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

July 2014 News

When Cops Come A-Knockin', You Can Drive Away, Wis. Court Rules

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.

7th Circuit Can't Decide If Jail 'Booking Fee' Is Constitutional

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:

En Banc Opposed in Gay Marriage Appeals; States Playing Odds?

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.