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Education

[06/08] Johnson v. Perry
In a suit against a principal-defendant of a private high school brought by a student's parent-plainitff, alleging that plaintiff's First Amendment right of freedom of assembly and his state-law right to be free from the intentional infliction of emotional distress were violated by defendant in banning him from attending virtually all school events, on or off school property, because of his opposition to defendant's bullying and harassing efforts to compel plaintiff's daughter to remain a member of the girls varsity basketball team, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed in part as to the denial of defendant's motion for qualified immunity, to the extent that he barred plaintiff from entering school property to attend spectator sports contests to which the public was invited, and caused plaintiff's removal from a non-school, privately owned stadium at which Johnson was present as an invitee of the owner; and 2) reversed in part where qualified immunity should have been granted to defendant the extent that he barred plaintiff from entering school property for purposes other than attending sports contests, given the lack of an established First Amendment right of general access to school property.

[05/31] Cal. Taxpayers Action Network v. Taber Construction
In a reverse validation action under Code Civ. Proc. section 863 challenging the propriety of school districts' use of lease-leaseback agreements in contracting for construction or improvement of school facilities, the trial court's judgment sustaining defendants' demurrer is: 1) reversed in part as to the conflict of interest claim where plaintiff has stated a claim of conflict of interest against the construction company-defendant sufficient to withstand a demurrer; but 2) otherwise affirmed.

[05/31] Ogunsalu v. Super. Ct.
In a case involving the temporary suspension of petitioner's teaching credential by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the court holds: 1) the vexatious litigant prefiling requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 391.7 apply to a self-represented litigant, previously declared a vexatious litigant, who filed a writ of mandate proceeding in the superior court to challenge the denial of his request to continue an administrative proceeding where the vexatious litigant was the respondent in the administrative proceeding; and thus 2) the trial court correctly subjected the vexatious litigant to the prefiling requirements of section 391.7. However, the petition is dismissed as moot because subsequent events have rendered effective relief impossible.

[05/30] Montany v. University of New England
In a suit brought by an occupational-therapy student against the school for injuries she sustained during a practical exam, in which program instructors act as mock patients and students are tested on their ability to properly manage a patient in need of occupational therapy, alleging negligence and breach of contract claims, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where there is no reversible error.

[05/25] City and County of S.F. v. Regents
In a case to decide whether the City and County of San Francisco can compel state universities that operate parking lots in the city to collect city taxes from parking users and remit them to San Francisco, the trial court's denial of the City's petition for writ of mandate is affirmed where the California Constitution's 'home-rule provision' -- which grants charter cities broad powers, including the power to tax -- does not create an exception to the long-recognized doctrine that exempts state entities from local regulation when they are performing governmental functions.

[05/05] Friends of College of San Mateo v. San Mateo Com. College
In a case brought under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Resources Code section 21000 et seq., on remand from the California Supreme Court, the previous judgment is affirmed where: 1) the San Mateo County Community College District's response to changes in a campus renovation project by issuing an addendum to a mitigated negative declaration, amounted to a modified project, meaning CEQA's subsequent review provisions apply; and 2) defendants' use of an addendum violated these provisions because there is substantial evidence to support a fair argument that the project changes might have a significant effect on the environment.

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Family Law

[06/16] In re A.G.
In a Father's appeals from a 12-month review hearing at which the juvenile court returned his children to their mother's care, Welf. & Inst. Code section 366.21(f), the court orders are reversed where the court erred when it found that he had been offered or provided reasonable services.

[06/13] Webb v. Webb
In a dissolution of marriage appeal, the trial court's judgment granting attorney fees is reversed where Family Code section 271 does not authorize the court to award sanctions to non-parties, but rather is intended to promote settlement of family law litigation through shifting fees between the parties to the litigation.

[06/12] Sessions v. Morales-Santana
In a case challenging the Immigration and Nationality Act's framework for U.S. citizenship from birth by a child born abroad, when one parent is a U. S. citizen and the other a citizen of another nation, the Second Circuit's decision reversing the BIA and holding unconstitutional the differential treatment of unwed mothers and fathers in section 1409, is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the Fifth Amendment's requirement that the Government accord to all persons 'the equal protection of the laws'; and 2) because this Court is not equipped to convert section 1409(c)'s exception for unwed U.S.-citizen mothers into the main rule displacing sections 1401(a)(7) and 1409(a), it falls to Congress to select a uniform prescription that neither favors nor disadvantages any person on the basis of gender.

[06/07] In re Jesse S.
In an adoptee's request under section 388.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to return to juvenile court jurisdiction and the foster care system, because the couple who adopted him the day before his 18th birthday were no longer supporting him, even though they were receiving payments on his behalf from California's Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), section 16115 et seq, the trial court's denial of the request is reluctantly affirmed where, under the literal language of section 388.1 the very fact the couple were still receiving AAP payments on adoptee's behalf precluded him from reentry into the juvenile dependency system. The court advises the Legislature to either change the law or--by reconsidering it and leaving it unchanged--reassure us that the present system is what they intended.

[06/05] In re A.K.
In a mother and father's appeal from the juvenile court's orders terminating parental rights and freeing the minor for adoption, Welf. & Inst. Code sections 366.26 and 395, the orders are affirmed over claims that the juvenile court erred in determining the beneficial relationship exception to adoption did not apply, and that the court should have continued the hearing to consider placement of the minor with the paternal grandmother.

[05/30] Stover v. Bruntz
In a Mother's challenge to a Family Court order adjusting the terms of child support, the order awarding Father certain child care credits, excluding other child care costs, and imposing discovery sanctions on Mother is reversed in part and affirmed in part.

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Family Law

[06/16] In re A.G.
In a Father's appeals from a 12-month review hearing at which the juvenile court returned his children to their mother's care, Welf. & Inst. Code section 366.21(f), the court orders are reversed where the court erred when it found that he had been offered or provided reasonable services.

[06/13] Webb v. Webb
In a dissolution of marriage appeal, the trial court's judgment granting attorney fees is reversed where Family Code section 271 does not authorize the court to award sanctions to non-parties, but rather is intended to promote settlement of family law litigation through shifting fees between the parties to the litigation.

[06/12] Sessions v. Morales-Santana
In a case challenging the Immigration and Nationality Act's framework for U.S. citizenship from birth by a child born abroad, when one parent is a U. S. citizen and the other a citizen of another nation, the Second Circuit's decision reversing the BIA and holding unconstitutional the differential treatment of unwed mothers and fathers in section 1409, is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the Fifth Amendment's requirement that the Government accord to all persons 'the equal protection of the laws'; and 2) because this Court is not equipped to convert section 1409(c)'s exception for unwed U.S.-citizen mothers into the main rule displacing sections 1401(a)(7) and 1409(a), it falls to Congress to select a uniform prescription that neither favors nor disadvantages any person on the basis of gender.

[06/07] In re Jesse S.
In an adoptee's request under section 388.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to return to juvenile court jurisdiction and the foster care system, because the couple who adopted him the day before his 18th birthday were no longer supporting him, even though they were receiving payments on his behalf from California's Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), section 16115 et seq, the trial court's denial of the request is reluctantly affirmed where, under the literal language of section 388.1 the very fact the couple were still receiving AAP payments on adoptee's behalf precluded him from reentry into the juvenile dependency system. The court advises the Legislature to either change the law or--by reconsidering it and leaving it unchanged--reassure us that the present system is what they intended.

[06/05] In re A.K.
In a mother and father's appeal from the juvenile court's orders terminating parental rights and freeing the minor for adoption, Welf. & Inst. Code sections 366.26 and 395, the orders are affirmed over claims that the juvenile court erred in determining the beneficial relationship exception to adoption did not apply, and that the court should have continued the hearing to consider placement of the minor with the paternal grandmother.

[05/30] Stover v. Bruntz
In a Mother's challenge to a Family Court order adjusting the terms of child support, the order awarding Father certain child care credits, excluding other child care costs, and imposing discovery sanctions on Mother is reversed in part and affirmed in part.

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Probate Trusts

[06/01] Raymond Loubier Irrevocable Trust v. Noella Loubier
In an inheritance dispute pertaining to the assets of the deceased, as conveyed to various revocable and irrevocable trusts in the deceased's name and that of his wife, the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction is vacated and remanded where, because the plaintiff trusts are traditional common law fiduciary agreements, and, further, because they are not separate juridical entities under the relevant state law of Florida, the citizenship of their trustees controls a diversity determination.

[05/09] Higgins v. Higgins
In a trust case in which a wife agreed to hold funds in trust for her husband's elderly stepmother, and after her husband's death, the wife changed the form of the accounts and used the funds for her own purpose, the trial court's judgment in favor of wife-defendant under Code of Civil Procedure section 631.8 is reversed where, despite the form of the bank accounts, when clear and convincing evidence shows funds were transferred to an account owner to hold in an irrevocable trust for a third party beneficiary and the trustee repudiates the trust, a constructive trust may be imposed on the funds for the beneficiary's estate to prevent unjust enrichment.

[05/08] US v. Cardaci
In an action involving the Government's attempts to collect unpaid taxes assessed against a homeowner, seeking a judicial sale of the home, the district court's judgment, that a forced sale would be inequitable and order that the homeowner make monthly rent payments to the Government instead, is: 1) affirmed as to the district court?s authority to consider whether the property should be subject to a forced sale; but 2) vacated and remanded for recalculation of the ownership interests in the property and reconsideration of the equitable factors weighing for and against a sale.

[04/20] Bresler v. Wilmington Trust Co.
In a breach of contract action brought by personal representatives of an estate, the district court's judgment that trustee-defendant breached an agreement to lend money for the acquisition, maintenance, and certain investments relating to life insurance policies obtained for plaintiffs, is affirmed over defendant's arguments that the district court erred in admitting testimony from the plaintiffs' expert witness, the jury verdict including the award of damages was not supported by the evidence, and additional terms of the district court's order also were not supported by the evidence.

[04/20] US v. Harris
In a case in which the beneficiary owes restitution ordered following his 1997 conviction, the district court's decision that a writ of continuing garnishment attaches to a beneficiary's interest in discretionary support trusts is affirmed where the beneficiary's interest in the trusts, which were established by his parents for his support, qualifies as 'property' under 28 U.S.C. sections 3002(12), 3205(a) and 18 U.S.C. section 3613(c).

[04/19] Tepper v. Wilkins
In a suit among siblings on behalf of plaintiff's 88-year-old mother, claiming plaintiff's siblings' actions individually and while serving as trustees of mother?s revocable living trust constituted financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, the trial court's judgment, sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend and dismissing plaintiff's elder abuse action on standing grounds, is affirmed where: 1) the cause of action for elder financial abuse belongs to mother as the real party in interest; and 2) the court did not err in sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend.

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