U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

November 2012 News

For the Record, SCOTUS Won't Stop Citizens from Recording Police

Maybe you have seen Exit Through the Gift Shop, a delightful documentary about a French guy trying to make a documentary about the street art movement. There are several scenes in which police officers try to thwart the artists/hooligans' attempts to leave their marks on buildings. The aforementioned French guy caught the interactions on tape.

Cop-recording can be controversial. Most police officers don't want bystanders to tape them while they're working, and some cops will intimidate or arrest people who try to film them with their cellphones. Citizens who try to record the police -- like the Frenchman in the film -- are often told to shut off their cameras.

Seventh Circuit Affirms Politically Motivated Demotion

After any election season, there will be a crop of newly-elected officials eager to start changing the world. There will also be a crop of newly-unemployed bureaucrats, who lose their gigs because they backed the wrong candidates.

While many employees can't be fired for their political leanings, those who hold "policymaking positions" can be unceremoniously booted when there's a changing of the guard.

And it's completely legal under the Elrod-Branti analysis.

First Things First: Who Has Jurisdiction in Custody Case?

We always think of the "best interest of the child" as the critical issue in a child custody case.

In an international custody battle, however, the most complicated issue may be which country's court system should decide the case.

Court OKs Class Actions to Air Dirty Laundry Against Sears Washers

Sears Roebuck and Company has some angry washing machine customers. The retailer, best known for its wide range of appliances, is facing class action lawsuits from customers across six states.

Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that the customers had enough in common to pursue their claims through two separate class action claims, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Court Dismisses Torture Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lawsuit this week from two American civilians who claim that they were tortured by the U.S. military in Iraq, Reuters reports.

In an 8-3 opinion, the Seventh Circuit concluded that the plaintiffs had no right to sue former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others in the military chain of command for damages. The en banc decision reverses last year's Seventh Circuit panel ruling that the men could pursue their Bivens claims against Rumsfeld.

Exigent Circumstances? Curtilage Analysis Unnecessary

There’s been a lot of talk about search and seizure lately, thanks to the recent Supreme Court dog sniff searches case. While the Nine are tasked with deciding whether Americans have a right to privacy regarding their illegal activities, the appellate courts are still considering the classic Fourth Amendment issue: curtilage.

This week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reminds us that exigent circumstances trump curtilage rights in Fourth Amendment claims.