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Friday, January 28, 2005

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit posts three today

Jordan, Juanita v. Thompson, Donald L. (ND Ind., Theresa L. Springmann, Judge)

Before BAUER, POSNER and COFFEY, Circuit Judges.
COFFEY, Circuit Judge. Juanita Jordan filed a complaint on May 2, 2001 in federal court against her former employer, the City of Gary, Indiana, and her former supervisor Donald Thompson alleging sex discrimination and harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., as well as defamation of character and violation of her freedom of speech. Following the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the district court, Judge Theresa Springmann presiding, found as a matter of law that Jordan failed to present sufficient evidence as to any claim which would warrant a trial. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in their favor. We affirm.

Woodhaven Homes & Re v. Robbins, Douglas E. (ED Wis.)

Before BAUER, MANION, and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
EVANS, Circuit Judge. This case, which began as a minor copyright infringement dispute, has mushroomed into a protracted fight over, what else, attorney fees. * * *

Nat'l Org. for Women v. Scheidler, Joseph M. (ND Ill.)

[ON PETITIONS FOR REHEARING AND REHEARING EN BANC]

Before ROVNER, WOOD and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
WOOD, Circuit Judge. On February 26, 2004, this court issued an order responding to the remand of this case from the Supreme Court of the United States. See Nat’l Org. for Women, Inc. v. Scheidler, 2004 WL 375995 (7th Cir. Feb. 26, 2004), on remand from Scheidler v. Nat’l Org. for Women, Inc., 537 U.S. 393, 397 (2003) (NOW II). In that order, we acknowledged the issues that were resolved by the Supreme Court, and we identified one question that remains in the case. The defendants then filed petitions for rehearing and rehearing en banc from that order. This opinion responds to those petitions. * * *

In closing, we wish to re-emphasize that this remand is not a “green light” to start this old litigation anew. The plaintiffs have lost their bid to have a nationwide injunction based on the 117 acts that the Supreme Court has now decreed do not qualify as “extortion” for purposes of the Hobbs Act and RICO. From what we can tell of the record, it appears that it would be an abuse of discretion for the district court to re-enter any nationwide injunction based only on the four remaining acts of violence found by the jury. Such an injunction would violate the rule requiring courts to tailor injunctive relief to the scope of the violation found. We note as well that the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 18 U.S.C. §248, has now been in effect for five more years since the district court first considered the necessity of a nationwide injunction, and experience may require a reassessment of the Act’s impact. Finally, it is too late in the day for the plaintiffs to try to seek additional damages relief for acts that they could have addressed at the original trial. The only remaining question is therefore whether any injunction is appropriate to redress the four acts of physical violence that the jury found had taken place and that were not encompassed within the Supreme Court’s ruling. This does not open Pandora’s Box. It merely resolves the final loose ends in this long-running litigation in a manner that is fair to both sides and that acknowledges the need to resolve all properly presented issues. The case is REMANDED to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. * * *

MANION, Circuit Judge, joined by KANNE, Circuit Judge, dissenting from the denial of petition to rehear en banc. Following more than eighteen years of litigation, a sevenweek jury trial, and two trips to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court held in Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, Inc., 537 U.S. 393 (2003), that “all of the predicate acts supporting the jury’s finding of a RICO violation must be reversed,” and that “[w]ithout an underlying RICO violation, the injunction issued by the District Court must necessarily be vacated.” Id. at 410 (emphasis added). Nonetheless, on remand, a panel of this court concluded that not “all of the predicate acts” were reversed, but that the jury’s finding of four predicate acts or threats of violence remained viable. National Org. for Women, Inc. v. Scheidler, 2004 WL 375995, at *3 (7th Cir. Feb. 26, 2004). Today on rehearing, the panel reaffirms that remand order, while unnecessarily debating, but not deciding, the scope of the Hobbs Act. Because I believe that the Supreme Court meant what it said, and because, in any event, the underlying four predicate acts of violence cannot, as a matter of law, constitute an independent violation of the Hobbs Act, I dissent from the denial of the petition for rehearing en banc.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 28, 2005 12:52 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions