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Supreme Court to hear case on jurisdiction, venue

The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari in one new case [order list, PDF] on Monday. In Walden v. Fiore [cert. petition, PDF; docket] the court will consider two questions of venue and jurisdiction [Cornell LII backgrounders]. First, the court will look at whether a court can exercise personal jurisdiction for a defendant to facilitate Due Process [Cornell LII backgrounder] when the only contact the plaintiff has in the jurisdiction is a connection to the state, of which the defendant has knowledge. The court will also consider if a court can establish venue under 28 USC § 1391(b)(2) [text] if "a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred" in a judicial district, but other alleged acts and omissions occurred in another. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled [opinion] that there was personal jurisdiction in the case. Gina Fiore and Keith Gipson were traveling to Nevada. They were searched in a layover in Atlanta, Georgia, where their money was seized as evidence of drug transactions. The money was actually legal gambling winnings, but Fiore and Gipson sued in Nevada, where they landed with no money, and claimed enough of the injury occurred there to grant venue and jurisdiction.

The court on Monday denied certiorari in Crawley v. Minn [cert. petition, PDF; docket], which would have examined the First Amendment [text] implications of criminalizing criticism of the police in some situations. The Supreme Court of Minnesota upheld [opinion] Minnesota statute § 609.505 (2) [text], which criminalizes falsely reporting police misconduct: "[w]hoever informs, or causes information to be communicated to, a peace officer, whose responsibilities include investigating or reporting police misconduct, that a peace officer ... committed an act of police misconduct, knowing that the information is false, is guilty of a crime." The court held that the law criminalizes defamation and is not in violation of the First Amendment.

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