U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

A recently filed case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California seeks to enforce a Freedom of Information Act request made by immigration advocacy groups to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The request is aimed at discovering just what is going on with the massive backlog of N400 citizenship applications, which is continuing to grow, resulting in systemic consequences for individuals who should rightfully be granted citizenship.

Ninth Circuit Resets Wage Case for Servers, Bartenders

IHOP didn't seriously change its name to IHob; that was just to get customers' attention.

But the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals got some serious attention from the International House of Pancakes in a labor case. Along with many other restaurants, IHOP may have to change its wage practices.

In a consolidated ruling with Marsh v. J. Alexander's LLC, the Ninth Circuit said the plaintiffs have claims against their employers for allegedly taking their tips and underpaying them.

House Committee Advances Bill Reshaping 9th Circuit

As President Trump reshapes the federal courts through judicial appointments, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering even bigger changes.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved three wide-ranging bills, which will now go to the entire legislative body. The measures cover so many subjects that the American Bar Association has asked the lawmakers to slow down.

ABA President Bob Carson said the proposals deserve more time for review. But one bill -- to split the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals -- has been there before.

9th Circuit Upholds Arizona Voting Laws

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Arizona laws against out-of-precinct voting and submitting ballots on behalf of others.

It was a setback for the Democratic National Committee, which argued the laws unfairly impacted minority voters. A divided appeals panel, however, said the laws imposed "only a minimal burden on voters."

It was much worse than that, said the dissent in The Democratic National Committee v. Reagan. The lone appellate judge said the only purpose of the laws was to discriminate against minorities.

When it comes to the hot-button topic of political fundraising, everyday individuals tend to be in agreement that there should be no secrets when it comes to the money politicians and political groups receive.

However, popular opinion does not create law and Citizens United happened. But in California, the Ninth Circuit just reversed a district court injunction and gave the state's Attorney General the power to see who the anonymous donors are behind the Koch brother-founded conservative advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (which reportedly just founded the Super PAC American for Prosperity Action).

9th Circuit Revives Challenge to Cyberstalking Law

Richard Lee Rynearson, III, a retired Air Force major, is not the kind to let things go.

He got into a Facebook argument with his neighbor until it escalated to a legal skirmish. A Washington state judge granted a protective order against Rynearson, ordering him to leave his neighbor alone and to stop stalking him.

While the state case was pending, Rynearson challenged the state's cyberstalking law on free speech grounds in federal court. He lost, but of course the war was not over in Rynearson v. Ferguson.

Court Revives NFL Players' Suit Over Painkillers

A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit that alleges the NFL gave players painkillers to make them play hurt, often causing long-term injuries.

In Dent v. National Football League, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a trial court that had dismissed the case. The appeals panel said the NFL had a duty to comply with the law when handing out pain medications.

The ruling opens the door to more than 1,000 retired athletes. For them, it's a whole new ball game.

For heads of households and business owners that offer free wifi or internet access, a recent decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals makes it clear that the sharing an IP address doesn't automatically lead to liability when someone else on the shared IP address illegally downloads copyrighted content.

The Cobbler Nevada v. Gonzales case involves the makers of the Adam Sandler movie The Cobbler, suing due to illegal downloads via BitTorrent. Cobbler Nevada initially filed the matter as a John Doe case against the IP address basically. However, tracking down the individual(s) who actually did the downloading proved impossible, and as such, Cobbler chose to just go after the registered owner of the address.

Cross-Border Pollution Case Can Proceed Over Tijuana Sewage

Judge Jeffrey Miller has an international border case that is beyond his reach.

It is hard enough that the case is about wastewater flowing from Mexico border town Tijuana to nearby San Diego County, California. But it is even more complicated than the course of pollution spilling into waterways and ocean bays.

City of Imperial Beach v. International Boundary Water Commission is the first case of its kind. It asks the court to address a Clean Water Act violation from polluted waters entering United States from another country.

When people speak of justice being elusive, the recent Ninth Circuit appellate decision, McCray v. Marriott, involving the San Jose union employees being denied the local minimum wage, is rather illustrative.

The case was first filed in state court, then removed to the federal district courts, where it was dismissed. And now, after an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a panel of justices has decided to send the case back to state court, to actually get litigated.