U.S. Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

In Miami-Dade County, sex offenders who have been convicted of crimes involving victims under the age of 16 cannot live within 2,500 feet of any school, with few exceptions. Now, two sex offenders say that the restrictions were so harsh they were driven to homelessness. Miami-Dade's law so limited housing options that both offenders had nowhere left to live but a homeless encampment, they claim.

Those offenders sued, alleging that the law, adopted in 2005 and after their convictions, was so punitive that it violated the ex post facto clause of the federal and Florida constitutions. Though their claims were initially tossed out, the Eleventh Circuit revived their suit on Monday, finding that the offenders had sufficiently alleged that Miami-Dade County had violated their constitutional rights.

Does a prohibition on employee dreadlocks amount to racial discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act? Not according to the Eleventh Circuit. Though dreads may be closely associated with African American race and culture, a ban on the hairstyle doesn't amount to racial discrimination, the court ruled last Thursday.

The ruling came after the EEOC brought a lawsuit on behalf of Chastity Jones, an applicant who was offered a job at a customer service call center, on the condition that she chop off her dreadlocks.

11th Circuit to Drunken, Randy Player-Types: Caveat Emptor

This next question is going to smack some readers as being highly chauvinistic, but what does a rich man in a bar expect when beautiful young girl asks him to buy her a drink? This question, believe it or not, is at the heart of a recent Eleventh Circuit case that reversed several criminal convictions against some enterprising businesses in Miami.

The opinion is colorful, offering a dose of booze, Star Trek, film-noir, and theology in such an efficient bundle -- all of which help lead the court to answer the "what are you expecting" question with "not much."

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No Sex Toys in Sandy Springs Without a Bona Fide Reason

This rather unusual lawsuit out of the Eleventh Circuit is an affirmation of Sandy Springs' ban on sex devices unless needed for "bona fide" reasons. Now, how often is that going to happen? What's a "bona fide" need for sex toys?

Allstate Victorious in Unjust Enrichment Claims

The Eleventh Circuit has ruled that Allstate Insurance company is owed $663,000 in fees arising out of a multitude of false claims that were made by several Florida clinics. The circumstances of the case indicated that hundreds upon hundreds of insurance claims were completely bogus.

The defendants appealed their loss in federal court but lost again at the appellate level. Meanwhile, the doctor named in the case may want to consider retirement.

'Docs v. Glocks' in 11th Circuit: Gun Rights or Free Speech?

The Florida Firearm Owners Privacy Act, odiously nicknamed 'Docs v. Glocks,' is being debated in federal court that has physicians on one side and gun rights activists on the other. It's been five years since the Florida law passed, and all eyes are on the Federal Court in Atlanta.

Most people see this as a doctors versus gun owners issue, but many lawyers see it as a First Amendment versus Second Amendment issue. What do you think is the correct way to interpret this debate?

Greenpeace Wields RICO Claim, Gets Hit Back

When Greenpeace submitted a complaint alongside other environmental groups pushing for the investigation of BigOil and their friends, it looked as if the interest group had finally found a vulnerable point in the giant's armor. Greenpeace then used RICO to pry open an even larger vulnerability.

But RICO can giveth, and it can taketh away, as Greenpeace is now aware. The Canadian paper-pulping company Resolute Forest Products recently filed its own RICO suit in Georgia federal court, alleging that Greenpeace and its affiliates have waged a defamatory "enterprise" against the company.

11th Circuit Applies Vagueness Principles in Favor of Defendant

Here is another ruling by an appeals court that favored the petitioning defendant. In the case of In Re: Recardo Pinder, the criminal defendant appealed the heightened penal sentence and successfully showed the higher appellate court that he'd brought "a new rule of constitutional law" before the court.

It was a long shot, but it did the trick.

Are You a Creditor? Your Proof of Claim Could Violate FDCPA

Creditors should tread lightly when filing proofs of claims against a debtor -- at least under the recent ruling at the Eleventh Circuit in Johnson v. Midland. According to that federal appeals court, collectors could potentially be liable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if the collector knows the debt to be time-barred.

The court's decision changes the collectors' analysis substantially from "why not?" to "that's why."