U.S. Eleventh Circuit

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


Same-sex marriage remains a thorny issue in Alabama, where on January 23, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade found Alabama's same-sex marriage prohibition unconstitutional. In response, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore went on a memoranda rampage, first opining that Granade had no authority to override Alabama state law.

In a second memo issued earlier this week, Moore flat-out ordered state probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Some judges complied with Granade's order, but many more complied with Moore's by refusing to issue any marriage licenses to anyone at all, under the guise of awaiting further guidance.

Generally, when you want to rely on amateur legal interpretations promising that you'll be "arrested" if you try and do such-and-such things, you're in the realm of some online forum or chain email from Aunt Hilda complaining about how the Obama administration is arresting people who put up Christmas decorations.

But what happens when it's actual lawyers who are making this crazy advice?

A federal judge allegedly gets into a physical fight with his wife. A lawyer gets "seized" at a security checkpoint when she refuses to take off her coat. A child pornographer gets a rehearing because his lawyer was late coming back from lunch.

These were among the most-viewed posts in FindLaw's U.S. Eleventh Circuit Blog this year (though, honestly, a lot of really good ones were missing; c'mon folks, what's wrong with bagel envy?).

For your reading enjoyment, here were the Top 11 blog posts (because it's the Eleventh Circuit, get it?) in 2014:

In Florida, it may be harder than ever to "catch a predator" in Florida. (See what I did there?) Last week, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that surreptitiously recorded statements of child sexual abuse couldn't be admitted at trial.

Richard McDade, the petitioner in this case, was secretly recorded by his stepdaughter, whom he was sexually abusing. The statements amounted to McDade's admission that he was sexually abusing her. The trial court let the audio recordings in.

It's been in vogue for a while to drug test recipients of state and federal welfare, on the theory either that welfare recipients take a lot of drugs or that since "we" are paying "them," then we get to conduct intrusive searches into their lives.

The Eleventh Circuit Court last week affirmed that the state of Florida cannot conduct suspicionless drug testing on welfare recipients.

With 11th Cir.'s Denial, Gay Marriage to Start in Fla. on Jan. 5

Add another state to the list of those that allow same-sex marriages -- unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in first, that is.

On Wednesday, the Eleventh Circuit denied Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's request to continue blocking same-sex marriages in the state of Florida, which means same-sex couples can start sending out save-the-dates for any time after January 5, 2015. However, there are a couple of (admittedly unlikely) ways in which the High Court could step in and prevent that from happening.

The new hotness in suing over the Affordable Care Act took a hit at the Eleventh Circuit today, with the court denying relief to Kawa Orthodontics in a dispute over the delay of the ACA's employer mandate.

Kawa Orthodontics, owned by Larry Kawa (a noted figure in the Republican Party), apparently spent a bunch of money on figuring out how to comply with the mandate. Then, wouldn't you know it, the Treasury Department delayed enforcement of the employer mandate for another year, then another year. The bizarre thing is that, when Kawa filed its lawsuit, it didn't ask for that money back; rather, it just sought a declaratory judgment and injunction finding Treasury's delayed enforcement unlawful.

As we give thanks this year, we wondered, what is there to be thankful for in the Eleventh Circuit? It runs the gamut from the rural Alabama, north to the cosmopolitan Florida coast, with a heavy dose of swamp in between, so there are a lot of things to be thankful for.

Here are some of our favorites.

Back in August, a federal district judge in Florida held that the state's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. That was, of course, a lifetime ago in light of what's happened since: The Supreme Court punted, the Sixth Circuit upheld, and same-sex marriage is the law in 33 states (for now).

Well, the State of Florida isn't taking this lying down. Attorney General Pamela Bondi is appealing the district court's order. Does Florida's brief to the Eleventh Circuit have anything new that hasn't been dismissed by four other circuit courts already?

It's well established that there's no respondeat superior liability levied on ship owners for the negligent medical care of the ship's crew, no matter how negligent they are. But what about an agency theory? That was an issue of first impression for the Eleventh Circuit in Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The short, short version: Pasquale Vaglio fell, hitting his head while Royal Caribbean's "Explorer of the Seas" was docked in Bermuda. The ship's nurse failed to correctly diagnose his head trauma, had him wait for four hours, then "released him with no treatment to speak of." Vaglio died a week later.