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Chicago Voters' Section 1983 Suit, Ch. 13 Bankruptcy Proceedings, and Criminal Matter

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By FindLaw Staff on June 23, 2010 12:48 PM

In re McKinney, No. 08-1271, concerned an appeal by a tax debt owner in Chapter 13 proceedings, arising from the bankruptcy court's denial of its objections to the debtor's proposed plan to pay off the tax debt with interest within five years.  In dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, the court held that, although the issue that the tax debt owner cares about may have been resolved, its basic dispute with the bankrupt estate has not been resolved and therefore the judgment of the bankruptcy court is not final.   

Parra v. Neal, No. 09-1404, concerned a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit, brought by registered voters against the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago and its members, claiming that their votes for a disqualified candidate on the ballot were invalidated in violation of their Fourteenth Amendment rights.  In affirming the district court's grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that plaintiffs' suit is meritless as they provide no grounds for federal court interference with the state supreme court's decision or the Board's implementation of that decision.   

Ebert v. Gaetz, No. 09-1627, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief but granting a certificate of appealability on the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel with respect to the Fourth Amendment motions related to his murder and armed robbery conviction.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that the state court's conclusion that the new statements from a witness did not negate its earlier finding of probable cause to arrest defendant was not so erroneous as to be objectionably unreasonable.  Furthermore, defendant's counsel was not constitutionally deficient in failing to file what would have been an unmeritorious motion to quash his arrest and suppress inculpatory statement.   

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