74 F.3d 153 (7th Cir. 1996), 95-1565, Spears v. City of Indianapolis

Docket Nº:95-1565.
Citation:74 F.3d 153
Party Name:Charles R. SPEARS, R.H. Farley, Inc., and Huxley, Inc. d/b/a B-Line Taxi, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS, William H. Hudnut III, individually and as mayor of the City of Indianapolis, Fred L. Armstrong, individually and as controller of the City of Indianapolis, and Gerald Young, individually and as a police sergeant of the City of
Case Date:January 19, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 153

74 F.3d 153 (7th Cir. 1996)

Charles R. SPEARS, R.H. Farley, Inc., and Huxley, Inc. d/b/a

B-Line Taxi, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS, William H. Hudnut III, individually

and as mayor of the City of Indianapolis, Fred L. Armstrong,

individually and as controller of the City of Indianapolis,

and Gerald Young, individually and as a police sergeant of

the City of Indianapolis, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 95-1565.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

January 19, 1996

Argued Oct. 27, 1995.

Page 154

Curtis Edward Shirley, Cremer & Miller, Indianapolis, IN, and Stephen Laudig, Mark W. Rutherford, Linda George, and W. Russell Sipes (argued), Laudig, George, Rutherford & Sipes, Indianapolis, IN, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Dale R. Simmons (argued), Office of the Corporation Counsel, City Counsel Legal Division, Indianapolis, IN, and John S. Beeman, Harrison & Moberly, Indianapolis, IN, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before FLAUM, ROVNER, and EVANS, Circuit Judges.

TERENCE T. EVANS, Circuit Judge.

"What a diff'rence a day makes ... twenty-four little hours."

(Dinah Washington, 1 Circa Summer of 1959)

This case is about "what a difference a day makes ... twenty-four little hours" when responding to a motion for summary judgment. If Charles Spears and the other plaintiffs had twenty-four little hours more they might still be in the case. Without twenty-four little hours extra they definitely are out of court. And "that's the diff'rence a day makes."

Our case arises from Mr. Spears' mostly unsuccessful venture into the taxicab business in the city of Indianapolis during the 1980's. Spears and his two corporations, R.H. Farley, Inc. and Huxley, Inc. (we'll occasionally refer to everyone simply as Spears), brought the suit under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983--with some pendent state law claims tagging along--against the City, its mayor, and two city employees--the controller and a police sergeant. The district court entered summary judgment for the defendants and the plaintiffs appeal.

The primary argument on appeal is whether the district court abused its discretion when it denied Spears' request for one more day to fully respond to a defense motion for summary judgment. With something less than real enthusiasm, the plaintiffs also challenge the grant of summary judgment itself. Lastly, they contest a district court order that they pay costs associated with a discovery request. Because we find no abuse of discretion and no error, we affirm the district court in all respects. In order to appreciate why we find no abuse of discretion, we need to fully review the facts that led up to the court's decision. We'll start at the beginning, in the early 1980's.

R.H. Farley, Inc. and Huxley, Inc. were taxicab companies operating under the name of "B-Line Taxi" in Indianapolis from 1983 to 1989. Mr. Spears was the owner and sole stockholder of both companies. During the time Farley and Huxley were in business, William Hudnut was the mayor of Indianapolis, Fred Armstrong was the city's controller, and Gerald Young was a city police officer assigned to the controller's office. During the 1980's, the taxicab business in Indianapolis was regulated by an ordinance requiring that cabs be licensed, insured, inspected and put in service within 30 days after the license is issued.

Mr. Spears expressed interest in the taxicab business in 1981 when he visited the controller's office to research the availability of licenses. He was not able to apply for licenses at that time because new licenses are only issued during "open enrollment" periods. In 1983, Spears acquired five existing licenses by virtue of his ownership of Farley and Huxley. When an enrollment period finally opened in June 1984, Farley and Huxley each applied for 25 licenses. Each received 8, and 17 applications for each company were denied. Like every other taxicab company awarded licenses, Farley and Huxley were required to have their cabs on the street within 30 days of the license award. When they failed to field their cabs in time, the 16 licenses (8 each) were revoked. An appeal of this revocation order to the controller and to the License Review Board ("LRB") was available, but none was taken.

Six months after the licenses had been revoked, Farley and Huxley filed a complaint

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in the Superior Court of Marion County, Indiana, challenging the denial of 34 licenses applied for in June 1984. Spears and the City compromised the case by agreeing to a hearing before the controller to determine the status of the 34 licenses that were denied and the 16 that were revoked. Spears came up dry after the hearing however, as the controller ruled that the licenses were properly denied and revoked. This time Farley and Huxley appealed the controller's decision to the LRB. The LRB reinstated the 16 revoked licenses, but again with the requirement that Farley and Huxley have their cabs in...

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