Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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Plaintiffs filed suit alleging that social workers violated their constitutional rights to family unity and companionship, and as well as their small children's rights, by removing the children from home without a warrant or court order. Plaintiffs were the subject of a criminal investigation after they tried to print nude photos of their three children. Determining that the appeal was timely, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's order denying plaintiffs' motion to seal the summary judgment order where the district court protected the privacy of the children, Arizona law prohibits the Department of Economic Security from releasing the files, the district court order employed clinical, anatomically correct language to briefly describe the nudity depicted in the photographs, plaintiffs did not file their complaint under seal, and plaintiffs gave public interviews where they described the photos at issue. The panel reversed the district court's order granting summary judgment in favor of the social workers based on qualified immunity, holding that the social workers did not have reasonable cause to believe the children were at risk of serious bodily harm or molestation when they removed the children from their home without judicial authorization. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Demaree v. Pederson" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's revocation-on-divorce (ROD) statute after she remained the beneficiary of her ex-husband's IRA account when he died. The Ninth Circuit held that the district court correctly determined that an Arizona state court would disregard the choice-of-law provision in the Plan and instead apply Arizona's ROD statute; the application of the ROD statute was not preempted by federal statutes and regulations governing IRAs; the district courts erred when they denied plaintiff standing; and the California district court did not abuse its discretion in transferring the case to Arizona under 28 U.S.C. 1406(a) on the grounds that it lacked personal jurisdiction over the Estate. Although it disagreed with the district court's holding that plaintiff lacked standing, the panel affirmed the dismissal of the constitutional challenge to the application of Arizona's ROD statute in the allocation of the proceeds of the ex-husband's IRA. View "Lazar v. Kroncke" on Justia Law