U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will, undoubtedly, be getting ready to hear the appeal of travel ban 3.0 which was just temporarily blocked by the federal district court in Hawaii. Notably, Judge Derrick Watson, the same judge that blocked travel ban 2.0, issued the order in this case as well.

Unlike the prior bans, the newest iteration of the executive order imposed a permanent ban on immigration and visitors from six Muslim majority nations, as well as North Korea and Venezuela. Interestingly, there are barely any visitors from North Korea, and the restriction on Venezuela only applied to certain government officials from the country. Even more interestingly, Judge Watson only issued an injunction as to the six Muslim majority nations and allowed it to move forward as to North Korea and Venezuela.

No Second Amendment Right to Sell Guns, 9th Circuit Rules

It may be the worst of times for gun sellers in America, or at least in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Valley Guns and Ammo wanted to open a store in Alameda County, California, but the county limited gun sales to areas at least five hundred feet from residential zones, liquor stores, schools, and day care centers.

The business owners sued on Second Amendment grounds, but a trial judge dismissed the case and the appeals court affirmed. In the shadow of the Las Vegas shooting, it's a battle gun sellers are not winning.

Prisoner Has Right to Complain, Threaten to Sue

John Thomas Entler, a prisoner at Washington State Penitentiary, was in no position to complain.

But he did, telling prison officials they wrongly charged his prison account $200. He also complained about being forced to do certain work.

That got him 10 days of cell confinement and 15 days lost time in the yard and gym. After a failed complaint in federal court, an appeals court finally gave him a break in Entler v. Gregoire.

This past week, a three judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments for the Blurred Lines appeal filed by Pharrell and Robin Thicke. If you're just now learning of the case, it is more than just a relatively juicy piece of legal celebrity gossip, there's actually some fascinating IP law behind the pop star gravitas.

In short, a jury found that Thicke and Pharrell ripped off Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" in their song "Blurred Lines." Apart from the generational gap between the performers, there is a rather large and legal difference between music copyrighted prior to the mid-70s.

In a class action filed against Jeff Sessions, ICE, and other government officials, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the class of immigrant detainees that were denied a fair shake at bond.

The class of immigrant detainees successfully obtained a preliminary injunction requiring immigration court judges to consider a detainees financial ability to pay bond before setting the amount. Additionally, if the detainee is found to be unable to pay, alternatives should be assessed, such as ankle monitoring. The government not only appealed the granting of the injunction, but also appealed their unsuccessful motion to dismiss.

Ninth Circuit: No Hovercraft on National Park River

No paved roads access the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, where Alaska permits locals to hunt for subsistence and sport.

John Sturgeon wanted to hunt for moose among an estimated 175,000 of the creatures in the state. So he traveled by hovercraft along the rivers, until two national park rangers stopped him.

Sturgeon sued, and the U.S. Supreme Court sided with him. But somehow, while going up and down the court system, Sturgeon lost his way.

After a four-month wait, the Central District Court of California has finally issued its ruling on the motion to dismiss in the Spinal Tap v. Vivendi lawsuit. While the band's fraud claim has been dismissed, along with three of the four band members, the breach of contract claims and plaintiff Christopher Guest (a.k.a. Nigel Tufnel) still remain.

Fortunately for the band, the dismissal of both members and the fraud claim were without prejudice. Additionally, the members appear to have been dismissed on a technicality as their "loan-out" companies were not parties to the original contract, and therefore do not have standing as third party beneficiaries. Even though the case was dismissed, District Court Judge Dolly Gee left the door wide open for the members and the fraud claim to be amended back in properly.

Officer to Stand Trial for Shooting Teen

Thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez died with a plastic gun in his hand.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Gelhaus said he thought it was an assault rifle. It was a pellet gun.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the officer should face trial for shooting the boy in Estate of Andy Lopez v. Gelhaus.

Court Jolts Sugary Drink Warning Law in San Francisco

'Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy' -- Check.

"This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm" -- Check.

"Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay" -- Wait, what?

That's what a federal appeals court said, too. Turning back a San Francisco ordinance that would require warning labels on soda advertisements, the appeals court said -- uh no.

9th Cir. Decides Mistaken Identity Case: Cops Arrest Dad on Warrant for Son

There is a lesson in this police brutality case, and it's not about the Constitution. It's about having the same constitution as a suspect in a criminal case.

Merritt L. Sharp, III, shared the same name with his son, Merritt L. Sharp, IV, as well as some naturally recurring physical traits. The big differences were their age and a record; Sharp IV was a felon.

Those obvious differences escaped police officers, who arrested the dad, handcuffed him, twisted his arm and tore his rotator cuff, threw him in the back of a police car, searched him and his house -- all on a warrant for his son. You'd of thought the police would've realized their mistake a little sooner.