CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

September 2014 Archives

Calif.'s 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Bill Signed Into Law

California's so-called "Yes Means Yes" bill was signed into law Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. What does this law, the first of its kind in the nation, require?

In response to the growing outcry about sexual assaults on college campuses, California lawmakers in August approved a bill requiring many colleges "to adopt a policy of unambiguous, affirmative consent by students engaged in sexual activity," Reuters reports.

The bill requires both public and private colleges that receive state funds for student aid adopt the policies and protocols outlined in the bill. In addition to the new consent standard, the bill also mandates prevention and outreach programs for sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and date violence, reports the Los Angeles Times.

La. Gay Marriage Ruling: State Court Finds Ban Unconstitutional

A Louisiana state court ruled Monday that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. That opinion was originally sealed because the case involved the adoption of a minor child, but the ruling was released to the public Tuesday.

Judge Edward Rubin, writing for the 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette Parish, ruled that a lesbian couple who had been legally married in California should be considered legally married in Louisiana. The decision was based on the law's violations of the guarantees of equal protection and due process under the 14th Amendment, as well as conflicts with the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

This ruling could mean big changes in the gay marriage landscape for Louisiana residents.

Adrian Peterson Case: Petition Filed to Protect 4-Year-Old Son

Prosecutors in Adrian Peterson's alleged child abuse case have filed a petition to protect the NFL player's 4-year-old son.

The Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) petition, filed in child protection court on Friday, summarizes the abuse allegations against the Vikings player and details a plan for keeping his son safe. According to Minneapolis-St. Paul's KMSP-TV, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman stated that the petition is required by state law whenever serious child abuse allegations exist for a child living in the county.

What does the petition request for Adrian Peterson and his son?

Cardinals' Jonathan Dwyer Head-Butted Wife: Police Report

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer is the latest NFL player to be arrested on domestic violence charges. He was arrested by Phoenix police Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault against his wife and 17-month-old son.

Dwyer's arrest comes after Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted over the weekend on child abuse charges, and less than a month since video footage of Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his wife in an elevator earlier this year made headlines.

'Google' May Be a Verb, but It's Still a Trademark: Federal Court

Just because you may not be referring to the Google search engine when you ask someone to "Google" something doesn't mean you're unaware that there's a particular search engine named Google.

That, in essence, was the ruling of an Arizona federal court that found use of the term Google as a verb -- referring to searching for information on the Internet -- does not necessarily require that Google's trademarks to the company's name be cancelled.

Ariz. Man Can Get Husband's Death Benefits, Federal Court Rules

An Arizona man may receive his dead husband's benefits after a federal court ruled that his spouse's death certificate could be changed to reflect their same-sex married status.

Fred McQuire, 69, lost his partner George Martinez after 45 years, after the two got married in California this summer, reports The Arizona Republic. Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage prevented McQuire from getting his deceased husband's Social Security and veteran's benefits, but on Friday a federal judge ruled in McQuire's favor.

Gay Marriage Bans in Wis., Ind. Are Unconstitutional: 7th Cir.

A federal appeals court has upheld lower court decisions that struck down gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals roundly rejected arguments that same-sex marriage bans were somehow beneficial to children and ruled that neither state had provided a rational basis for their laws, thus making them unconstitutional.

La.'s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Constitutional, Federal Judge Rules

In a decision issued Wednesday, a federal judge upheld Louisiana's ban on gay marriage.

This ruling in Robicheaux v. Caldwell was based on U.S. District Court Judge Martin L. C. Feldman's evaluation that Louisiana's law was supported by rational basis. The decision is the first in more than a year to disrupt a long chain of federal courts which have ruled against state gay marriage bans. According to The Associated Press, more than 20 courts have ruled in favor of gay marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision invalidating a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

So why was this case different?