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7th Circuit dismisses South Bend's appeal

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was presented a novel jurisdictional issue Tuesday: whether a municipal land use case can come within the exception to the doctrine of mootness for cases that are capable of repetition yet elude review.

The city of South Bend bought land next to a Catholic high school with the intention of transferring it to the school in exchange for use of the athletic complex. Some residents challenged the transfer, arguing it violated the establishment clause since no value had been attached to the use right that was the only compensation the city sought. The District Court granted a preliminary injunction, and instead of appealing, the city filed two subsequent motions to modify the injunction, eventually opening up the process to the highest bidder. The high school purchased the land.

After the sale, the city appealed the two interlocutory orders denying motions it made in the course of the litigation. At no time after the motions were denied did the city appeal. The city claimed that it didn’t appeal those orders because the high school needed to begin construction of the complex immediately in order to complete it by the 2012 school year. South Bend claimed that the District Court’s rulings establish precedents that will prevent the city from transferring land to religious institutions in the future.

“… the fact that a dissolved injunction may have consequences even though the case in which it was issued is now moot is not a permissible ground for invoking the doctrine that allows the appeal of moot cases that are capable of repetition but evade review,” wrote Judge Richard Posner. To allow the timing of a project as a ground for permitting moot cases to be appealed would bring “an unmanageable host of such cases into the appellate courts,” he continued in Roy Wirtz, et al. v. City of South Bend, No. 11-3811.

The city’s appeal is moot and untimely.

 

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  1. Bob Leonard killed two people named Jennifer and Dion Longworth. There were no Smiths involved.

  2. Being on this journey from the beginning has convinced me the justice system really doesn't care about the welfare of the child. The trial court judge knew the child belonged with the mother. The father having total disregard for the rules of the court. Not only did this cost the mother and child valuable time together but thousands in legal fees. When the child was with the father the mother paid her child support. When the child was finally with the right parent somehow the father got away without having to pay one penny of child support. He had to be in control. Since he withheld all information regarding the child's welfare he put her in harms way. Mother took the child to the doctor when she got sick and was totally embarrassed she knew nothing regarding the medical information especially the allergies, The mother texted the father (from the doctors office) and he replied call his attorney. To me this doesn't seem like a concerned father. Seeing the child upset when she had to go back to the father. What upset me the most was finding out the child sleeps with him. Sometimes in the nude. Maybe I don't understand all the rules of the law but I thought this was also morally wrong. A concerned parent would allow the child to finish the school year. Say goodbye to her friends. It saddens me to know the child will not have contact with the sisters, aunts, uncles and the 87 year old grandfather. He didn't allow it before. Only the mother is allowed to talk to the child. I don't think now will be any different. I hope the decision the courts made would've been the same one if this was a member of their family. Someday this child will end up in therapy if allowed to remain with the father.

  3. Ok attorney Straw ... if that be a good idea ... And I am not saying it is ... but if it were ... would that be ripe prior to her suffering an embarrassing remand from the Seventh? Seems more than a tad premature here soldier. One putting on the armor should not boast liked one taking it off.

  4. The judge thinks that she is so cute to deny jurisdiction, but without jurisdiction, she loses her immunity. She did not give me any due process hearing or any discovery, like the Middlesex case provided for that lawyer. Because she has refused to protect me and she has no immunity because she rejected jurisdiction, I am now suing her in her district.

  5. Sam Bradbury was never a resident of Lafayette he lived in rural Tippecanoe County, Thats an error.

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