18 F.3d 604 (8th Cir. 1994), 93-4118, Beck by Beck v. Missouri State High School Activities Ass'n

Docket Nº:93-4118.
Citation:18 F.3d 604
Party Name:Sean BECK, by his parent and next friend Marlene BECK, Appellee, v. MISSOURI STATE HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION, an unincorporated voluntary association, Appellant.
Case Date:March 10, 1994
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 604

18 F.3d 604 (8th Cir. 1994)

Sean BECK, by his parent and next friend Marlene BECK, Appellee,

v.

MISSOURI STATE HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION, an

unincorporated voluntary association, Appellant.

No. 93-4118.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 10, 1994

Submitted Feb. 15, 1994.

Page 605

Before FAGG, BOWMAN, and HANSEN, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

On January 25, 1993, sophomore Sean Beck transferred from a public high school to a nonpublic high school. Both schools are members of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Section 238.3 of the Association's bylaws provides that students who transfer are ineligible to participate in interscholastic sports for one year unless one of the bylaw's stated exceptions applies. Beck was declared ineligible to represent his new nonpublic school on its varsity basketball team for one year under section 238.3. Beck, through his parent, brought this lawsuit against the Association seeking injunctive and declaratory relief, contending the bylaw violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The district court upheld the bylaw's one-year transfer rule, but held the bylaw's exemption for transfers from nonpublic to public schools violates the Equal Protection Clause. Beck v. Missouri State High Sch. Activities Ass'n, 837 F.Supp. 998, 1004-06 (E.D.Mo.1993). The district court thus struck down only the exemption. Id. at 1006. The Association appeals. We dismiss the appeal, vacate the district court's order and judgment, and remand with instructions to dismiss the case.

Before considering the merits of the Association's appeal, we must decide whether we have jurisdiction. Article III of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to actual cases and controversies. Arkansas AFL-CIO v. FCC, 11 F.3d 1430, 1435 (8th Cir.1993) (en banc). "[A]n actual controversy must exist at all stages of appellate review, not merely at the time the complaint is filed." Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305, 329, 108 S.Ct. 592, 607, 98 L.Ed.2d 686 (1988) (Rehnquist, C.J., concurring); see Arkansas AFL-CIO, 11 F.3d at 1435. During the course of litigation, the issues presented in a case may lose their life because of the passage of time or a change in circumstances. Arkansas AFL-CIO, 11 F.3d at 1435. When this happens and a federal court can no longer grant effective relief, the case is moot. Id...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP