At its April 27, 2012 Conference, the Court will consider such issues as whether gathering clothing is a Fourth Amendment search, compensation for a property’s “development potential” for a Fifth Amendment taking, supervisory liability for an Eighth Amendment violation, and the retroactivity of Padilla v. Kentucky.  This edition of “Petitions to watch” features petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them here without consideration of whether they present appropriate vehicles in which to decide those issues.

Virginia v. Banks

Docket: 11-1071
Issue(s): Whether the Fourth Amendment requires suppression of a pistol in a coat belonging to a suspect properly arrested for a felony, when the officers took control of the coat solely for the purpose of giving it to the suspect to protect him from the elements, and when the trial court expressly found that the officers acted in good faith, and that the search of the coat was conducted for the officers’ safety and not for the purpose of obtaining evidence of criminal activity.

Certiorari stage documents:

Coleman v. Johnson (Granted )

Docket: 11-1053
Issue(s): (1) Whether the court of appeals’ grant of habeas relief based on a finding that the Pennsylvania courts misapplied Pennsylvania law should be reversed given that it conflicts with this Court’s holdings that it is not the province of a federal habeas court to examine state court application of state law and that only noncompliance with clearly-established federal law will render a state’s criminal judgment susceptible to collateral attack in federal court; (2) whether the court of appeals’ refusal to credit factual inferences favorable to the prosecution in connection with its Jackson v. Virginia analysis due to its subjective view that those inferences do not “more likely than not flow from” the trial evidence should be reversed given that it conflicts with this Court's holdings that a federal habeas court conducting a Jackson review must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, presume that the jury resolved any conflicting factual inferences in favor of the prosecution, and defer to that resolution; (3) whether the court of appeals’ determination, which patently relies upon its own subjective conclusions regarding witness credibility and the proper weight to be accorded the record evidence, should be reversed given that it contravenes this Court’s repeated admonitions that a federal habeas court conducting a Jackson review is strictly forbidden from substituting its judgment for that of the jury on weight and credibility issues; (4) whether the court of appeals’ determination, which relies upon a definition of accomplice liability that conflicts with Pennsylvania law, should be reversed given this Court’s holdings that a federal habeas court engaged in a Jackson analysis must apply the substantive elements of the criminal offense as defined by state law; and (5) whether the court of appeals’ de facto finding that the state courts’ conviction was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented should be reversed given that it fails to acknowledge or address the presumption of correctness that must be afforded the factual inferences drawn by the state courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(l) and therefore conflicts with this Court’s holdings that the presumption of correctness afforded state court factual findings cannot be overridden absent clear and convincing contrary evidence.

Certiorari stage documents:

River Center LLC v. The Dormitory Authority of New York

Docket: 11-922
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Fifth Amendment permits a state to deny compensation to an owner for loss of the reasonably probable development potential of a condemned development site taken through eminent domain proceedings, unless the property owner can show that development will come to fruition in the near future; (2) whether, in awarding just compensation under the Fifth Amendment, a state may exclude damages resulting from deliberate governmental interference with a development project that delays development and suppresses the property’s value at the time of the taking over what it would otherwise have been; and (3) whether the Fifth Amendment permits a court in a condemnation proceeding to restrict evidence of value to the testimony of appraisers and to exclude or ignore otherwise competent testimony of property value (a) from the property’s owner, and (b) from third parties able to provide market-based evidence of value, such as financing proposals and offers to lease and buy.

Certiorari stage documents:

Baca v. Starr

Docket: 11-834
Issue(s): (1) Whether, under Ashcroft v. Iqbal, a county sheriff or other high-level supervisory official may be held liable for an Eighth Amendment violation, stemming from an assault on a prisoner perpetrated by jail inmates and guards, if the plaintiff does not allege facts showing that the sheriff actually knew of, yet failed to respond to, the particular risk of assault the plaintiff faced, and that the sheriff ’s failure to act was the cause of the plaintiff ’s injury; and (2) whether a complaint seeking to hold a high-level supervisory official liable for the acts of subordinate officials, that alleges unrelated incidents of violence over several years in a 20,000-inmate jail system, satisfies Iqbal’s plausibility requirement.

Certiorari stage documents:

Chaidez v. United States (Granted )

Note: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the petitioner in this case.
Docket: 11-820
Issue(s): Whether the Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, holding that criminal defendants receive ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when their attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation, applies to persons whose convictions became final before its announcement.

Certiorari stage documents:


The following petition has been re-listed for the conference of April 27.  If any other paid petitions are redistributed for this conference, we will add them below as soon as their redistribution is noted on the docket.

Ryan v. United States

Docket: 11-499
Issue(s): (1) Whether, to have preserved a claim that jury instructions directed and produced a conviction for noncriminal conduct, a petitioner under 18 U.S.C. § 2255 must have argued for the precise standard this Court articulated when it held this conduct noncriminal in a later case; (2) whether a federal court may disregard the government’s express acknowledgment that a petitioner preserved a claim that instructions directed and produced his conviction for noncriminal conduct; and (3) whether, when a jury was directed to convict a § 2255 petitioner of noncriminal conduct, he must show (a) that the evidence would have been insufficient to support his conviction under the appropriate standard; (b) that there is grave doubt whether the erroneous instructions had a substantial and injurious effect on the verdict; (c) that there is a reasonable likelihood that he was not convicted of a crime; or (d) that it is not clear beyond a reasonable doubt that he was convicted of a crime.

Certiorari stage documents:

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Matthew Bush, Petitions to watch | Conference of April 27, 2012, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 23, 2012, 1:57 PM),