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Constitutional

Constitutional – Civil Rights – False Arrest & Excessive Force – Fourth Amendment – First Amendment – Profanity Arrest (access required)

Elabanjo v. Bellevance Even though plaintiff’s district-court conviction of being drunk and disorderly was overturned on appeal, the conviction conclusively establishes that the defendant-police officers had probable cause to arrest plaintiff on those charges.

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Constitutional – Free Speech – Pregnancy Center – Limited Services — Municipal Ordinance – Sign Posting – No Licensed Medical Staff (access required)

Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County, Md. A Maryland limited-services pregnancy services center wins an injunction against enforcement of a local ordinance that would require it to post a sign saying it did not have a “licensed medical professional on staff”; the 4th Circuit reverses the district court’s denial of an injunction to the center.

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Constitutional – Free Speech — Pregnancy Center – Municipal Ordinance – No Referrals — Abortion & Birth Control (access required)

Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns Inc. v. St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Congregation Inc. The 4th Circuit upholds summary judgment for a Baltimore “Pregnancy Center” on its challenge to a local ordinance the Center said violated its free speech rights by compelling it to post signs saying the Center did not provide or make referral for abortion or birth control services.

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Constitutional – Freedom of Speech – Municipal – Sign Ordinance – ‘Content Neutral’ (access required)

Wag More Dogs LLC v. Cozart An Arlington County sign ordinance that required a doggy daycare business to remove a 960-square foot painting of cartoon dogs on the side of the daycare’s business passes constitutional muster as a content-neutral restriction on speech that survives intermediate scrutiny, the 4th Circuit says.

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Constitutional – Commerce & Contract Clauses – Real Property – Environmental – Landfill – Municipal – Administrative – Out-of-State Waste (access required)

Waste Industries USA v. State New landfill legislation affected in-state and out-of-state waste equally and was rationally related to public health and other benefits. It did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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Constitutional – Freedom of Religion – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Church Membership – Ecclesiastical Matter (access required)

Vuncannon v. North Carolina Institute of Christian Development, Inc. Plaintiffs’ standing to bring this action (relating to the defendant-church’s sale of real property) depends on plaintiffs’ membership in the church. Defendants deny that plaintiffs are members of the church and provided the trial court with a document showing that plaintiffs had terminated their membership prior to the filing of this lawsuit by violating membership requirements established in the church’s bylaws. The trial court correctly held that it lacked jurisdiction to determine whether plaintiffs are members of the church.

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Constitutional – Equal Protection – Smoking Ban – Exemptions – Private Clubs – For Profit vs. Nonprofit (access required)

Edwards v. Morrow We read G.S. § 130A-496 to exempt private, nonprofit country clubs from the general prohibition on smoking in restaurants and bars; however, private, for-profit country clubs are not exempt from the ban. Given the General Assembly’s motive for enacting the ban – protection of the public from secondhand smoke – this is a rational, and therefore constitutional, distinction.

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Constitutional – Full Faith & Credit – Iowa Default Judgment – Contract – Floating Forum Selection Clause (access required)

Professional Solutions Financial Services v. Richard Yeager & Associates, D.D.S., P.A. Where plaintiff obtained a default judgment against defendants in Iowa and sought to enforce it here, our trial court was required to give full faith and credit to the Iowa judgment unless the judgment violated the public policy of Iowa, not the public policy of North Carolina.

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