9th Circ. Vacates $12M Fine For Convicted Catfish Importer

Law360, New York (April 18, 2013, 8:04 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit on Thursday vacated a $12.58 million fine against a Vietnamese immigrant convicted of selling illegally imported fish, finding a California judge failed to address his argument that the fine is unconstitutionally excessive.

The appeals court remanded the case, ruling U.S. District Judge Philip S. Guitierrez needs to address whether a forfeiture order requiring Peter Xuong Lam, who became a U.S. citizen in 1991, to pay the fine violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of excessive fines.

In October 2008, a Los Angeles federal jury...
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