America Unites for Kids v. Rousseau, No. 16-56390 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, two environmental organizations, filed a citizens' civil action against administrators and board members of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District to enforce the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. 2601–2629. Plaintiffs sought remediation of several school buildings containing dangerous levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
On appeal, plaintiffs challenge the district court's sanctions order and its dismissal of one of the plaintiffs for lack of standing, and the district court's decision in December 2018 partially modifying the 2016 permanent injunction. Plaintiffs also ask to take judicial notice of a document dated September 11, 2019, which plaintiffs did not present to the district court.
The Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded the district court's sanctions order in light of the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Goodyear Tire & Robber Co. v. Haeger, 137 S. Ct. 1178 (2017), which clarified the procedural requirements and substantive limitations that apply when a district court imposes sanctions under its inherent authority, rather than pursuant to any statute or rule. The panel also reversed the district court's dismissal of one plaintiff for lack of standing. The panel affirmed in part the district court's 2018 amended judgment and permanent injunction (except for the sanctions order, which is vacated and remanded). Finally, the panel denied plaintiffs' request for judicial notice.