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Case Name USA v. Moalin NS-CA-0015
Docket / Court 3:10-cr-04246 ( S.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters
Case Summary
On October 22, 2010, three immigrants from Somalia were indicted on criminal charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The case was assigned to Judge Jeffrey Miller. A superseding indictment added a fourth defendant to the charges on January 14, 2011. Each ... read more >
On October 22, 2010, three immigrants from Somalia were indicted on criminal charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The case was assigned to Judge Jeffrey Miller. A superseding indictment added a fourth defendant to the charges on January 14, 2011. Each defendant was represented by private counsel, and one was additionally represented by the Civil Rights Clinic in Austin, Texas. The charges were related to the defendants’ alleged material and financial support for the terrorist group Al-Shabab, and consisted of five counts: (1) Conspiracy to Provide Material Support for Terrorism, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2339A(a); (2); Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization (“FTO”), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2339B(a)(1); (3) Conspiracy to Kill in a Foreign Country, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §956; (4) Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(A) and (h); (5) Providing Material Support for Terrorism, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(a).

The four defendants were convicted by jury verdict on February 22, 2013. 2013 WL 8351225. The named defendant was convicted on all five counts; two defendants were convicted only on counts 1, 2, 3, and 5; the fourth was convicted only on counts 1, 2, and 5. After several months of pre-sentence investigation, the defendants filed a joint motion for a new trial on September 5, 2013. The motion was based on congressional testimony from the NSA and the FBI relating to materials provided by Edward Snowden regarding NSA surveillance in this particular case. In their new trial motion, the defendants argued: (1) that collection by the NSA of electronic data related to the named defendant violated the First and Fourth Amendment, as well as FISA; (2) that cleared defense counsel should have been provided with the Government’s confidential response to their FISA motion and the ex parte request for a protective order under the Confidential Information Protection Act ("CIPA"); and (3) that the Government failed to provide required discovery and exculpatory materials.

The court denied each of these arguments in its November 14, 2013 order denying the defendants’ motion for a new trial, finding that the public disclosures made by the NSA and the FBI provided no new facts to alter the court's FISA and CIPA rulings. 2013 WL 6079518. The court also denied the defendants' arguments that the Government had violated the First and Fourth Amendments, as well as FISA and CIPA. Finally, the court found that the Government had complied with its obligations to provide required discovery and exculpatory materials. The four defendants were sentenced to 15 years, 13 years, 10 years, and 6 years, respectively.

Each of the four defendants filed appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in late November 2013.

On October 29, 2015, the defendants submitted their joint appeal. They alleged that (1) the convictions should be reversed because the government, through the NSA’s surveillance program, acted beyond the authority granted to it by 50 U.S.C. §1861; (2) the NSA’s surveillance program violated the Fourth Amendment; (3) the convictions should be dropped and a new trial ordered because the government did not provide exculpatory information and/or notice of its surveillance activities; (4) the district court excluded the appellants’ access to relevant evidence while at the same time allowed the government’s irrelevant and prejudicial evidence; and (5) there was insufficient evidence for the jury to support the fourth appellant’s convictions.

On November 10, 2016, Judges Marsha S. Berzon, Jacqueline H. Nguyen, and Jack Zouhary heard oral arguments. The appeal is still pending, but on July 18, 2018, a defendant's lawyer wrote the court asking them to consider how the Supreme Court's recent decision in Carpenter v. United States affects the current case. 2018 WL 3073916. The lawyer argued that the reasoning animating the holding in Carpenter is what is at issue in this case's challenge of the government’s bulk collection, retention, and subsequent review of phone records.

Nicholas Hazen - 04/03/2017
Dawn Lui - 10/10/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
FISA Title I Warrant (Electronic Surveillance), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1812
Defendant(s) United States
Plaintiff Description Four Somali immigrants, convicted on criminal charges related to providing aid to Al-Shabab.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Criminal Conviction
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2010
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  EPIC.org U.S. v. Moalin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:10-cr-4246 (S.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/23/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Introductory Allegations Common to All Counts [ECF# 1]
NS-CA-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/22/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Facts and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Joint Motion Pursuant to Rule 33, R.Crim. P., For a New Trial [ECF# 345-1]
NS-CA-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/05/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion for New Trial [ECF# 387] (2013 WL 6079518) (S.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0015-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/14/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Miller, Jeffrey T. (S.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0015-0003 | NS-CA-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cole, William P. (California)
NS-CA-0015-0001 | NS-CA-0015-9000
Duffy, Laura E. (California)
NS-CA-0015-0001
Han, Caroline Pineda (California)
NS-CA-0015-0001 | NS-CA-0015-9000
Ward, Steven Philip (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coleman, Benjamin L. (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Dratel, Joshua L. (New York)
NS-CA-0015-0002 | NS-CA-0015-9000
Durkin, Thomas Anthony (Illinois)
NS-CA-0015-0002 | NS-CA-0015-9000
Fontier, Alice L. (New York)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Geller, Marc B. (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Ghappour, Ahmed (Texas)
NS-CA-0015-0002 | NS-CA-0015-9000
Hanover, Holly S. (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Missakian, Elizabth (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Moreno, Linda (Florida)
NS-CA-0015-0002 | NS-CA-0015-9000
Roberts, Janis D. (Illinois)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Sherif, Mahir Tewfik (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Sullivan, Holly A. (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Troiano, Kenneth J. (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000
Zugman, David J. (California)
NS-CA-0015-9000

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