Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are last week’s published decisions involving local governments:court collumn

Fourth Circuit

  • Cherry v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City, No. 13-1007 (Aug. 6, 2014): In case brought by active and retired Baltimore police officers and fire fighters who participate in City’s pension plan, reversing district court’s decision that the City had violated the Contract Clause and affirming that the City had not violated the Takings Clause by changing how it calcualtes pension benefits.

Fifth Circuit

  • Thompson v. Mercer, No. 13-10773 (Aug. 7, 2014): In 1983 action against officer who shot and killed individual who had stolen vehicle and led police on a two-hour, high-speed chase, affirming grant of qualified immunity to officer because use of deadly force was not a constitutional violation.
  • Sullo & Bobbitt v. Milner, No. 13-10869 (Aug. 6, 2014): In unpublished decision, affirming dismissal of case brought by attorneys claiming First-Amendment right to access misdemeanor court records within one day of their filing.

Seventh Circuit

  • Miller v. Gonzalez, Nos 11-2906, 12-2950 (Aug. 5, 2014): In 1983 action alleging that officers used excessive force by breaking his jaw, vacating grant of summary judgment for officer because viewing facts in Miller’s favor could support his constitutional claim.
  • CEnergy-Glenmore Wind Farm #1, LLC v. Town of Glenmore, No. 13-2633 (Aug. 7, 2014): In suit by a company that had obtained a condititional-use permit for wind-farm project alleged that the Town — by delaying to grant the company building permits — violated the company’s substantive due process rights, affirming dismissal of suit for failure to state a claim because local action was not “arbitrary and capricious” and did not “shock the conscience.”

Eighth Circuit

  • Dowell v. Lincoln County, No. 13-2317 (Aug. 8, 2014): In 1983 action challenging actions of the County, its detective, and officers in investigating and prosecuting Dowell for rape and murder, affirming grant of summary judgment for defendants on Dowell’s claims that they violated Dowell’s Fifth-Amendment right against self incrimination, Sixth-Amendment right to counsel, and Fourth Amendment right to arrest without probable cause.
  • Stevenson v. Blytheville Sch. Dist. # 5, No. 13-2477 (Aug. 8, 2014): In suit challenging school district’s refusal to allow school transfer pursuant to state law, finding appeal of order denying preliminary injunction moot because it concerned only a single school year.
  • Booker v. City of St. Paul, No. 13-2747 (Aug. 7, 2014): In 1983 challege to state forfeiture proceeding alleging that it violated due process and unreasonably seized property, affirming summary judgment for the City.
  • Blazek v. City of Iowa City, No. 12-3785 (Aug. 5, 2014): In 1983 action claiming that officers used excessive force, affirming denial of summary judgment for officers who claimed that they were entitled to qualified immunity.

Ninth Circuit

Tenth Circuit

  • Hogan v. Winder, No. 12-4167 (Aug. 5, 2014): Affirming dismissal of defamation, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deprivation of constitutional rights under 1983, and other claims against West Valley City, its mayor, and others arising out of articles written about former employee of UTOPIA.

Eleventh Circuit


Image courtesy of Flickr from Ken Lund (creative-commons license, no changes made).