Articles Posted in U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiffs filed suit against the city alleging that the city's zoning scheme violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The court concluded that the zoning ordinances at issue were content-neutral, time, place and manner regulations subject to intermediate scrutiny; the zoning scheme was narrowly tailored to serve a substantial government interest; and there were reasonable alternative avenues in which plaintiffs could operate an adult entertainment business despite the zoning ordinances. Accordingly, the zoning ordinances did not violate plaintiffs' constitutional rights and the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Peterson, et al. v. City of Florence" on Justia Law

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This dispute involved the rights of the County and the rights of a public utility, Laclede, in shared easements. On appeal, the County challenged the district court's grant of Laclede's motion for preliminary injunction. The order enjoined the County from, among other things, constructing any additional portion of retaining wall on top of gas lines on the Pitman easement; removing, or hiring another entity to remove any portion of the Pitman Hill Road gas lines located on the Pitman easement; and removing any portion of the gas lines from the Ehlmann Road easement. The court concluded that the district court had jurisdiction under the Pipeline Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. 60101-60137, a federal statute that specifically authorized the district court to enjoin threats to damaged pipelines. The issuance of a preliminary injunction in those circumstances was not error. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Laclede Gas Co. v. St. Charles County" on Justia Law

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Rogers Group, Inc. brought suit in district court against the City of Fayetteville, seeking to prevent the enforcement of the City's ordinance regulating rock quarries in or near the City's corporate limits. The district court granted Rogers Group's motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the ordinance prior to its enforcement date. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The City then repealed the ordinance. Rogers Group moved for attorneys' fees and costs, arguing that it was a prevailing party. The district court granted the motion, concluding that Rogers Group was entitled to a fee award under 42 U.S.C. 1988 even though the court never reached the constitutional claims because the allegations in the complaint raised a substantial constitutional claim sufficient to confer jurisdiction. The Eighth Circuit affirmed, holding that Rogers Group was a prevailing party entitled to an award of attorneys' fees pursuant to section 1988 even though the district court never reached its constitutional claims. View "Rogers Group, Inc. v. City of Fayetteville" on Justia Law

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Jason and Marian Aamodt sued the City of Norfolk, Arkansas, to enjoin the application of a 2008 zoning ordinance prohibiting the short-term rental of their property. The Aamodts also requested records under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (AFOIA). The district court granted summary judgment to the City. The Aamodts appealed, contending (1) the 2008 ordinance was invalid because it did not contain a map, and (2) the district court interpreted the AFOIA in violation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the Aamodts' first claim failed because their complaint made no such claim and the district court did not rule on it; and (2) the Aamodts' second claim failed because they did not assert this constitutional claim in the district court. View "Aamodt v. City of Norfork" on Justia Law

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The State challenged the Secretary's decision to accept four parcels of land within the geographic boundaries of the State into trust for the benefit of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, a federally recognized Indian tribe. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Secretary and the State appealed. The court held that, because the State lacked standing to bring a constitutional due process claim and did not raise any additional arguments on appeal, the State was not entitled to relief. The court dismissed and did not reach the merits. View "State of South Dakota, et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, et al." on Justia Law