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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of CTIA's request for a preliminary injunction seeking to stay enforcement of a city ordinance requiring cell phone retailers to inform prospective cell phone purchasers that carrying a cell phone in certain ways may cause them to exceed FCC guidelines for exposure to radio-frequency radiation. The panel held that CTIA has little likelihood of success on its First Amendment claim that the disclosure compelled by the ordinance is unconstitutional under Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626, 651 (1985), where the disclosure was reasonably related to a substantial government interest and was purely factual and uncontroversial; the ordinance complements and reinforces federal law and policy, rather than conflicted with it; CTIA failed to establish irreparable harm based on preemption; and the balance of the equities favors the City and the ordinance is in the public interest. Therefore, the panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying preliminary injunctive relief to CTIA. View "CTIA - The Wireless Association v. City of Berkely" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration and motion for a mandatory stay in a putative class action alleging that defendant charged excessive prices for its rent-to-own plans for household items. The panel held that the Federal Arbitration Act did not preempt California's rule in McGill v. Citibank, N.A., 393 P.3d 85 (Cal. 2017), in which the California Supreme Court decided that a contractual agreement purporting to waive a party's right to seek public injunctive relief in any forum is unenforceable under California law. The panel also held that the severance clause in the 2015 agreement at issue, triggered by the McGill rule, instructed the panel to sever plaintiff's Karnette Rental-Purchase Act, Unfair Competition Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act claims from the scope of arbitration. Finally, the panel dismissed for lack of jurisdiction defendant's appeal of the district court's denial of a discretionary stay and its decision to defer ruling on a motion to strike class action claims. View "Blair v. Rent-A-Center, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Nike in a class action brought by plaintiff and similarly situated Nike employees, seeking compensation for "off the clock" exit inspections every time they leave the store. The district court held that plaintiff's claims were barred by the federal de minimis doctrine, which precludes recovery for otherwise compensable amounts of time that are small, irregular, or administratively difficult to record. However, the California Supreme Court subsequently held in Troester v. Starbucks Corp., 421 P.3d 1114 (Cal. 2018), that the federal de minimis doctrine does not apply to wage and hour claims brought under California law. Accordingly, the panel remanded for further proceedings consistent with Troester. View "Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Services, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of a motion for a new trial in a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action brought by a state inmate alleging that he was shackled without justification during his three-day trial on his Eighth Amendment excessive force and deliberate indifference to medical needs claims. The panel held that the district court abused its discretion in denying a new trial where the inmate's dangerousness and flight risk were central issues at the trial. Therefore, the district court plainly erred in allowing him to be visibly shackled without any showing of a sufficient need for such restraints. The panel remanded and held that the district court had the discretion to impose shackling during the new trial on if it could do so after a full hearing at which the officers showed a compelling need for security and the district court had considered less restrictive alternatives. View "Claiborne v. Blauser" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment against the Skokomish Tribe and in favor of respondents, in an action concerning which tribe had primary fishing rights within an already recognized "usual and accustomed" (U&A) territory. In United States v. Washington, Judge Boldt issued a permanent injunction, which granted tribal fishing rights, outlining the geography of the U&A locations of all the signatory tribes. The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment order on the ground that the Skokomish failed to comply with the Boldt Decision's pre-filing jurisdictional requirements. The court held that a failure to abide by the pre-filing requirements was a failure to invoke the jurisdiction of this court. Therefore, the panel lacked the ability to proceed to the merits. View "Skokomish Tribe v. Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the United States in a tax refund action. On appeal, taxpayer argued that the penalties were wrongly imposed because it did not actually participate in a listed transaction and thus had nothing to disclose, and that its due process rights were violated because it was not afforded an opportunity for pre-collection judicial review. The court found neither contention meritorious, holding that taxpayer was required to disclose its participation in the transaction at issue because it was similar to the listed transaction identified in Notice 2007-83. The court held that taxpayer could not evade a finding of substantial similarity solely by claiming a deduction on a different basis or by using a different intermediary to complete the transaction. The court also held that taxpayer received all the process it was due where the combination of pre-collection administrative review plus post-collection judicial review satisfied the requirements of the Due Process Clause. View "Interior Glass Systems, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the Forest Service in an action challenging the agency's designation of at-risk forest lands and its approval of the Sunny South Project. The panel held that the landscape-scale area designation under section 6591a(b)(2) did not trigger a requirement for National Environmental Policy Act analysis. In this case, the Forest Service's designation of the areas did not require an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the Act. The panel also held that the Forest Service's finding that the project did not involve "extraordinary circumstances" was not arbitrary or capricious. View "Center for Biological Diversity v. Ilano" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. 2254 on petitioner's claims relating to his first degree murder conviction and death sentence. The panel held that Rule 32.2(a) of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure is independent of federal law and adequate to warrant preclusion of federal review. Therefore, the panel may not review petitioner's judicial bias claim unless he establishes cause and prejudice. In this case, petitioner failed to demonstrate cause to overcome the procedural default of his claim and the panel need not address prejudice. The panel also affirmed the district court's denial of petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim, because trial counsel did not perform deficiently by not moving for a judge's recusal and appellate counsel's failure to raise issues on direct appeal did not constitute ineffective assistance when appeal would not have provided grounds for reversal. Furthermore, petitioner did not establish cause and prejudice to overcome the procedural default of his Brady claim; the panel lacked jurisdiction to review the denial of petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion; challenges to the jury instructions denied; and remaining claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and sentencing claims rejected. View "Martinez v. Ryan" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's order entering a preliminary injunction freezing all of defendants' assets in connection with Consumer Defense Global's loan modification business operations. The Commission filed suit alleging that defendants violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and Regulation O, 12 C.F.R. Part 1015 – Mortgage Assistance Relief Services. In this case, the parties agree that the FTC brought the instant action pursuant to the second proviso of Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, but dispute whether the FTC was required to demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable harm to obtain relief. The panel held that, although in the ordinary case a showing of irreparable harm is required to obtain injunctive relief, no such showing is required when injunctive relief is sought in conjunction with a statutory enforcement action where the applicable statute authorizes injunctive relief. Therefore, the panel held that the district court did not err by granting the motion for preliminary injunction without requiring the FTC to make the traditional showing of irreparable injury. View "FTC v. Consumer Defense, LLC" on Justia Law

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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