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Daily Opinion Summaries

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Summaries for April 28, 2011
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USA v. Michael Maier

Docket: 09-10397 Opinion Date: April 27, 2011

Judge: Fletcher

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law and Criminal Law

Defendant appealed his sentence of 210 months imprisonment and a lifetime term of supervised release for receipt/distribution of child pornography. At issue was whether the district court correctly relied on the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) to guide its discretions in choosing which of two counts to dismiss when required to do so by the Double Jeopardy Clause where the district court noted that Ninth Circuit precedent prohibited conviction and sentencing for both possession and receipt/distribution of child pornography when the charges were predicated on the same set of images. Also at issue was whether the district court's sentence was procedurally or substantively unreasonable. The court held that, in choosing which count to vacate, the district court clearly evaluated the totality of the circumstances of defendant's case under United States v. Hector along with the section 3553(a) factors and therefore, did not abuse its discretion. The court also held that the sentence was procedurally and substantively reasonable where the district court carefully and correctly considered the factors set forth in section 3553(a) in sentencing the defendant.

http://j.st/oVX View Case

Raymond Balvage, et al v. Ryderwood Improvement and Serv

Docket: 10-35714 Opinion Date: April 27, 2011

Judge: Fisher

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Public Benefits

Plaintiffs, 54 residents of Ryderwood residential community, filed an action against the Ryderwood Improvement and Service Association ("RISA") alleging that the age restrictions imposed by RISA violated the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. 3604(a)-(e), 3605, 3606, 3617, and that RISA had never satisfied the requirements of the Housing for Old Persons Act exemption ("HOPA"), Pub. L. No. 104-76, section 2, 109 Stat. 787. At issue was whether RISA was exempt from the FHA's prohibitions on familial status discrimination under one of the housing for older persons exemptions set out in section 3607(b). The court vacated in part and remanded for further proceedings holding that a residential community that had continuously operated as a retirement community for persons age 55 or older could qualify for the housing for older persons exemption from the FHA's prohibition on familial status discrimination by establishing that it currently satisfied the exemptions' three statutory and regulatory criteria at the time of the alleged violation, even if the community enforced age restrictions when it first achieved compliance with the exemption's age verification requirement.

http://j.st/oVB View Case

Forest Grove School District v. T.A.

Docket: 10-35022 Opinion Date: April 27, 2011

Judge: Bea

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Construction Law, Education Law, Juvenile Law and Public Benefits

Appellant, a former student in the Forest Grove School District ("Forest Grove"), appealed the district court's determination that he was not entitled to an award of reimbursement for his private school tuition under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. 1415(i)(2)(C). At issue was whether the district court abused its discretion in holding that equitable considerations did not support any award of private-school tuition at Mount Bachelor Academy as a result of Forest Grove's failure to provide appellant with a Free and Appropriate Education ("FAPE") under the IDEA. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in holding that there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the district court's factual determination where appellant's parents enrolled him at Mount Bachelor solely because of his drug abuse and behavioral problems.

http://j.st/oV2 View Case
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