U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Advertisers often gets a bad rap for making print and online newspapers a mess to read. However, for seventy inmates in Florida's prison system, prison officials have refused to deliver the monthly Prison Legal News publications to the inmate subscribers because of the ads in the paper.

Surprisingly, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Florida's prison officials in ruling that denying the paper to the inmates is not a First Amendment violation. However, because the Florida prisons failed to provide a sufficient notice to the publisher, as required by their own rules, both the district and circuit courts found that the publisher's due process rights were violated.

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, the Florida legislature passed some gun control measures to restrict individuals under the age of 21 from being able to purchase certain firearms, as well as imposing a three-day waiting period.

In response to that legislation, the NRA filed a lawsuit on behalf of one 19-year-old Jane Doe and one 19-year-old John Doe, to challenge the law. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the NRA's motion to keep the Doe plaintiffs' identities secret was shot down by the court, despite the judge's clear sympathy for the plight of the plaintiffs.

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida state Clemency Board have filed an appeal to the federal district court's injunction which epicly slammed the two for violating the voting rights of felons.

However, in addition to appealing the district court's order, they sought a stay to prevent the enforcement of the injunction while the appeal was pending. Interestingly, while the district court judge seemed to have strong feelings in favor of restoring the voting rights of felons, the appellate court seems to be more in favor of the governor's position.

The Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has been, and probably still is, charging planes that refuel there local taxes on the aviation fuel. And while that's legal, according to the FAA's interpretation of the rules, the tax money collected from local aviation fuel tax can only be used for aviation related purposes.

After attempting to reach a resolution with the FAA, the county filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the interpretation of the rule. Unfortunately for the county, the appellate court explained that the case was filed too late after the interpretation of the rule was announced, as well as too soon as the FAA had not issued a final action as to the local taxes.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Fourth Amendment rights of a man convicted of inducing and assisting immigrants to illegally enter the United States were not violated when federal authorities reviewed the GPS log found aboard his boat. Perhaps the most curious fact is that the defendant actually consented to a search of his boat both verbally and in writing.

During the search, inside one of the boat's compartments, a GPS device was found. When the data on the device was reviewed, it was revealed that the boat captain, Maikel Suarez Plasencia, had been less than forthcoming with the authorities when they found him in his broken down boat, beached along a public waterway. Federal authorities connected Suarez to a group of over 20 undocumented individuals from Cuba that had been dropped off elsewhere and claimed to have washed ashore on a raft.

This week, President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant. If confirmed, Grant will fill the soon to be vacated seat by Justice Julie Carnes, who will be stepping down to senior status this June.

Interestingly, Grant only recently took the bench in Georgia in 2017. From 2015 to 2017, she served as the Solicitor General for the state of Georgia. After earning her J.D. from Stanford, she served as a law clerk to Justice Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Notably, Grant also held a few roles during the last Bush administration.

iPhone Seizure at Accident Scene Violated 4th Amendment

If you have teenagers with cell phones, do not let them see this story.

A federal appeals court said it is a Fourth Amendment violation to take away a person's cell phone without a "reasonable basis." Of course, that applies when it's the government taking the phone.

But still, you may want to think twice about explaining the constitutional nuances to a kid who has a death grip on a cell phone. For cops, well, that's this story.

FDA, Justice Shut Down Sexual Enhancement, Weight Loss Business

'Bulls genital male pills are ALL NATURAL,' said the sexual enhancement advertisement, but not anymore.

MyNicNaxs, a Florida company, nixed its ads because a federal court permanently enjoined it from selling unapproved and misbranded drugs. The U.S. Justice Department announced the court order after a receiving a request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"When a company fails to disclose pharmaceutical ingredients in its products, consumer safety can be put at risk," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department's Civil Division. But what about the bull?

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the search of a smartphone at the border does not require a warrant, or even probable cause, even if we're talking about a forensic search.

The underlying criminal case involved the conviction of a man for possession of child pornography. Law enforcement discovered illegal videos and images as a result of searching his phone at the U.S. border crossing area at a port in Florida. The border agent initially saw a few videos he believed depicted minors in sex acts, and then had a DHS agent take over from there.

There's the one percent, then there are one percenters. And then there are these three alleged one percenters who sued law enforcement after the improper use of their driver license photos was discovered.

The three motorcycle club members were part of a group of seven, singled out by law enforcement, to have their driver license pictures used for lobbying purposes. On the assumption that their images would frighten state lawmakers away from passing an open carry law, the plaintiffs' pictures (without any other identifying information) were distributed to the lawmakers by the department's government liaison alongside information explaining that these were the type of people who would utilize the open carry law.