Seventh Circuit Rejects District Court docket Stay Pending Certiorari Petition

Enika Vania

Michael T. Brody, co-chair of Jenner & Block.

Commonly, a final decision on attractiveness will not conclude the scenario rather, the court docket of appeals may well remand the circumstance to the district courtroom to conduct supplemental proceedings, most likely leading to a demo. Generally, and even in the exact case, a let down celebration may perhaps search for additional overview from the Supreme Court. The possibility of simultaneous district courtroom and U.S. Supreme Courtroom proceedings can be sorted out as a result of a wide range of methods, these types of as a remain of the appellate court’s mandate, stays from the court docket of appeals of proceedings or remand, or even a stay from the Supreme Courtroom.

In a per curiam viewpoint issued on Sept. 10, the Seventh Circuit held it was incorrect for a district courtroom to remain proceedings pending the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari. At the very least in a situation in which a ask for to remain the mandate experienced been manufactured to the court docket of appeals and denied, the district court’s remain violated the mandate rule. As a end result, the Seventh Circuit granted the incredible cure of a writ of mandamus.

The Seventh Circuit’s conclusion In re A.F. Moore & Associates, 2020 WL 5422791, Case No. 20-2497 (7th Cir. Sept. 10, 2020), arises from a long-pending equivalent safety challenge to an element of Prepare dinner County’s technique of property tax assessments. The district courtroom identified that it lacked jurisdiction under the Tax Injunction Act and dismissed the case. The Seventh Circuit reversed.  A.F. Moore & Associates v. Pappas, 948 F.3d, 889, 896 (7th Cir. 2020). Defendants sought panel rehearing and rehearing en banc, each of which ended up denied. The Seventh Circuit issued its mandate and the case returned to the district court.

Just about two months later, the working day before defendants were being to response the grievance, defendants sought to place the brakes on the scenario. They mentioned their intention to file a petition for a writ of certiorari. The petition was not due for another 3 months. By motion, defendants requested the Seventh Circuit to recall its mandate until eventually the Supreme Courtroom fixed the petition for a writ of certiorari they prepared to file. The Seventh Circuit promptly denied that movement. The exact day, defendants submitted a motion in the district court inquiring for a related stay. The district court stayed the circumstance pending the Supreme Court’s thought of the forthcoming petition for a writ of certiorari. The district courtroom reasoned that if the Supreme Court took the case and reversed the Seventh Circuit, any choices by the district courtroom in the meantime would be invalid and wasteful.

The Seventh Circuit promptly issued a writ of mandamus directing the district court to vacate its continue to be and get on with the circumstance. 1st, the court docket viewed as 28 U.S.C. Section 2101(f), which offers that the execution and enforcement of a “final judgment or decree” that is topic to overview by the U.S. Supreme Courtroom may be stayed to allow certiorari evaluate. That keep may be granted by a decide of the court docket rendering the judgment or a Justice of the Supreme Courtroom. The district court interpreted Section 2101(f) as applicable only to evaluate of a remaining judgment, which the district court docket concluded was not the case due to the fact the Seventh Circuit experienced remanded the make a difference to the district court docket for more proceedings.

The Seventh Circuit did not examine the district court’s interpretation of Part 2101(f) due to the fact it discovered a “more straightforward” foundation for mandamus: the district court’s remain violated the Seventh Circuit’s mandate. The “mandate rule” requires a reduce court to comply with the specific or implied rulings of an appellate court. The reduced court will have to adhere to the spirit as perfectly as letter of the mandate.

To the Seventh Circuit, its mandate was obvious: it experienced remanded the case to the district courtroom to solve the taxpayers’ claim and had denied the defendants’ request to keep the mandate pending an as-of-nevertheless unfiled petition for a writ of certiorari. As a consequence, the Court of Appeals held the district court docket was powerless to “grant what we experienced withheld.” The Seventh Circuit said it will stay its issuance of the mandate only if there is a affordable probability that the Supreme Court docket will grant certiorari and reverse the courtroom of appeals, and there will be irreparable damage absent the keep. The Seventh Circuit’s denial of the keep of the mandate reflected its conclusion that certiorari and reversal by the Supreme Courtroom were not likely. It observed that by granting the keep, the district court docket, which experienced just been reversed, should have weighed the likelihood that it “might be afterwards vindicated by [the Seventh Circuit’s] personal reversal” by the Supreme Court docket. To the court docket of appeals, that “analysis is only a action removed from a court declaring that it was proper all together and getting into the judgment just reversed,” which is a violation of the mandate rule.

Would the outcome have been distinctive experienced the defendants not sought to remain the issuance of the mandate in the courtroom of appeals? While that may possibly be a ground for distinction, the court docket of appeals turned down a relevant argument. Defendants tried to salvage the keep by arguing the district court did not continue to be the issuance of the mandate, but only stayed further proceedings. The court of appeals was unpersuaded. The spirit of the appellate mandate was that “further proceedings would be had at an standard pace.”

This ruling does not mean the district court docket is without discretion to manage its docket and that it should instead demand complete velocity ahead. The court of appeals identified that the district court docket has broad discretion to come to a decision the “pace” for the case on remand. In undertaking so, it will have to work out its inherent authority regular with the mandate of the courtroom of appeals, which “foreclosed a stay pending certiorari.”

By definition, any case in which a court of appeals grants a writ of mandamus is “extraordinary.” Only extraordinary situation assistance the issuance of a writ of mandamus. It is not unusual, nonetheless, for litigants to search for to postpone proceedings on remand to aid the submitting and thought of a petition for a writ of certiorari. The Seventh Circuit has held that a complete continue to be of proceedings although one particular get together seeks certiorari overview goes as well considerably. Where the court docket of appeals has directed the situation carry on on remand, the reduction of a overall stay of proceedings might be granted, if at all, only by the court of appeals or the Supreme Courtroom. Although the court’s view acknowledges the continuing, inherent authority of district courts to control circumstances on their dockets, and demonstrates that the critical concern is discerning the nature of the mandate of the court docket of appeals, a overall remain of proceedings is not ordinarily an obtainable cure. The feeling also breathes lifestyle into the mandate rule which functions must figure out constrains the discretion of district courts on remand.

Michael T. Brody is a partner at Jenner & Block. Brody serves as co-chair of the firm’s appellate and Supreme Court docket exercise and co-chair of its class action follow.

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