Botanical Garden

An appeals court in Ohio upheld part of a ruling in favor of the Cleveland Botanical Garden in a dispute with the heirs of 19th century industrialist Jeptha Wade, who gave the city in 1882 the land on which the garden now sits. The appeals court ruled the garden did not violate the 1882 deed by charging admission and parking fees, but found the lower court erred in determining the heirs no longer held an interest in the type of construction or fencing in and around the property.

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Theft Sentences

The Supreme Court of California ruled that Proposition 47, which reclassified felony offenses of theft of property worth less than $950 as misdemeanors, extends to the unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle. The ruling resolves a question as to whether there is a distinction that would grant sentencing relief to defendants who took vehicles permanently but deny relief to defendants who took vehicles temporarily, finding there is not.

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Towing in Chicago

A elderly, disabled resident of Chicago has plausibly claimed the city has an unconstitutional policy of towing allegedly abandoned vehicles before providing any notice by mail, a federal court in Illinois ruled. The city left a sticker on the woman’s van warning her to move it within a week. It was moved within that time frame but the city’s towing vendor still towed and impounded it. Before she could retrieve it, the city sold the van to the towing vendor, who sold it to a salvage yard where it was stripped and crushed. 

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Helicopter Data

The Ninth Circuit narrowed an injunction granted in favor of Wilderness Watch, which ordered the “non-use and destruction” of data gathered from elk and wolves during a helicopter operation in the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness Area in Idaho. The circuit court found the order improperly imposed a delay on all future similar helicopter-assisted projects and should be applied only to projects in the wilderness area at issue.

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