Wright v Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

Wright sued Experian under federal and state law alleging failure to follow reasonable procedures and failure to reinvestigate his challenge to a tax lien appearing on his credit report. The district court granted summary judgment to Experian. The panel, with one judge dissenting in part, affirmed. It first adopted the rule used by other circuits and held credit reporting agencies do not need to go beyond information furnished to them unless the information is inconsistent with its records, contains a facial inaccuracy or comes from an unreliable source. Here, the information came from the county recorder’s office and was both facially accurate and consistent with information in Experian’s file. It also held requiring agencies to hire tax professionals to examine tax lien information would impose unreasonable costs and was thus not required under federal law. As to the reinvestigation claim, the majority held that agencies must do more than cursorily reinvestigate and further held the reinvestigation was reasonable given authority of the IRS to assert the lien against Wright personally, the IRS was barred from giving the agencies any tax information about Wright and there is no duty for the agencies to determine the validity of the tax lien. The partial dissent argued that the lien form was ambiguous on its face and it was a jury question whether failure to remove the lien after being unable to verify it on reinvestigation was reasonable.

United States v Krueger

The government appealed the granting of Krueger’s motion to suppress arguing a warrant issued in Kansas by a federal magistrate authorized the seizure of evidence in Oklahoma. The panel, with one judge concurring in judgment, affirmed. The majority held that it was unnecessary to determine if the out of district warrant rose to the level of a 4th Amendment violation because the government abandoned that argument on appeal. It held that prejudice analysis under Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(b)(1) must be grounded in the facts that actually happened not a hypothetically proper warrant and here there was prejudice because the Kansas magistrate should have noticed the lack of authority to issue a warrant for evidence in Oklahoma and not issued the warrant thus preventing the search in Oklahoma form occurring as it did and preventing Krueger’s cooperation and access to his hard drive.  As this failure was grossly negligent, suppression was appropriate. The concurrence argued that 28 USC 636 limits federal magistrate’s authority to the geographical boundaries of the district they serve in, these limits are jurisdictional and the violation here was harmful per se and the illegal warrant was not magically a warrant for 4th Amendment purposes as the original understanding of a magistrate’s authority limited those powers to the geographical boundaries of the jurisdiction they served in.

Carroll v Lawton Independent School District No. 8

Carroll sued district and their daughter’s teacher alleging federal and state claims based on abusive discipline. The district court dismissed all federal claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and declined to take jurisdiction over the state law claims. The panel affirmed. It held that Carroll’s claims are controlled by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s exhaustion provisions because the daughter’s injuries are in part educational as she won’t go into the school and needs tutoring and thus the claims must be first heard in the administrative arena. It also held that there was no error in denying Carroll’s motion to amend as Carroll did not identify the factual allegations that would be added.

Vladimirov v Lynch

Vladimirov appealed the immigration board’s affirmance of the immigration judge’s finding of martial fraud. The panel affirmed. It held that the government gave Vladimirov notice of the charges against him by alleging marriage fraud. It further held that the inconsistencies in the alleged married couples statements, Vladimirov’s admission the marriage was a fraud and withdrawal of the petition to adjust status were sufficient to support eh finding of fraud. The panel rejected Vladimirov’s due process argument holding that observations of an officer contained in a report were admissible and its use fundamentally fair particularly as Vladimirov could have testified at the hearing, the report on the couple’s interviews were presumed reliable and Vladimirov failed to demonstrate unreliability and there was insufficient evidence of coercion to disregard eth withdrawal of the petition.

United States v Fisher

Fisher appealed his sentence arguing the district court failed to rule on his motion to declare the government had breached the plea agreement and failing to order a time served sentence for vindictive prosecution. The panel dismissed. It held the breach issue was moot as Fisher received all the relief he sought in his motion. It dismissed the time served portion of appeal for waiver based on inadequate briefing and forfeiture for failure to object below.

Jones v Warrior

Jones sought habeas relief form his death sentence alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court denied his petition and the panel granted a certificate of appealabilty on one argument. The panel rejected that argument and affirmed holding Oklahoma’s Court of Criminal Appeals did not act contrary to federal law when it rejected the claim that trial counsel should have investigated the claim that a prosecution witness confessed to the murder as it applied the Strickland standard as set out in the Strickland opinion and applied the standard to each argument raised by Jones and the determination was not unreasonable as it was premised on whether or not failure to call the witnesses Jones wanted called undermined the outcome of the trial.

Jackson v Warrior

Jackson appealed the denial of his habeas petition arguing an unconstitutional aggravator was submitted to the jury ineffective assistance of counsel. The panel affirmed. It held the Oklahoma court of Criminal Appeals correctly held that aggravator analysis is controlled by the Sanders standard, correctly stated the standard and correctly applied the standard to the aggravator here to determine the same evidence applied to another aggravator and thus the death sentence could be affirmed. As to the ineffective assistance claim, the panel held that there was no error in the Oklahoma court’s determination that the removal of a single statement form a mitigation witness as to his views on the death penalty would have changed the outcome of the sentencing and thus relief was unavailable.