Ninth Circuit

E.T. v. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, 657 F.3d 902 (9th Cir. 2011). REPRESENTATION, HIGH CASELOADS The Ninth Circuit upheld a district court ruling abstaining from hearing foster children’s claim that their court-appointed lawyers’ high caseloads violated federal and state constitutional and statutory provisions. The court agreed with the district court’s decision to abstain from ruling in the case based on principles in O’Shea v. Littleton, which preclude federal courts from deciding claims that could substantially interfere with state court administration. Full Summary

Garcia v. Holder, 659 F.3d 1261 (9th Cir. 2011). IMMIGRANTS, DEPORTATION                               A legally permanent young adult who faced deportation for committing crimes as an adult was entitled to special protections based on his special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), which was sought when he was a child. Although the young adult did not meet the legal residence time requirement to seek cancellation of removal, his SIJS-based parole provided an alternative way for him to meet the “admitted in any status” requirement to cancel the removal. Full summary

Hardwick v. County of Orange, 844 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 2017). Child brought § 1983 action against county and county social workers alleging they maliciously used perjured testimony and fabricated evidence in dependency proceeding resulting in mother’s loss of custody. Appellate court held social workers were not entitled to absolute immunity, and child’s due process and Fourth Amendment rights to be free from perjured testimony and deliberately fabricated evidence in dependency proceedings were clearly established.

Pickup v. Brown, 728 F.3d 1042 (9th Cir. 2013). CHILDREN'S RIGHTS, SEX ORIENTATION CHANGE THERAPY Legislature did not unconstitutionally infringe on therapists’ or families’ rights to engage in sexual orientation change therapy because law narrowly outlawed the practice and not speech about the practice. Legislature required only a rational basis to regulate medical treatment and consensus of medical community showed anecdotal reports of harm and no demonstration of efficacy. FULL SUMMARY

U.S. v. Lukashov, 694 F.3d 1107 (9th Cir. 2012). ABUSE, HEARSAY
In criminal child sex abuse trial, child’s statements made at child advocacy clinic were properly admitted under hearsay exception for statements made for medical diagnosis or treatment. Transcript indicated that child spoke with physician who described the medical purpose of the exam and judge had discretion to credit the testimony that law enforcement presence was tangential to the medical purposes of the visit.

United States v. Sheldon, 730 F.3d 1128 (9th Cir. 2013). ABUSE, SEXUAL ABUSE Defendant’s argument that videos of children lacked sufficient sexual content for child pornography charge lacked merit. Rational jury could have found scenes involving naked children discussing sexual acts and simulating oral sex on a teddy bear were sexually explicit.

Valenzuela v. Michel, 736 F.3d 1173 (9th Cir. 2013). CUSTODY, HAGUE CONVENTION 
Father did not violate the Hague Convention on International Aspects of Child Abduction by keeping children in the U.S. after the mother made violent threats. Parents had previously agreed that children would primarily reside in U.S. to take advantage of schools and medical care and court properly credited the credibility of father over mother where she coached witnesses and contradicted her prior statements to a social worker.