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Feds won’t speed up state courts

Longstanding precedent holds that federal courts can’t enjoin state court proceedings, despite the state court defendant’s claim that the proceedings violate federal rights. Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971).

Now, an Aug. 27 opinion from the Seventh Circuit adopts the corollary to the rule — federal courts must also abstain from forcing a state court to proceed, despite a claim by a plaintiff that delays in proceedings violate federal rights.

The court concluded, “[The landlord] is not a defendant in the pending state eviction actions, but it seeks to have a federal court tell state courts how to manage and when to decide a category of cases pending in the state courts. Federal adjudication of [the landlord’s] claims on their merits would reflect a lack of respect for the state’s ability to resolve the cases properly before its courts.”

Case: SKS & Associates, Inc., v. Dart, No. 09-3461

For a full analysis of the opinion, see the Sept. 6 issue of Wisconsin Law Journal.

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