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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

While on the campaign trail, Trump promised to repeal DACA, but his tone has changed since being elected. Should DACA recipients feel safe or should they be worried?

DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a program that began under President Obama. OnJune 15, 2012, he announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport undocumented youth who came to the United States as children and met other criteria. These beneficiaries of DACA are often called “Dreamers.” They receive two-year work permits that can be renewed and that keep them from being categorized as deportation priorities.

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Every legal claim a party can bring in court has a statute of limitations, a period of time in which the claim must be brought. The purpose and effect of statutes of limitations is to protect defendants—people who can be sued.

In rare circumstances, even after a statute of limitations has run and a party has lost its rights to sue, the other party can revive the claim. This can occur, for example, with contract claims. Under Idaho law, the statute of limitations for written contracts is five years, and for oral contracts, it is four years. However, if a party to a contract makes a written and signed “acknowledgment” or makes a payment of principal or interest on the contract, the other party’s right to sue under the contract is renewed. The statute of limitations starts over.

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Recent immigration enforcement raids have received considerable attention. These raids, which picked up more than 680 people, were conducted between February 6 and February 10 in the Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and other areas. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), this action was routine immigration enforcement that did not represent an increase in tempo. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreed, stating: “ICE conducts these kind of targeted enforcement operations regularly and has for many years.” President Trump, on the other hand, suggested otherwise, tweeting: “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” Immigrant-rights activists had named President Obama the “Deporter-in-Chief” because of the millions he deported. However, it seems President Trump is attempting to outdo Obama.

Is this routine action or an increased crackdown? The DHS emphasized that the majority (75%) of detained individuals were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, and DUI. However, the raids also captured immigrants without criminal records. Some immigration attorneys agree that this ICE action is “new” and that deportation priorities have changed. Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, an immigrant youth organization, said: “This is clearly the first wave of attacks under the Trump administration, and we know this isn’t going to be the only one.”

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

At 4:35 p.m. on February 9, 2017, President Trump tweeted: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” This unsurprising tweet responded to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and its decision not to stay a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by a federal district court. The TRO halted President Trump’s executive order, which bans immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries. The issues in this legal battle, Washington v. Trump, will surely attract future headlines as they travel through the judicial system.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision was based on several important holdings:

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Two Republican Senators from Arkansas and Georgia, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, have sponsored new legislation that would limit legal immigration. It is reported that this legislation—the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act or RAISE Act—would cut by more than half the number of refugees permitted to enter the United States and that it would end a federal green card lottery program. This lottery program is seen as a method of increasing diversity in the visa system by giving visas to countries with lower rates of immigration to the United States.

Senator Cotton has justified the proposed legislation, explaining: “The goal here is to get our immigration levels back to historical norms, to take something of a pause to allow the economy to catch up with the immigrants that we have allowed into our country over the last two generations, and to focus on the well-being of American citizens, those citizens who are here today, many of whom are struggling economically.”

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

On January 27, 2016, President Donald Trump shocked the world by ordering a travel and refugee ban. This executive order specifically bars citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia) from entering the United States for 90 days, regardless of their visa category. It also suspends admission of refugees from any country for 120 days, and it indefinitely suspends refugees from Syria.

Before elected, President Trump called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims coming into the United States, according to one of his campaign press releases, but many thought these types of statements were all talk. The executive order is not a ban on all Muslims, but it has certainly sparked controversy and questions of religious tolerance. Many claim it is un-American in that it conflicts with our rich immigrant heritage. Many claim it is also illegal and unconstitutional, and various suits have been filed across the nation.

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memo-decision-11-29-16

9th CCA received today.  We successfully defended ISP officer Janet Murakami in a civil rights action under 42 USC, sec. 1983, through State of Idaho Risk Management Program.  The opinion holds she was entitled to qualified immunity for a Code 3 call for emergency backup form other officers, who responded, and allegedly used excessive force to effectuate Rice’s arrest.  The ruling in favor of Murakami reverses Chief US District Judge Winmill’s ruling denying summary judgment to her for the Code 3 call, which we appealed, and which was reversed.  Previously, Judge Winmill had granted partial summary judgment dismissing additional claims for traffic stop and arrest, holding there was probable cause to do so.  If the procedural status on appeal is confusing to the reader, recall that an interlocutory appeal of a denial of summary judgment is allowed in such section 1983 actions before trial and final judgment, which is opposite the general rule.  Risk Management, ISP, and Officer Murakami, and the AG’s office are/will be very pleased with this favorable circuit opinion in favor of their officer.

 

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

 A somewhat common saying in the legal profession is that a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge. Whether or not you agree with this saying, it can’t hurt to know what local judges are stressing to lawyers in the community. On November 16, 2016, at a Portnuef Inn of Court meeting, two judges in the Sixth Judicial District, Judge Scott Axline, a magistrate judge, and Judge Stephen S. Dunn, a district judge, discussed the legal principle of due process with local attorneys.

Judge Axline reminded those present that due process of law, the constitutional guarantee that prevents the government from impacting citizens in an abusive way, has its roots in the Magna Carta dating back to the year 1215; it did not come out of thin air. Today it is found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, and it is a common principle that permeates the legal system and makes it function. Based on his research, there are 36 statutes in Idaho that reference it, both in the criminal and civil context.

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Randy Budge and T.J. Budge gave presentations at the 33rd Annual Water Law and Resource Issues Seminar of the Idaho Water Users Association. Randy presented on November 4 on the “Idaho Ground Water Appropriators/Surface Water Settlement.” T. J. presented on November 3  on the “Idaho Ground Water District Law.”

 

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In the 2016 Eastern Idaho Bench Bar Conference held in Fort Hall on September 23, 2016, three federal judges from Idaho addressed current concerns.

First, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill explained that, based on the current caseload, Idaho needs another federal district judge. Currently, Judge Winmill is Idaho’s sole active federal district judge. Judge Edward J. Lodge, who is 82 years old and intended to reduce his caseload after he took senior status, has continued taking on a significant—but not full—caseload.   

To help illustrate the need for a new district judge, Judge Winmill compared the District of Idaho to the Eastern District of Washington, which has essentially the same caseload but six active district judges. The District of Idaho, on the other hand, has approximately 1.7 active judges: he and Judge Lodge. The workload is exhausting.      

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