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Hudson v. Pittsylvania County

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

December 17, 2014

BARBARA HUDSON, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA; BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA, Defendants - Appellants

Argued October 28, 2014.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Danville. (4:11-cv-00043-MFU-RSB). Michael F. Urbanski, District Judge.

ARGUED:

William M. Stanley, Jr., STANLEY, HUCHENS & GRIFFITH, Moneta, Virginia, for Appellants.

Rebecca Kim Glenberg, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Daniel Mach, Heather L. Weaver, ACLU PROGRAM ON FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF, Washington, D.C., for Appellee.

Before NIEMEYER, DUNCAN, and AGEE, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 232

DUNCAN, Circuit Judge:

Defendants-Appellants Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and the Board of Supervisors of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, (collectively, " Pittsylvania" ) appeal two orders of the district court--the first ruling in favor of Plaintiff-Appellee Barbara Hudson on Establishment Clause claims, and the second awarding her attorney's fees. Hudson moves to dismiss Pittsylvania's challenge to the district court's order concerning her Establishment Clause claims for lack of jurisdiction. We grant Hudson's motion to dismiss because Pittsylvania's appeal is untimely. We affirm the district court's order awarding attorney's

Page 233

fees to Hudson because Pittsylvania fails to show that the district court abused its discretion.

I.

A.

The Board of Supervisors of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, (the " Board" ) is composed of seven members serving four-year terms. In 2008-2012, the Board met twice per month. At the beginning of each meeting, a member of the Board opened the proceedings with an invocation. This opening invocation was usually explicitly Christian in nature, and the Board asked the audience to stand for the prayers.

Hudson is a non-Christian resident of Pittsylvania County who has attended nearly every Board meeting since late 2008. Hudson alleges that the Christian prayers made her and other ...


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