Case 22

Edwards v. First Bank of Dundee, 534 F.2d 1242 (7th Cir. 1976).

This was an action against a State bank to enjoin it from demolishing its privately owned building, the Brinkerhoff House, a property not listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places but located within the Dundee Township Historical District, listed in the Register in 1975. The house had been included on the nomination form submitted for the listing of the district. The bank had contracted to buy the house more than a year before the district was listed in the Register, although it did not take title until after the listing. The bank proposed to demolish the house with private funds only.

The bank was an insured bank under the provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA). Under the act, the bank had applied to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a Federal agency, for permission to relocate its business to the block occupied by the historic structure.

Plaintiffs alleged that FDIC was required to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act prior to approving the bank's request for change of location. The district court agreed and granted a preliminary injunction.

The Seventh Circuit reversed. The court noted that the bank's undertaking was not federally funded or assisted, no Federal officer had been joined as a party defendant, and the Comptroller of the Currency had no authority under the FDIA to grant or deny a Federal license to demolish a privately owned building. 534 F.2d at 1245-46. Whether the Comptroller grants or denies the bank's application to transfer its location is immaterial. Id. at 1246. [Ed. note: The court did not explain the relationship between the FDIC and the Comptroller.]

The court therefore concluded that the district court did not have jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims against the bank and ordered the district court to dismiss the case. Id. at 1246.

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