Court Roundup

Washington, D.C.

Court: Leniency request starts appeal clock

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says a convicted criminal's decision to ask for leniency cannot be used to extend the deadline inmates have to appeal their conviction to the federal courts.

The high court on Monday ruled against Khalil Kholi, who wants to appeal his 1993 conviction for first-degree sexual assault against two girls.

In 1996, Kholi asked for a sentence reduction in Rhode Island courts; it was denied. After his state appeals were finished, he went to federal court in 2007. A federal judge threw out his appeal, saying the deadline to file federal appeals had passed because the request for sentence reduction cannot be used to ask for an extension.

A federal appeals court overturned that ruling, but the Supreme Court says it was right.

Massachusetts

Lowell temple wins court battle over pool hall

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) -- A Hindu temple in Lowell has won its court fight to stop a pool hall from moving in next door.

Members of the Temple said the billiards business proposed for a warehouse next door was inappropriate near a house of worship where members abstained from alcohol and tobacco. They were also concerned about parking problems.

The Sun of Lowell reports that a judge ruled in the temple's favor last week.

A lawyer for the temple says the case was scheduled to go to trial in May, but the billiards hall's lawyer filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the judge to rule without a trial.

The temple's lawyer says the city zoning board did not follow its own rules.

It was not immediately clear if the pool hall would appeal.

Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court won't hear Jets fan's appeal of lawsuit over Patriots' secret taping of signals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court won't review a decision throwing out a lawsuit stemming from the New England Patriots' 2007 "Spygate" scandal.

The high court on Monday refused to revive a New York Jets fan's class-action lawsuit against their football archrivals and coach, Bill Belichick.

Carl Mayer is a New York Jets season ticket-holder. He wanted millions of dollars from the Patriots and Belichick, claiming they deceived customers by secretly videotaping Jets coaches' in-game signals. His lawsuit claimed fans spent large sums to see games that were essentially rigged.

The NFL fined the Patriots and Belichick $750,000.

A U.S. District Court judge and a federal appeals panel dismissed Mayer's class-action lawsuit. The Supreme Court upheld that decision without comment.

The case is Mayer v. Belichick, 10-867.

Iowa

Women refile birth certificate lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Two Des Moines women have renewed efforts to have both their names on their daughter's Iowa birth certificate.

Thirty-nine-year-old Heather Lynn Martin Gartner and 40-year-old Melissa McCoy Gartner filed the Polk County lawsuit on behalf of Mackenzie, who was born in September 2009.

They first filed in May 2010. The Des Moines Register says that case was dismissed on a technicality. It was refiled on Feb. 15.

The Gartners married three months before Mackenzie was born.

The women are suing the Iowa Department of Public Health because it won't put both their names on the certificate. It lists only Heather, the biological mother.

The department had said last year that state law allows only the name of a husband to be added to that of the mother on birth certificates.

Georgia

County's lawsuit tab is over $15M

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) -- Attorneys for the DeKalb County school system have spent more than $15.5 million in legal fees preparing for trial against a construction firm.

The legal wrangling began in 2007 when Heery International sued the system for failing to pay an outstanding invoice. The district filed a $100 million countersuit in response, alleging fraud and mismanagement.

The district's attorneys say they are confident they will recover the legal fees along with millions of dollars more. A Heery spokesman said the company expects to prevail in the lawsuit.

Some DeKalb County legislators are questioning the stiff expenses.

State Sen. Emanuel Jones of Decatur said the county shouldn't have tried to take on Heery. He said "in cases like that, no one wins."

Published: Tue, Mar 8, 2011