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


While companies that make money off disrupting regulated industries will frequently find themselves facing legal challenges, rarely do these companies wind up with a nemesis.

Unfortunately for Airbnb, a large property management company's legal actions against the short-term rental disrupter are rising to that level. The federal lawsuit Aimco brought against Airbnb in California was recently dismissed; however, their similar case in Florida's state court has now survived a motion to dismiss.

When news of the Parkland school shooting broke, the nation was shocked and saddened. While school shootings seem to occur with an alarming frequency, the high death toll at Parkland, and the failure of the first responders, really set it apart.

Notably, due to the onsite law enforcement officers failing to take appropriate action, a group of students have banded together to file the most recent lawsuit related to the shooting. As disturbing as the shooting was, when it was reported that onsite law enforcement actually ran away from the shooter and refused to enter the building after escaping, outrage and litigation ensued.

Website Accessibility Claim Against Hooters Revived

Dennis Haynes, who is blind and disabled, can navigate the internet using screen-reader software.

He wanted to read the Hooters website, but the website was not compatible with his software. He sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act to compel Hooters to make its website accessible to the visually impaired.

A trial judge dismissed, saying the case was moot because Hooters had already settled a similar suit that required the company to make similar accommodations. In Haynes v. Hooters of America, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.

Should Executions Be Made Public?

Before 1936, the United States had a long history of public executions.

Rainey Bethea was the last person to be hanged publicly, when he was put to death that year for murdering and raping a 70-year-old woman. But that "carnival in Owensboro" led to a banning of public executions in America.

Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, changed that when he requested a public execution in 2001. Doyle Lee Hamm wanted next, and a federal judge wanted to give it to him.

Tribe Must Pay Taxes on Gaming Money

Sally Jim, a member of the Miccosukee Tribe, had a good year at the casino.

She made $272,000 without ever playing a game. That was her per capita distribution as a member of the 400-member, Florida tribe.

There was one problem, however. In United States of America v. Jim, a federal appeals court said she should have paid her taxes.

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.