Articles Posted in U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiff, a police officer, filed suit after he was terminated following severe interpersonal problems between him and other police officers. Plaintiff contended that these interpersonal problems resulted from his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that the police department discharged him based on his disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. The jury returned a general verdict for plaintiff, finding that he was disabled and that the City had discharged him because of his disability. The court reversed, holding that, based on the evidence presented, the jury could not have found plaintiff disabled under the ADA. Plaintiff's ADHD did not substantially limit plaintiff's ability to work or to interact with others. Therefore, the district court erred in denying the City's motion for judgment as a matter of law. View "Weaving v. City of Hillsboro" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, an inmate, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights when prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in refusing him cataract surgery to restore his vision. The court held that blindness in one eye caused by a cataract is a serious condition. The court also held that the blanket, categorical denial of medically indicated surgery solely on the basis of an administrative policy that "one eye is good enough for prison inmates" is the paradigm of deliberate indifference. Accordingly, the court reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of prison officials and remanded for trial. View "Colwell v. Bannister, et al." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a death row prisoner, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against Department of Corrections officials and a prison guard, alleging that the prison guard read a confidential letter he sent to his attorney, rather than merely scanning it to inspect the letter for contraband. The court concluded that plaintiff stated a Sixth Amendment claim when he alleged that prison officials read his legal mail, that they claim entitlement to do so, and that his right to private consultation with counsel has been chilled; plaintiff's allegations also support a claim for injunctive relief; and, therefore, the court reversed the district court's dismissal for failure to state a claim and remanded for further proceedings. View "Nordstrom v. Ryan" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs Coons and Novack filed suit challenging the constitutionality of two provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (Affordable Care Act): the individual mandate and the establishment of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Plaintiffs also sought a declaration that the Arizona Health Care Freedom Act, Ariz. Const. art. XXVII, section 2, is not preempted by the Affordable Care Act. The court affirmed the district court's holding that the individual mandate does not violate Coons' substantive due process right to medical autonomy; affirmed the dismissal of Coons' challenge, based on lack of ripeness, to the individual mandate for violation of his substantive due process right to informational privacy; affirmed the district court's holding that the Affordable Care Act preempts the Arizona Act; and, with respect to Novack's challenge to IPAB, the court vacated the district court's decision on the merits of the claim and remanded with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. View "Coons v. Lew" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs Ringgold and Ringgold-Lockhart appealed the district court's vexatious litigant order. The court concluded that the district court provided proper notice and an opportunity to be heard, in accordance with the court's case law's first procedural requirement and due process; the district court compiled an adequate record to permit the court to review the basis of its order; the district court failed to consider alternative sanctions before issuing this injunction; the district court erred by issuing an order against Ringgold-Lockhart on the basis of state litigation in which he played no part; and the scope of the order is too broad in several respects. Accordingly, the court vacated the order and remanded for further proceedings. View "Ringgold-Lockhart v. County of Los Angeles" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair for mobility, filed suit against the District, contending that he could not fully enjoy football games because of the unavailability of wheelchair accessible seating. The court concluded that Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12131-12165, does not a require a public entity to structurally alter public seating at a high school football field, where the seating was constructed prior to the ADA's enactment, and the school district provides program access to individuals who use wheelchairs. In this case, the District provided plaintiff with program access to the football games and plaintiff failed to establish that the District excluded him from a public program. Accordingly, plaintiff's claim failed under Title II of the ADA and the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the District. View "Daubert v. Lindsay USD" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's holding that he was prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm by virtue of his restriction on obtaining a Montana concealed weapon permit and that plaintiff, because of his prior felony conviction, had no federal constitutional right to possess a firearm. The court held that Montana's prohibition on plaintiff's obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon is a sufficient restriction of his firearm rights to trigger the "unless clause" of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(20). Accordingly, plaintiff is forbidden to receive or possess a firearm under federal law and that ban does not violate his Second Amendment rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Van der hule v. Holder" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the County and the Sheriff, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a deputy sheriff when she went to the County vehicle inspection site to clear a traffic ticket. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims for failure to state a claim for relief where her allegations did not establish that the County or the Sheriff were deliberately indifferent to the risk of sexual assault by deputies on members of the public, nor that the assault on plaintiff was a known or obvious consequence of the alleged lack of training of deputies. In view of California Penal Code 243.4(e)(1), which already prohibited such assault and which the deputies were sworn to uphold, and in the absence of any pattern of sexual assaults by deputies, plaintiff failed to allege facts sufficient to state a claim, plausible on its face, that the alleged failure to train officers not to commit sexual assault constituted deliberate indifference. View "Flores v. County of Los Angeles" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, five individual "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) recipients living in Arizona, sought a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendants from enforcing their policy that prevents DACA recipients from obtaining Arizona driver's licenses. The district court denied the preliminary injunction. The court concluded that plaintiffs' requested preliminary injunction was prohibitory, not mandatory; the court need not rely on plaintiffs' preemption claim to determine whether plaintiffs have established a likelihood of success on the merits of their challenge to defendants' policy; plaintiffs demonstrated a likelihood of success on their equal protection claim and the subsequent revision of defendants' policy did not undermine this conclusion where the current policy continues to permit the use of Employment Authorization Documents as proof of authorized presence for two sizeable groups of noncitizens similarly situated to DACA recipients and where there was no rational relationship between the policy and a legitimate state interest; plaintiffs have shown that, in the absence of a preliminary injunction, they are likely to suffer irreparable harm where, among other things, plaintiffs' inability to obtain driver's licenses limits their professional opportunities; and plaintiffs have established that both the public interest and the balance of the equities favor a preliminary injunction. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded with instructions to enter a preliminary injunction. View "Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the County on their challenge to the SFSD's policy prohibiting male deputies from supervising female inmates in the housing units of SFSD's jails. The court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the County on plaintiffs' sex discrimination claims and derivative claims where the County was not entitled to summary judgment because it was unable to bear its burden of demonstrating that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether it was entitled to a "bona fide occupational qualification" (BFOQ) defense. On summary judgment, the County may not rely on deference to the Sheriff's judgment in order to meet its burden of proving that it was entitled to a BFOQ defense. In the absence of deference to the Sheriff's judgment, the County was also unable to meet its burden of proving that there was no issue of material fact as to whether its policy of excluding all male deputies from the female housing units was a legitimate proxy for excluding only those deputies that truly pose a threat to the important interests SFSD rightfully sought to protect. Because the district court's conclusion that the County was entitled to a BFOQ defense was also the basis for its denial of plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, the court also vacated the district court's denial of plaintiffs' motion. The court dismissed plaintiffs' evidentiary challenges; affirmed the district court's award of attorney's fees; and affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the County on Plaintiff Gray's retaliation claims. View "Ambat, et al. v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco" on Justia Law