U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Police Can't Shoot Unlicensed Dogs During Search

Pet owners may sue police who shot and killed their dogs during a home search, a federal appeals court said.

In Smith v. City of Detroit, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said police acted unreasonably when they shot two pit bulls and a Rottweiler. A divided panel reversed a trial judge who said the owners had no right to sue because their dogs were unlicensed.

The issue revolves around whether pet owners have a possessory interest in unlicensed animals under the Fourth Amendment. But Detroit has a bigger dog problem -- there are about 50,000 strays roaming its streets.

'Street Outlaw Memphis' Reality Show Sued Over On-Set Brawl

It's hard to know what's real and what's not on reality television -- even for lawyers.

But two Nashville attorneys say their clients really got beat up on "Street Outlaws: Memphis." The show, which airs on the Discovery Channel, pits street racers against each other.

In one episode last February, however, the street race turned into a street fight.

When leaving work for the day, most workers don't have to worry about security screenings to make sure they didn't steal something. However, for Amazon warehouse workers, not only are they required to undergo security screenings before being allowed to leave, those screenings are unpaid.

What's worse, due to the large number of warehouse employees, there are often long lines that can take over 20 minutes to get through. And as you might have already known, a putative class action was filed, and there is multidistrict federal litigation ongoing over this issue. Most recently, the Sixth Circuit opined that workers in Nevada were entitled to compensation for these security checks, while workers in Arizona were not.

Trump Cleared in Rally Violence Lawsuit

With legal troubles hanging overhead, President Trump got some good news in one case.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit that alleged he incited a riot when he had protesters forcibly removed from a campaign rally. In Nwanguma v. Trump, the appeals court said Trump's call to "get 'em out of here" was protected by the First Amendment.

Trump must be happy about the respite from litigation. The last thing he needed was another adverse judgment.

Court Turns Down Age Discrimination Claim, Cites Performance

Getting older can be tough, especially when you lose a job based on your age.

That's what Ramona DeBra said happened at JPMorgan, where she was a teller. As she neared 60, the Michigan branch let her go.

Unfortunately in DeBra v. JPMorgan Chase & Company, it got worse for her. According to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, her age wasn't the reason she was fired.

The redistricting/gerrymandering case going on in the state of Michigan just got a whole lot more complicated. That's because the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed eight Republican Congress members to intervene in the League of Women Voter's lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State.

The lawsuit alleges that after the 2010 U.S. census, Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally redrew the districts to their advantage.

Lawyers Gets a Break on Contempt, Judge, Not So Much

To every lawyer who has been busted by a judge for missing court, this one's for you.

Brent English literally got busted when he didn't show up for an order to show cause. He was already in trouble because he had missed the last hearing.

In Clapper v. Clark Development. Judge John Adams ordered marshals to arrest the lawyer and bring him to court. In the end, however, it didn't work out so well for the judge.

Doctor Gets Stuck With Air Ambulance Bill

A ride in a private jet might be fun in some cases, but not if it's an air ambulance jet.

It was really not fun for a doctor who arranged a jet ambulance for his son to be transported across the country for continuing medical care. It was actually painful because the physician's insurance plan denied coverage.

In Springer v. Cleveland Clinic Employee Health Plan Total Care, it left the doctor holding the bag and a bill for $340,000.

Judge Sued for Denying Name Changes to Transgender Children

It's almost a maxim that half of the people in a courtroom -- other than the judge and staff -- go home unhappy.

Judge Joseph W. Kirby knows that; appeals are a given for trial judges. However, he didn't expect the legal backfire that hit him after he denied name changes to parents of transgender children.

In Whitaker v. Kirby, the plaintiffs have sued the Ohio judge for allegedly discriminating against transgender children. It may be a short-lived suit because of judicial immunity, but the issue is not going away.

6th Circuit Hears Two Clean Water Cases

Navigating a bend in environmental law, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard two water pollution cases on the same day.

In Kentucky Waterways Alliance v. Kentucky Utilities Co., environmental groups claim a utility company polluted Herrington Lake. In Tennessee Clean Water Network v. Tennessee Valley Authority, the plaintiffs say the defendant contaminated the Cumberland River.

Arguments in both matters turned on the question of "point source" pollution. It was a rare occasion when lawyers walked into court on separate cases but found themselves on the same page.