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Property Keyed to Saxer
Ely v. City Council of Ames
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Laurel and Mildred Ely (Plaintiffs) owned a commercial tire and automotive service center in Ames, Iowa. The property adjacent to the service center was designated a “historical landmark” by the City Council of Ames (Defendant). The 1920’s historical home was well known for advancing the integration effort of African-Americans into the Ames community. Plaintiffs alleged that the home had fallen into disrepair and decreased the commercial value of nearby properties, including Plaintiffs’ business. Plaintiffs filed a petition challenging Defendant’s designation and asserted claims of violations of due process and equal protection and illegal spot zoning. At a bench trial, the district court upheld the designation. The Iowa Court of Appeals granted certiorari to review.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.