "Mardesich v. Cate, et al." on Justia Law

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Three juvenile defendants, each of whom was a member of an Indian Tribe and who pleaded true to a charge of aggravated sexual abuse with children, appealed their conditions of probation or supervision requiring registration under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 42 U.S.C. 16901, et seq. Defendants argued that SORNA's registration requirement contravened the confidentiality provisions of the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (FJDA), 18 U.S.C. 5031 et seq., and also challenged its constitutionality. The court held that because Congress, in enacting SORNA, intentionally carved out a class of juveniles from the FJDA's confidentiality provisions, and that SORNA's registration requirement was constitutionally sound, the district court's imposition of the sex offender registration conditions was constitutionally sound. View "United States v. Juvenile Male" on Justia Law

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A juvenile male appealed the district court's determination that he was an "Indian" under 18 U.S.C. 1153, which provided federal criminal jurisdiction for certain crimes committed by Indians in Indian country. The juvenile claimed that he did not identify as an Indian, and was not socially recognized as Indian by other tribal members. Nonetheless, he was an enrolled tribal member, had received tribal assistance, and had used his membership to obtain tribal benefits. Therefore, because the juvenile was Indian by blood and easily met three of the most important factors used to evaluate tribal recognition laid out in United States v. Bruce, the court held that he was an "Indian" under section 1153 and upheld his conviction. View "United States v. Juvenile Male" on Justia Law

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Defendant filed a due process hearing complaint with California's Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), alleging that he was being denied the free appropriate public education (FAPE) that he was entitled to under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq. The court certified the following question to the California Supreme Court: Does California Education Code 56041 - which provided generally that for qualifying children ages eighteen to twenty-two, the school district where the child's parent resides is responsible for providing special education services - apply to children who are incarcerated in county jails? The case was withdrawn from submission and further proceedings were stayed pending final action by the Supreme Court of California. View "Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist. v. Garcia" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, married couples who worked as house parents to children who were "severely emotionally disturbed" in defendants' homes, sued defendants for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. 203(r)(2)(A). The children attended local public schools and participated in other activities away from the homes. Although, the children participated in group therapy conducted by clinicians in the homes, they received most of their medical and psychological treatment outside the homes. Plaintiffs were not licensed medical or social service professionals. Defendants filed an interlocutory appeal challenging the district court's conclusion that defendants' homes were covered by the FLSA and were subject to its overtime provisions. The court held that defendants' homes were not covered by the FLSA because they were not an "institution primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, mentally ill or defective who resided on the premises of such institution." Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Probert, et al. v. Family Centered Serv. of AK, et al." on Justia Law

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Defendant pled guilty to violating the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 846, 841(a)(1), and (b)(1)(B)(ii), and received the mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment. At issue was whether the district court improperly calculated his criminal history score by counting his prior conviction under California Vehicle Code section 23140(a), which made it unlawful for a person younger than twenty-one years of age to drive with a blood-alcohol content of .05% or greater. The court applied a "commonsense" interpretation of the guidelines and the statute at issue, holding that a violation of section 23140(a) was not similar to a juvenile status offense and was properly counted in the calculation of defendant's criminal history score. Accordingly, the court affirmed the conviction and sentence. View "United States v. Landa" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, a class of indigent children who suffered from severe emotional and mental disabilities, sued Idaho state officials more than three decades ago, alleging that the officials were providing them with inadequate care in violation of their constitutional and statutory rights. The parties reached agreements intended to remedy deficiencies in care and those agreements were embodied in three consent decrees entered and monitored by the district court. Plaintiffs appealed the 2007 order of the district court finding that defendants had substantially complied with the remaining Action Items, which were specified in an Implementation Plan that resulted from the third consent decree, asserting that it was error for the district court to apply the standard for civil contempt in determining whether to vacate the decrees. Plaintiffs further contended that the district court committed errors in fact and law in issuing protective orders barring them from taking supplemental depositions of appellee and two non-parties. The court held that the district court's application of the contempt standard with the imposition of the burden of proof on plaintiffs was error where the district court accepted the Action Items as the entire measure of compliance with the consent decree. Accordingly, the court reversed the order of the district court. The court also held that the district court committed no errors in upholding the assertion of the deliberative process privilege to one non-party and appellee, as well as the legislative privilege to the second non-party. Accordingly, the court did not abuse its discretion in issuing the protective orders.