June 26, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 6/15/10

The Tenth Circuit on Tuesday issued three published opinions and seven unpublished opinions.

Published

In Hydro Resources, Inc. v. EPA, the Court vacated Respondent EPA’s final land status determination. The Supreme Court, in Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, 522 U.S. 520 (1998), provided two requirements for defining Indian lands; the land in question must be explicitly set aside by Congress for use as an Indian community, and the land must be dependent and under federal superintendence. The EPA’s land status determination was improperly based on a pre-Venetie rule allowing for land to be qualified as Indian country if a sufficiently significant percentage of the land in question neighbored Indian land.

In United States v. Sanchez, the Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Petitioner’s motion to suppress the admission of marijuana found by probation officers during a home visit. Petitioner’s fifteen-year-old daughter had actual authority to consent to the home visit and the officers properly relied on her consent; the daughter’s consent was freely and intelligently given and officers used no coercion; the daughter’s age is not a bar to consent, as age is but one consideration in the totality of the circumstances for voluntary consent. Additionally, Petitioner cannot show that the discovery of the marijuana would not have come to light but for the government’s unconstitutional conduct; officers would have visited the home’s garage on their search based on the tip that Petitioner was living beyond his means, not solely based on the other evidence they found inside the home.

In United States v. Terrell, the Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Petitioner’s motion for a reduction of sentence. Petitioner claimed that his sentence was improperly enhanced as a result of double-counting. Double-counting occurs when the same conduct by the defendant is used to support separate increases under separate sentence enhancement provisions “which necessarily overlap, are indistinct, and serve identical purposes.” The Court determined that the number of weapons involved in the underlying offense to a conviction for possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime is a separate type of offense conduct than that punished by the conviction and sentence and is, therefore, not double-counting.

Unpublished

Abbott v. BNSF Railway Company

Wiggins v. Cullugh

DuHall v. Lennar Family of Builders

Henderson v. Astrue

Johnson v. State of Oklahoma

Smith v. City of Tulsa

Trujillo v. Bravo

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