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Oft-relisted Ryan v. Hurles denied

A dispute that drew the Supreme Court’s attention throughout the entire prior Term, the Arizona murder case of Ryan v. Hurles, ended its lengthy run on Monday as the Justices denied review of a new appeal, making no comment.  The Court did not grant any new cases, and did not seek the federal government’s views on any new cases.

The Arizona case had been scheduled for consideration at every one of the Justices’ private Conferences during the Term that ended last summer, only to be dismissed at the state’s request last June, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a new ruling — the latest in a string of successive reviews by that court.

The state returned to the Supreme Court this Term, adding a new issue.  It was scheduled for consideration four times, but came to an end abruptly with the order denying review.

While lingering on the Court’s docket last Term, the case was only about whether the inmate, Richard Dean Hurles, was entitled to a new federal court hearing on whether the judge who presided at his trial was biased against him.   That was the issue that, supposedly, the Court was to consider at each of the twenty-three times it was sent to them for discussion.

The state’s new petition added a question on whether the Court would extend a 2012 decision, Martinez v. Ryan, giving state prisoners’ a right to bring new challenges to the performance of a defense lawyer at the trial in state court.  The issue was whether that right would also apply to claims of a flawed performance by the defense team in a state appeal. The Ninth Circuit, taking a position contrary to other appeals courts’ rulings, ruled that the precedent did reach that level.

The case now returns to lower courts to carry out the Ninth Circuit’s latest ruling.

Among the cases denied review on Monday was another sequel: Bailey v. United States.  The case had been at the Court previously, leading to a ruling in February 2013 that police violate the Fourth Amendment if, in carrying out a search warrant of a home, they arrest and detain an individual a mile away from there.  That ruling left open the question of whether police could make a brief stop and engage in limited questioning of a person that they had seen leaving the home they were about to search.

On that open question, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against a New York man, Chunon L. Bailey, concluding that the police had authority under the Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Terry v. Ohio to stop Bailey and a companion as they left the apartment building where police planned a search with a warrant.  Bailey challenged that ruling, and his conviction on drug trafficking and gun possession charges, in his new petition.  The Court denied review, without comment; Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not take part in the order.

At the suggestion of the U.S. Solicitor General, the Court denied review of a petition in a patent case, Cisco Systems, Inc., v. Commil USA, LLC.   The Court, however, took no action on Monday on a companion case, Commil USA, LLC, v. Cisco Systems, Inc., that the Solicitor General had suggested the Court review one of the questions it raised.  Presumably, the Commil petition will be relisted for another look.

The dispute between the two technology companies is over the rights to provide connections to WiFi services — that is, short-range communications networks with the use of phones or laptop computers.  The basic patent is held by Commil USA, an American affiliate of an Israeli firm.

Commil’s petition seeks review of whether a company accused of inducing a patent infringement claim can use as a defense its belief that the patent was not valid.  Cisco Systems had asked the Court, if it agreed to review that question, to also grant review of the scope of retrial if an appeals court has set aside a jury verdict and ordered a new trial.

The Justices sought the views of the federal government.  Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., urged the Court to review only the patent defense issue — the first question in Commil’s petition — and to deny outright the Cisco Systems petition.  So far, the Court has acted only on the latter, dismissing the Cisco petition without comment.  Justice Stephen G. Breyer took no part in the order.


Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Oft-relisted Ryan v. Hurles denied, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 1, 2014, 10:15 AM),