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Criminal, Judgment Collection, and Employment Matters

By FindLaw Staff on February 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Ninth Circuit decided two criminal cases, one involving the collection of a judgment debt, and another concerning the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Office Depot Inc. v. Zuccarini, No. 07-16788, involved a judgment debtor's appeal from the district court's order appointing a receiver to take control of and auction off some of debtor's domain names in order to satisfy the judgment.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that 1) Kremen was still an accurate statement of California law, and domain names were intangible property subject to a writ of execution; and 2) domain names were personal property located wherever the registry or the registrar were located.

US v. Bright, No. 07-17027, concerned an appeal from the district court's order enforcing IRS summonses requiring production of documents, including those relating to offshore accounts, and finding defendants in contempt.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the order in part where 1) a taxpayer cannot refuse to produce a privilege log or documents for in camera review in response to an order to show cause and then protest an insufficient opportunity to present a claim of privilege; and 2) defendants were in contempt based on their failure to produce documents related to the two previously identified offshore accounts named in the summons.  However, the court modified the order in part, because the district court's application of the foregone conclusion exception to records of two additional credit cards not named during the enforcement proceeding was clear error.

Traxler v. Multnomah Cty., No. 08-35641, involved a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) action based on an allegedly wrongful termination.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed partial judgment for plaintiff in part on the ground that, under the FMLA, front pay was an equitable remedy to be determined by the court.  However, the court reversed the judgment in part because the district court erred in denying liquidated damages without making specific findings as to the employer's good faith conduct and reasonable belief that it was not violating the statute.

In US v. Gus Other Medicine, No. 09-30020, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's felony child abuse conviction, holding that 1) although federal criminal law included a misdemeanor for assault on a minor, no federal law defined and punished felony child abuse, and thus state law was properly used to define the offense; and 2) the charge of felony child abuse was not vague as applied to defendant's admitted conduct.

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