Skip to comments.SAF, CGF Score Ninth Circuit Victory in Richards Carry Case
Posted on 03/05/2014 6:01:13 PM PST by marktwain
BELLEVUE, WA, and ROSEVILLE, CA The Second Amendment Foundation and The Calguns Foundation earned a significant victory today when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case of Richards v. Prieto, challenging the handgun carry license issuing policy of Yolo County, California, Sheriff Ed Prieto.
Todays ruling reinforces the Second Amendments application to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms, said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily-regulated government privilege.
The case was originally filed in 2009 as Sykes v. McGinness, and challenged not only Yolo Countys policies, but Sacramento Countys then-restrictive practices as well. SAF, Calguns and two private citizens, Adam Richards and Brett Stewart, continued pursuing the case against Yolo County after Sacramento County agreed to relax its policy. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Alan Gura and Don Kilmer.
We are confident that the win today will stand the test of time, said Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman.
(Excerpt) Read more at us2.campaign-archive1.com ...
I’ll be excited if the full panel upholds this. Til then ...
“...Specifically, Richards argues that Yolo County’s policy, in light of the California regulatory regime as a whole, abridges the Second Amendment right to bear arms because its definition of “good cause” prevents a responsible, law-abiding citizen from carrying a handgun in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court concluded that Yolo County’s policy did not infringe Richard’s Second Amendment rights. It thus denied Richard’s motion for summary judgment and granted Prieto’s.
In light of our disposition of the same issue in Peruta v. County of San Diego, No. 10-56971, - F.3d - (Feb. 13, 2014), we conclude that the district court in this case erred in denying Richard’s motion for summary judgment because the Yolo County policy impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.”
Summary judgment basically says, “You don’t have a case”. The lower court gave summary judgment to the government, saying in essence that the government obviously had the right to deny carry for pretty much any reason. The 9th overturned that ruling, and said the opposite, “...because the Yolo County policy impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.”
O’SCANNLAIN, THOMAS, and CALLAHAN, Circuit Judges.
IIRC, these are the judges who ruled in Peruta v. County of San Diego.
Given the make-up of the judges, I’d bet on the 9th giving this a full review.
Many are saying that they would not have issued this ruling if the Nineth was going to grant en banc.
Are you saying that will not likely grant en banc?
I'm not sure what you are quoting from here.
The Richards decision REVERSES and REMANDS the case back to the district court, pointing out that the district court erred in not granting summary judgement to the plaintiff, Richards, as was requested by the Plaintiff.
Since the request for summary judgment filed by Richards included both "good cause" and the requirement for "good moral character" as issues, there seems to be good reason to believe that the Richards decision goes explicitly beyond Peruta in guiding law enforcement as to future policies regarding the issuing of permits.
Also, tomorrow was the original deadline for requesting a re-hearing. It is thought that this decision would not have been announced if there was a significant chance that such a re-hearing would be granted. We'll know tomorrow.
The deadline for a losing party to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is some time in May for Peruta.
We're getting very close to court-ordered "shall issue" here in the People's Republik of Kalifornia.
The state has been relatively helpful in gaining these decisions. First the state outlawed open carry, leaving the courts to decide that concealed carry must be the preferred manner of exercising the right to bear arms in Kalifornia.
Second, the Attorney-General refused to become involved claiming that the local sheriff was free to set his own policy. Now there's at least a little hope that the state cannot now be a party with right to appeal.
And finally, the originators of the present concealed carry law in Kalifornia were so confident of their ability to use law enforcement to deny us our rights that they crafted a law which, at least ostensibly, could be Constitutional.
The legislature which passed the concealed carry law many years ago didn't say the Sheriff could do anything he wanted, but rather that the Sheriff could determine what constitutes "good cause". Now the courts have helped to determine what constitutes "good cause".
The state may try to claim that this invalidates the state law. I would claim otherwise. The local sheriff, for example, is Constitutionally prohibited from deciding arbitrarily that blacks or women do not have good cause. The sheriff's discretion has bounds on it which are dictated by higher authorities. That hasn't changed.
Similarly, the sheriff might still be able to deny permits for those who lack "good moral character", but the criteria he will have to use is going to be much different than simply exercising his discretion. The state seems to have painted itself into an interesting legal corner.
There's a good chance that we will know more tomorrow. I'm hopeful that my decision to file for a permit last Monday will prove timely, perhaps putting me near the head of line of many hundreds of applicants.
One reason for believing this is that there are deadlines to consider for court action.
The Peruta decision was announced almost three weeks ago. The announcement preceded the scheduled issuing of the mandate to the lower court by three weeks to allow time for legitimate parties to file appeals for re-hearing.
It's been pointed out by others that it is very awkward for the appeals court to withdraw a mandate to a lower court once it has been issued. The Richards decision today starts a clock ticking before the mandate in that decision is issued to the lower court.
Since the same three-judge panel created both decisions, it wouldn't make sense not to hold off a couple of days in releasing the Richards decision if it would save creating a flurry of legal activity all of which would be put on indefinite hold if Peruta is to be re-heard.
The courts are pretty nimble when it comes to combining cases and putting others on hold pending the outcome of other cases upon which they may depend.
It makes sense to me that the three-judge panel may just have signaled that Peruta will not be re-heard. Optimism will fade quickly tomorrow if that proves false.
I think you have a very good point. Unless there is some kind of a time limit where a case has to be finished within a time period (I think Richards and Peruta were argued on the same day) one of the few reasons I can imagine for making this ruling now is that the CA sheriffs have to get started issuing, and the court thinks that sooner is better than later.
One question, why is this decision labeled NOT FOR PUBLICATION?
I thought Pertuta was published, which is what makes it binding precedent. If this one is not published, is striking it down not as important as Peruta?
Can anyone with legal training comment?
Thank you for the informative post William Tell. Please ping me if you get new news.
Unfortunately, I believe there is news.
Rather than a quick resolution to the filings challenging Peruta, the court has allowed 21 days for the other parties to the case to file responses to the petitions for re-hearing.
Any hope that the release of Richards signaled a quick resolution for Peruta seem dashed at this point.
An additional puzzle is what happens now to Richards. The release of Richards yesterday should have started a clock ticking for a three-week period potentially ending with the issue of the mandate for Richards to the lower court. I don't see how that can happen now. I haven't yet looked for news this morning, but it seems logical that Richards will have to be put on hold.
I don't have any legal training but I watch a lot of TV and once read a real-estate law book, so I'll try to answer.
The Richards decision is only about two pages and really just references Peruta. It doesn't clarify anything that wasn't already clarified in Peruta, so it doesn't accomplish anything by "publishing it", which I believe is just a formal way of deciding that it has precedential value. There is evidently nothing established legally by Richards that isn't established by Peruta, except for the specific remedy afforded to the plaintiff, Richards.
And now with a 21 day period added to Peruta, I expect that the Richards mandate will be put on hold real soon.
This is not as obvious to me as it might be. I think there is a good chance that none of the self-proposed intervenors in Peruta will actually be found to have standing.
The Brady bunch and the two police organizations are way out in left field, and the only serious contender is the State of CA. But, Kamala already waived standing in a lower court, and I think the only question that needs to be addressed is whether a party that has waived standing can reestablish that standing?
In fact, I hope that the situation is even juicier than we can imagine. If post 7 is correct, and Kamala already told a court that the Sheriffs are free to set their own policy, then she can't take that back in the future.
Maybe there is hope and the 9th really does want the Sheriffs to start issuing.
Thanks for the update. Still hoping for a positive outcome.
If the panel thought it already had enough information to reject the petitions before it, then I would think that they would. Why ask the other parties to comment?
I think that the courts routinely deny citizens their day in court if they don't follow proper procedures. I think they may not be comfortable denying the state its day in court simply because the Attorney-General is a dunce.
The dream outcome now would be if the three-judge panel is able to ask the Attorney-General to reconcile two different opinions about the discretion allowed under the law. The panel accepted the state's not being involved and now the state wants to change the basis on which the original decision was made.
You or I would be laughed out of court if we did this. The court should feel free to adopt either argument as they see fit.
The guys who won get to tell the court why it should deny standing to the people who petitioned for standing. Maybe there will be something novel the court hasn't thought of, but most likely the responses will be things the court has already considered and they want to reject the standing arguments. But, they have to hold a hearing, so they are going to.
Given that two of the three petitioners could not by any stretch of the imagination have standing, that could well be the case. However, it's worth noticing that the majority of judges on the Ninth Circuit would probably join the dissent in Peruta and may well see to it that a re-hearing in front of a larger and unfriendly panel may take place.
This will position us well for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court but it would be better to win at this level.