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Copyright Registration Requirement Not Jurisdictional, Plus Civil Procedure and Criminal Matters

By FindLaw Staff on May 25, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In Lunbery v. Hornbeak, No. 08-17576, a murder prosecution, the court of appeals reversed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition, on the ground that the trial court's exclusion of the evidence of 1) a witness's admission that his partners had committed the murder and 2) another witness's drug-dealing stripped petitioner of evidence that someone other than she had probably committed the murder of her husband.

Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. v. IAC/InteractiveCorp, No. 08-56079, concerned a copyright infringement action in which the district court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that 1) although 17 U.S.C. section 411(a)'s registration requirement was a precondition to filing a claim, it did not restrict a federal court's subject-matter jurisdiction; and 2) receipt by the Copyright Office of a complete application satisfies the registration requirement of section 411(a).

Taylor v. Sisto, No. 09-15341, involved a prosecution for evading a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon.  The court of appeals reversed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition, on the ground that the trial court's instruction, in context, created a pool of prospective jurors who were seeking to strip themselves of part of what made them human by ignoring their individual life experiences.

Sneller v. Bainbridge Island, No. 09-35056, concerned plaintiffs' appeal from a sanction award to defendants under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and 28 U.S.C. section 1927.  The court of appeals reversed, on the ground that the imposition of the sanction was error because plaintiffs effectively withdrew any claims that violated Rule 11(b) during the safe harbor period, before defendants filed their motion for sanctions.

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