U.S. Seventh Circuit - FindLaw

U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that a sheriff's deputy knocking on a car window, by itself, was not a sufficient show of authority to lead the driver to believe that he was being detained. As a result, the encounter was consensual because the driver could have driven away at any time.

Background

At around 1 a.m. on Christmas Day 2011, Grant County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Small noticed a car pull into a closed park and stop in the parking lot. Small pulled up behind the car, but didn't have his red-and-blue lights on. He walked up to the window and tapped on it, telling him to roll down the window. Daniel Vogt rolled down the window. Small administered a field sobriety test, which Vogt failed. Vogt was arrested for driving while intoxicated and later moved to suppress evidence obtained from the traffic stop.

In Woodridge, Illinois, it used to be that everyone who was arrested and then bailed out of jail had to pay a $30 fee. Jerry Markadonatos was arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting, arrested, booked, paid bail, and was released. Later, he pleaded guilty, served 12 months of probation, and then had the charges dismissed.

This misdemeanor and the $30 booking fee, however, led to a big split on an en banc panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. They disagreed on what the problem was, how it applied to Markadonatos, and whether he even had standing in the first place.

Here's a rundown of the Seventh Circuit panel's four separate opinions in Markadonatos v. Village of Woodridge:

Perhaps these requests have something to do with the Seventh Circuit's cancellation of previously scheduled oral arguments in two gay marriage appeals out of Wisconsin and Indiana. Earlier this month, the appeals were combined and fast-tracked for oral arguments on August 13.

Late last week, however, the Seventh Circuit issued this release (H/T to Equality on Trial):

The court, on its own motion, ORDERS that the oral argument in this appeal, scheduled for Wednesday, August 13, 2014, is VACATED. A new oral argument date will be set by separate court order.

Okay, but why? It might have something to do with requests from the states of Indiana and Wisconsin to proceed directly to an en banc hearing of the case, rather than the typical three-judge panel.

The Sixth Circuit is not alone in consolidating appeals of same sex marriage cases within the circuit: last week, the Seventh Circuit consolidated two same sex marriage cases.

The Seventh Circuit also recently decided a case affecting all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes, and is going to hear a case about an Indiana law regulating the sale of cold beer. Finally, our favorite benchslapper speaks out.

Read on for details on all of these stories.

There's some interesting summer action happening in the Seventh Circuit -- summer time is no time for fun and games, apparently. As things heat up outside, they are heating up headlines and court rooms as we wait on some key decisions.

Read on to find out more on John Doe Probes, Rod Blagojovich and the latest trend in contraception mandate litigation.

The Seventh Circuit recently heard a case involving the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, better known as the creator of our favorite British detectives Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, reports The Washington Post. The question before the court was whether copyright protection, which had already expired, can be extended because the author later "altered the character in a subsequent work."

As Judge Posner explains, it's all "elementary."

Earlier in May, we noted that a case originating in the Seventh Circuit, Elmsbrook School District v. John Doe was languishing in certiorari purgatory, as the case -- at that time -- had already been distributed for conference eight times.

After supplemental briefs were filed, the case was distributed for conference four more times. The twelfth time was a charm apparently, as the Court finally decided whether to grant or deny cert.

Has anyone ever time-lined Judge Posner's benchslaps? I wonder what the longest time frame sans benchslap has been. Probably not very long, and on Monday, he made the latest benchslap to a judge, attorney and plaintiff -- no one was safe.

Obviously, the parties didn't read our post on how to avoid a benchslap, or about that attorney who faked an illness because this case is the most deserving -- that we've read -- that called for benchslaps all around.

The Seventh Circuit has seen a lot of action dealing with Wisconsin campaign finance in the past few weeks. First, the circuit court swiftly stepped in to stay a district court's order granting a preliminary injunction.

Next, the Seventh Circuit found that much of Wisconsin's existing campaign finance laws are unconstitutional in light of the Supreme Court's recent political speech jurisprudence.

The Seventh Circuit has important cases up and down the pipeline to the Supreme Court, all dealing with sensitive issues that pit people on either side of lines drawn in the proverbial sand.

Recently, the Seventh Circuit put to rest a case that has been litigated for 28 years, and denied an en banc rehearing -- with the next step almost certainly being a bid for cert. review.

All that while an Establishment Clause case languishes in perpetual conference.