SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit several South Bend police officers filed over wiretapping within the police department belongs in state, not federal, court.

Tuesday’s ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago doesn’t address the case’s merits or whether the recordings of telephone calls violated federal law.

The South Bend Tribune reports the ruling only says that state court is the lawsuit’s proper jurisdiction.

The four officers were inadvertently recorded in 2010 and 2011 saying things the administration deemed inappropriate. They sued the city over the recordings.

If a court finds that the recordings violated the federal Wiretap Act that would make it illegal to disclose the recordings.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tah-juhj) says the ruling “moves us one step closer to resolving this controversy.”


Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com