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

November 2012 Archives

School District Must Reimburse Parents for Special Ed Evaluation

Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), "to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education" and that "the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected." In exchange for federal funding, the IDEA says that a state must provide special education tailored to each disabled child's needs "at public expense" and "at no cost to parents."

IDEA requires that state and local agencies establish and maintain procedures to ensure that children with disabilities and their parents are guaranteed procedural safeguards, including an opportunity for the parents of a child with a disability to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of the child.

Blondes Don't Have More Fun When Their Scalps Are Burning

As Judge Ed Carnes notes this week, "behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain."

That's right: Our favorite Eleventh Circuit jurist is quoting Bob Dylan as he gives a dissatisfied bottle blonde another shot at her products liability claim.

Court Lets Atlanta Water Dispute Flow Into Mediation

Atlanta, the city best known for its "Real Housewives" cast and streets with peachy names, could soon have a new claim to fame as the city with the most legal battles involving water rights.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court refused to hear the tri-state battle between Florida, Alabama, and Georgia over Atlanta's dependence on Lake Lanier as its primary water source.

This week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Atlanta in a separate aquatic dispute over the southern mega-city's water contract with its neighbor, Sandy Springs.

SCOTUS Denies Prosecutorial Misconduct Appeal

It's rare for a judge to get so mad that he fines the government after a trial, but U.S. District Judge Alan Gold was so outraged by two prosecutors' win-at-any-cost tactics that he awarded over $600,000 in attorney's fees and costs to a defendant acquitted of 141 counts of unlawful prescribing.

In 2011, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals later reversed the sanctions. This week, the government can breathe a sigh of relief: The Supreme Court has declined to consider the case, The Associated Press reports.

Let's go back to the beginning and discuss this kerfuffle.

Ask Not for Whom the Filing Period Tolls: It Tolls for Thee

An alien may only file one motion to reopen, and must do so no later than 90 days after the final order of removal. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) takes that restriction pretty seriously.

Technically, there's an exception to the one-and-done filing rule: The time and number limitations on motions to reopen do not apply if the motion is based upon changed country conditions. To qualify, the alien must demonstrate that conditions within the relevant country have changed.

A change in personal circumstances alone is not enough to allow an otherwise untimely and successive motion to reopen, as today's Eleventh Circuit petitioner learned.

Drug Trafficking Not an 'Offence Against the Law of Nations'

The United States may be described as the world's police -- both in earnest commentary and feature films starring puppets -- but the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that it doesn't actually have authority to police the world.

Tuesday, the Atlanta-based appellate court vacated the convictions of four suspected drug traffickers arrested near Panama, holding that U.S. had exceeded its authority by prosecuting the men, Reuters reports.

Eleventh Circuit Hears Florida Welfare Drug Testing Arguments

Last year, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a law requiring adults applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screening. At the time, he said it was "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction," CNN reports. Florida was the first state to pass such a requirement.

A year later, data released by the state showed that the law resulted in no direct savings, snared few drug users and had no effect on the number of applications, according to The New York Times.

Not that it matters; the requirement was enjoined last year.

This week, a three-judge panel from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether a preliminary injunction against drug test requirement should remain in place.