Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Diaz-Lopez case brief

United States v. Diaz-Lopez case brief summary
625 F.3d 1198 (2010)

Following a bench trial, defendant was convicted of being a removed alien found in the United States in violation of 8 U.S.C.S. § 1326(a). The United States District Court for the Southern District of California sentenced defendant to twenty-one months in prison and three years of supervised release. Defendant appealed.

A Border Patrol agent arrested defendant on a road north of the United States-Mexico border. At trial, the government introduced testimony from an agent stating that he had performed a search of the Computer Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS) database using defendant's name, alien number, and date of birth, and had found no record of defendant having filed a Form I-212.


  • The appellate court determined that the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the testimony about the results of the database search introduced to show that defendant had no permission to return. 
  • The agent's testimony did not lack foundation under Fed. R. Evid. 803(10), because the agent testified that he was familiar with both the process of searching the records and the government's recordkeeping practices with regard to the database. 
  • The testimony did not violate the best evidence rule, because Fed. R. Evid. 1002 was inapplicable to the agent's testimony that his search of the CLAIMS database revealed no record of a Form I-212 filed by defendant since the government did not introduce the testimony to prove the content of a writing.
The appellate court affirmed.

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