Justia U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction of an action brought by Sensory NueroStimulation, a medical device supplier, seeking Medicare coverage of its product. The panel held that the district court correctly held that 42 U.S.C. 405(h)'s administrative channeling requirement applied and that it therefore had no subject matter jurisdiction to hear Sensory's claims. In this case, the lawsuit is subject to Medicare's administrative channeling requirements; Sensory has not met those requirements; there exists a way to satisfy those requirements; and these conclusions do not completely preclude judicial review so as to trigger a key exception to the channeling requirements. View "Sensory NeuroStimulation, Inc. v. Azar" on Justia Law

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In late August 2020, Yazzie initiated an action challenging Arizona's Receipt Deadline pursuant to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, and the Arizona Constitution's election clause. The complaint alleges that Navajo Nation reservation residents face myriad challenges to voting by mail where many on-reservation members do not have home mail service. Rather, to receive or send mail, they must travel to a post office. Furthermore, socioeconomic factors, educational disadvantages, and language barriers make both the travel to the post office—which requires access to a car—and the completion of mail ballots difficult. Yazzie also claims that these mail ballots take disproportionately longer to reach the county recorder's office because of the slower mail service on the reservation. In late September 2020, the district court denied Yazzie's motion for preliminary injunction based on its finding that Yazzie did not demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits or raise serious questions going to the merits of Yazzie's VRA claim.The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of Yazzie's request for a preliminary injunction. The panel did not address the district court's analysis of the VRA claim because it concluded that Yazzie and the other plaintiffs lack standing. The panel stated that not only does Yazzie fail to make a clear showing of a concrete and particularized injury, noticeably absent in the record is any particularized allegation with respect to any of the six individual plaintiffs. The panel also stated that, importantly, this case is not a putative class action filed on behalf of the Navajo Nation members who reside on the reservation. In this case, Yazzie failed to establish injury-in-fact for at least one of the individual plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The panel concluded that also missing is a clear showing that the alleged injury is redressable by a favorable decision by this court. View "Yazzie v. Hobbs" on Justia Law

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The conduct proscribed by Oregon's former marijuana delivery statute, Or. Rev. Stat. 475.860 (2011), does not constitute the federal generic crime of "illicit trafficking of a controlled substance," under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)(B).The Ninth Circuit held that the Oregon statute criminalizes more conduct—namely, solicitation—than does the federal generic crime. The panel concluded that "illicit trafficking" does not include solicitation offenses and thus Oregon's former crime of marijuana delivery for consideration, Or. Rev. Stat. 475.860(2)(a), does not qualify as an aggravated felony under section 1101(a)(43)(B). In this case, the BIA erred in relying on Rendon v. Mukasey, 520 F.3d 967 (9th Cir. 2008), especially given the panel's earlier precedent establishing that solicitation offenses do not fall under the controlled substance ground for deportation under section 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). Therefore, the panel granted the petition for review and remanded for further proceedings. View "Cortes-Maldonado v. Barr" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for ETC in an action brought by InteliClear, alleging that ETC misused its securities trading database. InteliClear alleged claims for trade secret misappropriations under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act.The panel held that: (1) there is a triable issue of fact as to whether (a) InteliClear described its alleged trade secrets with sufficient particularity and (b) InteliClear has shown that parts of the InteliClear System are secret; and (2) the district court abused its discretion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d) by issuing its summary judgment ruling before discovery occurred. View "InteliClear, LLC v. ETC Global Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law

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This appeal involves a years-long intra-union dispute over the right to perform certain maintenance and repair (M&R) work for Kinder Morgan Terminals (Kinder Morgan) at its Bulk Terminal facility in Vancouver, Washington.The Ninth Circuit granted the petitions for review, denied the cross-petition for enforcement, vacated the Board's order, and remanded for further proceedings. First, the panel reaffirmed the well-settled rule that Section 10(k) of the National Labor Relations Act decisions are not res judicata in subsequent unfair labor practices (ULP) proceedings. Therefore, the panel held that the Board erred in deeming its 10(k) decision "dispositive" of the Longshoremen's work preservation defense. Second, the panel rejected the Board's construction of the work preservation defense, noting that the Supreme Court has twice disallowed such a narrow focus on past performance of the precise work in dispute as ill-suited to the holistic, circumstantial inquiry that is indispensable where, as here, parties strike agreements aimed at preserving union jobs in the face of technological threats to traditional union work. The panel held that the Board erred by disregarding this binding precedent and instead making past performance of the specific work at issue the beginning and end of its analysis. Third, the panel held that the 2008 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) encompasses the disputed work which both unions claim. In this case, the Board erred by using extrinsic evidence to inject ambiguity into the CBA's unambiguous terms and, by extension, assessing the Longshoremen's work preservation defense based on that erroneous construction. View "International Longshore and Warehouse Union v. National Labor Relations Board" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a petition for writ of error coram nobis brought by petitioner, a lawful permanent resident from Canada, who pleaded guilty to health care fraud and was convicted in 2005. The government seeks to remove petitioner from the United States because his conviction is an aggravated felony.In this case, the panel held that petitioner is not entitled to coram nobis relief because, after learning that the only way he could avoid removal was to challenge his conviction, he waited two years, without a valid reason, before filing his petition for writ of error coram nobis. The panel specifically held that uncertainty or ambiguity in the law is not itself a valid reason to delay seeking coram nobis relief. View "United States v. Kroytor" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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Plaintiff filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the City of Simi Valley's regulations prohibiting mobile billboards on public property unless they qualify as authorized emergency or construction-related vehicles. The district court dismissed plaintiff's claims on the pleadings.The Ninth Circuit held that the City's mobile billboard regulations favor certain speakers where allowing certain speakers to park mobile billboards on public property but not others reflects a content preference. On its face, the Authorized Vehicle Exemption is content neutral, but to execute its purpose, the City enacted an ordinance that prefers speakers likely to spread messages consistent with its purpose. The panel stated that this is a prudent preference, a reasonable rationale, and a content-based choice that triggers strict scrutiny. Therefore, the panel vacated the district court's order granting the City's motion to dismiss regarding plaintiff's First Amendment claims. Because the district court concluded the ordinances were content neutral, it evaluated the sufficiency of plaintiff's complaint against the wrong standard. The panel remanded plaintiff's claims for the district court to reconsider it under the strict scrutiny standard. Finally, the panel held that the district court did not err by declining plaintiff's request to remand his state law claims to state court. View "Boyer v. City of Simi Valley" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit granted a prospective stay of the district court's preliminary injunction enjoining the Secretary's enforcement of the October 5, 2020 deadline prescribed in Ariz. Rev. Stat. 16-120(A), where the district court held that it was unconstitutional as applied during the COVID-19 pandemic. The injunction extended the registration deadline by 18 days to October 23, 2020, and ordered that anyone registering by that date be allowed to vote in the November 3 election.The panel applied the Nken factors to determine whether to grant a stay pending appeal, holding that there is a sufficiently high likelihood of success on appeal where there has been no facial challenge to the statutory registration deadline; the statutory deadline does not impose a "severe burden" on plaintiffs' asserted rights and does not trigger strict scrutiny; the administrative burdens on the state imposed by an October 23 registration deadline are significant; and, even if the burden on voter registration were greater and the burden on the government less, plaintiffs' extremely late filing relative to the deadline is a factor supporting the government's likelihood of success on the merits. Finally, the remaining factors governing issuance of a stay also weigh in the Secretary's favor.The panel granted the Secretary's specific request for a prospective stay, with a two-day grace period. In this case, the Secretary maintains that a retroactive stay would be unfair and might cause irreparable harm to Arizona's voters and damage the public interest. Furthermore, a retroactive stay would replicate some of the injuries that the injunction itself produced, and a retrospective stay would be problematic given that early voting has begun; the Supreme Court has recently employed the remedy of a prospective stay in similar election law cases; and the Supreme Court's election law jurisprudence counsels for deference to politically accountable state officials charged with the responsibility for conducting elections. View "Mi Familia Vota v. Hobbs" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence of a firearm. The panel held that the district court did not clearly err in crediting an officer's testimony that he observed on defendant a "very large and obvious bulge" that suggested a concealed firearm. The panel also held that the district court's basis for finding reasonable suspicion was soundly supported in the record based on factual findings that were not clearly erroneous. Furthermore, those facts taken together created reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Therefore, the district court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence found during the search. View "United States v. Bontemps" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law
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The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal of an IJ's order of removal, holding that substantial evidence supported the denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and the denial of protection under the Convention Against Torture. The panel held that petitioner failed to show a well founded fear of persecution based on a protected ground.In this case, petitioner was not credible because of his inconsistent statements about why he left Brazil and the BIA reasonably found it implausible that petitioner randomly encountered General Kangama’s nephew at a Brazilian bus stop after only a few days in the country. Substantial evidence also supports the BIA's decision that petitioner did not rehabilitate his testimony with sufficient corroborating evidence, and the BIA did not err in concluding that the evidence petitioner provided was entitled to limited weight. Furthermore, the evidence does not meet the high threshold of establishing that it is more likely than not that petitioner will be tortured by or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official. Finally, petitioner's due process rights were not violated based on transcription issues and a credible fear review hearing. View "Mukulumbutu v. Barr" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law