by
The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of an action against a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq. The panel remanded for further proceedings, holding that federal law preempts a private party's use of state execution procedures to acquire and destroy a debtor's FDCPA claims against it. The panel explained that such a procedure frustrates the Act's purpose. View "Arellano v. Clark County Collection Service" on Justia Law

Posted in: Consumer Law

by
The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision that petitioner's felony hit and run conviction under California Vehicle Code 20001(a) was a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), rendering him ineligible for cancellation of removal. In this case, petitioner admitted in his plea agreement that he was involved in a car accident that led to injury. The panel applied the modified categorical approach and held that a felony conviction for traditional hit and run causing injury qualifies as a CIMT under current controlling precedent. View "Conejo-Bravo v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Fox and held that Fox's use of the name "Empire" was protected by the First Amendment and was outside the reach of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125. At issue was a Fox television show entitled Empire, which portrays a fictional hip hop music label named "Empire Enterprises" that was based in New York. The panel applied a test developed by the Second Circuit in Rogers v. Grimaldi, 875 F.2d 994 (2d Cir. 1989), to determine whether the Lanham Act applied. The panel held that Fox's expressive work sufficiently satisfied the first prong of the Rogers test where the title Empire supported the themes and geographic setting of the work and the second prong of the Rogers test where the use of the mark "Empire" did not explicitly mislead consumers. View "Twentieth Century Fox Television v. Empire Distribution" on Justia Law

by
The relevant unit for determining minimum-wage compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the workweek as a whole, rather than each individual hour within the workweek. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants in an action brought by call center workers under the FLSA. The panel held that, under the workweek standard, Xerox complied with the minimum-wage provision, and plaintiffs concede that their overtime claims rise or fall with their minimum-wage claims. View "Douglas v. Xerox Business Services" on Justia Law

by
28 U.S.C. 636(c)(1) requires the consent of all plaintiffs and defendants named in the complaint—irrespective of service of process—before jurisdiction may vest in a magistrate judge to hear and decide a civil case that a district court would otherwise hear. The Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded the magistrate judge's dismissal of a 42 U.S.C. 1983 suit brought by a civil detainee, because consent was not obtained from defendants in this case. Therefore, the magistrate judge lacked jurisdiction to dismiss the complaint. View "Williams v. King" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the tax court's decision on a petition for redetermination of federal income tax deficiencies that turned on whether an investment by HP could be treated as equity for which HP could claim foreign tax credits. In this case, HP wanted its investment in a foreign entity to be treated as equity, so that HP would be entitled to the foreign tax credits that the entity—a so-called "FTC generator"—produces. FTC generators are entities that churn out foreign credits for U.S. multinationals, which companies typically desire if they pay foreign taxes at a lower average rate than domestic taxes. The panel held that its test was "primarily directed" at determining whether the parties subjectively intended to craft an instrument that is more debt-like or equity-like, and the tax court did not err in finding that HP's investment was best characterized as a debt. The panel also held that the tax court did not err in considering HP's put, purchased from ABN, as part of the "overall transaction" in characterizing HP's interest in the entity as debt or equity. Finally, the tax court's judgment—that HP's purported capital loss was really a fee paid for a tax shelter—was certainly based on a permissible view of the evidence. View "Hewlett-Packard Co. v. CIR" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

by
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of Glassdoor's motion to quash a grand jury subpoena duces tecum requiring disclosure of identifying information of eight users who posted anonymous reviews about another company on its Internet website. A federal grand jury sought the identifying information from Glassdoor as part of its investigation into whether a government contractor was committing wire fraud and misuse of government funds. Glassdoor argued that complying with the subpoena would violate its users' First Amendment rights to associational privacy and anonymous speech. The panel held that the good faith test the Supreme Court established in Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), was controlling in this case. The court held that there was no evidence that the grand jury's investigation of fraud, waste, and abuse by a third party in performing a government contract was being conducted in bad faith. View "United States v. Glassdoor, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The "credit-as-true rule" permits, but does not require, a direct award of benefits on review but only where the ALJ has not provided sufficient reasoning for rejecting testimony and there are no outstanding issues on which further proceedings in the administrative court would be useful. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision to remand for further administrative proceedings in a claimant's action seeking Title II disability insurance benefits. The panel clarified the district court's remand order, instructing the district court to remand to the ALJ consistent with the requirements pursuant to Treichler v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 775 F.3d 1090, 1101-02 (9th Cir. 2014), with an open record on the issue of claimant's fatigue related to his capacity to undertake full time employment. On remand, claimant shall be permitted to cross-examine the Commissioner's medical consultants, but only to the extent such cross-examination concerns the issue of claimant's fatigue. View "Leon v. Berryhill" on Justia Law

Posted in: Public Benefits

by
The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision holding that petitioner was statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal for failure to establish seven years continuous residence in the United States after being "admitted in any status." In this case, petitioner was "admitted" in 1993 when he was waved across the border after inspection by an immigration officer. The panel held that petitioner's procedurally regular admission in 1993 was an admission in any status under 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(2), because the phrase "in any status" plainly encompasses every status recognized by immigration statutes, lawful or unlawful. View "Villalba Saldivar v. Sessions" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for reentry by a previously-deported alien without the express consent of the Attorney General to reapply for admission and a revocation of supervised release from a prior illegal reentry conviction. The panel held that there was substantial evidence to support defendant's conviction where the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find that defendant was in the United States without the consent of the Attorney General or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The panel also held that the district court properly denied defendant's Batson challenge where the totality of the circumstances did not raise an inference that the government's challenges were racially motivated, defendant failed to make a prima facie case of discrimination, and the district court did not commit structural error. View "United States v. Hernandez-Quintania" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law