United States

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Enforceability of Foreign Awards under Section 48 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (for short, “1996 Act”) = whether appeal award no. 3782 and appeal award no. 3783 both dated 21.09.1998 passed by the Board of Appeal of the Grain and Feed Trade Association, London (for short, “Board of Appeal”) in favour of the respondent are enforceable under Section 48 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (for short, “1996 Act”)? = While considering the enforceability of foreign awards, the court does not exercise appellate jurisdiction over the foreign award nor does it enquire as to whether, while rendering foreign award, some error has been committed. Under Section 48(2)(b) the enforcement of a foreign award can be refused only if such enforcement is found to be contrary to (1) fundamental policy of Indian law; or (2) the interests of India; or (3) justice or morality. The objections raised by the appellant do not fall in any of these categories and, therefore, the foreign awards cannot be held to be contrary to public policy of India as contemplated under Section 48(2)(b). 46. The contention of the learned senior counsel for the appellant that the Board of Appeal dealt with the questions not referred to it and which were never in dispute and, therefore, these awards cannot be enforced being contrary to Section 48(1)(c) is devoid of any substance and is noted to be rejected. 47. In the circumstances, we hold that appeal has no merit. It is dismissed with no order as to costs.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40512 Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5085 OF 2013 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 13721 of 2012) Shri Lal Mahal Ltd. ……. Appellant Vs. Progetto Grano Spa ……Respondent JUDGMENT R.M. LODHA, J. Leave granted. 2. The question for consideration in this appeal by special leave … Continue reading

Service matter – voluntary retirement application pending – terminated service due to unauthorized absent from service by joining in other’s company = Before accepting the voluntary retirement No employee remain absent from his duties with out permission, pending his application for voluntary retirement, the employer can initiate departmental proceedings on founding guilty, his services may be terminated and in such case, the petitioner can not press for disposal his application for voluntary retirement application first by dropping the disciplinary proceedings = Voluntary Retirement Scheme was introduced and the Petitioner also applied on 7.4.1998 to avail the benefits of the Scheme. However, without waiting for acceptance of his application seeking voluntary retirement, the Petitioner proceeded to the United States and applied for further leave from 1.6.1998 to 30.6.1998. Such prayer was rejected and the Petitioner was asked by letter dated 26.6.1998 to join his duties from 1.7.1998. – the Petitioner moved the Kerala High Court in its writ jurisdiction for a direction upon the authorities to accept his prayer for voluntary retirement and to drop the disciplinary action initiated against him. – before the Division Bench in which Petitioner’s counsel strongly urged that his application for voluntary retirement be accepted. He also added a new dimension to his submissions that since there was no response from the side of the Respondent, his application for voluntary retirement must be deemed to have been accepted. Accordingly, the subsequent proceedings taken by way of disciplinary proceedings and the order of termination of services passed therein, must be held to be entirely invalid.= whether the order of dismissal passed against the Petitioner could be converted into an order of compulsory retirement. = It is well-established that a Voluntary Retirement Scheme introduced by a company, does not entitle an employee as a matter of right to the benefits of the Scheme. Whether an employee should be allowed to retire in terms of the Scheme is a decision which can only be taken by the employer company, except in cases where the Scheme itself provides for retirement to take effect when the notice period comes to an end. A Voluntary Retirement Scheme introduced by a company is essentially a part of the company’s desire to weed out the deadwood. 14. The Petitioner’s contention that his application for voluntary retirement came into effect on the expiry of the period of notice given by him must fail, since there was no such stipulation in the scheme that even without acceptance of his application it would be deemed that the Petitioner’s voluntary retirement application had been accepted. Once that is not accepted, the entire case of the Petitioner falls to the ground. The decision in Tek Chand’s case (supra) will not, therefore, have any application to the facts of this case, particularly when the Petitioner’s application for voluntary retirement had not been accepted and he had been asked to rejoin his services. The Petitioner was fully aware of this position as he continued to apply for leave after the notice period was over. 15. We are not, therefore, inclined to interfere with the orders impugned in the Special Leave Petition which is, accordingly, dismissed.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40508 Page 1 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 31250 OF 2011 C.V. Francis …Petitioner Vs. Union of India & Ors. …Respondents J U D G M E N T ALTAMAS KABIR, CJI. 1. The Petitioner, who has appeared in person, was employed as a … Continue reading

M.V. ACT – INSURANCE CLAIMS = THE POSITION OF VEHICLES AT THE SCENE OF ACCIDENT AND THE CONTENT OF viscera WITH ALCOHOL ALONG WITH FOOD ON DECEASED STOMACH AT THE TIME OF ACCIDENT NEVER SUGGEST CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE, WHEN CHARGE SHEET WAS FILED AGAINST THE ACCUSED DUE TO RASH AND NEGLIGENCE ACCIDENT WAS OCCURRED = the police submitted a charge­ sheet (Ext.­A4) against the bus driver under Section 279, 337 and 304A IPC with specific allegation that the bus driver caused the death of Joy Kuruvila due to rash and negligent driving of the bus on 16th April, 1990 at 4.50P.M.- The mere position of the vehicles after accident, as shown in a Scene Mahazar, cannot give a substantial proof as to the rash and negligent driving on the part of one or the other. When two vehicles coming from opposite directions collide, the position of the vehicles and its direction etc. depends on number of factors like speed of vehicles, intensity of collision, reason for collision, place at which one vehicle hit the other, etc. From the scene of the accident, one may suggest or presume the manner in which the accident caused, but in absence of any direct or corroborative evidence, no conclusion can be drawn as to whether there was negligence on the part of the driver. In absence of such direct or corroborative evidence, the Court cannot give any specific finding about negligence on the part of any individual. 25. Post Mortem report, Ext.­A5 shows the condition of the deceased at the time of death. The said report reflects that the deceased had already taken meal as his stomach was half full and contained rice, vegetables and meat pieces in a fluid with strong smell of spirit. 26. The aforesaid evidence, Ext.­A5 clearly suggests that the deceased had taken liquor but on the basis of the same, no definite finding can be given that the deceased was driving the car rashly and negligently at the time of accident. The mere suspicion based on Ext.­B2, ‘Scene Mahazar’ and the Ext.­A5, post mortem report cannot take the place of evidence, particularly, when the direct evidence like PW.3, independent eye­witness, , Ext.­A1(FIR), Ext.­A4(charge­sheet) and Ext.­B1( F.I. statement) are on record. In view of the aforesaid, we, therefore, hold that the Tribunal and the High Court erred in concluding that the said accident occurred due to the negligence on the part of the deceased as well, as the said conclusion was not based on evidence but based on mere presumption and surmises. ; The deceased was 45 years of age, therefore, as per decision in Sarla Verma & Ors. V. Delhi Transport Corporation & Anr., (2009) 6 SCC 121, multiplier of 14 shall be applicable. But the High Court and the Tribunal wrongly held that the multiplier of 15 will be applicable. Thus, by applying the multiplier of 14, the amount of compensation will be Rs.5,19,000 x 14 = Rs.72,66,000/­. The family of the deceased consisted of 5 persons i.e. deceased himself, wife, two children and his mother. As per the decision of this Court in Sarla Verma (supra) there being four dependents at the time of death, 1/4th of the total income to be deducted towards personal and living expenses of the deceased. The High Court has also noticed that out of 2,500 US Dollars, the deceased used to spend 500 US Dollars i.e. 1/5th of his income. Therefore, if 1/4th of the total income i.e. Rs. 18,16,500/­ is deducted towards personal and living expenses of the deceased, the contribution to the family will be (Rs. 72,66,000 – Rs. 18,16,500/­ =) Rs.54,49,500/­. Besides the aforesaid compensation, the claimants are entitled to get Rs.1,00,000/­ each towards love and affection of the two children i.e. Rs.2,00,000/­and a sum of Rs.1,00,000/­ towards loss of consortium to wife which seems to be reasonable. Therefore, the total amount comes to Rs.57,49,500/­. The claimants are entitled to get the said amount of compensation alongwith interest @ 12% from the date of filing of the petition till the date of realisation, leaving rest of the conditions as mentioned in the award intact. We, accordingly, allow the appeals filed by the claimants and partly allow the appeals preferred by the Insurance Company, so far as it relates to the application of the multiplier is concerned. The impugned judgment dated 12th April, 2007 passed by the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court in M.F.A. Nos.1162 and 1298 of 2001 and the award passed by the Tribunal are modified to the extent above.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40491 Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 4945­4946 OF 2013 (arising out of SLP(C)Nos.20557­20558 of 2007) JIJU KURUVILA & ORS. … APPELLANTS Versus KUNJUJAMMA MOHAN & ORS.     … RESPONDENTS WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO.  4947    OF 2013 (arising out of SLP(C)No.16078 of 2008) THE ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO. LTD. … APPELLANT Versus SMT. CHINNAMMA JOY AND ORS.     … RESPONDENTS CIVIL APPEAL NO.  4948  OF 2013 (arising out of SLP(C)No.15992 of 2008) ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO. LTD. … APPELLANT Versus SMT. CHINNAMMA JOY AND ORS.     … RESPONDENTS J U D G M E N T SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J. Delay condoned. Leave granted. 1Page 2 2. These   appeals   are   directed   against   the judgment of the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court  dated 12th  April, 2007 in M.F.A. Nos. 1162 and 1298 of 2001(D)  whereby compensation awarded to   the   claimants   by … Continue reading

Damages to the standing crop +The question relating to the value of larger extent of agricultural land, if required to be determined with reference to price fixed for small residential plot, = “When the value of a large extent of agricultural land has to be determined with reference to the price fetched by sale of a small residential plot, it is necessary to make an appropriate deduction towards the development cost, to arrive at the value of the large tract of land. The deduction towards development cost may vary from 20% to 75% depending upon various factors. Even if the acquired lands have situational advantages, the minimum deduction from the market value of a small residential plot, to arrive at the market value of a larger agricultural land, in the usual course, will be in the range of 20% to 25%. In this case, the Collector has himself adopted a 25% deduction which has been affirmed by the Reference Court and the High Court. We, therefore, do not propose to alter it.” Therefore, it is clear that mere reliance made by a Court on sale deeds of smaller residential area for determination of market value of larger agricultural area, the same will not render the determination illegal until and unless it is shown that the determination was not proper. 20. In the instant case, the average value of the sale­deeds relied upon by the Reference Court (Ext.1 and Ext.1/b) was Rs. 401/­ at the time of acquisition. Therefore, as the sale­deeds were in relation to smaller plots, the deduction of 37% was made by the Reference Court and thereafter, by allowing appropriate 10% increase in the value of the land from the date of the sale deeds upto the date of Notification under Section 4 of the Act, the Reference Court arrived at a figure of Rs.250/­ per decimal. The High Court while arriving at figure of Rs. 100/­ per decimal considered only the fact that the sale deeds relied upon were in relation to smaller plots and those sale deeds(Ext.1 and Ext.1/b) were related to homestead land and hence fixed Rs. 10,000/­ per acre as compensation. It completely failed to consider the increase in price of land and the deduction made by the 9Page 10 High Court is nearly 75% which is not in accordance with law. we have no other alternative but to set aside the order passed by the High Court and restore the award passed by the Reference Court.-The respondents are directed to pay the appellant the compensation in terms of the award passed by the Reference Court after adjusting the amount already paid within three months. There shall be no separate order as to costs.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=40470 Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.5311 OF 2012 (arising out of SLP(C)No.34284 of 2011) AHSANUL HODA  … APPELLANT Versus STATE OF BIHAR     … RESPONDENT J U D G M E N T SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J. This   appeal   has   been   filed   by   the   claimant­ appellant against the judgment and order of the Patna High   Court   dated   10.2.2011   by   which   the   High   Court reduced   the   compensation   awarded … Continue reading

WRONGFUL CONFINEMENT AND MURDER = the confessions made by the accused persons and the issue of leading to discovery of articles.=There can be no shadow of doubt that the confession part is inadmissible in evidence. It is also not in dispute that the panch witnesses have turned hostile but the facts remains that the place from where the dead body of the deceased and other items were recovered was within the special knowledge of the appellant.- wherein it has been ruled that by virtue of Section 8 of the Evidence Act, the conduct of the accused person is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact. The evidence of the circumstance, simpliciter, that the accused pointed out to the police officer the place where the dead body of the kidnapped person was found would be admissible as conduct under Section 8 irrespective of the fact whether the statement made by the accused contemporaneously with or antecedent to such conduct falls within the purview of Section 27 of the Evidence Act or not. It is now well settled that recovery of an object is not discovery of a fact as envisaged in the section. In the case at hand, the factum of information related to the discovery of the dead body and other articles and the said information was within the special knowledge of the present appellant. Hence, the doctrine of confirmation by subsequent events is attracted and, therefore, we have no hesitation in holding that recovery or discovery in the case at hand is a relevant fact or material which can be relied upon and has been correctly relied upon.; the last seen theory = The appellant has been identified by Kantibhai, PW-13, and Durlabhbhai, PW-15, and their evidence remains totally embedded in all material particulars. It has been proven by the prosecution that the Maruti Zen car belongs to the appellant. There has been no explanation offered by the accused in this regard, though such incriminating materials were put to him. – the injuries found on the dead body were approximately four days old. On the contrary, from the testimony of Madhuben, PW-14, wife of the deceased, it is evincible that she had talked on telephone to both the accused persons. Thus, the circumstance pertaining to the theory of last seen deserves acceptance. ;WHEN THE QUESTION OF NON- EXAMINATION OF WITNESS ARISE = “It is true that if a material witness, who would unfold the genesis of the incident or an essential part of the prosecution case, not convincingly brought to fore otherwise, or where there is a gap or infirmity in the prosecution case which could have been supplied or made good by examining a witness who though available is not examined, the prosecution case can be termed as suffering from a deficiency and withholding of such a material witness would oblige the court to draw an adverse inference against the prosecution by holding that if the witness would have been examined it would not have supported the prosecution case. On the other hand if already overwhelming evidence is available and examination of other witnesses would only be a repetition or duplication of the evidence already adduced, nonexamination of such other witnesses may not be material. In such a case the court ought to scrutinise the worth of the evidence adduced. The court of facts must ask itself — whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, it was necessary to examine such other witness, and if so, whether such witness was available to be examined and yet was being withheld from the court. If the answer be positive then only a question of drawing an adverse inference may arise. If the witnesses already examined are reliable and the testimony coming from their mouth is unimpeachable the court can safely act upon it, uninfluenced by the factum of nonexamination of other witnesses.”; NON- explanation under Section 313 CrPC = Though all the incriminating circumstances which point to the guilt of the accused had been put to him, yet he chose not to give any explanation under Section 313 CrPC except choosing the mode of denial. It is well settled in law that when the attention of the accused is drawn to the said circumstances that inculpated him in the crime and he fails to offer appropriate explanation or gives a false answer, the same can be counted as providing a missing link for building the chain of circumstances.; SCOPE OF SEC.120 -B =It is urged by him that A-2 stood on the same footing as the appellant and hence, the High Court should have acquitted him. It is also canvassed by him that A-2 has been acquitted of the charge of criminal conspiracy and, therefore, the appellant deserves to be acquitted. The High Court has taken note of the fact that A-2 was not identified by any one in the test identification parade. It has also noticed number of material contradictions and omissions and, accordingly, acquitted A-2. As far as the appellant is concerned, all the circumstances lead towards his guilt. As far as conspiracy under Section 120B is concerned, we are inclined to think that the High Court erred in not recording an order of acquittal under Section 120B as no other accused had been found guilty. The conviction under Section 120B cannot be sustained when the other accused persons have been acquitted, for an offence of conspiracy cannot survive if there is acquittal of the other alleged co-conspirators.- Resultantly, the appeal fails except for the acquittal for the offence of conspiracy. However, as we have sustained the conviction under Section 302 IPC and all the sentences are directed to be concurrent, the acquittal for the offence punishable under Section 120B would not help the appellant.

PUBLISHED IN http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=40453   Page 1 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1044 OF 2010 Harivadan Babubhai Patel … Appellant Versus State of Gujarat .. Respondent J U D G M E N T Dipak Misra, J. The appellant, A-1, along with Dipakbhai Zinabhai Patel, A- 2, Raghubhai Chaganbhai Patel, A-3, and … Continue reading

After the California Supreme Court held that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the California Constitution, state voters passed a ballot initiative known as Proposition 8, amending the State Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Respondents, same-sex couples who wish to marry, filed suit in federal court, challenging Proposition 8 under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and naming as defendants California’s Governor and other state and local officials responsible for enforcing California’s marriage laws. The officials refused to defend the law, so the District Court allowed petitioners— the initiative’s official proponents—to intervene to defend it. After a bench trial, the court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional and enjoined the public officials named as defendants from enforcing the law. Those officials elected not to appeal, but petitioners did. The Ninth Circuit certified a question to the California Supreme Court: whether official proponents of a ballot initiative have authority to assert the State’s interest in defending the constitutionality of the initiative when public officials refuse to do so. After the California Supreme Court answered in the affirmative, the Ninth Circuit concluded that petitioners had standing under federal law to defend Proposition 8’s constitutionality. On the merits, the court affirmed the District Court’s order. Held: Petitioners did not have standing to appeal the District Court’s order. Pp. 5–17. (a) Article III of the Constitution confines the judicial power of federal courts to deciding actual “Cases” or “Controversies.” §2. One essential aspect of this requirement is that any person invoking the power of a federal court must demonstrate standing to do so. In oth-2 HOLLINGSWORTH v. PERRY Syllabus er words, the litigant must seek a remedy for a personal and tangible harm. Although most standing cases consider whether a plaintiff has satisfied the requirement when filing suit, Article III demands that an “actual controversy” persist throughout all stages of litigation. Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc., 568 U. S. ___, ___. Standing “must be met by persons seeking appellate review, just as it must be met by persons appearing in courts of first instance.” Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U. S. 43, 64. The parties do not contest that respondents had standing to initiate this case against the California officials responsible for enforcing Proposition 8. But once the District Court issued its order, respondents no longer had any injury to redress, and the state officials chose not to appeal. The only individuals who sought to appeal were petitioners, who had intervened in the District Court, but they had not been ordered to do or refrain from doing anything. Their only interest was to vindicate the constitutional validity of a generally applicable California law. As this Court has repeatedly held, such a “generalized grievance”—no matter how sincere—is insufficient to confer standing. See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U. S. 555, 573–574. Petitioners claim that the California Constitution and election laws give them a “ ‘unique,’ ‘special,’ and ‘distinct’ role in the initiative process,” Reply Brief 5, but that is only true during the process of enacting the law. Once Proposition 8 was approved, it became a duly enacted constitutional amendment. Petitioners have no role—special or otherwise—in its enforcement. They therefore have no “personal stake” in defending its enforcement that is distinguishable from the general interest of every California citizen. No matter how deeply committed petitioners may be to upholding Proposition 8, that is not a particularized interest sufficient to create a case or controversy under Article III. Pp. 5–9. (b) Petitioners’ arguments to the contrary are unpersuasive. Pp. 9– 16. (1) They claim that they may assert the State’s interest on the State’s behalf, but it is a “fundamental restriction on our authority” that “[i]n the ordinary course, a litigant . . . cannot rest a claim to relief on the legal rights or interests of third parties.” Powers v. Ohio, 499 U. S. 400, 410. In Diamond v. Charles, 476 U. S. 54, for example, a pediatrician engaged in private practice was not permitted to defend the constitutionality of Illinois’ abortion law after the State chose not to appeal an adverse ruling. The state attorney general’s “letter of interest,” explaining that the State’s interest in the proceeding was “ ‘essentially co-terminous with’ ” Diamond’s position, id., at 61, was insufficient, since Diamond was unable to assert an injury of his own, id, at 65. Pp. 9–10. (2) Petitioners contend the California Supreme Court’s determi-Cite as: 570 U. S. ____ (2013) 3 Syllabus nation that they were authorized under California law to assert the State’s interest in the validity of Proposition 8 means that they “need no more show a personal injury, separate from the State’s indisputable interest in the validity of its law, than would California’s Attorney General or did the legislative leaders held to have standing in Karcher v. May, 484 U. S. 72 (1987).” Reply Brief 6. But far from supporting petitioners’ standing, Karcher is compelling precedent against it. In that case, after the New Jersey attorney general refused to defend the constitutionality of a state law, leaders of New Jersey’s Legislature were permitted to appear, in their official capacities, in the District Court and Court of Appeals to defend the law. What is significant about Karcher, however, is what happened after the Court of Appeals decision. The legislators lost their leadership positions, but nevertheless sought to appeal to this Court. The Court held that they could not do so. Although they could participate in the lawsuit in their official capacities as presiding officers of the legislature, as soon as they lost that capacity, they lost standing. Id., at 81. Petitioners here hold no office and have always participated in this litigation solely as private parties. Pp. 10–13. (3) Nor is support found in dicta in Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, supra. There, in expressing “grave doubts” about the standing of ballot initiative sponsors to defend the constitutionality of an Arizona initiative, the Court noted that it was “aware of no Arizona law appointing initiative sponsors as agents of the people of Arizona to defend, in lieu of public officials, the constitutionality of initiatives made law of the State.” Id., at 65. Petitioners argue that, by virtue of the California Supreme Court’s decision, they are authorized to act as “agents of the people of California.” Brief for Petitioners 15. But that Court never described petitioners as “agents of the people.” All the California Supreme Court’s decision stands for is that, so far as California is concerned, petitioners may “assert legal arguments in defense of the state’s interest in the validity of the initiative measure” in federal court. 628 F. 3d 1191, 1193. That interest is by definition a generalized one, and it is precisely because proponents assert such an interest that they lack standing under this Court’s precedents. Petitioners are also plainly not agents of the State. As an initial matter, petitioners’ newfound claim of agency is inconsistent with their representations to the District Court, where they claimed to represent their own interests as official proponents. More to the point, the basic features of an agency relationship are missing here: Petitioners are not subject to the control of any principal, and they owe no fiduciary obligation to anyone. As one amicus puts it, “the proponents apparently have an unelected appointment for an unspecified period of time as defenders of the initiative, however and to 4 HOLLINGSWORTH v. PERRY Syllabus whatever extent they choose to defend it.” Brief for Walter Dellinger 23. Pp. 13–16. (c) The Court does not question California’s sovereign right to maintain an initiative process, or the right of initiative proponents to defend their initiatives in California courts. But standing in federal court is a question of federal law, not state law. No matter its reasons, the fact that a State thinks a private party should have standing to seek relief for a generalized grievance cannot override this Court’s settled law to the contrary. Article III’s requirement that a party invoking the jurisdiction of a federal court seek relief for a personal, particularized injury serves vital interests going to the role of the Judiciary in the federal system of separated powers. States cannot alter that role simply by issuing to private parties who otherwise lack standing a ticket to the federal courthouse. Pp. 16–17. 671 F. 3d 1052, vacated and remanded.

(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2012 1     Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of … Continue reading

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), which establishes federal standards for state-court child custody proceedings involving Indian children, was enacted to address “the consequences . . . of abusive child welfare practices that [separated] Indian children from their families and tribes through adoption or foster care placement, usually in non-Indian homes,” Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 490 U. S. 30, 32. As relevant here, the ICWA bars involuntary termination of a parent’s rights in the absence of a heightened showing that serious harm to the Indian child is likely to result from the parent’s “continued custody” of the child, 25 U. S. C. §1912(f); conditions involuntary termination of parental rights with respect to an Indian child on a showing that remedial efforts have been made to prevent the “breakup of the Indian family,” §1912(d); and provides placement preferences for the adoption of Indian children to members of the child’s extended family, other members of the Indian child’s tribe, and other Indian families, §1915(a). While Birth Mother was pregnant with Biological Father’s child, their relationship ended and Biological Father (a member of the Cherokee Nation) agreed to relinquish his parental rights. Birth Mother put Baby Girl up for adoption through a private adoption agency and selected Adoptive Couple, non-Indians living in South Carolina. For the duration of the pregnancy and the first four months after Baby Girl’s birth, Biological Father provided no financial assistance to Birth Mother or Baby Girl. About four months after Baby Girl’s birth, Adoptive Couple served Biological Father with notice of the pending adoption. In the adoption proceedings, Biological Father sought custody and stated that he did not consent to the adoption. Following a trial, which took place when Baby Girl was two 2 ADOPTIVE COUPLE v. BABY GIRL Syllabus years old, the South Carolina Family Court denied Adoptive Couple’s adoption petition and awarded custody to Biological Father. At the age of 27 months, Baby Girl was handed over to Biological Father, whom she had never met. The State Supreme Court affirmed, concluding that the ICWA applied because the child custody proceeding related to an Indian child; that Biological Father was a “parent” under the ICWA; that §§1912(d) and (f) barred the termination of his parental rights; and that had his rights been terminated, §1915(a)’s adoption-placement preferences would have applied. Held: 1. Assuming for the sake of argument that Biological Father is a “parent” under the ICWA, neither §1912(f) nor §1912(d) bars the termination of his parental rights. Pp. 6–14. (a) Section 1912(f) conditions the involuntary termination of parental rights on a heightened showing regarding the merits of the parent’s “continued custody of the child.” The adjective “continued” plainly refers to a pre-existing state under ordinary dictionary definitions. The phrase “continued custody” thus refers to custody that a parent already has (or at least had at some point in the past). As a result, §1912(f) does not apply where the Indian parent never had custody of the Indian child. This reading comports with the statutory text, which demonstrates that the ICWA was designed primarily to counteract the unwarranted removal of Indian children from Indian families. See §1901(4). But the ICWA’s primary goal is not implicated when an Indian child’s adoption is voluntarily and lawfully initiated by a non-Indian parent with sole custodial rights. Nonbinding guidelines issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) demonstrate that the BIA envisioned that §1912(f)’s standard would apply only to termination of a custodial parent’s rights. Under this reading, Biological Father should not have been able to invoke §1912(f) in this case because he had never had legal or physical custody of Baby Girl as of the time of the adoption proceedings. Pp. 7–11. (b) Section §1912(d) conditions an involuntary termination of parental rights with respect to an Indian child on a showing “that active efforts have been made to provide remedial services . . . designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful.” Consistent with this text, §1912(d) applies only when an Indian family’s “breakup” would be precipitated by terminating parental rights. The term “breakup” refers in this context to “[t]he discontinuance of a relationship,” American Heritage Dictionary 235 (3d ed. 1992), or “an ending as an effective entity,” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 273 (1961). But when an Indian parent abandons an Indian child prior to birth and that child has never been in the Indian parent’s legal or physical custody, there is Cite as: 570 U. S. ____ (2013) 3 Syllabus no “relationship” to be “discontinu[ed]” and no “effective entity” to be “end[ed]” by terminating the Indian parent’s rights. In such a situation, the “breakup of the Indian family” has long since occurred, and §1912(d) is inapplicable. This interpretation is consistent with the explicit congressional purpose of setting certain “standards for the removal of Indian children from their families,” §1902, and with BIA Guidelines. Section 1912(d)’s proximity to §§1912(e) and (f), which both condition the outcome of proceedings on the merits of an Indian child’s “continued custody” with his parent, strongly suggests that the phrase “breakup of the Indian family” should be read in harmony with the “continued custody” requirement. Pp. 11–14. 2. Section 1915(a)’s adoption-placement preferences are inapplicable in cases where no alternative party has formally sought to adopt the child. No party other than Adoptive Couple sought to adopt Baby Girl in the Family Court or the South Carolina Supreme Court. Biological Father is not covered by §1915(a) because he did not seek to adopt Baby Girl; instead, he argued that his parental rights should not be terminated in the first place. And custody was never sought by Baby Girl’s paternal grandparents, other members of the Cherokee Nation, or other Indian families. Pp. 14–16. 398 S. C. 625, 731 S. E. 2d 550, reversed and remanded.

(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2012 1     Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of … Continue reading

Each human gene is encoded as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which takes the shape of a “double helix.” Each “cross-bar” in that helix consists of two chemically joined nucleotides. Sequences of DNA nucleotides contain the information necessary to create strings of amino acids used to build proteins in the body. The nucleotides that code for amino acids are “exons,” and those that do not are “introns.” Scientists can extract DNA from cells to isolate specific segments for study. They can also synthetically create exons-only strands of nucleotides known as complementary DNA (cDNA). cDNA contains only the exons that occur in DNA, omitting the intervening introns. Respondent Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Myriad), obtained several patents after discovering the precise location and sequence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, mutations of which can dramatically increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. This knowledge allowed Myriad to determine the genes’ typical nucleotide sequence, which, in turn, enabled it to develop medical tests useful for detecting mutations in these genes in a particular patient to assess the patient’s cancer risk. If valid, Myriad’s patents would give it the exclusive right to isolate an individual’s BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and would give Myriad the exclusive right to synthetically create BRCA cDNA. Petitioners filed suit, seeking a declaration that Myriad’s patents are invalid under 35 U. S. C. §101. As relevant here, the District Court granted summary judgment to petitioners, concluding that Myriad’s claims were invalid because they covered products of nature. The Federal Circuit initially reversed, but on remand in light of Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 566 U. S. ___, the Circuit found both isolated DNA and cDNA patent eligible. 2 ASSOCIATION FOR MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY v. MYRIAD GENETICS, INC. Syllabus Held: A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated, but cDNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring. Pp. 10–18. (a) The Patent Act permits patents to be issued to “[w]hoever invents or discovers any new and useful . . . composition of matter,” §101, but “laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas” “ ‘are basic tools of scientific and technological work’ ” that lie beyond the domain of patent protection, Mayo, supra, at ___. The rule against patents on naturally occurring things has limits, however. Patent protection strikes a delicate balance between creating “incentives that lead to creation, invention, and discovery” and “imped[ing] the flow of information that might permit, indeed spur, invention.” Id., at ___. This standard is used to determine whether Myriad’s patents claim a “new and useful . . . composition of matter,” §101, or claim naturally occurring phenomena. Pp. 10–11. (b) Myriad’s DNA claim falls within the law of nature exception. Myriad’s principal contribution was uncovering the precise location and genetic sequence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U. S. 303, is central to the patent-eligibility inquiry whether such action was new “with markedly different characteristics from any found in nature,” id., at 310. Myriad did not create or alter either the genetic information encoded in the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes or the genetic structure of the DNA. It found an important and useful gene, but groundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant discovery does not by itself satisfy the §101 inquiry. See Funk Brothers Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co., 333 U. S. 127. Finding the location of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes does not render the genes patent eligible “new . . . composition[s] of matter,” §101. Myriad’s patent descriptions highlight the problem with its claims: They detail the extensive process of discovery, but extensive effort alone is insufficient to satisfy §101’s demands. Myriad’s claims are not saved by the fact that isolating DNA from the human genome severs the chemical bonds that bind gene molecules together. The claims are not expressed in terms of chemical composition, nor do they rely on the chemical changes resulting from the isolation of a particular DNA section. Instead, they focus on the genetic information encoded in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Finally, Myriad argues that the Patent and Trademark Office’s past practice of awarding gene patents is entitled to deference, citing J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred Int’l, Inc., 534 U. S. 124, a case where Congress had endorsed a PTO practice in subsequent legislation. There has been no such endorsement here, and the United States argued in the Federal Circuit and in this Court that isolated DNA was not patent eligible under §101. Pp. 12–16. Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013) 3 Syllabus (c) cDNA is not a “product of nature,” so it is patent eligible under §101. cDNA does not present the same obstacles to patentability as naturally occurring, isolated DNA segments. Its creation results in an exons-only molecule, which is not naturally occurring. Its order of the exons may be dictated by nature, but the lab technician unquestionably creates something new when introns are removed from a DNA sequence to make cDNA. Pp. 16–17. (d) This case, it is important to note, does not involve method claims, patents on new applications of knowledge about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, or the patentability of DNA in which the order of the naturally occurring nucleotides has been altered. Pp. 17–18. 689 F. 3d 1303, affirmed in part and reversed in part.

(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2012 1     Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of … Continue reading

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 governs guilty pleas. Rule 11(c)(1) instructs that “[t]he court must not participate in [plea] discussions,” and Rule 11(h) states that a “variance from the requirements of th[e] rule is harmless error if it does not affect substantial rights.” Rule 52(a), which covers trial court errors generally, similarly prescribes: “Any error . . . that does not affect substantial rights must be disregarded.” Respondent Davila, while under indictment on multiple tax fraud charges, wrote to the District Court, expressing dissatisfaction with his court-appointed attorney. Complaining that his attorney offered no defensive strategy, but simply advised him to plead guilty, Davila requested new counsel. A Magistrate Judge held an in camera hearing at which Davila and his attorney, but no representative of the United States, appeared. At the hearing, the Magistrate Judge told Davila that he would not get another court-appointed attorney and that his best course, given the strength of the Government’s case, was to plead guilty. More than three months later, Davila pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in exchange for dismissal of 33 other charges. He stated under oath before a U. S. District Judge that he had not been forced or pressured to enter the plea, and he did not mention the in camera hearing before the Magistrate Judge. Prior to sentencing, however, Davila moved to vacate his plea and dismiss the indictment, asserting that he had entered the plea for a “strategic” reason, i.e., to force the Government to acknowledge errors in the indictment. Finding that Davila’s plea had been knowing and voluntary, the District Judge denied the motion. Again, Davila said nothing of the in camera hearing conducted by the Magistrate Judge. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit, following Circuit precedent, held that 2 UNITED STATES v. DAVILA Syllabus the Magistrate Judge’s violation of Rule 11(c)(1) required automatic vacatur of Davila’s guilty plea, obviating any need to inquire whether the error was prejudicial. Held: Under Rule 11(h), vacatur of the plea is not in order if the record shows no prejudice to Davila’s decision to plead guilty. Pp. 7–14. (a) Rule 11(c)(1)’s prohibition of judicial involvement in plea discussions was included in the 1974 Amendment to the Rule out of concern that a defendant might be induced to plead guilty rather than risk antagonizing the judge who would preside at trial. Rule 11(h) was added in the 1983 Amendment to make clear that Rule 11 errors are not excepted from Rule 52(a)’s harmless-error inquiry. Rule 52 also states, in subsection (b), that a “plain error that affects substantial rights may be considered even though it was not brought to the [trial] court’s attention.” When Rule 52(a) governs, the prosecution has the burden of showing harmlessness, but when Rule 52(b) controls, the defendant must show that the error affects substantial rights. See United States v. Vonn, 535 U. S. 55, 62. As clarified in Vonn and United States v. Dominguez Benitez, 542 U. S. 74, Rule 11 error may be of the Rule 52(a) type or the Rule 52(b) kind, depending on when the error was raised. In Vonn, the judge who conducted the plea hearing failed to inform the defendant, as required by Rule 11(c)(3), that he would have “the right to the assistance of counsel” if he proceeded to trial. The defendant first objected to the omission on appeal. This Court held that “a silent defendant has the burden to satisfy [Rule 52(b)’s] plain-error rule.” 535 U. S., at 59. In Dominguez Benitez, the error first raised on appeal was failure to warn the defendant, as Rule 11(c)(3)(B) instructs, that a plea could not be withdrawn even if the sentence imposed was higher than the plea-bargained sentence recommendation. The Court again held that Rule 52(b) controlled, and prescribed the standard a defendant silent until appeal must meet to show “plain error,” namely, “a reasonable probability that, but for the [Rule 11] error, he would not have entered the plea.” 542 U. S., at 83. Pp. 7–9. (b) Here, the Magistrate Judge plainly violated Rule 11(c)(1) by exhorting Davila to plead guilty. Davila contends that automatic vacatur, while inappropriate for most Rule 11 violations, should attend conduct banned by Rule 11(c)(1). He distinguishes plea-colloquy omissions, i.e., errors of the kind involved in Vonn and Dominguez Benitez, from pre-plea exhortations to admit guilt. The former come into play after a defendant has decided to plead guilty, the latter, before a defendant has decided to plead guilty or to stand trial. Nothing in Rule 11’s text, however, indicates that the ban on judicial involvement in plea discussions, if dishonored, demands automatic vacatur without regard to case-specific circumstances. Nor does the Advisory Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013) 3 Syllabus Committee commentary single out any Rule 11 instruction as more basic than others. And Rule 11(h), specifically designed to stop automatic vacaturs, calls for across-the-board application of the harmless-error prescription (or, absent prompt objection, the plain-error rule). Rule 11(c)(1) was adopted as a prophylactic measure, not one impelled by the Due Process Clause or any other constitutional requirement. Thus, violation of the Rule does not belong in the highly exceptional category of structural errors—e.g., denial of counsel of choice or denial of a public trial—that trigger automatic reversal because they undermine the fairness of the entire criminal proceeding. United States v. Marcus, 560 U. S. 258, ___. Instead, in assessing Rule 11 errors, a reviewing court must take account of all that transpired in the trial court. Had Davila’s guilty plea followed soon after the Magistrate Judge’s comments, the automatic-vacatur rule would have remained erroneous. The Court of Appeals’ mistake in that regard, however, might have been inconsequential, for the Magistrate Judge’s exhortations, if they immediately elicited a plea, would likely have qualified as prejudicial. Here, however, three months distanced the in camera meeting conducted by the Magistrate Judge from Davila’s appearance before the District Judge who examined and accepted his guilty plea after an exemplary Rule 11 colloquy, at which Davila had the opportunity to raise any questions he might have about matters relating to his plea. The Court of Appeals, therefore, should not have assessed the Magistrate Judge’s comments in isolation. Instead, it should have considered, in light of the full record, whether it was reasonably probable that, but for the Magistrate Judge’s comments, Davila would have exercised his right to go to trial. Pp. 10– 14. (c) The Court of Appeals, having concluded that the Magistrate Judge’s comments violated Rule 11(c)(1), cut off further consideration. It did not engage in a full-record assessment of the particular facts of Davila’s case or the case-specific arguments raised by the parties, including the Government’s assertion that Davila was not prejudiced by the Magistrate Judge’s comments, and Davila’s contention that the extraordinary circumstances his case presents should allow his claim to be judged under Rule 52(a)’s harmless-error standard rather than Rule 52(b)’s plain-error standard. The Court decides only that the automatic-vacatur rule is incompatible with Rule 11(h) and leaves all remaining issues to be addressed on remand. P. 14. 664 F. 3d 1355, vacated and remanded.

(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2012 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for … Continue reading

The Red River Compact (or Compact) is a congressionally sanctioned agreement that allocates water rights within the Red River basin among the States of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The area it governs is divided into five separate subdivisions called “Reaches,” each of which is further divided into smaller “subbasins.” At issue here are rights under the Compact to water located in Oklahoma’s portion of Reach II, subbasin 5. In Reach II, the Compact— recognizing that Louisiana lacks suitable reservoir sites to store water during high flow periods and that the upstream States (Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) were unwilling to release their own stored water for the benefit of a downstream State—granted control over the water in four upstream subbasins (subbasins 1 through 4) to the States in which each subbasin is located and required that water in a fifth subbasin, subbasin 5, be allowed to flow to Louisiana at certain minimum levels. Section 5.05(b)(1) of the Compact gives the States “equal rights” to the use of subbasin 5’s waters when the flow is 3,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) or more, “provided no state is entitled to more than 25 percent of the water in excess of 3,000 [CFS].” Under the Compact, States are also entitled to continue with their intrastate water administration. Petitioner Tarrant Regional Water District (Tarrant) is a Texas state agency responsible for providing water to north-central Texas and its rapidly growing population. After unsuccessfully attempting to purchase water from Oklahoma and others, Tarrant sought a water resource permit from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB), respondents here, to take surface water from a tributary of the Red River at a point located in Oklahoma’s portion of subbasin 5 2 TARRANT REGIONAL WATER DIST. v. HERRMANN Syllabus of Reach II. Knowing that the OWRB would likely deny its permit application because of Oklahoma water laws that effectively prevent out-of-state applicants from taking or diverting water from within Oklahoma’s borders, Tarrant filed suit in federal court simultaneously with its permit application, seeking to enjoin the OWRB’s enforcement of the state statutes on grounds that they were pre-empted by federal law in the form of the Compact and violated the Commerce Clause by discriminating against interstate commerce in water. The District Court granted summary judgment for the OWRB, and the Tenth Circuit affirmed. Held: 1. The Compact does not pre-empt the Oklahoma water statutes. Pp. 9–22. (a) Tarrant claims that §5.05(b)(1) creates a borderless common in subbasin 5 in which each of the signatory States may cross each other’s boundaries to access a shared pool of water. Tarrant observes that §5.05(b)(1)’s “equal rights” language grants each State an equal entitlement to subbasin 5’s waters, subject to a 25 percent cap, and argues that its silence concerning state lines indicates that the Compact’s drafters did not intend the provision to allocate water according to state borders. The OWRB counters that §5.05(b)(1)’s “equal rights” afford each State an equal opportunity to use subbasin 5’s excess water within each State’s own borders, but that its silence on cross-border rights indicates that the Compact’s drafters had no intention to create any such rights in the signatory States. Pp. 9–11. (b) Because interstate compacts are construed under contractlaw principles, see Texas v. New Mexico, 482 U. S. 124, 128, the Court begins by examining the Compact’s express terms as the best indication of the parties’ intent. However, §5.05(b)(1)’s silence is, at the very least, ambiguous regarding cross-border rights under the Compact, so the Court turns to other interpretive tools to shed light on the drafters’ intent. Three things persuade the Court that the Compact did not grant cross-border rights: the well-established principle that States do not easily cede their sovereign powers; the fact that other interstate water compacts have treated cross-border rights explicitly; and the parties’ course of dealing. Pp. 11–22. (1) The sovereign States possess an “absolute right to all their navigable waters and the soils under them for their own common use.” Martin v. Lessee of Waddell, 16 Pet. 367, 410. So, for example, “ ‘[a] court deciding a question of title to [a] bed of navigable water [within a State’s boundaries] must . . . begin with a strong presumption’ against defeat of a State’s title.” United States v. Alaska, 521 U. S. 1, 34. It follows, then, that “[i]f any inference at all is to be drawn from” silence in compacts touching on the States’ authority to Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013) 3 Syllabus control their waters, “it is that each State was left to regulate the activities of her own citizens.” Virginia v. Maryland, 540 U. S. 56, 67. Tarrant contends that §5.05(b)(1)’s silence infers that the signatory States dispensed with the core state prerogative to control water within its borders. But since States rarely relinquish their sovereign powers, the better understanding is that there would be a clear indication of such devolution, not inscrutable silence. Tarrant counters that its interpretation would not intrude on any sovereign prerogative of Oklahoma, which would retain its authority to regulate the water within its borders. But adopting Tarrant’s reading would necessarily entail assuming that Oklahoma and three other States silently surrendered substantial control over their waters when they agreed to the Compact. Pp. 14–16. (2) Looking to the customary practices employed in other interstate compacts also helps in ascertaining the parties’ intent. See, e.g., Alabama v. North Carolina, 560 U. S. 330, ___. Many compacts feature unambiguous language permitting signatory States to cross each other’s borders to fulfill obligations under the compacts, and many provide for the terms and mechanics of how such relationships will operate. The absence of comparable provisions in the Red River Compact strongly suggests that cross-border rights were never intended to be part of the agreement. Tarrant claims that not all interstate compacts have such explicit language, but cites only one such compact, and even it sets out a detailed scheme that would apply to any contemplated diversions. Similarly, even if §2.05(d) of the Compact, which gives “[e]ach Signatory State . . . the right to” “[u]se the bed and banks of the Red River and its tributaries to convey stored water, imported or exported water, and water apportioned according to this Compact,” is read to establish cross-border diversions, it does so through express language, not through an inference from silence. Pp. 16–20. (3) The parties’ conduct under the Compact also undermines Tarrant’s position. See Alabama v. North Carolina, 560 U. S., at ___. Once the Compact was approved in 1980, no signatory State pressed for a cross-border diversion until Tarrant filed suit in 2007. And Tarrant’s earlier offer to purchase water from Oklahoma was a strange decision if Tarrant believed the Compact entitled it to demand water without payment. Nor is there any indication that Tarrant, any other Texas agency, or Texas itself previously made any mention of cross-border rights within the Compact; and none of the other signatory States has ever made such a claim. P. 20. (4) Tarrant’s remaining arguments—that its interpretation is necessary to realize the “structure and purpose of Reach II”; and that §5.05(b)(1)’s 25 percent cap on each State’s access to subbasin 5’s ex-4 TARRANT REGIONAL WATER DIST. v. HERRMANN Syllabus cess water implies that if a State cannot access sufficient water within its borders to meet the cap, it must be able to cross borders to reach that water—are unpersuasive. Pp. 20–22. 2. The Oklahoma water statutes also do not run afoul of the Commerce Clause. Tarrant claims that the statutes discriminate against interstate commerce by preventing water left unallocated under the Compact from being distributed out of State. But Tarrant’s assumption that some water is left “unallocated” is incorrect. The interpretive comment for Article V of the Compact makes clear that when the flow is above 3,000 CFS, “all states are free to use whatever amount of water they can put to beneficial use,” subject to the requirement that if the amount of available water cannot satisfy all of those uses, “each state will honor the other’s right to 25% of the excess flow.” If more than 25 percent of subbasin 5’s water is located in Oklahoma, that water is not “unallocated”; rather, it is allocated to Oklahoma unless and until another State calls for an accounting and Oklahoma is asked to refrain from utilizing more than its entitled share. Pp. 22–24. 656 F. 3d 1222, affirmed.

(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2012 1     Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of … Continue reading

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