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

9th Circuit October 2015 News

Immigrants housed in civil detention facilities will have greater access to bond hearings and potential release thanks to a Ninth Circuit ruling yesterday. Currently, thousands of immigrants are held in detention facilities for extended periods of time, awaiting rulings on their immigration status.

Those detainees will now have a greater chance of gaining release on bond while they wait for their case to be settled, thanks to the Ninth Circuit.

Did Immigration Services Violate FOIA? 9th Cir. Finds Case Moot

Attorney James Mayock brought a suit against the Federal Agency claimed that USCIS had engaged in a "pattern and practice" of violating the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for well over several decades. The Ninth Circuit, however, found that Mayock failed to prove standing and that the case was actually moot.

The ruling further suggests that any immigration attorney should think twice before bringing a suit alleging personal harm that is actually the harm of his clients.

Amazon's Competitor Brand Displays Don't Violate Trademarks

The 9th Circuit granted Amazon's motion for summary judgment in a suit brought by Multi-Time Machine, Inc. (aka "MTM"). And unless this issues makes its way to SCOTUS, it looks like time-out for the watch manufacturer.

The case was an interesting "just kidding" step taken by the Appellate Court, which surprised all parties who fully expected the case to be moved beyond Amazon's summary judgment.

Reno's SouthEast Connector was first proposed in the 1950s. Since then, it's remained controversial -- and unbuilt. The six-lane highway expansion between Reno and neighboring Sparks, Nevada, would follow along the local Steamboat Creek, potentially relieving traffic congestion, possibly spreading old mercury pollution, and unquestionably resulting in local wetland fill.

Now, more than six decades after its proposal and halfway into its construction, a local environmental coalition is going before the Ninth Circuit in a last ditch attempt to stop the road expansion.

9th Cir. Reverses Lower Court ADEA Age Discrimination Case

Last August, the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower district's summary judgment in favor of the Department of Homeland Security when a border patrol agent sued the branch of the agency alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, better known as ADEA.

In the lawsuit, government employee John France alleged that he had been passed over for promotion to Assistant Chief Patrol Agent with a pay scale of GS-15 because he was the oldest candidate who applied. The Department of Homeland Security demurred and the Appellate Court finally reversed, ruling that the facts did not support summary judgment.

Bikram Can't Copyright Yoga Poses or Breathing, 9th Rules

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals applied well worn copyright principals and ruled that yoga poses and breathing exercises are not entitled to copyright protection. More specifically, the court found that breathing and poses don't even fall into the realm of things that are copyrightable.

The issues in this case revolve around what practitioners have called the "Idea/Expression Dichotomy" -- that is, an idea as opposed to the expression or manifestation of that idea. Copyright protection, the 9th Circuit affirmed, extends only to the expressions of ideas and not to "processes."

Want Federal Habeas Review? It Just Got Easier in the 9th Circuit

The 9th Circuit clarified the law for misdemeanants seeking Habeas Review this Wednesday. The court en banc overruled its own 1995 decision, Larche v. Simons, requiring misdmeanants in California to exhaust all available state remedies before seeking Federal Habeus review by filing a petition in California's highest court.

The circuit found that Larche created "needless confusion for California misdeamants seeking federal habeas review," particularly in wake of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). Further, the panel found that the Larche unduly restricted California's ability to dictate its appellate review system. The court found that because McMonagle relied on the Larche to fully exhaust his California remedies before seeking federal habeas review, he was entitled to have his case reviewed, given the circumstances of the case.

Cash Payments to Athletes? No. Ban on Cash Payments? No.

The NCAA lost some and won some in the wake of the Ninth Circuit decision. The court ruled 2-1 that the National Collegiate Athletic Association was not required to pay athletes royalties for the use of their names and likenesses. 

On the other hand, the court also found that a complete ban on royalties to athletes for use of their likeness in video games and telecasts violates anti-trust laws. Confused?