U.S. Tenth Circuit

U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Gov't Asking About Past Sex Crimes Is Unconstitutional, 10th Cir. Rules

A stunning case was recently decided by the Tenth Circuit in which the federal court ruled that a convicted sex offender facing an 'authentic danger of self-incrimination' cannot be forced by the government to answer questions regarding past sexual crimes. It's a clear line drawn in the sand.

In our view, the decision by the circuit court was the correct one and that the circuit correctly reversed the lower court's ludicrous finding that the subject's answers would not present a "real and appreciable risk of incrimination."

Digital Publisher Isn't Liable for Freelancers With No Oversight

The Tenth Circuit recently handed down a decision that could present a wonderful business opportunity to some enterprising online "journalism" sites.

The circuit court's opinion will likely stand for the rule that outfits like Examiner.com can drape themselves within a safe-harbor cloak when their independent contractors run afoul of copyright laws.

10th Cir. Brushes off Kansas Religious Education Case

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an Establishment Clause case against the Kansas Board of Education brought after the state sought to adopt curriculum standards for K-12 science instruction. Those standards, some parents claimed, "breached the parent's trust" and would result in "anti-religious instruction."

It didn't take long before the circuit affirmed for the Board.

In 'Sister Wives' Case, 10th Circuit Recriminalizes Polygamy in Utah

The Brown family of Lehi, Utah first became known to most Americans through the TLC reality television series Sister Wives. The show (which still airs) documents the lives of members of the Browns, a polygamist family made up of husband-patriarch Kody Brown, his four wives, and their eighteen children.

The Browns claimed that part of their impetus in participating in the show was to help dispel fears and prejudices about polygamist families and to quell controversy. Rather ironically, the show would lead to the case of Brown v. Buhman. This week, the Tenth Circuit ruled that the family had no standing to sue.

Officers Not Immune From Suit in New Mexico Taser Case

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court's ruling that two police officers were not immune from suit when they taser-shot a mentally ill man at least ten times within two minutes.

This case doesn't come as much of a shock as other courts have recently acheived similar rulings. For example, the Fourth Circuit recently found no qualified immunity for police officer who tased without reason.

Standing Kills CO Sheriff's Gun Laws Suit Against Gov. Hickenlooper

It took 33 pages for the Tenth Circuit to clearly spell out why it was reversing and remanding a federal district court's ruling that Colorado's recently enacted gun laws were constitutional. It was also a strange opinion in that both plaintiffs and defendants claimed victory.

The Tenth Circuit's opinion and remand marks what seems to be a major chapter in the book that first began with the tragic shootings at Aurora, Colorado and Newton, Connecticut.

Hearsay Exceptions Apply to Contested Evidence, 10th Circuit Rules

This Tenth Circuit bank fraud ruling in US v. Marvin Iverson helps clarify the general trend in the circuit to treat banking documents and FDIC certificates as exemptable hearsay. In this case, the court found that a number of the hearsay exceptions allowed a key piece of evidence into the body of evidence.

10th Cir. Rules That Colorado Non-Profit Needn't Disclose Donors

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower district court ruling in favor of a Colorado non-profit that allowed it not to register as an "issue committee," thus allowing it to protect the identities of its donors. This case should also be read in conjunction with a related campaign case also recently decided in the Tenth Circuit.

The non-profit in question is Colorado's Coalition for Secular Government, which has fought zealously against a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution to grant "personhood" to unborn fetuses.

10th Cir. Backpedals, Declares Colorado's Tax Reporting Law Is Okay

The Tenth Circuit was recently all but forced to backpedal on a position it held in 2015 in which it held the Tax Injunction Act did not bar a sale-info-reporting suit in federal court. Now that the case is back down from SCOTUS, the Tenth Circuit has ruled that the suit had to go on and that, by the way, the rule did not violate the Commerce Clause.

The court concluded that the reporting requirements imposed by Colorado did not imposed a discriminatory burden on out-of-state vendors when viewed in the totality of context of foreign retailers tax reporting obligations.

Atkins Diet Doctor Going to Prison for Tax Evasion: 10th Cir.

Remember the Atkins diet? One of the low carb diet's most outspoken and enterprising exponents was Dr. Mary C. Vernon of Kansas -- and now she's headed to prison. The Tenth Circuit just upheld her criminal conviction for tax evasion and greenlit the penalty of $311,000.

Now Vernon is headed to prison for three years and five months. It's a fate worse than carbs.