A.F. Moore & Associates, Inc. v. Kocoras, No. 20-2497 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Seventh Circuit reversed the dismissal of a taxpayers' suit, challenging Cook County’s pre-2008 property tax assessments. The district court had determined that it lacked jurisdiction under the Tax Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. 1341, because Illinois offered the taxpayers a “plain, speedy and efficient remedy.” The Seventh Circuit held that Illinois’s procedures left these taxpayers no remedy. Mandate issued in April 2020, The case returned to the district court. In June, the defendants sought a stay pending the resolution of a petition for a writ of certiorari that they planned to submit in September. The Seventh Circuit denied their request but the district court granted relief.
The Seventh Circuit vacated the district court order. Declining to consider the taxpayers’ argument under 28 U.S.C. 2101(f), which governs cases in which a “final judgment” is subject to Supreme Court review, the court stated that the district court’s stay was in direct opposition to the mandate. When a court of appeals has reversed a final judgment and remanded the case, the district court is required to comply. The Seventh CIrcuit noted that it had already denied the defendants’ request for the same relief. The spirit of the mandate entailed more than changing the status of the case from “closed” to “reopen”; it presupposed that further proceeding would be at an ordinary pace.