Recently in Cases to Watch Category

UPDATE:  BOSTON (AP) 

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By The Boston Globe updated at 2:53 PM

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts' highest court has sided with Boston's district attorney in a dispute over the prosecution of counterprotesters arrested during a ''straight pride'' parade in Boston on Labor Day weekend.

A state Supreme Judicial Court justice ruled Monday that Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard Sinnott had ''no authority'' to force Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins's office to prosecute a counterprotester arrested at the parade.

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Shannon Sswiatek 

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Empire Justice Center and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice have reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit.  The lawsuit claimed that the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) violated the law by failing to provide legally adequate notices to people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) whose benefits were reduced or terminated because of the time limit for Able-bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs). The case is called Brooks v. Roberts, 16-CV-1025 (NDNY). ...

Individuals are members of the settlement class if, between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018, they received SNAP benefits that were reduced or terminated for failing to meet a work requirement applicable to ABAWDs. The Court ordered that this Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action, available here, be provided to class members.

The Court will hold a Hearing on September 17, 2019 to consider whether to approve the settlement. Class members can review the full settlement agreement submitted to the Court here

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By Eric Levenson and Taylor Romine, CNN

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(CNN)Suffolk County prosecutors moved to dismiss charges against some of the nearly three dozen people arrested during the "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston, saying the allegations were not worth prosecuting.

But Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard Sinnott refused. He arraigned many of the defendants anyway.
Susan Church, a defense attorney representing protesters, objected to that decision and interrupted Sinnott to argue he did not have the authority to do that. Sinnott then ordered her handcuffed and placed her in custody for contempt of court.
That stunning courtroom face-off and arrest this week have sparked a heated debate about the legal separation of powers, free speech,and a prosecutor's ability to carry out reform-minded agendas.
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A state judge in Albany has struck down a cap on outside income for members of the Legislature promulgated by a committee last year as a trade-off for a raise of about $50,000 over three years for those officials.

But Albany County Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin upheld the pay hike in his decision handed down Thursday, which conflicts with a different ruling on the matter from June.

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The two differing opinions, both handed down by state judges in Albany, will effectively set up arguments on the issue to be evaluated by the Appellate Division, Third Department sometime in the near future.


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The US won't vaccinate migrant children against flu at border camps

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Documented:

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Federal Government Refuses to Vaccinate Detained Families


The U.S. won't vaccinate migrant families ahead of the flu season despite doctors calling on the federal government to do so after the flu killed three children at detention facilities in the past year. "In general, due to the short-term nature of CBP holding and the complexities of operating vaccination programs, neither CBP nor its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody," a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. The U.S. death rate for children with the flu is about 1 in 600,000. Yet so far, three children have died out of the around 200,000 people held at detention facilities along the border. CNBC  
 
By Dan M. Clark 

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A federal judge in Albany said the constitutional rights of teen defendants in Onondaga County were violated when members of law enforcement did not allow them to consult privately with their attorneys before appearing in court.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn in the Northern District of New York sharply criticized county officials, who created a policy last year instructing law enforcement to attend those meetings.

"Given how clearly the Sheriff's policy violates the Constitution, it is unfortunate that this case had to proceed while young people faced arraignments, bail arguments, and motion hearings without the full assistance of counsel to which they are entitled," Kahn wrote.


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Bosses Not Charged in Mississippi Raids


One of the largest worksite ICE operations in a decade resulted in the arrest of 680 undocumented immigrants working at seven different meat packing plants on Wednesday. However, it remains unclear if their employers will face any retribution. All 680 worked for five different employers who have yet to be charged or arrested. Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse found that employers are rarely prosecuted for hiring immigrants without proper documentation. Employers in Mississippi may face a fine, but it is unlikely they will go to jail. Officials said 271 of the employees arrested were released with an order to appear before an immigration judge. BuzzFeed News


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Five Fordham University students, represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, have won a landmark legal victory against Fordham University, which sought to prohibit them from forming a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) club at their university. Awad, et al. v. Fordham University is the first lawsuit in the country challenging institutional censorship of students advocating for justice in Palestine, and this win marks the first major legal victory for free speech for advocates of Palestine on college campuses.


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Read full text of decision...






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Trump hasn't (yet) managed to change the legal or moral boundaries of acceptable behavior. He just makes illegal and immoral behaviors feel normal. That's not a criminal defense. That's a social cancer.


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Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents tried to enter a Brooklyn homeless shelter Tuesday night but were turned away after failing to produce a warrant, said Christine Quinn, the shelter network's director.

The agents came to the East New York WIN shelter around 10 p.m. and showed guards a photo of someone they were seeking to detain, she said.


The ICE agents said they had a warrant. When asked to display it, they balked, and WIN guards denied them entry.

"They showed nothing except for a picture of an individual," Quinn said. "The guards kept saying, 'Show us a warrant signed by a judge.' They wouldn't show a warrant."


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Flood Of Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits Expected To Hit NY Next Week - Gothamist

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Next Wednesday, adult survivors of child sex abuse in New York will begin filing a flood of civil lawsuits against institutions and individuals, after decades of having their cases barred from court because the allegations were too old. 

Hundreds of plaintiffs are expected to sue organizations large and small, including Catholic dioceses and parishes, the Boy Scouts of America, hospitals and educational institutions. The one year window was enacted under the Child Victims Act that lawmakers passed in January, and intended as a partial remedy to the state's previous statute of limitations, which required victims to bring civil cases before their 21st birthday and criminal lawsuits before they turned 23. Under the new law, survivors have five more years to file criminal cases and until their 55th birthday to bring civil lawsuits.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit issued a somewhat surprising ruling last week, when a three-judge panel voted 2 to 1 to affirm a lower court's decision to deny qualified immunity to a SWAT team who deployed a flash-bang grenade while serving a search warrant.

In this case, police in Kansas City, Mo., were investigating a murder. But they had already arrested a suspect. The search warrant was for what police believed was the suspect's home. It turns out that the suspect hadn't lived in the home for several years, and the police did little to verify who was currently living in the house. The residents -- a 24-year-old woman, two elderly women and a 2-year-old -- were then subjected to a violent, forced-entry SWAT raid.

The police did not have a no-knock warrant, so under the law, they were supposed to knock, announce themselves and give sufficient time for a resident to answer and let them in. In this case, after knocking, one resident of the house came to the locked screen door and showed them her keys, indicating her intent to open the door and let them in. The SWAT team forced entry anyway, then deployed the flash-bang grenade, which lit a set of drapes on fire.


Children's Immigration Law Academy - Pro Bono--ABA

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Welcome to Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation! Thousands of children must face immigration judges each year without appointed counsel.  With representation, asylum seekers have a five times greater chance of winning their case.  Below you will find pro bono opportunities nationwide to support children . Funded by the Vera Institute of Justice, Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation allows lawyers to search and share available pro bono cases for unaccompanied children (UC) detained by the federal government or released to live with family members while in deportation proceedings.


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Active-duty troops are barred from performing law enforcement functions inside the U.S. by the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law enacted in 1878 that prohibits the government from using military forces to act as a police force within U.S. borders.

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Readiness, says having active duty troops monitor migrants is "teetering on the edge of the posse comitatus law."

"It's not the role of the U.S. military to be a prison guard," he said. "This is certainly mission creep" and could put U.S. military service members "in a precarious legal situation."

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In one of the documents released Thursday, an FBI agent said it appears then-candidate Trump was involved in discussions over the hush money payment to former porn star Stephanie Clifford.


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By Dan M. Clark and Jason Grant 


Lawyers representing four immigration legal service organizations on Thursday launched a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York aimed at thwarting the Trump administration's reported plan to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants as part of a series of nationwide raids expected in the coming weeks.

The lawsuit, filed preemptively by the American Civil Liberties Union, New York Civil Liberties Union and law firm Munger, Tolles, & Olson, argued the due process rights of those immigrants require that they be offered an immigration hearing prior to deportation. The legal action appeared to come in response to news reports that broke Thursday saying that nationwide ICE raids of undocumented families--backed by President Trump and reportedly first thought to be happening in June--would begin this Sunday.


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"Your Judge Is Your Destiny" | Topic

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Agnelis L. Reese has presided over more than 200 hearings during the past five years as an immigration judge. Unique among her peers, she has rejected every single case.

NYPD failed to find one incident of biased policing in five years

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By Tina Moore

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The NYPD received 2,495 reports of biased policing since it began investigating allegations from the public five years ago -- but cops haven't substantiated a single complaint, a new city report has found.

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Investigation released a report Wednesday that said the complaints were based on race, national origin and sexual orientation.
But the report shows that NYPD officials have "never substantiated an allegation of biased policing."

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 Read the city's report. NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION

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On Thursday, a federal judge in Boston granted a preliminary injunction that blocks U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from making civil arrests at state courthouses in Massachusetts.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani ruled in a suit filed by two district attorneys, public defenders and immigration advocates, report the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the New England Public Radio and USA Today. The Marshall Project noted the decision.

It is thought to be the first time a judge has enjoined civil courthouse arrests of people who are in the country illegally.

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A federal judge in New York blocks prison officials from holding a mentally ill teenager in solitary confinement for months on end. Corrections officers respond by shipping the boy to the general population at a prison farther away from his home. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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