IN RE: ORDER TO ENCAPSULATE NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN GRAVESITES IN CONCRETE AND PAVE OVER WITH ASPHALT (Tenn.Ct.App. August 24, 2007).
During construction involving Hillsboro Road in Davidson County, the Department of Transportation discovered three Native American Indian graves. The Department of Transportation eventually reinterred the graves and encapsulated the graves in concrete. The Department of Transportation later determined, after the fact, that simply encapsulating the graves in concrete did not comply with relevant statutory law. A first lawsuit was filed challenging the Department's alleged policy of encapsulating graves. While the first lawsuit was pending, the construction project was completed. On appeal in the first lawsuit, this Court determined that the plaintiffs' claims were moot and none of the applicable exceptions to the mootness doctrine applied. The present case involves the same claims as the first lawsuit, with the only exception being that this lawsuit initially was filed pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 4-5-101, et seq. The Trial Court dismissed this lawsuit after finding that the same claims raised by the plaintiffs in this case were held to be moot in the first appeal. We affirm.
Opinion may be found at: