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

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Glassdoor, the job posting website that allows visitors to post reviews about employers, has just been ordered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal to hand over the names of some anonymous reviewers.

Before you get too excited at the prospect of finally finding out which of your former admins talked trash about you, this case is a bit more compelling than the typical Yelp defamation matter. The federal government is seeking the names of former employees that left reviews implicating a business that was engaging in governmental fraud.

Orange County Excessive Force Case Revived

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this video is worth at least 1 million.

Warning. This video contains graphic content and may not be suitable for some audiences. If you watch the video, the question is whether the officer used excessive force.

According to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, it is a question for a jury. That's if the case gets that far.

In a rare bit of good fortune for the family of Anthony Jones, who, in 2010, was tased to death by law enforcement officers, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in their favor, reviving the case.

Mr. Jones's case is rather tragic as he was tased for nearly two minutes straight while being allegedly subdued, after fleeing a traffic stop. At one point, he was being tased by more than one officer concurrently. After all the tasing stopped (when an officer arriving at the scene told the others to stop), Mr. Jones died immediately.

Federal Courts May Legalize Prostitution in California

What would your mother say?

Seriously, what would she say if a federal court rules prostitution is legal? "Oh my goodness!" "Are you kidding me?" "What the ----!?"

Her response might depend on when she was born, but it is a question that a federal court will soon decide. And who knows what the answer will be.

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.

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.

A civil rights class action claim filed by over 100 Seattle police officers was dismissed by a lower federal district court in 2014, and has now, finally, had that dismissal affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. The officers were challenging whether new policies regarding the use of force were constitutional under the Second Amendment. Though arguments were held in May, the decision has just issued.

The new use of force policy was the result of a 2012 federal consent decree requiring a special master be appointed to independently assess, create, and implement a use of force policy. In doing so, a policy was created that stresses de-escalation over force. After the policy was approved and implemented in 2014, this challenge followed.

Judges Push Back Travel Ban Against Family Members, Refugees

That Hawaiian judge stopped President Trump -- again.

Judge Derrick Watson, slighted by Trump's legal general as that "judge sitting on an island in the Pacific," blocked the president's controversial travel ban in March. The Trump administration appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which temporarily allowed a modified ban, but one issue came back to Watson:

What about relatives of U.S. citizens who travel from those Muslim-majority nations? Watson struck the administration's ban on certain relatives, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him -- again.

It's headed for another Supreme Court showdown, but this time the president is on the outside looking in. That's because the Supreme Court crafted the modification that Watson applied to extended family members.

Unfortunately for Jay Russell Shafer, a recent Ninth Circuit decision has turned his jury verdict awarding him six figures for enduring a constitutional violation into a loss. Shafer convinced a jury that when two city police officers knocked him to the ground, face first, for refusing to drop a water balloon, one of those officers violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure.

While the appellate court found that his constitutional rights were violated due to the amount of force that was used, it also found that the officer whom the jury found liable was actually immune from liability.

In 2015, Google settled a class action privacy case against them for a meager $8.5 million. The case stemmed from the alleged sale of Google users' internet search terms to third parties without consent of the users. That settlement is just now being approved, again. This time by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The money has been tied up in appeals as none of the actual class members were ever going to see a dime. Instead, the court approved a cy pres settlement, wherein the bulk of the award would go to nonprofit organizations working to ensure online privacy for the public.