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

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A police officer in Georgia, who claims he was punished for reporting racial profiling, can pursue his section 1983 and defamation suit against the local sheriff's department, the Eleventh Circuit ruled last week.

Derrick Bailey, a law-enforcement officer with more than 17 years of experience, alleges that he was terminated and harassed for reporting racial profiling and constitutional violations in the Douglasville police department and Douglas County sheriffs office. That retaliation included a "BOLO," or "be-on-the-lookout" advisory to all law enforcement in the county, describing Bailey as a "loose cannon" and danger to any cop -- a warning the Eleventh Circuit notes could have left him dead at the hands of his fellow officers.

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.

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?

'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?

Officer Jails Real Estate Agents Who Foreclosed on His House

Circuit cases don't often involve terribly outlandish scenarios. Here's an exception. In this qualified immunity case, a police officer arrested the real estate agents for the new owners of his home after they foreclosed on his house.

Based on that brief set of facts, how do you think the court ruled? You're probable right.

Wife's Consent to Search Computer for Child Porn OK, 11th Cir. Rules

The Florida man who was sentenced to eight years for knowingly accessing a computer with intent to view child pornography got no relief from the Eleventh Circuit, which recently affirmed the lower court's decision.

The decision expands current law as to who may consent to give access to your materials in the face of a warrantless search.

Down Syndrome Adult Wins in 11th Cir. Against Apt. Complex

In a case that is illustrative to those who lease-out residential property, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the lower trial court's dismissal of a discrimination suit in the plaintiff's favor because it found that the apartment complex had violated the Fair Housing Act.

Of particular note is the court's declaration that a defendant need not make dwelling impossible to obtain in order for that dwelling to be "unavailable" for purposes of the Act.

'Docs vs. Glocks' Upheld in 11th Circuit

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has yet again deflected another free speech argument from a coalition of doctors who have opposed Florida's notorious 'Docs vs. Glocks' rule and upheld that state's law on grounds that it failed to satisfy strict scrutiny review.

The Firearms Owners Privacy Act, originally intended (we think) by the Florida legislature to get doctors to mind their own business has resulted in this bizarre tug-of-war between the First and Second Amendments. The legal issues themselves are enough to warrant cert. by the Supreme Court.

Prison Legal News, a monthly publication by the Human Rights Defense Center, isn't allowed in Florida state prisons. No, it's not the magazine's investigations into prison vendor misconduct or its reporting on inmate rights. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, it's the magazine's objectionable advertisements. Those ads? They're for things like stamps, three-way calling services, and pen pals.

Prison Legal News sued over the ban, which was largely upheld in October. Now, they've turned to the Eleventh Circuit, arguing that the prisons' ban infringes on the magazine's First Amendment rights. And they've got some ammunition in their corner. The suit is being lead by Former U.S. Solicitor General and regular Supreme Court litigator, Paul D. Clement.

11th Cir. Rules on Digital Searches in Child Pornography Case

When you look at a still-shot of a video, does that mean you've "seen" the whole video?

This seemingly silly question sits at the core of a legal issue that has only further divided the federal circuit courts, probing deep questions about the scope of Fourth Amendment Searches and digital privacy. Perhaps the more probing legal question should be this: Does seeing the screenshot give law enforcement the authority to search the entire device on which a particularly potentially criminal video was found?