ILNews

7th Circuit dismisses South Bend's appeal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

ADVERTISEMENT