U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Recently in Court News Category

Woman Wins Appeal in Water Rights Battle

When the water shut off at her residence, Jacqueline Winston didn't call a plumber. She called a lawyer.

She was upset because the city shut off the water over the landlord's unpaid bill. What really irked Winston was that she offered to pay the bill and the city still wouldn't turn on the water.

In Winston v. City of Syracuse, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said she had a point because that's not how water service is supposed to work.

NY Federal Court Shuts Down Cheese Factory

If you have cheese in your refrigerator, go check it right now.

If it came from Vulto Creamery, sit down before reading on. That's because Vulto cheese, previously distributed by Whole Foods and throughout New York, has caused at least eight people to fall ill to listeriosis -- including two who died.

A federal court has ordered the shut-down of the artisanal creamery, but that's only part of the story. This has been going on for years.

Lawsuit Against Trump's DACA Policies Proceeds

Legally speaking, President Trump has made racial slurs.

Almost everybody knows it, but it just sounds so bad when a judge says it. Of course, Judge Nicholas Garaufis used more judicious language in his decision.

But ruling in Vidal v. Nielsen, the federal judge made it clear. The president has said prejudicial things against Mexicans.

Non-Organic Baby Formula Case Preempted

Sara Marentette checked the label twice: "Similac Advance Organic Infant Formula."

Like many parents, she wanted to make sure the baby formula was organic. So she bought some and took it home.

But when she double-checked, she discovered a bunch of ingredients that prompted her to file a class-action lawsuit. In Marentette v. Abbott Laboratories, the plaintiffs said the defendant sold them non-organic baby formula.

Court: New York Pipeline May Go Forward

A federal appeals court turned back a New York agency's attempt to slow down a controversial natural gas pipeline, which has been tied to a state government scandal in the same courthouse.

In New York State Department of Environmental Conservation v. Federal Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said the department waited too long to challenge the pipeline over water issues. As a result, the 442-mile Millennium Pipeline will go forward.

Meanwhile in the same building, federal prosecutors closed in on a former state official in a bribery trial involving the same pipeline company. In New York, they say, one hand washes the other.

Upheld: NY Can Require Nonprofits to Report Major Donors

Over free speech arguments, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld New York's law requiring registered charities to disclose their donors.

Citizens United had challenged the law, saying it violated the First Amendment by intimidating donors who want to remain anonymous. The free speech group also said the law was a prior restraint on the ability to solicit donations.

In Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation v. Schneiderman, the appeals court said the state has an important interest in stopping fraud and abuse by charities by requiring them to disclose donor information.

Poet May Sue Public Access Company for Free Speech Violation, 2nd Cir. Rules

If it were the battle of the poet against the public access channel, then the poet won.

In Halleck v. Manhattan Community Access Corporation, a federal appeals court said the plaintiffs may sue a public access company for violating their free speech rights. East Harlem poet Jesus Papoleto Melendez and an activist sued after the company stopped a television show that nearly caused a fist-fight.

But the case also caused a split in the U.S. Second Court of Appeal, and that had little to do with poetry.

Flu Shot Reminder Text Doesn't Violate TCPA

Daniel Latner got a text message that apparently offended him.

"It's flu season again," his health care provider texted. It invited him to come in for a flu shot.

Instead of getting a shot, he filed a lawsuit. In Latner v. Mount Sinai Health System, it seemed like no good deed goes unpunished.

Iran Sanctions Case Stalls, Deal Possible

It's one thing when a defendant does not show up in court; it's another when the defense counsel is a no-show.

In a high-profile trial in Manhattan, neither Reza Zarrab nor his lawyers appeared for jury selection. Prosecutors allege Zarrab conspired to handle hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran to avoid economic sanctions.

After meeting with the lawyers who did make it to court, the judge postponed the case for a week. For co-defendant Mehmet Hakan Atilla, it may not have been good thing.

Day Laborers Win Right to Solicit Work

Attorney Elbert S. Hendrickson opened a blacksmith shop in the Town of Oyster Bay at a time when immigrants came to America trying to make a living any way they could.

One hundred fifty years later, lawmakers want to stop day laborers from making a living on the same Long Island streets. They enacted an ordinance that banned mostly immigrants from soliciting drivers for work as they drove through the suburban neighborhood.

However, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ordinance in Centro de la Comunidad Hispana de Locust Valley v. Town of Oyster Bay. While the appeals court said it violated their free speech rights, town leaders vowed to fight on.

"I cannot understand why any court in this nation would allow illegal aliens to gather on residential streets seeking illegal work while avoiding paying taxes," Supervisor Joseph Saladino said, promising to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Our neighborhoods will not become sanctuaries for illegal aliens under my watch."