Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sixth Circuit Again Turns Down Several Defense Procedural Motions to Dismiss or Deny Scipio's Appeal

The Sixth Circuit again, for the second time in five months, has turned back a strong defensive attempt to have a collateral procedural argument become the basis for the Circuit to not hear nor actually construe the arguments on appeal as presented inside the Scipio briefs before the Sixth Circuit.

The Court recognized certain procedural irregularities existed on the briefing aspects of the Scipio appeal due to the pro se nature of the appellate process on the Scipio party side of the case, nonetheless, the Circuit refused to grant for that reason alone, a dismissal of the entire appeal or on its major arguments as requested in a second attempt by the City of Steubenville's lawyers to do so.

The Sixth Circuit has ruled that the pro se nature of the appeal and the fact that the Sixth Circuit has the view that such appeals are normally decided not on purely procedural grounds or pro forma compliance with the FRAP rules, but rather on "the merits of the appeal itself." With this noted, the Sixth Circuit stated clearly it is rejecting this collateral attack on the pending appeal on purely those grounds alone and that it will allow the substantive arguments and claims on appeal to be heard due to the fact they believe the pro se attempts of Mr. Sean Scipio have clarified for the court, the various issues and appellate arguments which the plaintiff has made inside the same sufficiently so that this case can be decided
on the merits at the Sixth.

This is significant in that both the recent ADA amendments signed into law by the President recently, just after Congressional approval passed for the same, this fall and the original policy claims of the case brought against the City and the original false arrest claim which was first allowed then oddly rejected by the lower district court, were going to be considered actively within the present pending appeal.

This means the case will continue on at the Sixth Circuit as the parties await for the next direction from the court as to what is to occur with the appeal, which has been subjected to complete briefings by both sides at this time.

So, next up, is for the court to set down either an oral argument date and/or make a ruling that it will simply make its decision and give an opinion on the merits of the briefs submitted by the parties to date. All this gives a reserved but strong sign which is encouraging for the plaintiff, is so far the Court today believes that the plaintiff's briefs do sufficiently clarify for the Court's purpose those issues which have been engaged on appeal by the plaintiff, well enough in order for the court to decide the same.

Thus, the Scipio family awaits anxiously the final outcome on a years long litigation effort at the Sixth which has now turned back once more, the final procedural collateral attack of the City defendants to not have these issues actually decided on their merits.