Saturday, May 4, 2013

Illinois v. City of Milwaukee case brief

Illinois v. City of Milwaukee case brief
(406 U.S. 91 (1972))

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff Illinois sought a motion of leave to file a bill of complaint under the Court's original jurisdiction against defendant Wisconsin public entities to abate a public nuisance, which Illinois alleged existed in Wisconsin public entities' pollution of Lake Michigan.

FACTS: Illinois sought the jurisdiction of the Court over its public nuisance action against Wisconsin public entities. The Court denied the motion. The Court found that under U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 2, it had jurisdiction over any case in which a state was a party and, more specifically, under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1251(a)(1), it had exclusive jurisdiction over all controversies between two or more states. Because Wisconsin was not a mandatory party, the Court concluded that jurisdiction did not exist under § 1251(a)(1). The Court determined that, under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1251(b)(3), it had original, but not exclusive, jurisdiction in actions between a state and citizens of another state and that a district court would also have jurisdiction, under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1331(a), if the case involved a question of federal law. Because cases involving interstate waters and pollution could encompass claims of public nuisance under federal common law, the Court concluded that a district court could have jurisdiction.

CONCLUSION: The Court denied Illinois' motion for leave to file a bill of complaint for public nuisance against Wisconsin public entities under the Court's original jurisdiction.
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