by
Plaintiff filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against the County and the City in state court, alleging violations of his constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial. In 1972, plaintiff was convicted of 28 counts of felony murder for causing a deadly fire at a Tucson hotel. In 2013, after plaintiff presented newly discovered evidence that arson did not cause the hotel fire, he entered into a plea agreement where the original convictions were vacated and he pleaded no contest to the same counts, was resentenced to time served, and released from prison. After the City removed the case to federal court, the district court granted in part and denied in part the County's motion to dismiss. The Ninth Circuit exercised its discretion under 28 U.S.C. 1292(b) to deny the County's application for permission to appeal the denial of qualified immunity; held that section 1291's collateral order doctrine did not apply to the County's appeal and thus the panel did not have jurisdiction over it; and dismissed the County's appeal. The panel held that a plaintiff in a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action may not recover incarceration-related damages for any period of incarceration supported by a valid, unchallenged conviction and sentence. Exercising its discretion under section 1292(b), the panel held that plaintiff's valid 2013 conviction and sentence were the sole legal causes of his incarceration, and thus he could not recover damages for wrongful incarceration. View "Taylor v. County of Pima" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit certified to the California Supreme Court the following question: Does a commercial liability policy that covers "personal injury," defined as "injury . . . arising out of . . . [o]ral or written publication . . . of material that violates a person's right of privacy," trigger the insurer's duty to defend the insured against a claim that the insured violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unsolicited text message advertisements that did not reveal any private information? View "Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

by
Petitions for review of compensation orders arising under the Defense Base Act should be filed in the circuit where the relevant district director is located. The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review challenging the Benefits Review Board's decision concluding that a linguist who supported the military in Iraq was entitled to workers' compensation under the Defense Base Act. The panel held that substantial evidence supported the ALJ's determination that claimant met both the medical and the economic aspect of disability as defined by the statute; the ALJ applied the correct legal standard when considering the evidence in this case; and the ALJ correctly concluded that claimant met his burden to show that he was disabled. View "Global Linguist Solutions, LLC v. Abdelmeged" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit denied as unnecessary petitioner's application to file a second or successive habeas corpus petition. Petitioner argued that his petition was not second or successive, but rather a first petition challenging a new judgment that added credit for the time he served before sentencing. The panel held that Gonzalez v. Sherman, 873 F.3d 763, 769 (9th Cir. 2017), which held that, under California law, a state court's amended judgment awarding a defendant credit for time served constituted a new judgment, applied to Nevada law. Therefore, petitioner's habeas petition was the first petition challenging his amended judgment. View "Turner v. Baker" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the California Supreme Court: Is operating engineers' offsite "mobilization work"—including the transportation to and from a public works site of roadwork grinding equipment—performed "in the execution of [a] contract for public work," Cal. Lab. Code 1772, such that it entitles workers to "not less than the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for work of a similar character in the locality in which the public work is performed" pursuant to section 1771 of the California Labor Code? View "Pena Mendoza v. Fonseca McElroy Grinding Co." on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of a Lanham Act action brought by Applied Underwriters, alleging claims for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Although the district court abused its discretion when it sanctioned Applied Underwriters and dismissed the case pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) absent an order requiring Applied Underwriters to file an amended complaint, the panel nevertheless affirmed the district court's earlier Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal because the use of Applied Underwriters' trademarks by defendants constituted nominative fair use. In this case, Applied Underwriters' service was not readily identifiable without use of the trademarks; defendants used only so much of the marks as was reasonably necessary; and use of the marks did not suggest sponsorship or endorsement. View "Applied Underwriters, Inc. v. Lichtenegger" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's action alleging that Domino's Pizza's website and mobile application were not fully accessible to a blind or visually impaired person, in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act. The panel held that the ADA applied to Domino's website and app, a place of public accommodation, which connected customers to the goods and services of Domino's physical restaurants. The panel also held that imposing liability on Domino's under the ADA would not violate the company's Fourth Amendment right to due process where the statute was not impermissibly vague, Domino's had received fair notice of compliance, and plaintiff did not seek to impose liability on Domino's for failure to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, private industry standards for website accessibility. Furthermore, the lack of specific regulations did not eliminate Domino's statutory duty. Finally, the panel held that the district court erred by applying the prudential doctrine of primary jurisdiction and the district court's ruling unduly delayed the resolution of an issue that could be decided by the court. View "Robles v. Domino's Pizza, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Petitioner, a citizen of Nepal, sought review of the BIA's denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal under the material support terrorist bar. Petitioner fled Nepal because a terrorist organization was torturing and threatening him repeatedly. Shortly before leaving Nepal, he gave the equivalent of $50 US dollars to a member of the terrorist organization, because the terrorist demanded the money and petitioner was fearful of what might happen to him if he did not comply. The Ninth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider petitioner's duress argument and dismissed the petition in part. The panel denied the petition in part and held that the INA's material support bar contained no implied exception for de minimis aid in the form of funds. Therefore, substantial evidence supported the IJ's finding that petitioner gave material support to a terrorist organization and he was therefore ineligible for asylum and withholding of removal. View "Rayamajhi v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Immigration Law

by
The Ninth Circuit filed an order withdrawing the prior opinion and filed a new opinion affirming the district court's denial of habeas relief to petitioner's guilt-phase claims regarding his first degree murder convictions. The panel held that, although trial counsel was constitutionally deficient by failing to present a diminished capacity defense based on mental illness, petitioner did not suffer any prejudice. In this case, the evidence of petitioner's specific intent to rape and kill both victims was overwhelming when compared to the relatively weak diminished capacity evidence that counsel could have presented, but failed to present. The panel also held that trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to subpoena a specific witness nor was petitioner prejudiced. View "Hernandez v. Chappell" on Justia Law

by
A defendant waives his rights to challenge his sentence and precludes plain error review only when there is evidence that he knew of his rights at the time and nonetheless relinquished them. The en banc court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence, reaffirming the distinction between waiver and forfeiture of sentencing challenges. The en banc court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it dismissed a juror who complained of health problems during deliberations. Although the en banc court held that defendant's failure to object to the Guidelines calculations at sentencing constituted forfeiture subject to plain error review, there was no plain error. In this case, regardless of whether the district court's loss calculation method was legally erroneous, defendant failed to meet his burden of showing that the alleged error affected his substantial rights. View "United States v. Depue" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law