January 12, 2023, opinions

Designated for publication

  • The Hanover Insurance Co. v. Binnacle Development, L.L.C., 21-40662, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • Southwick, J. (Higginbotham, Southwick, Higginson), Texas Water Code, suretyship
    • Affirming summary judgment in favor of surety on issue regarding whether private developers were entitled to offset for liquidated damages related to delay in completion of the projects, where offset was provided for by Texas Water Code for “district contract[s].”
    • While a municipal utility district managed the public bid process for the projects, and would take ownership of the projects after construction was complete, it was not a party to the contracts, which were instead between the contractor (as to which the plaintiff was the surety) and the private developers. Accordingly, the Court held that the contracts were not “district contracts” under the Texas Water Code, and that the private developers were therefore not entitled to an offset for the liquidated damages.
  • U.S. v. Valenzuela, 21-51215, appeal from W.D. Tex.
    • Higginbotham, J. (Higginbotham, Jones, Oldham), criminal, Rule 404(b)
    • Affirming conviction for possession and smuggling of controlled substances, upholding district court’s admission of evidence of a prior drug smuggling offense under Fed. Rule Evidence 404(b), holding that “the district court did not abuse its discretion either in finding that the prior criminal act was relevant to Valenzuela’s knowledge in the instant drug trafficking case or in finding that the prejudicial effect of the evidence did not substantially outweigh its probative value.”

Unpublished

  • U.S. v. Said, 21-10588, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Richman, Wiener, Willett), criminal, sentencing, sufficiency of evidence
    • Affirming conviction and 144-month sentence for conspiring to conceal a person from arrest, concealing a person from arrest, and conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding.
  • U.S. v. Elizardo, 21-10972, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Davis, Smith, Douglas), criminal
    • Granting Anders motion to withdraw, and dismissing appeal.
  • Escobar-Verdecia v. Garland, 21-60160, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Richman, Elrod, Oldham), immigration
    • Denying in part and dismissing in part Cuban citizen’s petition for review of BIA order denying asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT.
  • U.S. v. Sensing, 21-60662, c/w 21-60691, appeal from N.D. Miss.
    • per curiam (Stewart, Willett, Oldham), criminal, supervised release
    • Affirming revocation of supervised release.
  • U.S. v. Valentin-Garcia, 22-10494, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Davis, Duncan, Engelhardt), criminal
    • Granting Anders motion to withdraw, and dismissing appeal.
  • U.S. v. Hernandez-Jimenez, 22-10690, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Higginbotham, Graves, Ho), criminal, sentencing
    • Affirming 24-month sentence on conviction of illegal reentry.
  • U.S. v. Rudzavice, 22-10752, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Stewart, Duncan, Wilson), criminal, compassionate release
    • Affirming denial of motion for compassionate release.
  • U.S. v. Medina, 22-10849, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Higginbotham, Graves, Ho), criminal
    • Granting Anders motion to withdraw, and dismissing appeal.
  • U.S. v. Drayton, 22-20303, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Higginbotham, Graves, Ho), criminal, sentencing
    • Affirming 30-month sentence for conviction of stealing or reproducing keys or locks and one count of theft or receipt of stolen mail matter.
  • U.S. v. Garcia, 22-50359, appeal from W.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Higginbotham, Graves, Ho), criminal, sentencing
    • Affirming conviction and sentence, including supervised release terms, for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • U.S. v. Ordonez-Mendoza, 22-50375, c/w 22-50399, appeal from W.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Smith, Southwick, Douglas), criminal, sentencing
    • Affirming sentence for illegal reentry and revocation of supervised release.
  • U.S. v. Ajualip-Pablo, 22-50713, c/w 22-50715, appeal from W.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Higginbotham, Graves, Ho), criminal, sentencing
    • Affirming 27-month sentence on conviction of illegal reentry and revocation of supervised release.
  • Lebedev v. Garland, 22-60174, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Higginbotham, Graves, Ho), immigration
    • Denying in part and dismissing in part Russian citizen’s petition for review of BIA order dismissing appeal and affirming IJ’s denial of application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT.
  • Gomez v. Garland, 22-60182, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Smith, Southwick, Douglas), immigration
    • Dismissing in part and denying in part Guatemalan citizen’s petition for review of BIA order dismissing appeal and affirming order of IJ denying asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT.
  • Wesco Insurance Co. v. Rich, 22-60283, appeal from S.D. Miss.
    • per curiam (Stewart, Willett, Oldham), suretyship
    • Affirming that insurer’s liability under surety agreement is capped at $750,000.
  • Salmeron-Acosta v. Garland, 22-60390, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Stewart, Duncan, Wilson), immigration
    • Denying Salvadoran citizens’ petition for review of BIA order dismissing their appeal from IJ’s denial of application for asylum and withholding of removal.