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The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for conspiracy to distribute and possess marijuana, distribution of marijuana, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The convictions stemmed from defendant's involvement in an operation of purported medical-marijuana collective storefronts. The panel held that defendant was not entitled to remand for an evidentiary hearing on his state law compliance; the district court erred by giving an overly strong anti-nullification jury instruction, but the error was harmless; the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a state search warrant; the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion for a Franks hearing; the district court did not err by declining to instruct the jury on defendant's joint ownership defense; the district court did not abuse its discretion by considering the government's late-filed objections to the presentence report; and defendant's 211 month sentence was substantively and procedurally reasonable. The panel found defendant's remaining challenges on appeal were without merit. View "United States v. Kleinman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel's affirmance of the bankruptcy court's grant of appellees' motion to dismiss Rosanna Mac Turner's and David Turner's Adversary Complaint without leave to amend. The panel held that the Turners' claims for wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing under the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, and violation of the Unfair Competition Law were correctly dismissed without leave to amend because the Turners' lack of standing could not be cured by amendment. The panel also held that the district court correctly dismissed the Turners' claims for breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing under the Deed of Trust (DOT) and violation of Cal. Civ. Code 2923.5 without leave to amend because any amendment would be futile. The panel explained that the DOT permitted the substitution of the Trustee, the Turners cannot allege that they suffered damages for the alleged breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing under the DOT, and appellees have complied with Section 2923.5, leaving the Turners no remedy. View "Turner v. Wells Fargo Bank NA" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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The Ninth Circuit reversed defendant's conviction for transportation of firearms into his state of residence. The panel held that, given the district court's broad jury instruction and the government’s theory of the case, it was not clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the jury actually found that defendant had willfully committed the charged conduct. The broad jury instruction, combined with the evidence of the commission of later crimes and the government's argument to the jury, resulted in significant prejudice to defendant. The panel explained that the rule from the common law requires that a defendant's mental state and act coincide for a conviction to be valid. Neither Bryan v. United States nor 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and 924 deviate from this rule. View "United States v. Salvador Hernandez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The one-year filing deadline imposed by 11 U.S.C. 727(e)(1) was a non-jurisdictional claim-processing rule. Debtor filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition that fraudulently omitted his home, a key asset. Because no one notice, debtor subsequently received a discharge of his debts under 11 U.S.C. 727(a). The panel held that a non-jurisdictional time bar was an affirmative defense that may be forfeited if not timely raised, and debtor forfeited the defense by failing to raise it in the bankruptcy court. On the merits, the bankruptcy court's determination that debtor fraudulently concealed his ownership interest in the home was plainly correct. Therefore, the panel reversed the bankruptcy court's judgment dismissing the trustee's request for relief under section 727(d)(1) and remanded with instructions. View "Weil v. Elliott" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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RDN filed suit challenging the constitutionality of California Business and Professions Code Section 25503(f)–(h), which forbids manufacturers and wholesalers of alcoholic beverages from giving anything of value to retailers for advertising their alcoholic products. The Ninth Circuit explained that it had considered the same challenge to section 25503(h) thirty years ago in Actmedia, Inc. v. Stroh, 830 F.2d 957 (9th Cir. 1986). The en banc court reaffirmed Actmedia's core holding that section 25503(h) withstands First Amendment scrutiny because it directly and materially advanced the State's interest in maintaining a triple-tiered market system, and because there was a sufficient fit between that interest and the legislative scheme. In rejecting the First Amendment challenge, the en banc court applied the four-part test established by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of New York, 447 U.S. 557 (1980), for evaluating restrictions on commercial speech. However, the en banc court disapproved of Actmedia's reliance on California's interest in promoting temperance as a justification for section 25503(h). Therefore,the en banc court affirmed the district court's orders granting summary judgment to defendant. View "Retail Digital Network, LLC v. Prieto" on Justia Law

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The district court entered a consent decree in 1935, known as the Globe Equity Decree, to govern the distribution of water among the Community, the Tribe, and various other landowners. In 2017, the Community, the San Carlos Irrigation and Drainage District, the United States and thousands of individual landowners entered into the Upper Valley Forbearance Agreement providing that the individual landowners could sever and transfer certain water rights. Pursuant to the Agreement, in 2008, 59 sever and transfer applications were filed by Freeport. After addressing various jurisdictional issues, the Ninth Circuit held that Freeport failed to meet its prima facie burden of demonstrating no injury to other Decree parties; the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Freeport's motion under FRCP 15(b)(1) to amend its applications to conform to the revised maps it filed during discovery; the district court's holding that Arizona water law contained an almost identical rule prior to the 1995 amendment was foreclosed by the Arizona Supreme Court's holding in San Carlos Apache Tribe v. Superior Court ex rel. Cty of Maricopa, 972 P.2d 179, 187, 204; and the district court did not clearly err by finding that Freeport had abandoned its water rights at issue in Application 147. Accordingly, the panel affirmed the district court's September 4, 2014, order in part, dismissed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. View "United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation District" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed defendant's conviction for conspiracy to make, print, or publish "any notice or advertisement seeking or offering" child pornography. Defendant's conviction stemmed from his membership in an online bulletin board where members shared child pornography. In this case, the district court effectively ruled that, as a matter of law, the closed nature of the bulletin board was irrelevant to the question of whether an "advertisement" or a "notice" had been shown, and thus could not properly be considered by the jury. The panel held that the district court violated defendant's fundamental right to assistance of counsel and right to present a defense, and it relieved the prosecution of its burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Because defendant's Sixth Amendment right to present his defense was violated, the court remanded for a new trial. View "United States v. Brown" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Ninth Circuit joined the Fourth and Sixth Circuits in holding that the collateral-order doctrine does not allow an immediate appeal of an order denying a dismissal motion based on state-action immunity. In this case, SolarCity filed a federal antitrust suit against the Power District, alleging that the Power District had attempted to entrench its monopoly by setting prices that disfavored solar power providers. The district court denied Power District's motion to dismiss the complaint based on the state-action immunity doctrine. Accordingly, the panel dismissed the interlocutory appeal based on lack of jurisdiction. View "SolarCity Corp. v. Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit held that the search of claimant's vehicle following two coordinated traffic stops violated the Constitution and affirmed the district court's order granting claimant's motion to suppress. In this case, claimant's roadside detention was unreasonably prolonged in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The subsequent dog sniff and search of the vehicle followed directly in an unbroken causal chain of events from that constitutional violation. Consequently, the seized currency was the fruit of the poisonous tree and was properly suppressed under the exclusionary rule. View "United States v. Gorman" on Justia Law

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President Trump, in issuing Executive Order 13780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress. After determining that plaintiffs have standing to assert their claims based on the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Ninth Circuit held that plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits of that claim and that the district court's preliminary injunction order could be affirmed in large part based on statutory grounds. The panel declined to reach the Establishment Clause claim to resolve this appeal. The panel held that, in suspending the entry of more than 180 million nationals from six countries, suspending the entry of all refugees, and reducing the cap on the admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, the President did not meet the essential precondition to exercising his delegated authority pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1182(f). The President failed to make a sufficient finding that the entry of the excluded classes would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. The panel also held that the Order violated other provisions of the INA that prohibit nationality-based discrimination and require the President to follow a specific process when setting the annual cap on the admission of refugees. Accordingly, the panel affirmed in large part; vacated portions of the injunction that prevent the Government from conducting internal reviews and the injunction to the extent that it runs against the President; and remanded with instructions. View "Hawaii v. Trump" on Justia Law