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U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 11, 2008 Dutil v. Murphy, No. 06-2292 The text of the Massachusetts SDP statute, as interpreted by state courts, does not on its face violate the due process protections heretofore afforded sexually dangerous persons subject to civil commitment. Appellant’s due process rights are not violated by the statute’s failure to provide an unambiguous timeline for a redetermination of his sexual dangerousness. .
U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 11, 2008 Broadley v. Hardman, No. 08-1342 Absent any allegation that state officials were used to enforce the process, Defendant was not transformed into a state actor for section 1983 purposes when he issued a subpoena commanding the Plaintiff to appear at a pretrial deposition, even though the subpoena was issued in his capacity as a notary public and in the name of the state of Rhode Island.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 08, 2008 Tennison v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 06-15426 In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action arising after plaintiffs served nearly thirteen years in state prison for a murder of which both were declared factually innocent by the courts, partial denial of defendants-homicide inspectors’ motion for summary judgment is affirmed where: 1) Brady imposes a duty on both prosecutors and police officers to disclose exculpatory evidence; 2) the district court properly rejected inspectors’ argument that bad faith is required to establish a Brady violation; 3) inspectors were not entitled to qualified immunity with respect to their failure to disclose certain exculpatory statements; 4) they also were not entitled to absolute or qualified immunity with respect to a confession; and 5) qualified immunity was properly denied with respect to a claim regarding a Secret Witness Program request.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 09, 2008 Societe Civile Succession Richard Guino v. Renoir, No. 07-15582, 07-15583, 07-17209 In a copyright infringement case, summary judgment for plaintiff is affirmed where: 1) under Twin Books v. Walt Disney Co., 83 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 1996), sculptures created by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and one of his assistants were not in the public domain and were protected by copyright; 2) Twin Books remains binding precedent and does not conflict with either the Copyright and Patent Clause or the Supreme Court’s precedent in Eldred v. Ashcroft; and 3) defendants infringed plaintiff’s copyrights in the sculptures.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 12, 2008 Seattle Affiliate of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality etc. v. City of Seattle, No. 06-35597 Seattle’s parade ordinance, which gives its police chief, when issuing a parade permit, the discretion to require marchers to use the sidewalks instead of the city streets, is facially unconstitutional as the ordinance by its terms gives the police chief unbridled discretion to force marchers off the streets and onto the sidewalks, unchecked by any requirement to explain the reasons for doing so or to provide some forum for appealing the chief’s decision.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 12, 2008 Sklar v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, No. 06-72961 A tax court decision affirming the IRS’s disallowance of deductions plaintiffs claimed for tuition and fees paid to their children’s Orthodox Jewish day schools is affirmed where: 1) plaintiffs’ 1995 tuition payments were not deductible as charitable contributions under the Internal Revenue Code; and 2) a closing agreement between the IRS and Church of Scientology does not constitutionally and administratively require the IRS to allow charitable deductions for plaintiffs’ tuition payments..
U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 08, 2008 US v. Lawrance, No. 08-6034 Conviction for failing to register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is affirmed over claims that: 1) defendant’s prosecution under SORNA’s failure to register provisions violated the Ex Post Facto Clause; 2) SORNA and its failure to register provisions violate the Commerce Clause because they exceed the authority granted to Congress to regulate interstate commerce; and 3) the statute’s application to his conduct violated his due process rights.
U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 09, 2008 Buck v. City of Albuquerque, No. 07-2118 In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action against police officers and city arising from events that transpired during an antiwar rally at the University of New Mexico, denial of defendant-police captain’s motion for summary judgment is affirmed where: 1) the district court correctly found that defendant was not entitled to qualified immunity for directing the arrests of and authorizing the use of force against certain plaintiffs; 2) the rights underlying those claims were clearly established; 3) as to a First Amendment retaliation claim, defendant’s challenges failed because the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech is clearly established; and 4) the circuit court was without jurisdiction to consider factual disputes regarding the remainder of defendant’s challenges.
U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 09, 2008 US v. Hinckley, No. 07-7107 A conviction for failing to register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is affirmed over claims that: 1) the indictment was constitutionally defective because it sought to prosecute him for behavior that predated SORNA’s effective date; 2) the application of SORNA in his circumstances violates the Ex Post Facto Clause; 3) he was denied due process because he had no notice that he was required to register under SORNA; 4) Congress’s delegation to the Attorney General in section 16913(d) violated the Nondelegation Doctrine; and 5) SORNA violates the Commerce Clause by punishing activity that does not substantially affect interstate commerce.
U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 11, 2008 Norfolk S. Ry. Co. v. Alabama Dep’t of Revenue, No. 08-12712 Alabama’s sales and use tax on diesel fuel, with its exemptions for motor and water carriers, does not discriminate against railroad companies in violation of Section 306(1)(d) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. Plaintiff was properly denied preliminary injunctive relief.
Supreme Court of Delaware, December 09, 2008 Ford Motor Co. v. Director of Revenue, No. 257, 2008 State Director of Revenue’s determination that it could lawfully impose an unapportioned tax on petitioner’s receipts from sales of motor vehicles sold to independent dealerships located in Delaware is affirmed where: 1) the Wholesalers’ Gross Receipts Tax did not violate the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution; 2) the decision in Dial Corp. v. Director of Revenue, 2008 WL 2058520 (Del. Super. Ct. Jan. 29, 2008) did not compel a holding that the tax could not be imposed; and 3) the tax was applied only to vehicles delivered in Delaware..