Media Alerts

ABA 9th Circuit Media Alerts

The American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Media Alerts provides reporters, lawyers, educators, and the public with accurate, unbiased analysis of newsworthy and legally significant cases pending in or decided by the federal courts of appeals. The ABA selected the Western State Law Review to write the Media Alerts for the 9th Circuit. Several Law Review members volunteer to write the Media Alerts throughout each term.

Media Alerts – 9th Circuit

United States v. Hector Soto-Zuniga – Ninth Circuit

Headline: The Ninth Circuit panel held that the district court abused its discretion by denying defendant pretrial discovery of the arrest and search statistics of the San Clemente Border Patrol checkpoint to prove that the checkpoint is unconstitutional because its primary purpose is to detect evidence of drug trafficking, rather than to control immigration, and Areas of Law: Criminal Law, Fourth Amendment, Criminal Procedure, Pre-Trial Discovery Issues Presented: Whether the district court abused its discretion
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NewGen, LLC v. Safe Cig, LLC – Ninth Circuit

Headline: After plaintiff’s complaint failed to properly allege the citizenship of the defendant LLC to invoke diversity jurisdiction and a $1.5 million default judgment entered, the district court properly granted plaintiff leave to amend its complaint to correct the defective jurisdictional allegation and denied defendant’s 60(b) motion to set aside the default judgment. Areas of Law: Federal Civil Procedure: Diversity Jurisdiction Issues Presented: (1) Whether the district court erred in permitting the plaintiff to amend
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United States v. Carey – Ninth Circuit

Headline: Ninth Circuit panel expands the “plain view” doctrine and adopts the “plain hearing” doctrine, whereby police may use evidence of conversations of speakers unrelated to a target conspiracy overheard during execution of a valid wiretap for the target conspiracy only until such time that the police know or should reasonably know that the speakers are unrelated to the target conspiracy. Area of Law: Criminal Procedure; Fourth Amendment, Exceptions to the Warrant or Probable Cause
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A.K.H. v. City of Tustin – Ninth Circuit

Headline: The Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the district court’s denial of qualified immunity to a Tustin police officer in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the officer used excessive force when he shot and killed an unarmed man suspected of a domestic violence dispute during an investigatory stop. Area of Law: Constitutional Law; 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Issue Presented: Whether a Tustin Police officer is entitled to summary judgment based on
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United States v. Diaz – Ninth Circuit

Headline: In a case of first impression, Ninth Circuit panel concludes that California’s Proposition 47, which allows certain felony convictions to be reclassified as misdemeanor convictions, does not undermine a prior conviction’s felony-status for purposes of 21 U.S.C. § 841. Areas of Law: Criminal Law Issues Presented: Whether a criminal defendant, previously convicted and sentenced in accordance with 21 U.S.C. § 841, is eligible to have his federal sentence reduced pursuant to California’s Proposition 47,
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Teutscher v. Riverside Sheriff’s Association – Ninth Circuit

Headline: The Ninth Circuit holds the district court erred in awarding ERISA front pay and reinstatement after the jury already had awarded front pay for state employment law violations. Areas of Law: Seventh Amendment, ERISA, Remedies Issues Presented: (1) Whether an award of the equitable remedies of front pay and reinstatement pursuant to ERISA violates the Seventh Amendment after the jury already awarded front pay as damages for state employment law violations; and (2) whether
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Tompkins v. 23andME, Inc. – Ninth Circuit

Headline: Ninth Circuit panel holds pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 2 (“FAA”) and California’s unconscionability rules that provisions in a mandatory arbitration clause in an online consumer contract of adhesion are valid and enforceable. Areas of Law: Arbitration; Unconscionability; Federal Arbitration Act. Issues Presented: (1)Whether provisions in an online mandatory arbitration clause authorizing an award of attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party, designating the forum for arbitrations, and excluding
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Preap v. Johnson – Ninth Circuit

Headline: Ninth Circuit holds immigration authorities may detain criminal aliens without a bond hearing only when aliens are detained promptly after their release from criminal custody. Area of Law: Immigration Law Issue Presented: Whether the phrase “when the alien is released” in the mandatory detention provision of 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c)(1) permits the government to detain individuals without a bond hearing long after they were released and resettled in the community. Brief Summary: The Ninth
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Dugard v. United States – Ninth Circuit

Headline: A Ninth Circuit panel references California law in holding that the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) does not impose a duty on the U.S. government to protect the general public from injuries caused by convicts released on parole. Areas of Law: Federal Tort Claims Act, Sovereign Immunity Issue Presented: Whether the United States is liable for negligence under the FTCA for its probation officers’ failure to control a dangerous parolee where a private individual
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Castro v. County of Los Angeles – Ninth Circuit

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Fourteenth Amendment, Due Process Clause, Pretrial Detainees Issues Presented: (1)Whether the evidence supported the jury’s finding that defendant’s jail employees knew of the substantial risk of serious harm and thus were liable for plaintiff’s injuries resulting from a beating by another inmate; and (2) whether the evidence supported the jury’s finding that the entity defendants had notice that their customs and policies posed a substantial risk to persons
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