Directive Number 11072.1: Civil Immigration Enforcement Actions Inside Courthouses

Purpose/Background. This Directive sets forth U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy regarding civil immigration enforcement actions inside federal, state, and local courthouses.
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New York Cancels Private Prison Care Packages Program | The Marshall Project

By TAYLOR ELIZABETH ELDRIDGE

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New York corrections officials said Friday they have suspended a program that forced families and friends to send care packages to prisoners only through select private vendors, amid an uproar that the move raised costs and limited choices.
The switch to private companies had gone into effect earlier this month in a pilot program at three facilities: Greene, Taconic and Green Haven Correctional Facilities. The state planned to expand privatization to the whole system — the fourth largest in the nation — by the fall.
“Concerns have been raised by families of inmates regarding the availability and prices of products under this program, concerns we do not take lightly,” Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said in a press release. The program has been suspended until those concerns can be addressed, Mailey said.

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New CBP Border Device Search Policy Still Permits Unconstitutional Searches | Electronic Frontier Foundation

JANUARY 8, 2018

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a new policy on border searches of electronic devices that’s full of loopholes and vague language and that continues to allow agents to violate travelers’ constitutional rights. Although the new policy contains a few improvements over rules first published nine years ago, overall it doesn’t go nearly far enough to protect the privacy of innocent travelers or to recognize how exceptionally intrusive electronic device searches are.

Nothing announced in the policy changes the fact that these device searches are unconstitutional, and EFF will continue to fight for travelers’ rights in our border search lawsuit.

Below is a legal analysis of some of the key features of the new policy.

Read analysis….

IRS Advisory Prepaid Real Property Taxes May Be Deductible in 2017 if Assessed and Paid in 2017 | Internal Revenue Service

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IR-2017-210, Dec. 27, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service advised tax professionals and taxpayers today that pre-paying 2018 state and local real property taxes in 2017 may be tax deductible under certain circumstances.

The IRS has received a number of questions from the tax community concerning the deductibility of prepaid real property taxes. In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed prior to 2018.  A prepayment of anticipated real property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017.  State or local law determines whether and when a property tax is assessed, which is generally when the taxpayer becomes liable for the property tax imposed.

The following examples illustrate these points.

No Waiting for This: Here Come the ‘Net Neutrality’ Lawsuits | Law.com

By C. Ryan Barber

Democratic state attorneys general and advocacy groups Thursday said they were gearing up to fight the Federal Communications Commission over its move to scrap the Obama-era net neutrality rules that were adopted to ensure equal access to the web. As protestors outside the FCC pronounced the death of an open internet, the FCC, led by Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, voted on party lines Thursday to repeal so-called net neutrality rules.

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Group Proposes Changes for How NY Courts Deal with ICE Arrests | New York Law Journal

By Josefa Velasquez and Colby Hamilton

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As arrests at courthouses by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers continue, a report released Tuesday by the Fund for Modern Courts suggests New York’s courts should limit their cooperation and assistance with civil immigration law enforcement.

So far this year ICE agents have arrested 52 people while they were in court in New York state, the majority in New York City, Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, told the New York Law Journal Tuesday. This is the first year the state’s court system has tracked ICE activities and arrests in courthouses. Expanded immigration enforcement actions under the Trump administration have resulted in increased arrests at courthouses nationally since the beginning of 2017, the report states.

The 24-page report issued by the justice system reform organization examined the impact of ICE arrests on New Yorkers’ access to state courthouses. It suggested actions that Chief Judge Janet DiFiore should take to mitigate the “negative impact on individuals and the courts resulting from ICE’s actions in courthouses.”

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Read more…

New Bankruptcy Form, Rules Take Effect | United States Courts

Individuals filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 must use a new form that presents their payment plan in a more uniform and transparent manner, and creditors will have less time to submit a proof of claim, under new bankruptcy rules and form amendments that took effect Dec. 1.

Read more.