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

Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of an action brought by the Tribe, seeking to enforce a tribal court judgment against nonmembers. At issue was whether the grant of federal question jurisdiction in 28 U.S.C. 1331 encompasses an action to recognize and enforce a tribal court's award against nonmembers of the tribe. The panel held that inherent in the recognition of a tribal court's judgment against a nonmember is a question regarding the extent of the powers reserved to the tribe under federal law. The panel held that actions seeking to enforce a tribal judgment against nonmembers raised a substantial question of federal law, and thus the district court had federal question jurisdiction under section 1331 in this case. View "Coeur D'Alene Tribe v. Hawks" on Justia Law

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In this court order, the Ninth Circuit held that an appeal from a third-party proceeding ancillary to a criminal forfeiture action should be treated as a civil appeal for purposes of applying Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 40(a). Therefore, the panel granted Lost Creek Trust's motion to reconsider and withdrew the mandate. Lost Creek Trust's petitions for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc are ordered filed and the clerk shall circulate the petition for rehearing en banc to the whole court. View "United States v. Lost Creek Trust" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of an action brought by a coalition of tribal, regional, and national conservation organizations who sued the government and others, challenging agency actions that reauthorized coal mining activities on land reserved to the Navajo Nation. The panel held that NTEC was a legally protected interest in the subject matter of this litigation, and that proceeding with the suit in NTEC's absence impaired that interest. Because no other party to the litigation could adequately represent NTEC's interests, the panel held that the district court did not err by determining that NTEC was a party that must be joined if feasible under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(a). Furthermore, the district court properly concluded that NTEC was an "arm" of the Navajo Nation that enjoyed the Nation's immunity from suit and could not be joined to this action. The panel applied the Rule 19(b) factors and held that the district court did not err in concluding that the litigation could not, in good conscience, continue in NTEC's absence. Finally, the panel rejected the request to apply the public rights exception. View "Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment v. Bureau of Indian Affairs" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's grant of a 28 U.S.C. 1782 application for discovery of evidence for use in a foreign tribunal. The panel held that the factual circumstances surrounding plaintiff's application have changed dramatically during the pendency of this appeal. Therefore, the panel vacated and remanded to the district court to consider, in the first instance, whether the statutory requirements for discovery under section 1782 remain satisfied and whether, as a matter of the district court’s discretion, discovery remains appropriate. View "Khrapunov v. Prosyankin" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of a diversity action based on a forum selection clause in the parties' Asset Purchase Agreement. The panel applied its decision in Yei A. Sun v. Advanced China Healthcare, Inc., 901 F.3d 1081 (9th Cir. 2018), which was decided after the district court ruled in this case, and held that the forum-selection clause here was unenforceable because it contravened the strong public policy declared by Idaho Code 29-110(1). Therefore, the panel remanded so the district court could apply a traditional forum non conveniens balancing analysis. View "Gemini Technologies, Inc. v. Smith & Wesson Corp." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the Nevada Supreme Court: Is a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim a compulsory counterclaim in an action to collect the underlying debt under Rule 13 of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure? View "Cutts v. Richland Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Transgender individuals who serve in the military or seek to do so, joined by the State of Washington, filed suit alleging that the August 2017 Memorandum, implementing President Trump's Twitter announcement that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in the military, unconstitutionally discriminated against transgender individuals. The district court issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the 2017 Memorandum and defendants appealed. In the meantime, the then-Secretary of Defense studied the issue and produced a report recommending that the President revoke the 2017 Memorandum in order to adopt the report's recommendation. The President revoked the 2017 Memorandum and authorized the Secretary to implement the policies in the report (the 2018 Policy). Defendants then requested that the district court resolve the preliminary injunction on the basis of the new 2018 Policy. The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's order striking defendants' motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction and remanded to the district court for reconsideration. In light of the Supreme Court's January 22, 2019 stay of the district court's preliminary injunction, the panel stayed the preliminary injunction through the district court's further consideration of defendants' motion to dissolve the injunction. Furthermore, the panel issued a writ of mandamus vacating the district court's discovery order and directing the district court to reconsider discovery by giving careful consideration to executive branch privileges as set forth in Cheney v. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 542 U.S. 367 (2004), and FTC v. Warner Communications Inc., 742 F.2d 1156 (9th Cir. 1984). View "Karnoski v. Trump" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit dismissed consolidated appeals from a district court order holding two sets of appellants in civil contempt for violating a preliminary injunction prohibiting appellants from publishing any of the recordings made at NAF's annual meetings. The panel held that it lacked jurisdiction to hear either appeal, because final judgment has not yet been entered in the underlying civil action. In regard to defendants, they could only obtain immediate appellate review of the district court's contempt order only if the court had held them in criminal contempt. In this case, the contempt sanctions were civil in nature. As to the non-parties, the panel held that they could not immediately appeal because there was a substantial congruence of interests between the non-parties and the parties to the action. View "National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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The Ninth Circuit vacated a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking to vacate the district court’s order compelling arbitration of claims that UPS overcharged retail customers who shipped packages through third-party facilities by applying Delivery Surcharge Rates higher than the rates UPS advertised. The panel applied California law and held that the district court's order determining that the parties had entered into a binding arbitration agreement was not clearly erroneous as a matter of law. Therefore, the extraordinary remedy of mandamus was not warranted, because plaintiff unequivocally assented to online terms that incorporated the document containing the arbitration clause in question. View "Holl v. United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's order granting the city's motion to remand this breach of contract case to state court based on a venue selection clause in its contract with defendant, an engineering firm incorporated in Florida. The panel held that the parties' venue selection agreement unambiguously precludes litigation in federal court. In this case, the contracts contained identical venue selection clauses that provide: "Venue for litigation shall be in Linn County, Oregon." The panel held that the venue selection clause precludes litigation in federal court because no federal courthouse is located in Linn County. Therefore, the only way to effectuate the parties' agreement is to limit venue for litigation to the state court in Linn County. View "City of Albany v. CH2M Hill, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure