United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
MID-AMERICA APARTMENTS, L.P. PLAINTIFF
CITY OF RIDGELAND, MISSISSIPPI DEFENDANT
ORDER STAYING CASE PENDING STATE COURT
T. WINGATE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
THIS COURT is the Notice of Supplemental Authority filed by
the City of Ridgeland, Mississippi (hereinafter referred to
as “the City”). [Docket no. 49]. By its notice,
the City informs this court that the parties had engaged in
litigation in the Circuit Court of Madison County,
Mississippi (hereinafter referred to as “State
Court”). The subject of said litigation encompassed
many of the same issues that the parties are litigating in
this federal forum - namely a challenge to the validity of
the 2016 Zoning Ordinance Amendments which is at controversy
here. The State Court upheld the ordinance in favor of the
City, and plaintiff appealed the State Court decision to the
Mississippi Supreme Court.
that the appeal currently before the Mississippi Supreme
Court encompasses many of the same issues in the lawsuit
sub judice and, thus res judicata and/or
issue preclusion, this court ordered the parties to inform
this court why it should not enter a stay of this matter
pending the Mississippi Supreme Court's decision.
See [Text Only Order 3/25/2019].
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent
in every court to control the disposition of the causes on
its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for
counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254, 57 S.Ct. 163, 166, 81 L.Ed. 153
(1936). “Proper use of this authority ‘calls for
the exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing
interests and maintain an even balance.'”
Wedgeworth v. Fibreboard Corp., 706 F.2d 541, 545
(5th Cir. 1983) (Quoting Landis at 254-55).
parties have since filed their responses. Plaintiff
Mid-America Apartments, L.P. (hereinafter referred to as
“Mid-America”), opposes such a stay, saying that
this lawsuit sub judice is broader in scope than the
lawsuit before the State Court and, now, before the
Mississippi Supreme Court. According to Mid-America, the
Mississippi Supreme Court has been presented with two issues:
whether the 2016 Zoning Ordinance complies with the
conciliation agreement between the City and the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development; and whether the
allegedly “updated repair provision included in the
2016 amendments is arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory,
unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful.” [Docket no.
50]. Mid-America says that the resolution of these two issues
do not impact the ultimate resolution of this lawsuit.
City has also responded, saying that it believes a stay in
this lawsuit is appropriate. According to the City, the State
Court ruled on several points of law which are outstanding in
this lawsuit: that the amortization provision of the 2014
Zoning Ordinance no longer applies to the plaintiffs; and
that the 50% rule remained the same as it did under the 2001
Zoning Ordinance. Thus, says the City, the Mississippi
Supreme Court's ruling will provide res judicata
or collateral estoppel effect on the overarching issues in
court has reviewed the Order to Affirm the October 18, 2016,
Amendments to the Official Zoning Ordinance of the City of
Ridgeland. [Docket no. 207-1]. This court finds that the
State Court addressed and ruled on the majority of the issues
present in this lawsuit - if not tangentially on all issues.
The State Court, in addition to the rulings cited by the City
above, also ruled that the 10% Rule does not apply to
Mid-America. The amortization provision of the 2014 Amendment
is a major point of contention for Mid-America along with the
application of the 50% Rule. The State Court has now ruled
that both provisions are no longer applicable to Mid-America.
court finds that the Mississippi Supreme Court's decision
will ultimately guide this court's resolution of the
City's Motion to Dismiss as Moot. The issues raised by
the City's Motion to Dismiss as Moot and the State Court
appeal are inextricably intertwined and will inform this
court's decision. Accordingly, this court agrees with the
City and finds that a stay of this lawsuit is appropriate.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that this lawsuit is hereby STAYED
pending the outcome of the Mississippi Supreme Court's
decision in the appeal of the Madison County, Mississippi,
Circuit Court lawsuit.
 ORDER re (207 in
3:14-cv-00938-HTW-LRA) Notice (Other) filed by City of
Ridgeland, Mississippi, (49 in 3:15-cv-00802-HTW-LRA) Notice
(Other) filed by City of Ridgeland, Mississippi
TEXT ONLY ORDER. This court hereby cancels the
telephonic status conference that it had previously set on
March 25, 2019, at 4:00 p.m.. The City of Ridgeland has
submitted supplemental authority which appears to this court
to suggest a stay of this matter should be entered, pending
the outcome of the ruling of the Mississippi Supreme Court.
The parties have obtained an answer from the Madison County,
Mississippi, Circuit Court of several questions which impact
this courts ruling on various matters in this lawsuit. After
such ruling by the State Court, the parties appealed that
decision. Recognizing that such ruling may have a res
judicata or collateral estoppel effect on this lawsuit, this
court finds that a stay is appropriate pending a ruling from
the Mississippi Supreme Court and desires to know if the
parties agree. In lieu of the status conference, this court