U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Gray v. Bush, 09-2166

Dismissal of plaintiff's suit involing a dispute over trust funds of certain cemeteries on Burford abstention grounds reversed

Gray v. Bush, 09-2166, concerned a challenge to the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's suit on Burford abstention grounds, in a dispute over the trust funds for several cemeteries located in the Midwest. 


In reversing and remanding the matter, the court held that the district court had no basis for dismissing the action as, although some of plaintiff's claims involve requests for discretionary relief, others, such as conversion claims and plaintiff's request for money damages, do not.  The court also held that, on its own terms, the order does not justify Burford abstention, no matter what form of relief as diversity suits implicate a federal interest, indeed a constitutional interest, in providing a federal forum for important disputes where state courts might favor, or be perceived as favoring home-state litigants.

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