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Tag: District Court

Federal Judge: Mother of Mexican Teen Killed by Border Patrol Agent May Sue U.S.

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge has ruled that the mother of a Mexican teen killed in a cross-border shooting by a Border Patrol agent may sue the government, the Desert News reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the victim, a Mexican resident, was not protected by the U.S. Constitution.

In a similar case, a federal appeals court came to the opposite conclusion.

“The Court finds that, under the facts alleged in this case, the Mexican national may avail himself to the protections of the Fourth Amendment and that the agent may not assert qualified immunity,” Collins wrote.

Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz fatally shot 16-year-old Jose Antonino Elena Rodriguez for allegedly throwing rocks across the border .

Undocumented Immigrant Paid Nearly $500,000 After Being Shot by Border Patrol Agent

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government was ordered to pay nearly $500,000 to an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was shot by a Border Patrol agent on Nov. 16, 2010, the USA Today reports.

U.S. District Court Justice James Soto said the agent’s “use of force was not justified” because the plaintiff, Castro Romo, “was not in the motion of throwing a rock at Canales.”

“Put more bluntly,” the judge wrote, “a rock is not as deadly an object as a gun and requires a greater degree of certainty that the object will be used than the threat or perceived threat of a gun.”

It’s not yet clear how the ruling will impact Border Patrol agents, who killed at least nine people for allegedly throwing rocks since 2010.

“The court has put some strength into the idea that you can’t just say ‘he had a rock in his hand so it was justified,’ which was their successful default defense for many shooting deaths,” said Texas attorney Bob Hilliard, who is representing families in three wrongful-death cases against Border Patrol agents who shot alleged rock throwers. “He’s saying you have a professional duty to exercise reasonable care. … It still gives Border Patrol agents the power to defend themselves, and it gives Mexican nationals under arrest their constitutional protections.”

 

Senate Approves Appointment of Ex-U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg As Fed Judge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eight months after being nominated, Terrence Berg, the former interim U.S. Attorney in Detroit, was confirmed Thursday by the U.S. Senate for a U.S. District Court judgeship in Detroit,  the Detroit Free Press reports.

Berg had been waiting for Senate approval since President Obama nominated him to the seat in April.

Berg is well-respected, Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, told the Free Press.

“It’s not like he’s going to be unfamiliar with the federal bench,” he said. “He’s an experienced, well-qualified choice.”