CourtSide: US District Courts Archives
CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

Recently in US District Courts Category

It may be the world's oldest profession, but that doesn't make it protected under the Constitution. A federal judge in California ruled that there is no fundamental right to prostitution, dismissing a lawsuit that challenged the state's ban exchanging sex for money.

The state claimed that "there is no fundamental right to engage in prostitution or to solicit prostitution" and "any relationship between the prostitute and the client is not expressive association protected by the Constitution," and U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White agreed. You can see his full order dismissing the case here:

The legal relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico has always been a little complicated. And perhaps nowhere has that status been more on display than the issue of same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico ruled that the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that found same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry does not apply to the island commonwealth. You can see the judge's reasoning in the full opinion below:

Conservative politicians and voters have long questioned Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidency, claiming the two-term president was born outside the United States. (He was born in Hawaii.) Now the tables seem to have turned for GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

A Houston, Texas lawyer has filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging Cruz's status as a "natural born citizen" as required by the Constitution. Can the court disqualify Cruz from the presidential race? Let's take a look at the complaint:

This is why we can't have sweet things. Sugar is delicious, but it can kill you. High fructose corn syrup may also be deadly. And the two sweeteners have been locked in a sour legal battle over naming rights and advertising.

Can corn syrup call itself "corn sugar?" Is it "natural?" Do we care? Can you just put it into a 64-ounce soda and give it to me, please? You can see sugar's complaint below.

Moments ago in Zurich, FIFA officials voted to retain controversial president Sepp Blatter. Three days ago, nine high-ranking FIFA officials (including the man many thought would succeed Blatter) were arrested along with five media company executives on a wide range of corruption charges that rocked soccer's governing body.

The charges are detailed in an extensive Department of Justice indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York. You can read all 160 pages listing racketeering, bribery, and wire fraud below. Here are some highlights:

Last week jurors in the Boston Marathon Bombing sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. The jurors had already found Tsarnaev guilty of the bombing itself, and had been weighing both mitigating and aggravating factors presented by his attorneys and prosecutors during the penalty phase of his trial.

Although it took just 14 hours for the jury to decide Tsarnaev deserved the death penalty, many had speculated whether the jury might decide on life in imprison instead. Now the speculation is over, and you can see exactly what the jury was thinking. The verdict form that the jury filled out when sentencing Tsarnaev is below, so you can see for yourself what evidence they found convincing and which factors led to their decision.

Colorado's neighbors aren't the only ones upset about the Centennial State's marijuana legalization laws. A Washington, D.C.-based anti-drug group is suing several Colorado defendants in U.S. District Court, claiming the defendants' plans to sell marijuana under state legalization laws constitutes a violation of federal RICO statutes.

Safe Streets Alliance, along with the owners of a Holiday Inn in Frisco, Colorado, are alleging that defendants' plans to open a pot shop next door to the hotel constitutes racketeering.

This has been quite a year for breaking legal stories; 2014 has produced some shocking court decisions, grand jury hearings, celebrity deaths, and shady settlements.

Here are the 10 most-viewed breaking legal documents from FindLaw's Courtside blog in 2014:

'Google' May Be a Verb, but It's Still a Trademark: Federal Court

Just because you may not be referring to the Google search engine when you ask someone to "Google" something doesn't mean you're unaware that there's a particular search engine named Google.

That, in essence, was the ruling of an Arizona federal court that found use of the term Google as a verb -- referring to searching for information on the Internet -- does not necessarily require that Google's trademarks to the company's name be cancelled.

Woman Files Lawsuit to Prove She is Alive

A St. Louis woman has spent months trying to convince people that she's alive. Now she has filed suit to say reports of her death are greatly exaggerated.

In a peculiar federal lawsuit (attached below), Kimberly Haman has sued her local bank and a major credit reporting company to prove she is not among the deceased.

She has been turned down for a credit card and twice denied refinancing on her mortgage due to her "deceased" status, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Haman alleges the problem began when Heartland Bank reported her death to Equifax. She says she has repeatedly asked Heartland and Equifax to fix the error, to no avail.

The suit claims a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which allows recovery of compensatory and punitive damages, lawsuit costs and statutory penalties of up to $1,000 per violation.