II.    CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS. 1

 

A.   Introduction. 1

1.    Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.. 1

2.    Harmless Error 2

3.    Plain Error 3

4.    Structural Error 4

 

B.    Pretrial Decisions in Criminal Cases. 5

1.    Appointment of Expert Witness. 5

2.    Bail 5

3.    Bill of Particulars. 6

4.    Brady Violations. 7

5.    Competency to Stand Trial 7

6.    Confessions. 8

7.    Confidential Informants. 8

8.    Consolidation of Counts. 9

9.    Continuances. 9

10.    Defenses. 10

11.    Discovery. 11

a.      Depositions. 12

b.     Jencks Act 12

c.      Sanctions. 13

12.    Discriminatory (Selective) Prosecution. 13

13.    Dismissals. 14

14.    Evidentiary Hearings. 17

15.    Ex Parte Hearings. 18

16.    Ex Post Facto. 18

17.    Extradition. 18

18.    Faretta Requests (Waive Counsel) 19

19.    Franks Hearing. 20

20.    Fugitive Status. 20

21.    Grand Juries. 20

22.    Guilty Pleas. 21

a.      Rule 11. 21

b.     Voluntariness. 22

c.      Withdrawal 22

23.    Immunity Agreements. 22

24.    In Camera Proceedings. 23

25.    Indictments and Informations. 24

a.      Constructive Amendments. 24

b.     Dismissals. 24

c.      Duplicitous/Multiplicitous. 24

d.     Misjoinder 24

e.      Prosecutorial Misconduct 25

f.      Sufficiency. 25

g.      Validity. 26

26.    In Limine Orders. 26

27.    Interpreters. 27

28.    Investigators. 27

29.    Judicial Estoppel 27

30.    Judicial Notice. 27

31.    Jurisdiction. 28

32.    Jury Demand. 28

33.    Jury Waiver 28

34.    Juveniles. 29

34.    Lack of Prosecution. 30

35.    Law of the Case. 30

36.    Lineups. 30

37.    Magistrate Judges. 31

38.    Miranda Rights. 32

39.    Motion to Quash. 34

40.    Out‑of‑Court Identification. 34

41.    Plea Agreements. 35

a.      Breaches/Enforcement 35

b.     Interpretation. 36

c.      Negotiations. 36

d.     Waiver 37

42.    Preclusion of Proffered Defense. 37

43.    Pre-indictment Delay. 38

44.    Pretrial Detention and Release. 38

45.    Pretrial Hearings. 39

46.    Pretrial Identifications. 39

47.    Probable Cause. 40

48.    Recusal 41

49.    Regulations. 42

50.    Representation. 42

a.      Conflict‑Free Representation. 42

b.     Disqualification of Counsel 42

c.      Hybrid Representation. 42

d.     Ineffective Representation. 43

e.      Pro Se Representation. 44

f.      Right to Counsel 44

g.     Substitution of Counsel 45

h.     Waiver of Representation. 45

i.       Withdrawal of Counsel 46

51.    Sealed Materials. 46

52.    Search and Seizure. 46

a.      Abandonment 47

b.     Border Searches. 47

c.      Coast Guard Searches. 48

d.     Consent to Search. 48

e.      Exclusionary Rule. 49

f.      Exigent Circumstances. 49

g.      Expectation of Privacy. 49

h.     Governmental Conduct 50

i.       Inevitable Discovery. 50

j.       Investigatory Stops. 50

k.     Issuance of a Search Warrant 51

l.       Knock and Announce. 52

m.    Private Searches. 53

n.     Probable Cause. 53

o.     Probation/Parole Searches. 53

p.     Protective Sweeps. 54

q.     Reasonable Suspicion. 54

r.      Rule 41(g) Motions. 55

s.      Suppression Motions. 55

t.      Terry Stops. 56

u.     Warrantless Searches and Seizures. 57

53.    Selective Prosecution. 58

54.    Severance. 59

55.    Sixth Amendment Rights. 60

56.    Speedy Trial 62

57.    Statutes. 64

58.    Statutes of Limitation. 65

59.    Suppression. 66

60.    Transfer of Trial 66

61.    Venue. 67

62.    Vindictive Prosecution. 67

63.    Voluntariness of a Confession. 67

64.    Waiver of Rights. 67

65.    Warrants. 68

66.    Wiretaps. 69

 

C.    Trial Decisions in Criminal Cases. 70

1.    Acquittals. 70

2.    Admission of Evidence. 71

3.    Allen Charges. 72

4.    Authenticity. 73

5.    Batson Claims. 73

6.    Best Evidence Rule. 74

7.    Bruton Violations. 74

8.    Burden of Proof 75

9.    Chain of Custody. 75

10.    Character Evidence. 75

11.    Closing Arguments. 76

12.    Coconspirator Statements. 76

13.    Comments on the Evidence. 78

14.    Confrontation Clause. 78

15.    Constitutionality of Regulations. 79

16.    Constitutionality of Statutes. 80

17.    Contempt 80

18.    Continuances. 81

19.    Credibility Determinations. 82

20.    Cross‑Examination. 83

21.    Documentary Evidence. 84

22.    Double Jeopardy. 84

23.    Entrapment 85

24.    Evidentiary Rulings. 86

25.    Expert Testimony. 87

26.    Extrinsic Evidence. 89

27.    Federal Rules. 89

28.    Fifth Amendment Rights. 89

29.    Griffin Violations. 90

30.    Hearsay. 91

31.    Immunity from Prosecution. 92

32.    Impeachment Evidence. 93

33.    In Absentia Proceedings. 93

34.    In‑Court Identification. 93

35.    Ineffective Assistance of Counsel 94

36.    Jewell Instruction. 95

37.    Judge Conduct 95

38.    Juror Misconduct 96

39.    Jury Examination of Evidence. 98

40.    Jury Inquiries. 99

a.      District Court’s Response. 99

b.     Supplemental Instructions. 100

41.    Jury Instructions. 100

a.      Formulation of Instructions. 100

b.     Adequacy of Instructions. 101

c.      Denial of Requested Instruction. 102

d.     Special Verdict Forms. 103

e.      Due Process Challenges. 103

f.      Procedure for Reviewing Instructions. 103

g.      Harmless Error and Plain Error 104

h.     Invited Error 105

i.       Allen Charges. 105

j.       Jewell Instructions. 106

42.    Jury Selection. 106

a.      Challenges for Cause. 106

i.      Voir Dire/Peremptory Challenges. 106

ii.    Jury Misconduct 107

b.     Jury Composition/Batson Claims. 108

c.      Anonymous Jury. 110

43.    Materiality of a False Statement 110

44.    Opening Statements. 111

45.    Opinion Evidence. 111

a.      Expert Opinion Evidence. 111

i.      Admission or Exclusion of Evidence. 111

ii.    Reliability. 113

iii.   Qualifications. 113

iv.   Funds/Expert Appointment Request 113

b.     Lay Opinion Testimony. 113

46.    Photographs. 114

47.    Presence of Defendant 114

48.    Prior Crimes, Wrongs or Acts. 115

a.      Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) 115

b.     Fed. R. Evid. 608. 116

c.      Fed. R. Evid. 609. 116

49.    Privileges. 116

a.      Attorney-Client, Doctor-Patient, Marital 116

b.     Fifth Amendment/Defendant’s Silence. 118

50.    Fed. R. Evid. 403 – Probative Value vs. Prejudicial Harm.. 119

51.    Prosecutorial Misconduct 119

a.      Generally. 119

b.     Bolstering/Vouching. 120

c.      Dismissal 121

d.     Grand Jury Misconduct 121

e.      Disqualification of Prosecutor 122

f.      Suppression of Exculpatory Evidence. 122

52.    Rebuttal and Surrebuttal Evidence. 122

53.    Recess. 123

54.    Recusal and Disqualification of Judge. 123

55.    Relevancy of Evidence. 123

56.    Reopening. 124

57.    Rule of Completeness. 124

58.    Sanctions. 124

59.    Shackling. 125

60.    Side-Bar Conferences. 126

61.    Witnesses. 126

a.      District Court Decisions. 126

b.     Witness Immunity. 127

 

D.   Post-Trial Decisions in Criminal Cases. 128

1.    Allocution. 128

2.    Appeals. 128

3.    Apprendi Violations. 129

4.    Arrest of Judgment 130

5.    Attorneys’ Fees. 130

6.    Bail Pending Sentence and Appeal 131

7.    Correcting/Amending/Reducing Sentences. 132

8.    Disciplinary Orders. 132

9.    Expungement 132

10.    Fines. 133

11.    Forfeiture. 133

12.    Mistrial 134

13.    New Trial 135

14.    Parole. 136

15.    Probation. 137

16.    Resentencing. 138

17.    Restitution. 139

18.    Fed. R. Crim. P. 32. 140

19.    Sentencing. 141

a.      Applicability of the Sentencing Guidelines and pre-Guidelines Standards of Review   141

b.     Application of the Guidelines to Specific Facts. 142

c.      Constitutionality. 142

d.     Continuances. 143

e.      Correcting/Amending/Reducing Sentences and Rule 35. 143

f.      Departures. 144

g.      Disparate Sentences. 147

h.     Factual Findings. 147

i.       Fines. 148

j.       Interpretation and Application of Sentencing    Guidelines. 148

i.      Abuse of Trust Enhancement 149

ii.    Prior Conviction. 149

iii.   Prison Credit Time. 150

iv.   Aggravated Felonies. 150

v.    Approximation of Drug Quantities. 150

vi.   Grouping of Offenses. 150

vii.  Reductions for Change in Guideline Range (§ 3582(c)(2)) 151

k.     Legality. 151

l.       Restitution. 151

m.    Rule 32. 152

20.    Sufficiency of the Evidence. 153

21.    Supervised Release. 154

22.    Transcripts. 156

23.    Writ Ad Testificandum.. 157

24.    Writ of Audita Querela. 158

25.    Writ of Coram Nobis. 158

 

E.    Habeas Corpus Petitions. 158

1.    28 U.S.C. § 2241. 158

2.    28 U.S.C. § 2255. 159

3.    28 U.S.C. § 2254. 160

4.    Certificates of Appealability. 165

5.    Discovery. 166

6.    Evidentiary Hearings. 166

7.    Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act 168

8.    Juror Misconduct 168

9.    Reconsideration. 168

10.    Statutes of Limitations. 168

11.    Successive Petitions. 169

12.    Writ of Ad Testificandum.. 169

13.    Writ of Coram Nobis. 169


II.    CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

A.      Introduction

1.       Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

 

The district court’s findings of fact are reviewed for clear error. See e.g., United States v. Rodgers, 656 F.3d 1023, 1026 (9th Cir. 2011) (motion to suppress); United States v. Stoterau, 524 F.3d 988, 997 (9th Cir. 2008) (sentencing); United States v. Doe, 136 F.3d 631, 636 (9th Cir. 1998) (bench trial).[1]  Findings of fact based on stipulations are entitled to the same deference as those based on in-court testimony.  See United States v. Bazuaye, 240 F.3d 861, 864 (9th Cir. 2001).

 

The district court’s legal conclusions are reviewed de novo.  See United States v. Forrester, 512 F.3d 500, 506 (9th Cir. 2008) (motion to suppress).[2]  Thus, the district court’s construction or interpretation of a statute is reviewed de novo.  See e.g., United States v. Rivera, 527 F.3d 891, 908 (9th Cir. 2008) (interpreting the Sentencing Guidelines); United States v. Cabaccang, 332 F.3d 622, 624-25 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (definition of importation).[3]  Likewise, the “district court’s interpretation of the sentencing guidelines” is reviewed de novo.  See United States v. McEnry, 659 F.3d 893, 896 (9th Cir. 2011). [4]

 

The district court’s interpretation of the federal rules is reviewed de novo.  See, e.g., United States v. Urena, 659 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2011) (evidence); United States v. Alvarez-Moreno, 657 F.3d 896, 900 n.2 (9th Cir. 2011) (criminal procedure); United States v. W.R. Grace, 504 F.3d 745, 758-59 (9th Cir. 2007) (evidence); United States v. Fort, 472 F.3d 1106, 1109 (9th Cir. 2007) (criminal procedure).

 

When a district court does not make specific findings of fact or conclusions of law, the court of appeals may nevertheless uphold the result if there is a reasonable view of the evidence to support it.  See United States v. Most, 789 F.2d 1411, 1417 (9th Cir. 1986) (waiver).  Failure to make the required findings of fact pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(i)(3)(B), however, requires a remand.  See Stoterau, 524 F.3d at 1011.

 

2.       Harmless Error

 

An error by a district court may be harmless.  See Neder v. United States, 527 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1999) (discussing when harmless error rule applies); Gautt v. Lewis, 489 F.3d 993, 1014-1016 (2007).  Constitutional error is harmless only when it appears “beyond a reasonable doubt that the error complained of did not contribute to the verdict obtained.” Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18, 23-24 (1967); United States v. Walters, 309 F.3d 589, 593 (9th Cir. 2002).  “Review for harmless error requires not only an evaluation of the remaining incriminating evidence in the record, but also the most perceptive reflections as to the probabilities of the effect of error on a reasonable trier of fact.”  United States v. Bishop, 264 F.3d 919, 927 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting United States v. Harrison, 34 F.3d 886, 892 (9th Cir. 1994)); United States v. Oaxaca, 233 F.3d 1154, 1158 (9th Cir. 2000) (noting “the harmlessness of an error is distinct from evaluating whether there is substantial evidence to support a verdict”).

A non-constitutional error requires reversal unless there is a “fair assurance” of harmlessness, or stated another way, unless “it is more probable than not that the error did not materially affect the verdict.”  See United States v. Seschillie, 310 F.3d 1208, 1214 (9th Cir. 2002);United States v. Morales, 108 F.3d 1031, 1040 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc); United States v. Hitt, 981 F.2d 422, 425 (9th Cir. 1992) (describing possible conflict between “fair assurance” and “more probable than not” standards); see also United States v. Kloehn, 620 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2010).[5]

 

In habeas review, the harmlessness standard is whether the error “‘had substantial and injurious effect or influence in determining the jury’s verdict.’”  Brecht v. Abrahamson, 507 U.S. 619, 637 (1993) (quoting Kotteakos v. United States, 328 U.S. 750, 766 (1946)); see also Ybarra v. McDaniel, 656 F.3d 984, 995 (9th Cir. 2011); O’Neal v. McAninch, 513 U.S. 432, 440-41 (1995) (“if the harmlessness of the error is in ‘grave doubt,’ relief must be granted”); California v. Roy, 519 U.S. 2, 4 (1996) (per curiam) (rejecting Ninth Circuit’s “modification” of the Brecht standard); Bains v. Cambra, 204 F.3d 964, 977 (9th Cir. 2000) (applying Brecht to habeas cases under § 2254); United States v. Montalvo, 331 F.3d 1052, 1057-58 (9th Cir.) (applying Brecht to habeas cases under § 2255).[6]

 

3.       Plain Error

 

When a defendant raises an issue on appeal that was not raised before the district court, the court of appeals may review only for plain error.  See Fed. R. Crim. P. 52(b); United States v. Olano, 507 U.S. 725, 730-36 (1993) (defining limitations on a reviewing court’s authority to correct plain error); see also United States v. Pelisamen, 641 F.3d 399, 404 (9th Cir. 2011).  Under the plain error standard, relief is not warranted unless there has been: (1) error, (2) that was plain, (3) that affected substantial rights, and (4) that seriously affected the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the judicial proceedings.  See United States v. Gonzalez-Aparicio, 663 F.3d 419, 428 (9th Cir. 2011); Pelisamen, 641 F.3d at 404; United States v. Davenport, 519 F.3d 940, 943 (9th Cir. 2008);[7] see also United States v. Perez, 116 F.3d 840, 845-846 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc) (discussing difference between forfeited rights, which are reviewable for plain error, and waived rights, which are not).  Plain error is invoked to prevent a miscarriage of justice or to preserve the integrity and the reputation of the judicial process.  See Olano, 507 U.S. at 736.

 

4.       Structural Error

 

When an error is constitutional in nature and implicates a “structural” right so basic to a fair trial that, by definition, it can never be harmless, the error is deemed harmful per se.  In these instances, the error is not subject to harmless error analysis and requires automatic reversal.  See Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18, 23-24 & n.8 (1967); see also United States v. Recuenco, 548 U.S. 212, 219 (2006); Neder v. United States, 527 U.S. 1, 7 (1999) (defining structural error); Greenway v. Schriro, 653 F.3d 790, 805 (9th Cir. 2011); United States v. Montalvo, 331 F.3d 1052, 1057 (9th Cir. 2003) (listing structural errors); United States v. Walters, 309 F.3d 589, 593 (9th Cir. 2002) (same).  Structural errors “are relatively rare, and consist of serious violations that taint the entire trial process, thereby rendering appellate review of the magnitude of the harm suffered by the defendant virtually impossible.”  Eslaminia v. White, 136 F.3d 1234, 1237 n.1 (9th Cir. 1998) (giving examples).

B.      Pretrial Decisions in Criminal Cases