Surf Gang

The Ninth Circuit upheld a judgment in favor of the City of Palos Verdes Estates and its former police chief in a suit brought by individuals who claim they were harassed by a territorial surf gang known as the Lunada Bay Boys and the city did not do enough to protect them. The court finds the city took “significant efforts to curb” the surf gang’s actions.

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Ninth Circuit Tightens Focus of Abortion Foe’s Look at Lab Researcher Files

Anti-abortion activist David Daleiden may see some unredacted public records on a group of employees and researchers affiliated with the University of Washington’s Birth Defects Research Center but the identities of five employees are protected from disclosure, the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday.

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Police Shooting

The admission of testimony from a police officer who fatally shot Feras Morad, an unarmed college student, was not prejudicial, the Ninth Circuit ruled. The officer testified that he could hear Morad making threatening statements on an eyewitness video and also testified that he had written in his police report that he had heard the student say, “I’m coming to get you.”

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Environmental Report

A trial court properly ordered the City of Agoura Hills, California, to set aside its approval of a development project and to prepare an environmental-impact report, the Ninth Circuit ruled, finding that even though the city’s plan included mitigation measures to reduce the project’s impact on native oaks, other plants and a Chumash cultural site, an environmental report is necessary due to the project’s predicted significant impact on those concerns.

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Lifetime Lease Requirement

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a suit challenging San Francisco’s Expedited Conversion Program, which lets owners of “tenancy-in-common” properties convert them into condominiums on the condition that existing tenants are offered lifetime leases. The owners failed to timely seek an exemption from the lifetime lease requirement, the court ruled.

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Oil and Terrorism

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a suit against Chevron claiming the company funded acts of terrorism through surcharges of Iraqi crude oil, which were remitted to former Iraq President Saddam Hussein. While Chevron knew a “kickback from its purchase” would be end up in Iraq, it did not necessarily know those funds were specifically used to finance terrorism, the court ruled.

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Sailors Ask Ninth Circuit to Revive Fukushima Class Action

A three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Tuesday considered whether a U.S. federal court has jurisdiction over negligence and wrongful death claims brought by hundreds of U.S. sailors exposed to radiation while rendering humanitarian aid in Fukushima, Japan, following a 2011 tsunami and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

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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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Reality TV

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s judgment that determined an episode of the Discovery Channel show “Dual Survival” depicting former reality television star Cody Lundin’s departure was “substantially true.” Lundin claimed the episode had made him appear incompetent and out of control and he brought defamation and false light claims against the channel.

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